Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but the stories you tell.”—Seth Godin
Living online has become the norm. Whether people are attending virtual lectures, buying birthday gifts or getting groceries delivered, it’s clear that eCommerce now plays a vital role in day-to-day life.
This is great news for anyone in eCommerce. But it’s not without its challenges.
The internet is a big place, and brand awareness is the key to capturing consumers’ attention and making sales.
The Importance Of Brand Awareness Online
People often assume that marketing is all about promoting products, but they overlook the fundamental aspect of brand awareness. The largest, most successful corporations don’t just publish advertisements promoting specific products; they deliberately emphasize their brand identity to increase awareness among consumers.
Studies have shown that brand recognition plays a huge part in influencing people’s buying habits. Brand recollection is the result of brand recognition and is a powerful tool. Build a strong brand, boost your brand awareness, and you’ll be the first thing consumers think of when they need goods and services.
Hashtags are one way of boosting brand awareness online and they’ve become a valuable marketing tool for eCommerce brands.
How Do Hashtags Work?
Anyone on social media knows all about hashtags and how powerful they can be in spreading news and communicating with a massive online audience.
The humble hashtag originated in the late 1980s and since then has been used to disseminate information and allow people to find relevant search results, no matter what they’re searching for.
Twitter adopted the idea and the #hashtag (# included) became a worldwide phenomenon.
Businesses have used hashtags for years to advertise their products and services, especially on social media platforms. Using hashtags on Instagram and Twitter is a sure-fire way of getting browsers’ attention.
How To Use Hashtags To Boost Brand Awareness
“The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”—Bill Gates
We are in the digital age; a time in which social media has become one of the most important tools for businesses. When it comes to using hashtags effectively, there are several things to bear in mind.
- Categorize Your Hashtags
There are so many hashtags out there that it can be hard to know where to start. Hashtags can be categorized according to their purpose, which is helpful when deciding what to use and when. Three examples that are fundamental to boosting brand awareness are branded hashtags, campaign hashtags, and community hashtags.
- Branded hashtags aim to increase awareness of your brand and do not focus on any specific product or service. Brand identity is hugely important in business success: who you are as a company and what you represent. These hashtags must include the name of your brand and should be concise—the punchier the better.
Adding in your brand’s slogan or motto (if you have one) can also pique consumers’ interest. Do not include the name of any specific product you offer, that’s for more targeted marketing campaigns.
- Campaign hashtags are sometimes more of a marketing tool rather than branding, but these can also play a big role in getting your brand’s name out there. As the name suggests, campaign hashtags are used for a limited time period and have a specific focus, such as temporary discounts, launching new products, or promoting products related to a specific theme or holiday (Christmas gifts, for example).
Introducing campaign hashtags can boost brand awareness, as long as your branded hashtags already have traction.
- Community hashtags are often utilized by larger eCommerce companies rather than small businesses. The goal of these hashtags is to get customers to engage with the brand and with each other. The more conversation, the better, and building a loyal community relies upon regular engagement.
- Do Your Research
Hashtags can be an effective way of building brand awareness and marketing your business—when they’re used strategically. If you accidentally put out a hashtag that’s already used by another company, not only will you annoy the company, but you’ll unintentionally send shoppers in the wrong direction.
It’s also important to keep up to date with marketing trends. Targeting people who are already following a trending hashtag can increase your brand awareness if done effectively. Find ways to latch onto trending topics and your company will soon see increased recognition.
- Include A Call To Action
A call to action (CTA) is a great way of getting consumers engaged. In the eCommerce sector, this strategy can allow potential customers to feel more immersed in the virtual shopping space.
Buying online can cause shoppers to feel cut off from your brand, unlike in a brick-and-mortar establishment. Including CTAs allows customers to connect in a meaningful way. To build brand recognition, combining branding hashtags with CTA hashtags is very effective.
- Stay Simple, Stay Relevant
The number and type of hashtags an eCommerce business posts should get tailored to suit the social media platform they use. Twitter is famous for its great variety of hashtags, but as a brand, it’s important not to overload your profile with a tangled mass of information.
Twitter users rely on clear and concise hashtags to find what they’re looking for in as little time as possible. A punchy branded hashtag ensures continuity, but don’t go overboard in terms of how many you post.
- Focus On Brand Identity
Branding is ultimately about your company’s identity and values. Yes, consumers want products, but establishing a solid “personality” as a company makes it possible to engage with them on a deeper level. Building a relationship based on trust means that you have to follow through on your commitments.
Hashtags embodying your brand’s values shouldn’t get used without context. Jumping on a trending social justice hashtag or event helps brand awareness. But unless you back that up with meaningful action and involvement, no consumer will trust you.
Hashtagging Your Way To Success
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well.”—Jeff Bezos
The bottom line is that brand awareness doesn’t only come from slapping your company’s name on every piece of content you post online. Rather, it’s the combination of knowing what hashtags to use and where to use them.
The eCommerce industry is growing day by day. Understanding how to use hashtags as part of your marketing strategy has never been more important.
What are you waiting for? #ecommercesuccess is waiting for you!