In a world of seemingly infinite choice, our purchasing decisions are more often based on the brand affinity of a product than its value or utility.
Building a personal or business brand is a tough and time consuming task.
Increasing your brand visibility expands your audience reach, increasing your sales in the short-run. Cultivating brand loyalty among your customer base, makes your products less price sensitive, and is more profitable than acquiring new customers in the long-run.
The adventation of the internet not only eliminated classic forms of gatekeeping, but also leveled the playing field for young entrepreneurs and small businesses to compete against established brands. Let’s explore how digital marketing can help build your personal and professional brand through some low-cost strategies.
Building a Website
It’s recommended that you start small and research an underserved niche with the potential to scale.
Begin by creating a domain that includes your brand name. Carefully place industry keywords in your title tags, URLs, and all important hyperlinks that appear across the site. You will also need to produce a logo that should be placed in the upper left hand corner of your website. Your website should also feature a coordinated color scheme that appeals to your brand’s message and ethos.
Some established brands take this step even further by placing logos into their navigation bar, anthropomorphising different page elements, and using style sheets to redistribute content.
The keyword here is consistency. Establish a brand image through the consistent placement of different brand functions and images throughout your website. Consistency implies relevancy of all materials across your website, which positions your brand to rank for targeted keywords.
Once established, you will need to create a solid technical foundation for a desirable UX and UI design. Be sure that your website is mobile optimized to compete on a local level.
We emphasize possessing a mobile optimized site so that individuals can find your business by looking you up on citations. A majority of local mobile searches result in an in store visit that day.
The number one piece of information those users are searching for? Your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Register your business across all of the relevant directories and local citations using consistent NAP information.
In a commoditized market, the most effective method to differentiate yourself from the competition is by building brand value for your business. To accomplish this you need to provide value and insight, which is accomplished through consistent content distribution.
This article discusses how major brands, such as John Deere and Coca Cola have and still use multi-channel content marketing strategies to foster brand loyalty among their customers. In the digital era, there’s no better platform to accomplish this than your blog and social media channels. If you are a local business effective content marketing can help you leapfrog competition in Google’s search listings. Local businesses such as CawleyPT.net and Back Mountain Dental presents a great example of content marketing best practices for others to follow. Check out how Cawley has leveraged Workshops and Content to become a resource in its community as a leader in physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Why is this important? Not only does content help nurture leads through the sales funnel, but Google also ranks webpages higher that produce thorough, informative, relevant, and fresh content to user search queries.
This is why we utilize keyword research to create topics for content marketing strategies. This bridges the gap between a user search and the website that will deliver the information they request. Keyword research informs businesses of prescient needs among their target audience, which allows them to create content that can be delivered to users on a first page search result.
For a personal brand, content creation also allows you to develop authorship, craft your voice, and express opinions and insight relevant to your industry’s subject matter.
The more content you produce and the better it is, the higher your website ranks as a result.
Build brand credibility using these sources and feature them on your website:
- Case Studies
- Interviews with thought leaders in your industry
- Quotes from thought leaders in your industry
- FAQ pages
Provide value for your customers and other industry experts by publishing a whitepaper, book, webinar, or video series.
Remember, the goal of content marketing is not just publishing, but marketing. Leverage your blog to generate demand around a prescient issue and nurture leads that land on your website.
Dominating Social Channels
What do content marketing and social media have in common? They are a relatively free (eliminating labor costs) marketing resource to distribute endless content. Social media provides the perfect platform for brand outreach, which is supplemented by the consistent distribution of content to develop authority.
Brands can use social media to engage with their target audience through the use of posts, promotions, polls, and contests. Brands may also leverage influencers and other thought leaders to endorse their brand and build their following.
Consider what strategies you should use over social media and which pieces of content receive the highest potential to compound. Use sources like SEMrush and Buzzsumo to discover topics in your vertical that is being shared the most over social media channels.
Research which channels your customers engage with the most and use these channels for the bulk of your promotion strategies.
Know which content performs the best over which channels, which you can do by examining what works well on your own site as well as in general. Images are shared over 94x more than traditional text posts and long-form content is more shareable than short form content. The longer and more informative the content, the higher the potential it has to be shared, drive impressions for keyword variations, and even earn a featured snippet on Google.
Equipped with all of this resplendent knowledge, it’s time to crank up your content marketing and brand outreach campaign with a multichannel engagement strategy. Here are some strategies you can leverage:
- Email marketing
- SEO PR
- Guest posting on relevant industry publications
- Video marketing (Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Local sponsorships
- Press releases
- Traditional advertising routes
In no way does this represent the ultimate ensemble of cross-channel marketing.
All of these strategies afford you more abilities to elevate your personal brand. By creating thought leadership through content distribution, you may be personally invited to deliver keynote speeches at industry conferences and even be offered more lucrative opportunities, such as book deals.
Finally, if your website is off to a sluggish start and you want to truly increase the velocity of your brand consider leveraging paid promotion to market your content directly in front of target audience members.
Remember, most of these strategies will produce long-term growth and establish your brand’s trust and authority. Don’t be phased if your Facebook profile doesn’t have enough likes in two years or your content enough views. Stick with these strategies to gather more brand authority and eventual recognition over time.