Online brand promotion is easy. Getting people to pay attention is difficult, and getting people to share and care is even harder. Promote your brand in a way so that users willingly share your content.
People seem to think that having a little social media success is a sign they are good at brand promotion, and yet they cannot understand why their products/services are not selling and why their online traffic is not converting.
Small business and startups in particular have financial limitations for promotions, so they need to get creative.
There are several online brand promotion options, here are nine tips to help you promote your brand online.
#1. Social Sharing Of Your Web Content
Online brand promotion is not just sharing your content on the web.
It is not enough for people to see your brand on social networks. Everyone (and his wife) is doing that nowadays.
What you need to do is to target networks your target market frequents and engages in, and get them to share your web content.
You need to establish your brand as an authority in that niche.
For example, if your business is in arts and crafts, you can get quite a following on Pinterest and YouTube.
If you are a travel agency, you can create a significant presence in Facebook and Twitter.
The key is to provide targeted and shareable content regularly on all the relevant networks.
Less Of A Dependence On Social Media Profiles And Accounts That said, you should now pin your hopes entirely on social media.
Social networks are a great way to drum up interest, but it is so fluid and widespread that it can be hard to keep up with it.
You may be making the mistake of focusing all your energies on making a hit on social networks that you neglect other important aspects of your business, such as your website, and your actual business!
You need to make sure that you also keep up with quality content on your website.
Choose what aspects of social media and which platforms can give you the best results in terms of brand marketing.
This way, you will have time for other things.
#2. Affiliate Advertising In All Shapes And Forms
It is easy to get into an affiliate network, and the best thing about it is that you only pay when you get results.
There are no upfront costs, which can be very enticing for a small business or startup.
This can work very well if your purpose is to sell quickly.
However, if you are trying to build your brand, you may be better off with a more direct form of affiliate marketing, such as paid searches using a service such as Google AdWords.
The benefit of this is that you can test the market to find out how to drive target audience to your website.
You can start small, as little as $5 a day, until you find the right combination of keywords that drive traffic most effectively.
#3. Online Brand Promotion Using Word-Of- Mouth Marketing
Influencers and bloggers are a great way to get the word out on your brand if you can get them to pay attention to you.
You can offer them freebies or discounts as an incentive to give you a little of their time.
For example, you can send out product samples to influencers for them to try, and invite them to post honest reviews and feedback on social networks and your website.
You can do the same for bloggers, and get them to post reviews on their blogs.
Most people check online review before they buy anything, and if an influencer or reputable blogger gives you a thumbs up, that is great.
You also create credible links back to your website, and you might even get a video you can embed on your website. That would be the best possible scenario.
Well… Remember that these are big fish in what may be a small pond, so you are not the only one trying to get them to what amounts to endorsing your brand.
You have to give them a reason to give you the time of day.
There are good ways and bad ways to do this, and you obviously want to know the good ways.
Yeah, it’s a bit of work, but the potential rewards are huge if you do it right.
On the other hand, free product samples and discounts may be enough to get you some good word-of-mouth action going, so you can start with that.
If it doesn’t work, then you know you have to do a little more strategizing.
#4. Useful, Engaging, Interesting and Inclusive Content
Of course, content is still king when it comes to your own website.
You should make sure that you have a good blog on your site where you can post top-quality content regularly.
Search engines, particularly Google, puts a premium on organic and relevant content, so this helps your site rank higher in the keywords you are targeting.
In addition, if you prioritize providing high-quality content, your readers will be more than happy to help make your site more authoritative by sharing them on social media, maybe even their own blogs!
Focus on creating something interesting, unique, and fresh that reflects and refers to your brand without making it a hard sell.
You should also make sure that you can make it easy for your readers to share your content by including share buttons above the fold, on the image or video, and provide embed codes. Make it easy for them and they will share it.
#5. Off-Domain Content : Educates People About Your Brand
Granted that you have made your website content relevant and shareable, you are still limited in reach.
It is like gaining popularity in high school, but getting no traction at all in the larger world of college.
You need a strategy that also creates off-domain content in microblogs to put your brand message and story out there.
It all depends on the persona of your target audience.
It is not the same as social network sharing, because what you trying to do with off-domain content is to update your readers about what is happening with your brand, and keep it in front of your audience.
#6. Promote Your Brand On Their Websites
Referrals are always good. You can give your brand a jump-start by asking family, friends, and co-workers to share a link to your site on their social networks, blogs, or microblogs.
You can incentivize them to do this by offering discounts or freebies for each referral. You can offer the same thing for referrals that also refer to others.
#7. Engage With The Online Community
Your brand is bound to appeal or be relevant to a particular niche, and each niche is bound to be involved with some online communities.
You can jumpstart your brand marketing by getting involved in one or more of these communities.
Make sure that you do more that promote your brand or business, however, or you might get blackballed, or at least get a negative reputation which can reflect on your brand.
Make your presence felt in a positive way by answering questions, contributing expert or at least practical advice, and generally making yourself a useful member of the community.
This will establish you as an authority in the field, and create a relationship with other members.
Brand marketing is not just for the big players.
A small business or startup can make great inroads into brand marketing at minimal cost with a little creativity and a lot of elbow grease.
However, there are no shortcuts in this business.
You have to be willing to play the long game for appreciable results.
Bonus Tips: Brand Consistency Across All Channels
Execute a consistent brand marketing strategy across all channels to strengthen brand recognition.
One way to maintain brand consistency is to stay true to your brand personality.
For example, if your brand personality is fun and creative make sure that this reflected in the writing style and multimedia content.
To achieve this, it is important to have branding style guide to keep you on track. Another simple, yet often overlooked strategy, is to refer to your company and products or services in the same way.
This way, your audience will not be confused with what products or services you offer and on how they will recognize your company.
In your social media accounts, have the same avatar and cover photos.
The design should also be consistent with your website.
Andrew Staten, President of Altitude Marketing aptly puts it this way,
"Everything should look as if it came from the same [company]. A person reading an e-newsletter or brochure should see an immediate visual connection when visiting the website."
Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to many marketing sites. She enjoys traveling, exploring new cultures, languages, people and places. You can follow her on Twitter.