Brand awareness is much more than a fancy logo and a witty slogan.
When done properly, brand awareness builds a strong market presence, establishes trust, and increases customer loyalty—all especially important when it comes to fintech branding.
And yet, working out an effective brand awareness strategy is only half of the battle. The other half is knowing how to measure it and act appropriately.
In this article, we’ll get into the brand awareness metrics that you must learn to master, as well as go over a few tips to boost brand awareness in today’s crowded fintech market.
Understanding Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is crucial for any fintech’s long-term scalability and success. In addition to building trust, it influences customers’ future decisions, and helps your company stand out from the financial services pack.
There are two types of brand awareness that fintechs need to understand:
- Aided brand awareness: consumers recognize your brand when they are asked. For example, in the context of a survey, participants might be asked: “Do you recognize X bank?” The affirmative or negative responses given by the participants will establish their level of aided awareness of X brand.
- Unaided brand awareness: also known as brand recall, it’s when consumers remember your company without being prompted. Unaided brand awareness is the stronger of the two, as it indicates that your company has a strong presence at the forefront of customers’ minds.
Why does brand awareness, and especially brand recall, matter?
Because the financial services market has changed rapidly in the last few years—trends like digital transformation and experience design are putting consumers and their needs in the driver’s seat.
Successful fintech branding keeps people front and center—it connects with a buyer persona’s unique struggles and offers insight and solutions.
To do this effectively, fintechs need to leverage the power of narrative: you must let consumers know that you exist, what you can offer them, and perhaps most importantly, establish credibility and trust.
A Quick Note on Attribution
An essential piece of the brand recall puzzle is attribution.
Attribution is the process by which individual pieces of branded content (or touchpoints) within a marketing strategy are measured, with the aim to understand which work (i.e., which drive engagement, website visits, conversions, etc.), and which could be improved.
Ultimately, attribution helps to build your brand’s presence in a potential customer’s mind, driving them further down your sales funnel.
In today’s content-laden digital market, people are often bogged down with branded messaging. This is why attribution is usually not one-to-one, meaning one piece of branded content does not directly correlate to a visit, a contact request, or a sale.
People need to see, gain value, and interact with your brand multiple times and often in different online spaces to feel familiarity and trust.
A multi-touch attribution model considers all the touchpoints in the buyer’s journey, assigning a percentage to score each, so you can better identify the influence of each type of content and platform on your target audience.
Determining the attribution model that works best for your business usually takes some trial and error, and includes tracking key metrics over time and measuring the impact each has on your sales/marketing efforts.
Key Metrics To Measure Brand Awareness
There are plenty of ways to keep tabs on your brand awareness—the challenge is finding the metrics that work for your company.
It’s up to you how deep you want to dive into measuring metrics and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) for your brand.
The following metrics are a great way to get started—whether you decide to monitor just a few or conduct regular tracking throughout the year is up to you.
1. Direct Traffic
The traffic coming directly to your company’s website is one of the best ways to determine where your brand awareness stands.
Direct traffic is important because this metric highlights the number of visitors that typed your website directly into their browser. In other words, they have seen or heard about your brand before (maybe on social media, through organic search, or from a friend), and have decided to pay you a visit. These are potential leads that are further down the sales funnel as it is likely they have already interacted with your brand’s other engagement touchpoints.
While more people visiting your website usually indicates growing brand awareness, it’s also important to note that simply tracking increases and decreases in direct traffic isn’t enough. You also need to know how visitors are engaging with your website.
2. Social Media Engagement
Social media is one of the most effective methods for expanding your brand’s reach and increasing awareness in front of your target audience.
Tracking followers/subscribers is just the start of social media insights—likes, comments, and shares fuel reach and get more eyes on your content.
Post often, providing educational, entertaining, or valuable content that engages with your different audience segments. Ask your followers/network questions directly and encourage a dialogue.
3. Search Volume/Keyword Data
This topic intimidates a lot of business owners, but organic search plays an essential role in driving brand awareness (particularly via Google).
At a minimum, it’s wise to conduct keyword research to determine what keywords you should be targeting (both on your static pages and via blog articles), and track your organic search performance on a monthly basis.
What queries are prospects running to get to your website? How are you performing compared to your direct competitors? What pages/topics have been most successful?
The answers to all of these questions are crucial if you want to build and leverage a robust online presence.
Nervous? Don’t be! Check out our fintech SEO guide to learn more.
4. Surveys and Polls
Surveys are excellent for measuring how familiar people are with your brand, detailing their level of aided vs. unaided brand awareness.
With a few carefully crafted questions, you’ll have a clear picture of the level of awareness, recall, and sentiment related to your brand.
You can see how many people are familiar with your brand, and whether they understand what your brand offers (products/services) and what you stand for (values).
Surveys and polls give you feedback directly from the audience, which requires less interpretation than other awareness metrics you may be tracking.
When conducted regularly, they can help monitor your brand awareness growth over time and tie different metrics to specific fintech marketing efforts.
If you’re not sure where/how to start, not to fear. There are a number of market research organizations that can take care of the heavy lifting. We won’t make any recommendations here, but a quick Google search should give you all you need to get the ball rolling.
5. Brand Name Mentions
One of the best ways to know whether you’re reaching audiences is if they’re talking about you—or rather tagging, Xing (formally known as tweeting), or commenting about your brand.
Increasing brand name mentions, both on and off social media, is one of the best indicators of growing awareness.
Many brand/engagement tracking tools can automatically notify you when your brand gets mentioned online. The context of your mentions holds limitless potential for leveraging useful information about your target audience.
You’ll know what people say about your brand, how it makes them feel, and what platforms and content your audience enjoys engaging with most.
Best Practices for Fintechs To Boost Brand Awareness
The ultimate reward for learning how to measure brand awareness is that when done well, it has a snowball effect—the more you understand how much people really know your brand, the better you can engage with them to build trust. Here are some best practices (the ones we help our clients implement) to help you do exactly that.
1. Know Your Audience
To make audiences familiar with your brand, you must be familiar with your audience first.
Knowing your audience can prevent a lot of wasted effort on content, messaging, and platforms that don’t resonate with your ideal target audience. You can tailor your content based on audience demographics (e.g., age, gender, profession, etc.) and preferred user experience (e.g., mobile vs. desktop).
The more specific and strategic you are in targeting a particular audience segment, the better your chance of making them aware of your brand and its value proposition.
Dialing in on your audience doesn’t mean you’re playing small. Cast a wide net to create a large brand presence in multiple online arenas and then offer diverse types of content specific to your ideal customer’s wants and needs.
2. Build a Cohesive Brand Identity
As people see your brand pop up online, they need to recognize who you are immediately.
To achieve this, you must determine what your brand will look like. Essential components of brand identity include:
- Colors, logo, and tagline.
- Brand voice.
- Brand story.
- Values and standards.
People will trust your brand more when they see your content regularly, and it’s consistent, clean, and contains a unified message.
3. Focus on Thought Leadership
To build brand awareness, you must establish yourself as an authority and thought leader in your specific financial services industry vertical.
By offering educational content and sharing current industry insights, expert opinions, and predictions, you establish trust and become your audience’s preferred subject matter expert when they want to know what’s happening in the industry.
Business executives are stepping out from the shadows and making themselves the face and persona of their brands, sharing their unique expert knowledge and experiences with audiences.
LinkedIn, blogs, and video content are especially effective at creating a meaningful connection with new audiences.
4. Leverage Social Media
People will likely find you through word-of-mouth or value-driven social content.
A strong social media presence, including consistent posting and engagement with your audience, is essential to establishing trust and nurturing customer/prospect relationships.
Focus on producing engaging content that encourages your audience to participate, comment, and share. Don’t go the safe route of 99% of fintechs and produce the same old boring content. Remember, the goal is to stand out in a crowded market! Be bold, be provocative, incorporate humor/wit (where appropriate), and be authentic.
Don’t forget collaborations (more on this below) as they provide a unique opportunity to get your content in front of a much larger audience. Understanding social algorithms and some of the new content recommendations can also help you increase your brand exposure.
5. Don’t Forget Partnerships and Collaborations
This study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that 45% of their respondents noted a boost in brand awareness after undertaking a brand partnership.
This smart, low-cost fintech marketing strategy leverages collaborations with other authorities in your industry to potentially gain a portion of their audience.
Brand partnerships aim to reach as many new customers/prospects as possible with a unified message from two respected brands simultaneously. Reach out to your network and see who is willing to collaborate!
Wealthsimple: A Case Study of Successful Brand Awareness
To better highlight why brand awareness matters, let’s take a look at a real world example.
Wealthsimple Inc. is a Canadian online investment management service that leveraged a unique brand awareness approach, which resulted in an increase in asset evaluation by 650% in just three years.
The genius of their marketing campaigns lies in their understanding that learning about investing/investment strategy is confusing and intimidating to most. So, they decided to take a dynamic and bold approach to making investment content relatable and fun.
Wealthsimple capitalized on educating consumers by creating humorous and user-friendly guides such as “A Totally Not Boring Guide to Life Insurance.” They stand out with head-turning content that delivers value and education, and speaks directly to the needs of their target audience.
They also doubled down on their sharp-edged humor via collaborations with successful entrepreneurs like Jen Agg, whose snappy, sarcastic wit and occasional profanity, coupled with her business savvy, demands one’s attention.
And to top it off, Wealthsimple makes their services easy to understand and shop for, allowing even novices to feel comfortable and heard, building trustworthy touchpoints throughout their buyer’s journey.
The success of Wealthsimple’s clever marketing has paid off. Their asset evaluation has reportedly gone from C$2 billion in 2018 to over C$15 billion in assets under management in 2021.
Not too shabby, eh?
Put Eyes on Your Brand With CSTMR
In fintech, there’s no two ways around it—brand awareness builds successful businesses.
To thrive in today’s ultra competitive fintech market, you need a strong, high-authority online presence to engage with potential customers, across multiple touchpoints.
But first, you must understand where you currently stand.
Regardless of the brand awareness metrics that you choose to track, identify what’s your priority and start tracking early. Consider how your content stacks up to your competition and engage in social listening in the industry.
Whether you’re revamping a lackluster marketing plan or need to start from ground zero, the CSTMR team is here to help you figure it out, and get your brand noticed.
Contact us today and let’s build your brand together.