Ways to Increase Online Brand Visibility

The Internet is a competitive space. Since people turn to the Internet to find information about pretty much everything, marketers are trying their best to make a name for themselves online. It isn’t easy, and while it’s hard enough to even establish an online presence in the first place, it’s even harder to maintain a positive brand image over time. It isn’t something that magically happens. It takes a lot of time and effort to build up brand visibility and brand equity online but it’s time well spent since it will result in establishing trust with your target audience and with the search engines which are two key factors to online marketing success.

Here are 3 ways to increase online brand visibility:

Produce Quality Content

Obviously, you need to have a website filled with lots of useful information but that’s not where your content marketing strategy should end. The more “real estate” that you have online, the better. Remember, content shouldn’t be a sales pitch for your product or service. The content that you produce should provide some benefit to your target audience and establish yourself or the business that you represent as a trusted industry expert. By producing quality blog posts, videos, articles, whitepaper, E-books, and more you will gain a certain level of trust with target audience members and the search engines which will establish your brand identity.

Form Relationships with Others in the Industry

As they say, “location, location, location”. While the content marketing piece is extremely important to build brand visibility, where those articles, whitepapers, E-books, etc. are found plays a large role in its success. It’s necessary to attract the attention of the right target audience. This is why it’s important to reach out to and cultivate relationships with influential people in the industry, bloggers in particular. By establishing a relationship and a level of trust with the owner of a popular industry blog that gets thousands of unique visitors a day, you may be asked to become a guest contributor which may even lead to becoming a regular writer. Gaining support from a trusted industry expert passes authority on to you which builds brand equity and will also result in increased traffic to your site.

Develop an Online Community

Social media is great for brand building online. Of course, it requires developing a strong social media strategy. You simply can’t sign up for an account and expect that to help your cause. You need to be active and post content daily while taking the time to interact with followers. In social media, your fans and followers are your greatest asset. As long as you post quality content, they will share it, Like it, and re-tweet it to their followers expanding your brand visibility. While it’s certainly important to be active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there are numerous smaller and niche social networking sites that may be a good fit for your business that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Are You Making the Most of Your Blog?

Business blogging is a great way to share information with a target audience for many reasons. Unlike other promotional materials like white papers and EBooks, a blog tends to be a lot less formal. It’s also easy to access and update, which encourages a blogger to post frequently. While a steady stream of new, quality content on a blog is extremely important there are a few ways to take your blog to the next level.

First, think about search engine optimization. SEO professionals have been touting the benefits of blogging for a long time. Since a large part of SEO involves content and a blog is a place to post content, it’s like a match made in heaven. The search engines rank websites based on keyword relevancy and a blog is a great place to incorporate keywords. Keywords should be included in the headline and body of the blog post naturally. This improves the chances of the blog post being found in a search for certain keywords.

A blog is especially a great place to target some long tail keywords that you didn’t have the opportunity to target on the main pages of your actual site. While blogging and SEO should work together, it’s important to remember that SEO shouldn’t be the primary focus of blogging. The focus is always on writing quality content that your target audience will appreciate. If you put too many keywords in there it results in a poor user experience and looks spammy. SEO is just a side benefit to blogging.

Blogs are also a great place to connect with others. Long before Facebook and Twitter existed, people set up blogs to share their thoughts and opinions on every subject imaginable with anyone that was willing to listen. The comments section allows blog followers to respond to the post. Not monitoring and responding to comments is a huge missed opportunity for some bloggers.

The whole point of spending the time researching, writing, editing, and posting a blog post is to get someone to read it, right? It’s important for bloggers to show that they appreciate their following, which for a business is mostly their target audience. Taking the time to respond to followers and even check out their content is a great way to network and it can lead to relationships and business opportunities over time.

Another way to take your blog to the next level is to increase its readership. While this may seem like, “Well, duh”, it’s a lot easier said than done. Depending on your niche there might be lots of bloggers out there writing about very similar material. Blog readers only have so much time to dedicate to reading their favorite blogs. Your goal should be to make yours one of them. Unfortunately it takes a lot more than great content and a great design and layout to get people to find your blog in the beginning.

The only way to get readers is to promote your blog. If you have a social media presence or newsletter subscribers, start by promoting your blog there. Encourage your followers to share links to their followers. Submit your blog to blog directories and do some link building for your blog. It may take some time, but it will be worth it in the end!

3 Places to Look for Content Ideas

Content has become a large part of marketing, especially online. Inbound marketing tactics such as article marketing, blogging, and social media marketing have all proven to be very effective. As opposed to “interruption marketing”, inbound marketing is a technique that attracts the attention of a target audience member that is already looking for information on products or services that you provide. It’s a way to join the conversation with a prospect, which is more effective than starting it. The success of these marketing tactics largely depends on the quality of the content that is being distributed. If it’s sloppy or looks like it was thrown together in ten minutes, a prospect will notice that and won’t take you very seriously. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of content marketing is coming up with quality topics to discuss on a regular basis. Writer’s block happens frequently in the online content marketing world.

If your content marketing is ever stuck, here are 3 places to find inspiration:

The Customer Service Manager

The customer service department of any company is the one that has the most contact with the customers. They spend their days answering customer questions and listening to their comments and concerns via telephone, email, social media, and online chat. They are most in tune with the current needs and frustrations of the customers. Ask the customer service department head to provide you with the most discussed customer questions and concerns. This is clearly information that people want to receive and they make great topics for articles and blog and social media posts.

Other Department Managers

Find out what each department does on a daily basis that helps to contribute to the bottom line. If you’re in marketing, chances are pretty good that you don’t know or understand all of the nitty-gritty details of what everyone else in the company does. Some potential clients or customers may find this information interesting. Analyze every department, feature, and benefit of the product or service that your company provides.

The FAQ Page

Many companies include an FAQ page on their website to address common questions that current and potential clients and customers have. Depending on the nature of the company, the answers tend to be basic. They address the concern, but don’t go into that much depth. Take the time to provide further information that relates to each question in a blog post or an article.

While these strategies will work best for companies that actually have customer service managers and various departments, the concept is still the same for small businesses. Talk to other employees to find out what their day-to-day tasks are, what their strategy is for completing them, and discuss any customer interaction that they may have. This information will be beneficial to your target audience and you might learn something in the process as well!