10 Brand Awareness Metrics to Track the Impact of Your Campaigns
Brand awareness. All marketers and business owners know that it matters, but it’s not always easy to define what brand awareness is – or how much your marketing efforts are attributing to it.
Put simply, brand awareness is a measure of how well your target audience or demographic is able to recall or recognize your brand. If you come to mind as a potential provider for a product/service during the buying journey, you’re well on the way to gaining a new customer – but only if they’re aware of you in the first place!
In this article, we’re going to explore 10 key metrics that your business should be using to set KPIs and measure the success of your brand awareness campaigns, as well as the tools you can use to track these metrics with clarity and ease.
Why Should You Measure Brand Awareness?
Fostering brand awareness is vital to the success of your business, but it’s also challenging to measure. This is the main reason why many brands either fail to track it or do so ineffectively.
So, why is brand awareness such a challenging metric?
The key reason is that the relevant KPIs for measuring brand awareness will vary widely depending on your brand’s marketing strategy. For example, if content marketing is your biggest brand awareness strategy, measuring unique views and session times for organic content will be very relevant – but not so for brands who focus on PPC campaigns.
However, this shouldn’t dissuade businesses from tracking brand awareness – if you don’t know how/why your brand resonates with your target audience, how can you create content and campaigns that feel relevant?
Furthermore, understanding brand awareness helps you to:
- Determine if consumers perceive your brand how you want them to
- Measure ROI for marketing campaigns
- Understand where/how to reach your target audience
- Determine how you are performing compared with competitors
- Ensure that your brand is relevant and offers value
Without further ado, let’s look at how you can start measuring brand awareness more effectively!
10 Brand Awareness Metrics You Should Be Tracking
1. Brand Mentions
Brand mentions are any time that your brand is referred to organically within an online forum or publishing. This includes social media, industry publications, interviews, or news articles. A ‘mention’ could be either:
- Your brand name
- The products/services you sell
- Key individuals working for your brand
- Current activities/campaigns/partnerships
Why should you track brand mentions?
Brand mentions allow you to take the temperature of your target audience by following what people are saying about your brand – and whether their feelings are positive or negative. When you know how your brand is being perceived, you can determine whether your current branding efforts are having the desired outcome.
Best tools for tracking brand mentions
Google Trends. Google Trends is a valuable tool by allowing you to track brand mentions over time. You can also take this a step further by measuring the mentions of your competitors to establish changes in market share.
Meltwater. This PR Tool also tracks the sentiment of your mentions in addition to their frequency, which is useful when you’re wanting to measure the general response to your brand awareness campaign.
2. Earned media
Earned media refers to brand mentions within content that you’ve paid for to generate publicity, such as articles, blog posts, or social media mentions by influencers.
Why should you track earned media?
If you’ve paid for media mentions of your brand, it’s important to track the results to see whether you’re getting a good ROI. If you aren’t doing this, you could be throwing money away with nothing to show for it.
Best tools for tracking earned media
Cision. Cision is a powerful cloud-based PR tool that offers media monitoring across a range of formats including social media, webinars, broadcast, print, and web.
3. Share of voice
‘Share of voice’ (SOV) is the share of coverage that your brand receives in comparison to competitors. This includes organic coverage, paid media, and keyword traffic for SEO.
Why should you track share of voice?
Tracking SOV gives you a strong insight into how your brand is shaping the conversation and trends within your industry – and how visible you are to potential customers. Put simply, the bigger your SOV is, the higher your brand’s authority.
Best tools for tracking share of voice
Brand24. This tool collects all public social media posts by you and your competitors that contain your target search terms/keywords – thus allowing you to calculate the proportion of the market you hold.
Google Ads (formally Google Adwords). Google Ads uses a metric called ‘impression shares’ which tracks the number of times your ads were shown compared to how often they could have been shown on the basis of your campaign settings.
4. Website traffic
Your website traffic measures how many people are visiting your site within a determined period, either via search engine, social media, or paid display ads.
Why should you track website traffic?
Website traffic is one of the most straightforward brand awareness metrics. If your website traffic increases steadily over time, it’s a strong indication that your efforts to increase brand awareness have been successful. Best tools for tracking website traffic
Best tools for tracking website traffic
Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows you to measure and analyze organic, direct and referral traffic to see which activities are driving people (or not) to your website, such as backlinks or email marketing campaigns, or unsubscribes. It also enables you to track average session times, bounce rates, and pages per session to help measure the engagement of your visitors.
5. Branded search volume
When a number of people Google your brand name to reach your website, this is known as a ‘branded’ search. Marketers use this as a way to measure the ubiquity of their brand in relation to a certain product or service e.g. ‘Pepsi cola’.
Why should you track branded search volume?
Branded search volume is a notable metric because it closely echos consumer behavior – 77% of consumers say that they purchase items based on the brand name, rather than the name of the product itself. Moreover, it’s a very explicit indicator of brand awareness – a person can’t Google your brand name if they’re not already aware of you!
6. Brand Impressions
Brand impressions determine how many times your content was displayed over the course of your campaign. Therefore, it’s possible for one person to experience multiple ‘impressions’ of that content (if it were to appear in their feed more than once).
Why should you track brand impressions?
Because impressions don’t tell you who actually read/viewed your content, impressions aren’t as precise a metric as reach or engagement. However, they are important to understanding the level of exposure your brand is getting, especially when paired with your content’s CTR (click-through rate).
Best tools for tracking brand impressions
In-platform social media analytics tools. You can choose to track impressions natively through your social media accounts via tools like Facebook Insights and Ads Manager, or LinkedIn Analytics.
Google Search Console. Here, you can measure both your CTR and impressions in regards to your website. If your impressions/CTR is going up, this is a good sign that your campaign is working.
7. Social media engagement
‘Engagement’ is the sum of all interactions that people can in response to content on your social media channels. This includes likes, comments, shares, reposts etc.
Why should you track social media engagement?
When you’re conducting a brand awareness campaign, real-time social engagement helps establish a solid baseline for whether your posts are resonating with your target audience. When engagement is high, it’s a good sign that your content is helping to build brand awareness.
Best tools for tracking social media engagement
Sprout Social. This is a high-powered social media tool for those who are wanting access to in-depth analytics and management over social media campaigns – though it’s a more complex tool for those less experienced with digital marketing.
Socialbakers. As well as tracking engagement, Socialbakers offers a persona mapping tool to target your desired audience with more precision.
8. Social media reach
Reach is a social media metric that looks specifically at how many people have potentially viewed your content (rather than how many times it has been displayed).
Why should you track social media reach?
Compared with impressions, reach offers more insight into the size of your audience – and therefore how far your brand messaging is likely to extend. Moreover, it helps to give context to other social media metrics. If you divide the total sum of interactions taken on a social media post and divide it by your reach, for example, you will receive the post’s overall engagement rate.
Best tools for tracking social media reach
TweetReach. This tool makes up for Twitter’s rather basic native metrics. As well as tracking reach, it also identifies who your most ‘influential’ followers are – and therefore who you should try aiming your posts at.
TailWind. TailWind specializes in analytics for Pinterest and Instagram (the latter having an infamously difficult in-app analytics experience) while also allowing you to schedule posts and track hashtags.
9. Social sharing
Social sharing is when social media users repost or share a brand’s content to their social media accounts, thus increasing the size of its organic audience.
Why should you track social sharing?
Social sharing is one of the most powerful ways that consumers can validate your brand. Social shares are particularly significant to hashtag-driven social media campaigns that drive brand awareness via user-generated content (UGC). If you can map how far your hashtag has traveled, you have a good benchmark for how much brand awareness your campaign has created.
Best tools for tracking social sharing
Keyhole. This platform focuses on tracking hashtags and keywords on Twitter and Instagram, allowing you to measure the success of UGC and branded campaigns.
10. Brand awareness surveys
Surveys are when you speak to your target audience or demographic directly to find out what they know/think about your brand and competitors. This is usually done via a list of questions designed to gather qualitative data for later analysis.
Why should you run brand awareness surveys?
Brand awareness surveys are one of the few metrics that define your brand through your audience’s own words, rather than numbers. Running regular surveys allows you to track changes in brand perception over time, such as before and after a dedicated brand awareness campaign.
Best tools for tracking brand awareness surveys
SurveyMonkey. This tool provides straightforward templates and suggested questions to help you build an engaging survey with easy-to-understand analytics.
Google Forms. Google forms are easy to set up as it only requires a Google account. The interface allows you to drag and drop elements to build your survey and access all collected data via Google Spreadsheets.
In this post, we’ve defined what brand awareness is, why it matters, and 10 ways that your business can start measuring the success of your campaigns more accurately. To recap, we’ve explained the importance of and the tools for tracking the following:
- Brand mentions
- Earned media
- Share of voice
- Website traffic
- Branded search volume
- Brand impressions
- Social media engagement
- Social media reach
- Social sharing
- Brand awareness survey
Now it’s time for your business to put these into action and begin building -and measuring – your next brand awareness campaign. Good luck!