In a world where tools like Google Analytics let you track the conversion rate of each page of your website, and platforms like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords let you bid for leads and sales, it’s understandable that many marketers forget about the value of branding. Branding is the oft-ignored side of digital marketing — a strategy that produces real results over the course of months, years and decades instead of minutes, hours and days. It’s slow, traditional and long-term — three characteristics that make it a digital outlier.

While branding doesn’t produce the immediate results of a PPC campaign, it’s one of the most valuable marketing assets around. An established, trusted brand can bring new customers into your business in huge numbers, propelling you to the top of your industry.

Having a solid, trusted brand is important for your company to thrive. If your target audience doesn’t know or trust your brand, how will you ever increase your customer base and sales?

Here are six innovative strategies you can use to increase brand awareness and help your business thrive.

Get influencers to display your art or other product: Inviting influencers into your niche is a great way to increase brand awareness and hopefully drive sales. When influencers have an established audience that knows and trusts them, once they mention your product(s) and discuss your brand in their content, those mentions will expand your reach and increase people’s awareness of your product.

Use branded packaging: Have you ever received an order that came in branded packaging? Rather than see it as just another shipment, perhaps you felt that that that special branding made the package seem like a gift.

Branded packaging offers an additional touchpoint to the value your brand gives to each customer’s experience, and helps distinguish you from marketplace competitors. Overlooking your product’s packaging is a missed branding opportunity in today’s ultra-competitive market landscape.

Do your SEO research: Have you heard that the majority of consumers don’t look past the first page of search results, and the majority of people in that group don’t look past the first few results on the page?

Think about how powerful that SEO is for companies pitching to prospects. If competitors are all citing the same information, though, it loses some of its power because of all those companies trying to get new clients. Researching SEO strategies related to your niche, products or services can help you increase brand awareness. This research will set you apart as an expert and leader in your industry.

Double-down on social: Instagram is a social media platform with power. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram lets you promote that story via the image(s) you post and the text you narrate. It’s a great tool for friends and family to keep up with one other, and it’s just as good for brands reaching out to their consumers.

Step up your game on Twitter: Every small business should have a Twitter account that is updated at least twice a day, and this is especially true for startups trying to build brand awareness amongst a unique customer base. Twitter categorizes user tweets through hashtags, which are phrases consisting of a keyword preceded by the pound sign.

Twitter is yet another big social media platform for brand awareness because it helps you publish news and interact with customers already talking about your business.

Take advantage of Google’s AdSense auto ads: Finally, paid ads are a great way to get your name and website in front of your target audience, but narrowing down your audience and getting your pitch just right can be tricky.

These six strategies are great ways to increase your brand awareness and help your company thrive.

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