increasing brand awareness

Increasing Brand Awareness: Project Management Tips from an OutboundEngine Pro

At the core of every business, large or small, is the goal of solving problems for its customers. Whether it’s to help someone find the perfect insurance solution or a dream home, accomplishing these goals means solving a lot of other problems along the way.

That applies to our business, too. Every day at OutboundEngine brings new challenges that need solving, and we rely on our experienced project managers to guide us. We’ve tapped Eric Stiner, our Director of Operations, to share his expert advice for solving problems through project management.

We’ll apply his advice to solve a common problem our customers face when it comes to their social media presence: increasing brand awareness.

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Ask questions.

“The first step in managing any project is gaining clarity on how you need to solve your problem,” Eric says.

increasing brand awarenessTackle this first step by making sure you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish before committing to deadlines or results.

Ask yourself these two questions during the kick off of any project: What problem are we trying to solve? What does success look like?

Let’s apply these questions to the example that you want to increase your brand awareness.

What problem are you trying to solve? In this case, increasing brand awareness.
What does success look like? Increasing followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

“Figuring out this first will help ensure everyone is on the same page,” Eric says.

We’ve decided that the goal we want to achieve is increasing brand awareness on the big three social platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Work backward.

“This is based off Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, specifically Habit #2: ‘Begin with the End in Mind,’ Eric notes. Picture what you want to accomplish and then think about all the key milestones you need to hit to get there.

Try these practical steps:

1. Make a list of key milestones to reach your goals.

Examples:

  • Promote business social media accounts
  • Follow appropriate accounts on Twitter
  • Improve LinkedIn profile
  • Share interesting content on all platforms

2. Write out the steps you need to take to accomplish each milestone.

Examples:

  • Include social buttons at the bottom of your emails
  • Search hashtags on Twitter to find industry-adjacent accounts
  • Add keywords to skills section to increase visibility in search
  • Write and publish content on each platform twice a week

3. Continue until all milestones and steps are listed.

4. Voila! You have a project plan.

This may be a long or short list, depending on all number of milestones and the number of steps each of them requires to complete. Now that we have a project plan, let’s set some dates.

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Set a time frame.

“No project plan is complete without due dates,” Eric says. More important than assigning due dates is setting a realistic time frame from the beginning.

Continuing with the example of increasing brand awareness, look at the list you wrote in Step 2.

1. Start with the first step you need to take and assign a realistic due date.
2. Continue down the list of steps and milestones, writing a due date for each.
3. By the time you reach the end of your list and see your end goal, that final date is now your project due date.

Look your list over once more to make sure you think the plan makes sense and is doable, then make tweaks as needed. This article offers some additional great advice on setting dates and staying on track during the process.

Pro tip: be sure to consider vacation times for yourself and anyone whose help you may need to accomplish your goal. Time away from work will affect your due dates.

When it’s in a finalized state, share your project plan and due dates with any applicable stakeholders. Now it’s time to start tackling your goals.

Track your progress.

Your project will not run on autopilot. “Don’t have a check-in the day something is due,” Eric warns. Instead, check in regularly and adjust the project plan as delays happen (and they will happen).

Continuing with the same example, if you planned to research interesting accounts to follow on Twitter and add keywords to your LinkedIn profile on Tuesday, but ended up having time for that on Monday, adjust your project plan by moving each milestone and step up one day.

If you had to unexpectedly go out of town, be sure to reflect that delay in your project plan. “Something can only be late if you failed to adjust your due dates,” Eric says.

Pro tip: Using software can help manage your projects. Eric personally recommends Asana. “It does wonders for managing your checklists and keeping due dates in sight,” he says.

We decided success for our goal of increasing brand awareness was seeing more followers on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. All of these platforms have built-in analytics tools to track your page’s follower numbers. (See images)

Remember that brand awareness is a long-term game. Checking your analytics every hour and stressing about losing one follower isn’t going to help you. As you engage with your audience more and provide interesting content, your brand authority will increase and your audience will build.

  

Celebrate at the finish line.

As you get closer to your project goal, put the final due date on the calendar. Having this to look forward to adds to the excitement of accomplishing something major and will give you a final push to finish your project on time.

Most of all, celebrate hitting your goals. It means you invested time and effort in helping your business grow. You did it!

Don’t lose momentum.

In this example, increasing your brand awareness was the goal. Accomplishing this goal is great, but then the real work picks up: maintaining brand awareness. Having a Facebook business page doesn’t do you much good if you don’t use it. Be sure you’re regularly sharing interesting content with your network.

As a business professional, you’ve surely noticed how difficult it can be to maintain momentum building your business while staying in touch with your past and current customers. That’s where we come in. OutboundEngine manages your social media and email marketing by curating and sharing engaging content, helping you discover opportunities while keeping you top of mind with your network. Schedule a free demo and see how we can make your life easier.

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Taylor Wright
taylor.wright@outboundengine.com

Taylor is the Content Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine. She's passionate about helping businesses succeed through finding the right words and creating positive client experiences.