Making a marketing mountain out of a molehill.
So your burgeoning company is gaining steam, rolling out new internal initiatives and winning over investors. The only problem? No one knows who you are.
Considering the ubiquity of more established organizations in your industry, starting from scratch to develop your brand’s identity may seem like a daunting task. But don’t fret — almost every great brand came from humble beginnings.
The key to catapulting your brand from niche purveyor to household name? Focus on your digital marketing efforts. Here are six great places to start:
1. Use HARO to Gain Visibility
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is the ultimate tool for both journalists and subject matter experts to pitch and respond to requests for stories, products and advice.
This site facilitates mutually beneficial connections between “journalists and bloggers with relevant expert sources, to meet journalists’ demanding deadlines and enable brands to tell their stories.” As a source, you can reply to a query by offering up your specific knowledge and expertise. Then, if your response is chosen, you can establish yourself — and by extension, your brand — as a thought leader, increasing your visibility and boosting your credibility.
2. Secure Meaningful Guest Authorship
Earning a spot as a regular guest contributor on a popular (and relevant!) blog or industry news site is a great way to gain exposure, extend your reach, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. The key is selecting the publications to which you contribute wisely, focusing on those that will have the most impact with your target audience. When you’re first embarking on the pitching process, offer your content for free: you’ll gain credibility by expanding your breadth of published work, and can leverage this in order to secure paid placements at larger publications down the line.
3. Build an Authentic Social Media Presence
These days, social media is a major component of every brand’s digital strategy. Focus on the platforms that work best for your brand: if you’re a fashion company, your aesthetically pleasing products will play well among the #OOTD fashionistas of Instagram. If you peddle in home decor, focus on building a vibrant Pinterest presence. Wherever you focus your efforts, work hard to gain the right followers and keep them engaged by featuring content that speaks to your (and their!) values and aspirations.
4. Engage, Engage, Engage
Once you’ve developed a loyal social following, your work is far from over. Your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum — so show your followers you care about their needs and concerns. Make a concerted effort to craft meaningful responses to comments and messages on your social media accounts, and feature user-generated content (UGC) on a regular basis. The more personal you get with your followers, the more likely they are to trust your brand (and by extension, invest in your product or service).
5. Start an Email Newsletter
Building a qualified database of email subscribers is incredibly valuable to your marketing strategy, as the consumer information you collect can be used to create content that reaches (and resonates with) your target audience.
The first step to generating qualified subscribers is building a high-quality listserv. Feature a signup field on your website, so you’re attracting consumers who have already demonstrated interest in your brand.
6. Create an Eye-Catching, Easily Recognizable Design Aesthetic
Consistency is key to building a recognizable brand, especially when you’re first starting out. Choose a design scheme that speaks to your brand personality, and carry that aesthetic through all of your marketing campaigns, digital or otherwise. In time, your fans will come to associate your brand’s signature design with stellar content.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.