Why is brand awareness important?
Brand awareness for certification programs is what keeps your organization in the mind of prospective learners when they are looking for professional development opportunities. Almost 60% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they are already familiar with which makes brand awareness a top priority. Brand awareness increases customer recall when they require your services and combined with a quality experience, improves the potential for word-of-mouth referrals. Organization’s that don’t place importance on building brand awareness will struggle to get noticed in a competitive market. Using digital credentials as part of a professional certification brand awareness strategy is a great way to improve recognition of your brand while awarding learners for their efforts.
How can digital credentials be used in brand awareness campaigns?
Digital credentials are used to increase brand awareness through consistent branding, recipient sharing, and engaging with the target audience.
Research has shown that consistent presentation of a brand across platforms, social media channels, marketing campaigns, and promotional materials can increase revenue by up to 23%. This applies to use of the brand image, the brand name, and ensuring a consistent brand voice. A key part of delivering a digital credentialed program is the digital credentials that are awarded to recipients. Depending on the type of program being offered, the issuer will need to create digital badge and/or digital certificate designs. To support brand awareness through consistent branding, digital credentials should be designed according to the brand style guidelines, including colors, imagery, typography, and layout. Digital credentials are intended to be shared and your recipients will want to celebrate their achievement by posting their award to their social networks. Credentials that are designed in line with branding guidelines and then shared to social media, become instantly recognizable as belonging to the issuing organization.
Recognizable digital credentials help to boost brand awareness and they also drive referrals. When an individual sees a digital credential shared from a peer, the engagement they receive from their network, and any resulting career-success, they want to achieve this for themselves. Issuers can also set a primary design that will be visible in the share preview for their digital credentials. This is helpful where the recipient is awarded both a formal digital certificate and an embeddable digital badge and the issuer has a preference over which design is shown first.
To further promote trust and recall, branding can be made consistent across the entire recipient experience including the credential delivery email, the dedicated credential page, and the recipient credential wallet. Issuers delivering digital credentials through Accredible can choose additional advanced branding which enables them to:
- Customize the appearance, included links, and sender address of the credential email
- Add their issuer logo to the dedicated credential page
- Host their live digital credentials on a preferred vanity URL
- Create a branded version of the credential wallet, showing credentials only from the issuer
Full branding control is available through optional white-labeled credentials which provide all the benefits of the advanced branding package with additional control over the credential page. Issuers can replicate the environment of their own site using customized headers and footers and control over page styling. This allows issuers to make the credential page look and feel like an extension of their own website.
Shareability is a benefit of digital credentials for recipients. They can post their achievements to their social media timelines to celebrate with friends, family, and peers, embed their digital credentials into their email signatures or on a personal webpage, and add their digital credentials to their LinkedIn profile. The recipient gets to showcase their newly gained skills and knowledge and improve their employment or promotion prospects, while building brand awareness for the issuing organization.
Recipient sharing serves as a type of authentic marketing. It works by harnessing the reach of recipients to boost the visibility of the brand, their credentials, and their programs through shares and testimonials. Recipients that share their credentials to their professional networks become organic influencers and advocates of the brand. As the connections within a recipient's social network often share a crossover with the target audience of the issuing organization, this is an effective way to build brand awareness. Issuers can motivate their recipients to share their digital credentials through targeted call to action buttons within the credential delivery email. Using action-driven CTAs such as ‘Share Credential’, ‘Share To Social Media’, and ‘Add to LinkedIn Profile’ provides clear instruction for the recipient and increases the engagement rate. As the number of shares increases, so does the level of brand awareness.
Engaging the Target Audience
Once a recipient shares their branded digital credentials to their social network, the issuer has an opportunity to engage to further boost their brand awareness. A simple ‘Congratulations!’ or ‘We hope you enjoyed the program!’ follow-up on the recipient post can go a long way to building trust with prospective candidates. They can also reshare posts to their own network to boost visibility of their recipient’s success. Once the recipient’s peers see this, they are more likely to click on the presented credential to learn more about the credential and the program. From the dedicated credential page, they can click through to the issuer’s website to learn more about the organization and other available programs.
This also provides additional points of communication for new customers. If they see that the issuer is active on social media, they are more inclined to follow and potentially reach out and ask questions about their credentials and programs. The more active a brand is on social media platforms, the more likely they are to remain top of mind for their candidates and potential customers. On average, it takes between 5 to 7 impressions for new audiences to recognize and remember a brand. Staying on top of engagement with the target audience and recipients will directly impact the frequency individuals see the issuer’s branding and help them to connect the logo with the issuer in the future.
How to measure brand awareness
Before launching with digital credentials or getting started on a new brand awareness campaign, it’s important to take benchmark metrics. This makes it easier to track the success of a campaign and identify which brand awareness strategies are working well or need to be optimized. The way awareness of your brand is measured will also depend on the brand awareness objectives.
For example, if the objective is to focus on the effectiveness of using digital credentials for brand building on social media. The metrics to record and track will include followers, engagement rates, and profile visits of the brand’s social media platform. From digital credential analytics, the metrics to track will be how frequently digital credentials are being shared and how often they are being engaged with.
In a case study with brunchwork, a leading provider of modern business education, they attributed a 78% increase in their monthly LinkedIn profile views between Nov 2020 to Feb 2021 to their digital credentials. It was the biggest change they made to their LinkedIn strategy during the time and found their alumni were eager to share their credentials to their social networks.
Brand awareness isn’t something that happens without input. Issuers need to ensure their digital credentials are designed according to their brand style guidelines to ensure consistency and help their brand recall. They should be encouraging their recipients to engage and share their credentials through action-driven CTAs in their credential delivery emails. Finally, they need to be ready to engage with their recipients and target audience through comments, likes or reactions, and reshares. The more present a brand is on social media, the more brand awareness they will generate.
Learn more about how Accredible can help generate brand awareness and drive program growth using digital credentials by booking a platform demo. Our team is happy to provide examples of recipient engagement, the benefits of branding and white-labeling, and show you how to get started with digital credentials.
Learn how to utilize digital credentials to drive program growth in our Increase Enrollment for Professional Certification Guide. The guide explores how digital credentials use contextual data, shareability, and engagement to boost enrollment and increase referral rates.
Download the guide and research how to:
- Identify the demand for professional certification programs
- Establish what learners and the target audience want from professional certification
- Boost enrollment and engagement rates for professional certification programs
- Use digital credentials to motivate and increase referral rates