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Are You Measuring Brand Awareness Right?

Brand awareness is one of those slightly mysterious, intangible elements of marketing. Everyone knows they should be working towards increasing it, but no one is quite sure how to measure the impact of their activities. How exactly do you quantify brand awareness success?

How to Define Social Impact and Communicate Your Performance

We spend a lot of time thinking about this question here at Simply Measured, and after many months of experimentation, we’ve identified five key metrics you can use to measure your brand awareness progress.

1. Share of Voice

Many of our brand awareness activities are dedicated to increasing our share of voice (SOV). We calculate the SOV as the percentage of a given conversation we own as a brand. For instance, we’re looking to increase our SOV in the social analytics market, and also tracking that of our competitors to see where we stand, how the landscape looks, and how we can improve.

Share of Voice in DataRank
This chart from DataRank shows share of voice over time.

If you work for Nike and you want to find your SOV in the running category, you’d use a tracking service to run queries for mentions of Nike that also include running.

You’d also want to track total mentions of “running” to give you all the instances running was mentioned, whether or not they included Nike.

2016 Social + Digital Marketing Predictions

If you were trying to see where you stood in relation to your main competitors, you’d want to track those as well. So maybe Adidas + running, Brooks + running, or Reebok + running.

By getting an accurate look at your piece of the larger conversation, you can find your SOV percentage, and then develop tactics to increase it moving forward. Either way, having an accurate benchmark can inform future brand awareness strategies and measure the success of any campaigns moving forward.

2. Referral Traffic

One key tactic for building brand awareness is increasing the number of brand mentions you have around the web. This can be achieved through media coverage, bylines, general forum conversations, or any other activity that captures attention and ideally drives someone back to your website.

Engagement Funnel
This chart comes from Simply Measured’s Traffic Source Analysis.

Keeping an eye on your referral traffic can give you a good sense of how your brand awareness campaigns are resonating. A spike in referral traffic will not only show that your content is making a mark, but will also give you feedback on who is driving the most traffic to your site, what topic drove the click, and which key websites you should target in the future.

3. Branded Searches

While a bit of a softer metric, we also watch the number of branded mentions we get on a weekly basis.

google search simply measured

This basically tracks how many people are going to search engines and typing in “Simply Measured” or a combination of brand-related keywords and finding their way to our site. It gives us a general sense of our current “buzzworthy-ness” — if our branded searches are increasing, it means more people are coming to a search engine to find us, and in general we are coming up more frequently top-of-mind for a larger audience.

4. Social Share of Voice

Much like tracking our overall share of voice (a measurement of mentions on the web excluding social), we’re also keeping track of what portion of the conversation we’re owning on major social networks.

Share of Voice
This chart comes from Simply Measured’s Share of Voice Analysis.

Obviously, we use Simply Measured’s software to understand how often people are engaging with us around the topic of social analytics, and then measure the engagement level of our competitors, as well. This gives us a good pulse on how much of the organic conversation we’re winning, and insight into which successful tactics our competitors might be using.

5. Overall Mentions

While it’s sexy to track all these other more complex metrics, at the end of the day you need to keep track of your overall brand mentions as well.

Obviously, increasing mentions means more discussion about your brand and generally signifies positive brand growth. A decrease in mentions might mean getting more creative about your outreach or changing your message to resonate with a new audience.

Need to better understand the conversation around your brand? Download our Complete Social Media Conversation Analysis Guide below. 

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Ashley Ennis

Ashley is Simply Measured’s brand and communications manager. In her free time, she enjoys boxed wine, wedding planning, and frolicking with her pup, Griffey.

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