The first stage of any strong marketing strategy is building brand awareness.
According to Investopedia, brand awareness is explained as, “a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name. Creating brand awareness is a key step in promoting a new product or reviving an older brand. Ideally, awareness of the brand may include the qualities that distinguish the product from its competition.”
There are several ways to build brand awareness including: commercials, billboards, product placement, sponsoring events, infographics, partnerships, free stuff, etc.
Essentially, you want to be on people’s minds. You want to show up often. You want them to recognize your brand. You want them to think of your brand when researching products or services that your organization delivers.
Marketing teams are often not able to analyze ROI from brand awareness initiatives, because their purpose is not always measurable outcomes. As B Communications Group says, brand awareness is “an indirect campaign on the softer side that emphasizes the importance of the human results, such as: trust-building, positive perceptions, community and cause uplift.”
But what if you were able to build brand awareness and create a new revenue stream for your organization?
Enter: Certifications... Certifications may be the marketer’s key asset in convincing their C-suite to investing in brand awareness as part of the overall marketing strategy.
Here’s how it goes:
- Your organization creates content in the form of webinars & informational resources
- You host those webinars & informational resources as part of your brand’s services on an online Knowledge Base
- You sell & monetize the content in your Knowledge Base in exchange for a Certificate of Completion, Attendance, or formal certification like CLE, CME, etc
- Your participants meet accreditation requirements, post their certifications on LinkedIn, add it to their resumes and suggest your program to others looking for Continuing Professional Development
Now not only do people recognize and remember your brand, they view it as a credible, trustworthy and distinguished organization.
There is no limit to how far you can take this. Your organization can own the industry, and make your certifications a standard requirement for professionals in your field. Think: Would you hire an accountant who doesn’t know how to use Excel? Would you hire a salesperson who’s accredited in CRM software (SalesForce, HubSpot) over one who isn’t?
Microsoft, SalesForce and HubSpot have made accreditation of their platforms industry standards. Whether they are charging for their courses or offering them to the public for free, they are building up the credibility of their brand and fueling people to not only be customers, but brand ambassadors.
When considering fresh and effective new strategies for your brand awareness strategy, you should absolutely be considering the monetization of your content through certifications.