Marketers often assume that simply having a great product is enough to secure a sale. Still, building trust in the brand and forming relationships with consumers is vital for long-term success. This is where public relations (PR) comes in: creating an understanding of the product and brand to encourage customers to make an informed decision. Ultimately, PR and marketing both have a role in brand awareness—though it’s important not to assume they are one and the same. Here’s how they differ when it comes to building brand awareness.

Brand Awareness: What Does It Mean?

Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers recognize your product or service by its name. Ideally, that awareness is positive and comes with a clear understanding of why your brand is better than the competition. Brand awareness is essential not just for new products and services but for keeping established brands top-of-mind as well. Because the reality is that with all the choices available today, consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they know.

Role of Marketing in Building Brand Awareness

The primary objective of marketing is to convert customer interest into sales to increase a company’s profitability. To accomplish this, marketers employ the 4Ps: product, price, placement, and promotional strategies. However, it’s the promotional aspect of marketing that plays a role in building brand awareness using tactics that include the following.

1. Running Advertisements

Advertising is an essential marketing element, and ensuring the maximum reach of your campaign is critical. You can create creative and eye-catching advertising to show the product and how it can benefit your target audience. It’s essential to be impactful so your brand is top-of-mind for the consumer when making a purchase decision.

2. Providing Free Samples

Offering free samples is a common marketing tactic to get consumers to try your product. It not only helps to build brand awareness of your product but also opens up the lines of communication with consumers. Often, the sample is contingent upon the consumer providing you their email address, of which they can unsubscribe at any time, of course! But until they do, if ever, you can reach out to them for feedback on their experience and keep them in the loop with brand updates. As long as this continued contact is relevant to their needs, you’re building not only awareness but also a long-lasting connection to your brand.

3. Working with Influencers

Another great marketing approach to building brand awareness is to work with influencers who cater to your target audience. Influencers can spread the word about your product and help convince them to try it. They do so by leveraging the trust they’ve developed with their audiences through sharing moments from their lives and promoting products that are authentic to their personal brand.

How PR Helps Build Brand Awareness

Public relations focuses on building a positive image of your brand in the market. By creating favorable impressions, people will remember you and be more likely to include your product in their consideration set—a crucial factor in today’s competitive marketplace. To make this happen, PR practitioners employ various tactics build brand awareness including the following.

1. Managing Media Relations

A key way PR can help build brand awareness is through strong media relationships. When you receive regular, favorable media coverage, your brand awareness is sure to improve. Not only that, press coverage increases your brand’s credibility as well. Millions of potential customers can be introduced to a brand through the media, and editorial coverage has significant sway.

2. Telling Your Story To The Target Market

Every brands wants to control its own narrative. PR ensures that your brand story is communicated in a captivating and positive manner to the right audiences at the right time and that it’s communicated consistently across multiple channels. Whether it’s press releases, blogs, social media, and more, the content you create is integral in brand awareness.

3. Showcasing Socially Responsible Behavior

Consumers value brands with a reputation for being socially responsible, in general. But, if your brand’s values align with your target audience’s values, they’re likely to connect with you in an even more significant way. So, you should not only exhibit socially responsible actions and champion your chosen causes wherever possible, but also make sure that your target audience knows about it.

Next Steps for Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness can be built through both public relations and marketing but in different ways. Rather than directly promoting products as marketing does, PR creates brand awareness through sharing and relationship building which have many additional benefits as well. To get started building brand awareness through public relations, we recommend you contact a reputable PR firm today. But make sure to vet them properly to ensure their skillset matches what you need and that they have experience in your specific industry.