Riley Higgins
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Measuring Awareness

building brand awareness is the first step in the marketing and sales funnel

What is Awareness?

“Awareness” is a measure of how well known your brand is in the market. It usually takes 6-7 times for a person to see or hear about the brand before the person registers it into long-term memory. This is why it’s necessary to communicate continually over time to build awareness.

What Tactics Are Used to Build Awareness?

Awareness should always be measured within your Target Customer group – not everybody in the market. Typically, awareness tactics are broad reaching – tactics include everything from traditional media like TV, magazines, newspaper, billboards, to direct mail sent to a broad audience, or “top of funnel” digital tactics like display ads. Other awareness tactics include sponsorships, conferences, trade shows and other events.

How Do You Track Awareness?

Surveys are a popular way to measure marketing awareness. You ask respondents if they are aware of your brand or product and if they have seen or heard any marketing messages. For smaller markets or companies, it can be difficult and expensive to acquire names and contact information to conduct a survey. In those cases, “impressions” is often a good proxy for awareness. “Impressions” are a measure of the total number of times your brand is seen by a target customer.

Here is how we measure “Awareness” with our clients using impressions:

  • Create a list of all of your marketing tactics in the top row of an Excel sheet
  • In the first column, designate the time period (usually weeks or months)
  • Add several rows of time periods going out into the future
  • For each tactic in each time period, add the number of people (“impressions”) you know or believe saw your brand.
  • Here are some examples of tactics and how to count impressions
    • Digital Media: count the impressions
    • Trade shows/events: Count the number of people who visited your booth or attended a presentation.
    • Sponsor an event: Count the number of people who attend the event
    • Traditional media like TV, print or out-of-home, the vendor should provide impressions by time period (and whatever breakout you are buying)

Building brand awareness is a long-term effort and should be tracked for several periods.

Industry Research Step-By-Step

Industry research is a great tool to build lists and target the right people. Use this resource to help guide your research on an industry, and start a foundation for your marketing and sales.


Example: “Seafood Wholesalers”

  1. US gov NAICS database –
  2. Search the NAICS for “seafood” –
  3. Review the list and choose a few that you think match what you are looking for:
    1. Fish (except canned, packaged frozen) merchant wholesalers 424460
    2. Fresh fish merchant wholesalers 424460
    3. Fresh seafood merchant wholesalers 424460
  4. Review the description to confirm that these are the types of organizations you want.
  5. Go to the IBIS World (industry research firm) site:
  6. Search for “424460” to see if they have a report –
  7.  Go to Reference Solutions (this is a free database to look up companies that you can get to via a Cincinnati library card) –
  8.  On the left-hand side, choose Keyword/SIC/NAICS, choose Search all NAICS, and type in the NAICS code (424460) in the box
  9. Click on each of the results (they move to the “selected” section)
  10. Click “view results” (green button on the top right)
  11.  Click on “download” (in menu bar)
  12. Choose Excel, detailed results and “download records” (see attached file – it’s just a sample)
  13. Get feedback from sales and others internally to confirm that the NAICS and the list are correct
  14. Consider buying an industry report from a company like IBIS (mentioned in step 5

Download the example HERE

Tagging Connections On LinkedIn

The power of the @ sign. It’s simple and easy and will deliver exponential results! When you post on LinkedIn, use the @ sign that opens the LI database. Continue typing the name of the person, company or organization until the name is bold. Choose the name and it will “tag” it, which will alert the account and its followers.

Why Tag?

  • When you tag a name in a post on LinkedIn, it associates your post to the person, organization, or group page you tagged. 
  • Once this happens, the person and their connections are notified. 
  • Net, one post now has the potential to reach exponentially more people.
  • People like to support other people, so there is a good chance that connections will share, comment or like the post.
  • The end result: Your post increases visibility and engagement and can even lead to increase visitors to your page!

How to Tag:

  1. On your LinkedIn homepage, click Start a Post or Comment at the bottom of someone else’s post                                                                 
  2. Type “@” and then begin typing a name. You’ll see a list of potential people you can mention.
  3. Click the name of the person or people you want to mention from the list and continue typing your message.
  4. Click Post in the bottom left corner.                                                                                                                       

How to Analyze Competitors on LinkedIn

How to Compare Your Company Page to Competitors on LinkedIn

  1. Navigate to your company’s admin page

      2. Click on the “Analytics” tab in the navigation bar

     3. Select “Competitors” from the dropdown menu

     4. Review the companies selected for accuracy, or add known competitors by searching the company name in the search bar.  Your account can have up to 9 competitors.

     5. Select “Continue” and view the analytics landing page

     6. Review the dashboard to see how your company page ranks against competitors in # of followers and engagement. 

     7. Change the Time Range in the top left corner to see data from different time periods.

     8. Conduct the analysis every few months to stay in tune to your brand’s LinkedIn presence versus competition.

5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Marketing

  Wondering what to do to enhance your company’s marketing? Here are 5 tips to help you find success.


  • Create a content calendar with useful, relevant topics that you can share
  • Add dates to the calendar and hold yourself accountable for sending emails/posting on the dates you set
  • If possible, add more detailed content on a blog on your website and link the email and the LinkedIn post to the site.


  • Post on the company page once a week something useful and relevant (Tuesday or Wednesday morning is best)
  • Customer-facing employees “repost’

How to Repost on LinkedIn

    1. Scroll to the bottom of the post, choose “repost”
    2. Choose “share with your thoughts”
    3. Add a sentence or two in the box
    4. At the end of your sentence, type @Company Name and click on the company name to tag it
    5. Click “post” 


  • Create a database (We recommend only including people you know)
  • Create an account with free software like Mailchimp
  • Use the same content as LinkedIn – send once a week if you can (you might need to start once a month because emails take a little bit of extra work). 


  • Review your website homepage. Does it immediately answer this question for your Ideal Target: Do you provide what I need for people like me?  If not, update the homepage to answer the question.


  • Each post -How many impressions and what % engagement did you get?
  • Each email – How many people opened it? How many people clicked?