Marketing Planning

How to Measure Brand Awareness – For Cheap or Free

Brand awareness is extremely important, but as a key metric – it’s a little harder than some to get a handle on. Leads, website traffic, revenue and profit all have such obvious…

Estimated Read Time:  6 minutes


How to Measure Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is extremely important, but as a key metric – it’s a little harder than some to get a handle on. Leads, website traffic, revenue and profit all have such obvious outputs they aren’t as contentious. Brand awareness doesn’t have to be either, but we have to have some standardized ways to measure it, even for small business if we’re going “increase brand awareness” in the first place.

  • Perhaps you’re sick of your marketing agency saying the work they are doing is ‘increasing brand awareness’ without any clear measurable way to say whether that’s true, and by how much.
  • Perhaps you actually like spending money on brand awareness and you just want to make sure it’s working.
  • Perhaps you’ve tried some ways to measure brand awareness and are just looking to ensure you’re not fooling yourself.

Here are 5 dead simple ways to get more context on your brand awareness, that don’t cost an arm or a leg (separate from other things you’re likely already doing in your marketing.)

How to Measure Brand Awareness

1. Measure Search Traffic Coming for Branded Terms

In the picture below you can see the past 6 months there have been 1,928 clicks from organic Google search for the last 6 months, and 1,392 clicks  the previous 6 months for ‘Hook Agency.’

To get the same general result for your company –

  • Go into Google Search Console – Sort by Query and add your brand name, Choose a date and compare 6 months over 6 months.
  • Ensure your ranking hasn’t dramatically increased for your own brand name (by checking out average position) before getting too excited about what this says about your brand awareness (though moving up for your brand name in search is probably a pretty big thing to celebrate in general – check out our SEO services if you need that 🙂
  • In this case, Hook Agency had an increase in brand awareness of 38.5% in the past 6 months. To get yours simply divide the Last 6 months number of clicks by the previous 6 months number of clicks.

How to measure brand awareness

2. Branded search through PPC Campaigns

What is the trendline of clicks for branded searches? Perhaps the most conclusive results will come if you keep a steady spend on branded terms.

  • Not that PPC campaigns are free, but if you are already doing PPC
  • Getting in there and measuring the number of clicks for branded search won’t cost you any more, to get a gauge on what this says about your brand and the amount of branded search that’s happening.

3. Using surveys to measure the general perception of your brand

Surveys can be a great way to get ‘qualitative’ data to measure your brand feel and brand awareness.

“For example, qualitative data is “intangible,” meaning it cannot be expressed as numbers. You can use it to measure emotional connections with the brand, customer satisfaction, and brand recognition. When asking your customers to complete surveys, you are gathering qualitative data that is subjective to each individual customer.

On the other hand, quantitative data is the most important for measuring financial information related to brand awareness. For example, it includes profits, a brand’s net worth, number of shares of Facebook posts, etc. Remember to always conduct brand awareness campaigns that can provide quantitative data, because if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Mention’s Blog


4. Use Google Alerts or Mention + “Social Listening”

Use ‘listening’ tools that send you general roundups of where you’re being mentioned on the web, and social media to get a sense for how often your brand is being talked about.

  • Brand mentions on social media – Google Alerts will allow some of this, is also another option.
  • General social media reach through tools like SproutSocial.
  • Getting on each social platform and searching your brand name, and searching your website URL.

I do this all the time for Twitter and Pinterest because you can quickly get a snapshot of how much natural activity is happening without a lot of effort, and without much for tools. This is easier to do for small businesses with lower budgets, but tools are necessary as the mentions become more prolific for bigger brands.

Mention, Google Alerts for Brand Awareness

5. Use Ahrefs to catalog the number of natural backlinks your site is getting.

Yes – measuring organic search data will be one way of measuring what kind of traction your website is getting – but this is also not a true measure of brand awareness as a metric.

  • I always suggest using a backlink tool to look at the natural links coming to your site and see where they are coming from.
  • Recently, I checked out ours and see 2 links related to brand awareness from a speaking event we did last week. These are things we wouldn’t really have a handle on, and the velocity and intensity of, had we not been well-versed at monitoring natural backlinks.
  • “Brand awareness” backlinks include any links that come from speaking events, naturally branded PR backlinks, links you get from sponsorship – and any other links that you get that are not related to your content for specific keywords and topics that have nothing to with your brand. For instance, we get links all the time for statistics and graphs that have nothing to do with our brand awareness but rather are related to our overall content profile on the web.

This particular method is somewhat imprecise – but could be used in a general way to get a feel for your broader brand awareness efforts.

Bonus: Use a managed brand awareness platform like Brandish Insights

Josh Braaten from Brandish Insights has found a way to help brands rhythmically measure not only their brand awareness but the general quality of the brand perception on a quarterly or yearly basis – and is turning that system into a software as a service.

  • The important point is that you don’t sleep on brand awareness, the quality of your brand awareness and what you’re spending on that.
  • If you are spending 100’s of thousands of dollars a year to increase brand awareness, taking time to measure the results of your effort is extremely important to ensure that your spend is not being wasted, can be quantified and modified as needed based on feedback.
  • Identify patterns, the quality and texture of responses to modify the messaging

The point is – it used to take 100’s of thousands of dollars through wasteful focus groups and old-school methods to measure the quantity and quality of brand awareness, now with free methods it’s possible to get a general handle, and with time-saving and more accurate methods like Brandish Insights.

Thank you for reading ‘How to Measure Brand Awareness’ and good luck with your efforts!

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