Seeing Beyond the Stats: The Crucial Role of Brand Awareness in Digital Strategies

May 6, 2024 | Online Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game. We obsess over website traffic, click-through rates, and conversion numbers – hoping to see tangible evidence of our efforts paying off.

But what if I told you that there’s more to success in digital marketing than what the numbers say?

Over the past month, we’ve had eye-opening conversations with some of our clients who have been on the receiving end of our various digital marketing strategies.

As we recently approached the annual renewal with some of these clients, we intentionally asked for their honest and unfiltered feedback.

Despite not always seeing a direct correlation between our efforts and immediate spikes in form submissions or online bookings, they’ve shared invaluable and overwhelmingly positive feedback…

They’ve experienced a steady escalation in conversations; specifically based on the content of their online activity. This has also resulted in more sales from past customers, and brand new strategic alliances and platform-specific visibility boosts.

In this blog post, we’ll reveal this often-overlooked – yet crucial aspect of – digital marketing success: which is BRAND AWARENESS.

We’ll explore how seemingly simple efforts such as social media posting and blogging have not only elevated our clients’ online presence but also sparked meaningful conversations with their audience – conversations that go beyond the confines of analytics dashboards.

The long story short was that these meaningful and high-converting conversations skipped the activities of clicking on ads, visiting the website, submitting an online form, etc. So even though we weren’t seeing exponential growth in the analytical data, the clients were so thrilled with what was actually happening that they opted to further expand on the digital marketing efforts.

Read on as we explain these hidden gems of brand awareness in the digital marketing landscape!

Brand Awareness: The Unsung Hero of Digital Strategy

We don’t want to come out the gate and completely discount online ads. However, after months of working on client ads wherein some clients had no online presence (or were just starting it with our help), we’ve begun to favour organic growth efforts.

That’s only to say that we’d rather do Ads in addition to efforts such as SEO, Social Posting, etc. – or, embarked on after those presences have been established.


To put it simply: While not impossible, it is easier to get leads for a company that already has an established online presence.

Imagine it this way:

Would you prefer to buy from someone who has an abundance of available content?
Would you prefer to buy from a company that you can’t find a lot of information on?

The latter is a loaded question with many considerations, so it’s safe to assume you’d go with a company that you can learn about in just a few minutes and clicks.

Ads aside, that’s exactly why all businesses need to focus on building their online presence. Because at any time, your target audience could be looking for you.

But if they can’t find you, the potential is lost.

The reason why we started touching on Ads in this conversation is because a lot of people think investing in Digital Marketing means solely investing in Ads.

But that’s only a part of the overall strategy.

As we approached the 1-year anniversary of a Digital Marketing Plan for a client who hadn’t been utilizing Social Media at all, we pulled these statistics. By simply creating 2 posts per week for them (on LinkedIn), these were the remarkable results they experienced. Along with a notable and steady influx of website traffic and form submissions, the client was realizing and appreciating the power of this marketing strategy.

When content creation is done consistently, it is only a matter of time before you have a thriving online presence that drives traffic and conversions.

The above-noted client wasn’t getting a high conversion from new leads, but their online activity was causing waves. Traffic to blog posts was astounding, and monthly website traffic was more than 3X what they had before. Being an industrial fibreglass manufacturer, they didn’t see how it was possible to have this engaging of an online presence.

So while they were getting a lot of “tire kicker” new leads, this 40+ year-old company was still getting more inquiries than ever before. Even better than that was the fact that their LinkedIn presence was opening up conversations with previous clients which led to more sales.

LSS: This company quickly realized they could not afford to hit the breaks on this. While originally intended to begin the Digital Strategy Plan to get leads, these Brand Awareness results became the unforeseen surprise that they were more thrilled about than anything else.

Which Digital Strategies Pay Off?

While it used to be that having a decent website and posting on social media was enough, the digital landscape we find ourselves in today dictates more.

With the abundance of news and posts being fed onto the Internet every single hour, it’s easy to feel like every effort is lost quickly.

The reality is that time is a factor in online trends.

Let’s take a quick look at SEO for example:

We created, and optimized, a website for a client 4+ years ago. Thanks to their willingness to provide an abundance of content that resulted in the website having more than 40 pages, they achieved a lot of top rankings in their service area.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2023, when they discovered (through searching for themselves online) that their competitors stole their top positions.

Spoiler Alert: This situation is neither surprising nor unique. Without ongoing research and maintenance, websites can easily slide down the list of search results.

This chart shows this client’s Average Position (referring to their placement in search engine results) for all keywords tracked. In this case, since the client came to us at the end of June, we began by tracking all keywords that they were ranking for + those they should rank for. After an extensive update of website content, you can see what effect this had on their online visibility. Organic leads increased in the months since.

Even further to that was the fact that the highest volume search terms had changed in the time since the website was created. It was only a slight variance in the wording, but just enough that their competitors – who clearly took note and changed their content to match – were able to come out on top.

However, the most interesting part was that by opting to complete SEO work right before we started an Ad Campaign, the situation changed drastically. 

Even working with a limited Ad Spend budget, they managed to come up from the bottom of the first page [of search results] and have a tug-of-war battle with the top-most Ad.

But, rightfully, the client asked what else could be done to further their efforts.

Our answer?


The company opted to allow us to curate these posts (based on trending questions and headlines) on a biweekly basis.

This added more search engine rankings with the new keyphrases put to use. Even more interesting was that despite not sharing/announcing these posts, people were finding them – and reading them.

So to answer the question of “Which Digital Strategy Pays Off?“, our vote is the ‘all-in-one approach’. Every effort supports each other to establish an online presence that is nothing but Brand Awareness at its best.

An actual screenshot of a client’s Search Engine Visibility [province-wide] over the course of working with them (almost 2 years). The client is in blue (topmost line) while their competitors make up the other coloured lines. This took time and persistence, with the initial jump + later fluctuations due to added keywords from Blog Posts that they started doing. This was one of our clients who reported that they’re having more in-person conversations – wherein prospects mention having read their Blog Posts; leading to inquiring about services and forming alliances.

Investing in Brand Awareness

One of the biggest pain points for small businesses is leveraging the cost of external help when they’re in the stage of growing a business. It’s a big decision to make because there isn’t a single person who wouldn’t vote to grow overnight – and that’s what people would want to pay for.

But without [what we would call] a gimmick approach, or tactics that allow you to purchase methods that boost numbers (without any meaningful conversion), the natural way is the best way to do things.

The pill to swallow with that fact is that it does take time.

Patience, persistence, and consistency are key items to organic growth.

Actual screenshot of a client’s LinkedIn Follower growth over the first year of Digital Marketing Services. This client hadn’t posted at all before we stepped in. They had employees, network contacts, and previous clients following the page. The Follower growth (which has been speeding up more recently) was due to new prospective clients and contacts following them upon discovering their posts. This company reported receiving a lot of engaging comments and DMs which transferred into them receiving “much more than the normal amount of sales requests” from past customers.

So when people ask us why they should hire an agency, it’s easier to break it down by the facts of what we can provide that differs from people doing it themselves:

1) Agencies will be emotionally invested, not emotionally attached.

These are two very different things. And before we explain, we want to mention it’s not a fault – it’s due to the simple consideration that your business is your life’s work and passion.

We know that no business owner wants to feel like they’re not making an impact; no matter how small.

When business owners are emotionally attached to every single piece of content put out there, they often become discouraged if one instance goes unengaged. We’ve witnessed business owners who immediately give up on initiatives if their initial attempts do not produce the results they’re hoping for.

Whereas, as an agency, we will persist with the strategy so that we can determine if it’s:

(A) Posted on the wrong day or time; in which case, experimentation on variations will be the next step.
(B) Not optimized appropriately; whether it’s a keyword that needs further work or a graphic colour scheme or layout that needs changing – experimentation will (again) be the next step.
(C) The content itself needs rewording or reconsideration; if it’s not what your target audience wants right now, the last step will be to replace the next instance with something else.

Regardless of the conclusion, agencies like ours will use time + data to determine what should happen next. Full stops/removals or changing published content after the fact takes away from the established starting point and consistency factor; which is not the practice to have.

Showing up consistently is better than not showing up at all.

Plus, having an abundance of content when something finally does “click” is better from an audience’s perspective. In many cases, people will look back and be amazed at what they have missed when they finally discover a brand.

After all, once you’ve found what works, you should stick with it and continue.

When we started the LinkedIn presence for the fibreglass manufacturer in May of 2023, we started with Mondays & Fridays. We pursued this for 3 months, before testing out Tuesdays & Fridays. In the end, after months of consistent posting, we noticed which were the best days to post – even before seeing these Analytics stats. Further to that was seeing how sharing actual photographs from the shop floor prompted higher engagement. Mixing these learnings together cemented the winning social media strategy they have today.

2) Agencies will have ideas that you may have never thought of.

All too often, we talk to business owners who openly admit that they are “too close to their business” to imagine what they should share online. And we understand this – most business owners want to focus on delivering their products/services instead of brainstorming all the creative possibilities.

As an agency, we begin by strategizing “content buckets”. These incorporate monthly topic themes (related to the company’s offerings) with rotations on the type of content.

For example, with companies where we publish 3 social posts per week, content includes a combination of items like these:

Posts that feature facts and announcements of the latest blog post published on the website.
Client testimonials with a short story (in the copy) that explains what to expect as a customer.
Highlights of upcoming and past events that show key team members hard at work or celebrating.
Quotes with inspirational storytelling copy, or fun Q&A posts; that apply to USP or offerings.

The list goes on, but we also add a hyper-sales-focused post at least once a month – to drive organic conversions.

Whereas some business owners only think about hiring help for Social Media management when they no longer have the time or energy to do it, people are starting to realize there’s more…

Agencies like ours use a variety of tools that help us to structure and (re)shape content strategy – which brings us to the next point…

All-Time Analytics for a client that we manage social media posting for. We’ve been posting for this client for 6+ months with steady results. When asked what else can be done to boost engagement, we recommended videos; namely, videos of the client speaking directly to their target audience. Engagement on these posts is more than double what happens on all other posts – prompting a necessity to make this “the norm”.

3) Agencies utilize tools that many business owners don’t use.

Simply put, we like to focus on data to make decisions and improvements on content.

For all content: We train a ChatGPT (version 4) channel for each client and use this as a starting point for all content that speaks in their voice.

For SEO: We use SEMrush for monitoring, Site Audit reports, keyword research, etc., and plugins like Yoast to track implementation on websites.

For Social Media: To keep things simple, we use a Canva Pro account for graphic creation. But for scheduling posts and assessing data to make new decisions, we utilize the Agency package of Buffer.

For Email Marketing: We prefer to onboard clients with Mailchimp‘s Standard plan; so that we have access to data-driven features that have proven to boost Open Rates, Click Rates, and more.

If you look at those tools and confidently think to yourself “I am ready to purchase these and put them to work“, then kudos! But in our experience, this is one of the primary considerations business owners have already thought of when they decide to hire an agency for digital marketing.

The reality is that you can invest the time and effort in learning how to embark on these efforts. But the bigger question is “Can you designate the time required to effectively act on these initiatives?“.

It’s an honest question – and saying “no” to that is the most common reason clients come to us.

The clients who have had the highest engagement jumps, and have reported having more conversations with their clients are the ones who have had us use every single tool & initiative listed above. That’s to say that securing your online presence – thus, creating Brand Awareness is more than just deciding to post on social media.

When we started this client’s social media presence in 2024, we spent the first 3 months experimenting with the content. Time revealed to us some things that we weren’t initially expecting… and even though the data of the Hashtags seems irrelevant, it’s noting the content that went with these hashtags (see the Average Engagement Rates) that caused us to shift the strategy. (We weren’t initially married to these hashtags.)


As we wrap this up, remember that successful digital marketing goes beyond numbers—it’s about building meaningful connections with your audience. If you’re ready to elevate your brand’s online presence and start meaningful conversations with your audience, we’re here to help. Let’s chat about your goals and how our team can tailor a digital strategy just for you. Schedule your free consultation by contacting us today, and we’ll meet on Zoom to discuss your vision further.

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