Brand Awareness VS Direct Response Marketing

When it comes to marketing your business, there’s no shortage of strategy or tactics or tools to use.

You can use social media, email marketing, content marketing, video marketing, you can blog, do SEO, you can do direct mail, pay-per-click, maybe start a YouTube channel, maybe run some Facebook ads… You ever consider putting up a banner or doing some sky writing? Don’t do that.

Well, regardless of which tactic you decide to use, they tend to fall into one of two camps: One of which is brand awareness marketing, and the other one is direct response marketing.

Now, when I first got involved in the marketing game, I fell firmly into the brand awareness marketing. Which is all about creating value, creating content, getting out there, and staying top of mind among your target market.

However, it didn’t take long before the siren song of the direct response marketer started calling me in… And I was all but enthralled with creating those direct response ads that were designed to get action; and get action quickly.

So, in my pursuit of ever-more aggressive direct response tactics, I tend to leave the brand awareness marketing behind... That was, until about a year ago, when I found the perfect combination of both.

And that’s the practice that I preach now, and the practice I’m gonna suggest to you. But first, let’s differentiate brand awareness marketing vs. direct response marketing.

Brand Awareness Marketing

For the context of this article, brand awareness marketing is going to encompass pretty much anything that doesn’t involve an immediate and direct call to action, like an advertisement or a one-off promotion.

This is going to include all forms of content marketing, whether we’re talking about daily emails or putting out videos… Or putting up organic or even paid Facebook posts that are designed to get people to consume your content and engage with your brand.

Now, of course you should have a call to action on every piece of content you put out there. However, we’re not going to be tracking them as strictly as we would with the direct response ad; because attribution becomes a little more difficult to say that this click lead to this sale, or this view lead to that customer.

What we’re trying to do is create value for the marketplace and get our content in front of our target market.

Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing on the other hand, has that direct line--as closely as possible, where the click is related to that sale. Or this video view related to that customer acquisition... or what ever we’re talking about.

This is where you hear marketers talk about knowing your numbers, and mastering your metrics. And all the stuff that goes into it, including your click-through rates, and your cost per click, and your cost per customer acquisition, and cost per lead, and all those other cost metrics.

Now, of course this is important. In fact, it’s crucial! And you do need to make sure that you’re monitoring all your direct response marketing; especially if you’re running paid traffic. Because otherwise you’re just flushing money down the toilet.

But a really dangerous thing can happen when you start living full-time in the world of direct response marketing. And that is: tending to associate your customers or clients just as numbers.

After all, when you’re looking through your spreadsheets, or your look at your ads manager, or any of your metrics, what you’re gonna see is costs… And you’re gonna see clicks… And you’re gonna see numbers... rather than the people and the value behind those numbers.

So, this is where my strategy has evolved. And it’s kinda merged over the last few years to a hybrid between brand awareness marketing and direct response marketing. It’s designed to give optimal value to your customer, while still contributing to the bottom line.

Here’s an example of how this might work:

Brand Awareness Direct Response Hybrid Marketing

First, the foundation and the platform for all your marketing should be based on compelling content.

Basically, creating marketing that matters, and everything we talk about here on the blog... So again, the foundation here is basically creating that compelling content, creating marketing that matters, and providing value to your target market and marketplace.

Now, this can be in the form of a blog, it can be videos, it can be a podcast, lead magnets, or Facebook lives, or any other live streams… But remember, the goal is to deliver as much value as possible.

When you do this, you position yourself as an authority and an expert in your field… And you build a tremendous amount of customer good will.

Alright, so good will is great: makes you feel good, makes your market feel good, but it’s not gonna add to the bottom line... Which is where we’ve gotta pair that with direct response marketing.

And this is kinda where my strategy has changed in the last little bit. You see, where I used to run simultaneous campaigns of brand awareness and direct response… Sometimes bidding against each other… Maybe running them at the same time, or on the same platform… Maybe even on different platforms…

What I tend to do now is we run massive brand awareness campaigns that are designed to give nothing but value.

And then we use paid traffic platforms, and paid ads, to run the direct response for us. What this allows us to do is to really track crystal clear where the clicks are coming from.

But we’re also leveraging the fact that we’re running warm audience targeting. So, what this means is that we’re running our direct response ads to people who already know, already like, and already trust us… Which allows us to get better results for far less money, making our costs more effective, and our return on investment that much greater.

So again, let me kind of clarify that one more time. Basically, we create a ton of content, all for free, and we put it out organically.

Then, we create audience with people who have interacted or engaged with this content through the paid traffic platforms, like YouTube ads or Facebook ads… And these are the platforms that we then run direct response marketing to.

Targeting only those who have already engaged; who already know, already like, and already trust us.

This, in turn, allows us to spend less and get higher results. As well as we’re able to create a ton of value to the market, and still get a really positive return on investment.

In fact, by using and leveraging the strategy, I’ve been able to create campaigns for my clients that have generated upwards of 18,000% ROI (return on investment). Not too shabby.

And it’s all because we provide value first, and we ask for the sale second.

Not the other way around.

So, to wrap it up and bring it home: Basically, you need brand awareness marketing, cause you’ve gotta create content, and you’ve gotta build that trust and authority in your marketplace.

But at the same time, you can’t neglect direct response marketing… Because you need to get that sale. And ideally you’re gonna be running it on that paid traffic platform that’s going to allow you to accurately attribute the sale to a click… So that you can leverage it and get more bang for your buck.