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When purchase decision-makers in your target market consider software options, you want to make sure your company is on the list. For ISVs that work with specific vertical markets, however, it may be a struggle to find ways to increase brand awareness without breaking the bank. Here are five brand awareness strategies that will help you get your name and logo out there in practical and effective ways.
- Trade Shows. There is little substitute for the impact of an in-person meeting. Learn the annual events that are important to your target market — and be there. An expo booth provides the opportunity to prominently display your logo, communicate key messaging, and demo your solution. Trade show booth space can come with a large price tag, however, so if budget is too big of a hurdle to cross alone, consider working with a partner. Hardware vendors may be willing to share their space (and the cost) and allow you to have a representative of your company demo your solution on their devices and systems. If the budget for any booth space is totally out of the question, consider “walking the show” as an attendee, which will still give you an opportunity to meet prospects and to network.
- Freebies. Everyone likes free stuff, but when an ISV offers freebies, it should be part of a strategy to raise brand awareness. Trade show tchotchkes (read “chachkies”) probably aren’t worth the investment if they are truly only trinkets of little value that attendees grab as the walk by a booth to fill up their goodie bags. It’s probably a better idea to take a more strategic approach to giveaways. For example, consider giving prospects a USB flash drive imprinted with your logo and contact information, which contains information about your solution. Personally hand it to prospects along with your business card after you’ve spoken with them.
- Social Responsibility and Charitable Giving. Demonstrating that your business is socially responsible and gives back to your community can help give prospects a better idea of what your company stands for. This can be especially important to your clients and prospects that fall into the millennial generation and Generation Z demographics, which characteristically consider social responsibility when making purchasing decisions. Getting involved with causes that you and your employees support doesn’t necessarily mean cash donations — you can give back by building houses for the homeless, helping disaster victims, or working at an environmental cleanup. Officially partner with the organizations your support so your company’s name and logo are associated with their projects and events.
- Social Media. Research which social media sites are the most popular among your target market and have a presence there. It’s not hard to find content to post: You can share information about tradeshows you will attend, free demos or other giveaways, and the causes you support, as well as encouraging people to read your blog and download your e-books. Build your followers on the social media platform and use hashtags and keywords to get the most impressions — and consequently brand awareness — from your social media campaigns.
- Thought Leadership. You can build brand awareness by sharing content with media outlets and other websites. Determine which websites and publications popular in your target market and look for opportunities to submit content or provide commentary. Discuss what your prospects care about — how they can make their businesses more efficient, survive through a time of change, or beat out their competition — and you will get their attention. When possible, include a brief “About Us” paragraph that shares information about your company and backlinks that connect the reader with your website.
Raising brand awareness is vital to your business. Your company may have the greatest software solution in the world, but you can’t sell it if no one knows about it. Build a brand awareness strategy that gets your company’s name in front of your target market and lets them know when they are ready to buy, your ISV’s solution is one they need to consider.