Top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is the first brand, product or service that comes to mind in a specific category or niche.
To attract leads, get referrals and retain loyal customers, brands need to build awareness and rank top of mind. They need to be the most remembered or risk losing to the competition.
What can you do to keep your brand top of mind? Implement new tactics.
In this post, I’m going to share 15 marketing tactics to keep your brand top of mind.
1. Stand Out
Being visible is key to being top of mind. Whether it's the pink T-Mobile signage, McDonald's Golden Arches (see image) or the dealership license plate frames that reveal where drivers bought their car — they all stand out.
Ensure your brand stands out in the places your audience congregates online. To learn how to build brand awareness, read my post 38 Traditional Marketing Tactics to Build Restaurant Awareness.
2. Connect Emotionally
Audiences want to be inspired and emotionally connect with brands and their products/services. When a brand’s message resonates, top-of-mind awareness is amplified. This is one of the reasons Simon Sinek's How Great Leaders Inspire Action became the 3rd most popular TED Talk of all time and his book Start With Why made businesses rethink their "why."
Instead of merely telling your audience "I produce or provide...," connect with them on a higher level by stating why you do what you do.
3. Build an Email List
The inbox is still the most direct way to connect with audiences online and help keep brands top of mind — as long as emails are consistent and packed with value.
Use MailerLite to build your email list, send newsletters, free downloads and special offers. Segment broadcasts to avoid spamming your audience with content they're not interested in reading.
4. Be Consistent
Brands that struggle with consistency often have irregular content posting schedules, irregular newsletters, disappearing products/services and high employee turnover. Consistency builds trust. Inconsistency breaks that trust.
5. Use a Tag Line or Slogan
A short, memorable slogan that reminds the audience why a brand is a go-to choice can be a powerful way to remain top of mind. Dunkin' perfectly accomplishes this with their slogan, "America runs on Dunkin'."
Create an effective tag line or slogan that embodies your brand and post it everywhere — your website, social media channels, business cards, newsletters, menus, etc.
6. Share Industry News
Sharing industry news can position a brand as an authority while keeping its audience informed and the business top of mind. For example, an executive chef could post about how to read food labels and eat healthier or a brewmaster could send newsletters about seasonal beer trends. What industry news can you share?
Use an RSS app like Reeder to collect and save industry news to share with your audience in a post, newsletter or podcast.
7. Use Loyalty Cards & Gift Cards
Many brands encourage return visits with loyalty cards and gift cards. Members of Starbucks Rewards, experience this by receiving a free drink on their birthday (see image). That free drink keeps Starbucks top of mind on the most important day of a customer's year.
Streamline purchases with loyalty cards, gift cards and anything else you can personalize. However, be mindful of your audience's privacy and transparent with the information you're collecting.
8. Advertise Online
While on-page SEO can take time to rank in search engines, ads are like jumping to the front of the line. For example, Coca-Cola spent 5.8 billion on global advertising in 2018 compared to the $2 billion PepsiCo spent. Even though everyone knows Coca-Cola, they need to keep their ad spend extremely high to remain top of mind.
Use Google Ads or create sponsored posts on social media.
9. Retarget or Remarket
Retargeting is when a user arrives on a product page and a cookie is added to their browser (if the site uses retargeting). If the user leaves the site without making a purchase, the cookie relays a message to the retargeting software to place ads of the previously-viewed product on any subsequent site the user visits — as long as it's in the advertising network.
While it sounds creepy to be frequently reminded of a product that you might've spent mere seconds browsing, retargeting keeps that product top of mind and, ideally, converts browsers into buyers.
Unlike retargeting, remarketing relies on email instead of cookies. Remarketing occurs after a business has collected information about its potential buyer, then uses that information to send personalized emails for shopping cart abandonment, upselling and cross-selling.
10. Sponsor Events
According to zipsprout, Wells Fargo is the top corporate sponsor in the US for local events. What financial services company are you going to think of when you're spending money at a local event? Wells Fargo, of course. Your business can do the same to promote your brand at local events. A restaurant could sponsor a festival and brewery could sponsor an art fair. What can you sponsor?
Sponsor local, regional or national events that connect with your niche. If possible, give away branded samples, bumper stickers, tote bags, pens, mugs, etc. Increased visibility is increased brand awareness.
11. Host Meet-Ups
Meet-ups can be a fun way to build a community, generate buzz and, of course, keep your brand top of mind. For example, a vegan restaurant could host a weekly healthy cooking webinar or in-person cooking class What kind of meet-up can you offer?
Host a meet-up/webinar or invite industry experts that can provide your audience with proven results.
12. Refresh Your Offer
When Apple refreshes its iPhone with a Product(RED) version, that mid-cycle iPhone becomes top of mind again until the fall when the next version is released (see image). Refreshing products or services with a minor cosmetic change, improvement or cost reduction is an effective way to keep your brand top of mind.
13. Create Freebies
People love freebies — free samples at the grocery store, free trials, free apps, free estimates, free downloads, free advice, etc. A freebie is a starting point to determine if a potential buyer likes and trusts a brand. What can you give away for free?
Use MailerLite or Squarespace Campaigns to build your email list and give away a webinar, appetizer, course, etc. For help writing calls to action, read 8 Calls to Action for Your Restaurant Website.
14. Hold Contests
Consumers look forward to annual, seasonal and holiday contests. The more valuable the prize, the more exciting the contest. Everyone loves the chance to win something of value and tell their friends "where" they won it — keeping a brand top of mind.
First, select a valuable product or service for the prize. Then, ask your audience to share a link to your prize with their followers on social media in order to be entered in the drawing. After that, select a random winner when the contest ends.
Every time I take my car to the dealership, they call me 2 days later to ensure I'm satisfied with their work. I like that! They’re reaching out to me — not me reaching out to them. Don’t make your audience work too hard. You should be the one working for them to remain top of mind.
Ask customers for their feedback before in-person or use a solution like Square Customer Engagement tools.
You just learned 15 marketing tactics to keep your brand top of mind. Try implementing some of these tactics, then track the results with Google Analytics and surveys. Start today, so you'll be top of mind when it matters most.
15 Marketing Tactics to Keep Your Brand Top of Mind first appeared on the Bento Sites Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.