How to Build and Promote Your Brand (Part II)

How to Build and Promote Your Brand (Part II)

On Monday, the Money Revealed team went over some of the easy ways you can start building your own brand.

(Click here if you missed it.)

Today, I want to dive into how to leverage the power of internet to build your brand.

Your brand is often the first impression that potential clients have of your business, and they’ll carry that impression with them.

But no matter how good an impression your brand makes, it doesn’t really matter if no one knows about it.

That’s why it’s important to promote your brand.

Traditional methods include a lot of what my team talked about on Monday — an evocative logo, in-person networking, top-notch customer service and community involvement.

But several decades ago, the internet (and, more recently, social media) began to play a role in everyone’s business model. If you’re not leveraging the power of the internet to promote your brand, you’re missing out on tremendous potential!

The depth and scope of information on the subject of internet marketing is beyond the limitations of one article, but my goal here is to give you some useful pointers and areas for further research.

It’s not that hard to get started, and there’s a lot you can do without a big financial investment.

Website 101

Almost everyone has a website these days, and so should your business.

This is often done in the form of a blog. Creating a blog might seem intimidating, but it’s actually easier than you think, especially since there are numerous free platforms and even templates available.

If you’re struggling with what to write, start by telling your story… by sharing your vision, mission and goals for your business, as well as mistakes made or lessons learned along the way. Telling your story helps readers to better identify with you and strengthens your connection with them.

Other examples of quality content include industry updates and educational material related to your field, as well as how-tos and FAQs.

Think of your articles as a soft sell — you’re not directly advertising your services, but you’re offering something of value that’s within your area of expertise.

If you’re involved in your community or have a cause that you’re passionate about, share it with your readers. Be sure to take pictures and post blogs on occasions that you donate materials or services to a local organization, for example. Educate readers about the cause and its significance and encourage them to support it, too.

When creating content for your blog, keep articles short and sweet — there’s no need to write lengthy pieces, which can deter readers with shorter attention spans. And if you struggle with writing, use a service like Grammarly to help catch errors and clean up your writing.

Of course, you don’t have to do all the writing yourself. If you have a team, you can assign this task to the strongest writer.

Regardless of who’s writing the content, someone else should do the proofreading. (It also helps to read articles out loud — it’s a surefire way to catch grammatical errors and awkward phrasing.)

You can also enhance your blog posts by including images, which is much easier these days thanks to smartphones. Images submitted by clients and used with their permission are also a good way to strengthen your connection with your readership.

If you’re having a hard time sourcing images on your own, consider subscribing to a stock photography website. Such websites allow you to use keywords to search for images that you can use without worrying about copyright issues. Visual appeal is huge, and stock photography is an easy way to make your website more professional.

Embedding videos in your blog posts is another way to spice up your content. They can run the gamut from how-to videos related to your product or service, videos highlighting community involvement and even more lighthearted content that shows off your business’s spirit and personality.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

It’s not enough just to build a website — you’ll also need to drive more visitors to it.

One way to do this is by utilizing search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves using keywords, tags and categories, as well as a snippet from your blog entry, to get your blog to rank higher in search engine results.

This is a huge topic in and of itself and worth further research if you’re interested.

Another tool is Google Analytics, a paid service that analyzes your web traffic and crunches the numbers for you. It’ll help you identify things like:

  • The demographics of those looking at your site
  • When they’re most likely to visit
  • And what content resonated with them.

This information helps you tailor your content to your readers so you can get the most out of your website.

Most blogs also allow you to cross-post.

For example, when you set up a blog post, you’ll have the option to choose an image and some text that can be posted on Facebook. This informs readers that you’re adding content to your blog and directs them to the newest post.

Be sure to encourage feedback and comments from your readers as well. You’ll likely need to moderate comments to eliminate spam, profanity and anyone looking to cause trouble. If a comment includes a legitimate complaint or concern, address it professionally and resolve the issue so other readers can see how committed you are to customer service.

In addition to Facebook, be sure to explore other social media options such as Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, depending on your market.

You don’t necessarily need to create original content for social media — it can be as simple as posting a snippet or spinoff from your blog to drive followers to it.

Another platform on which to display your professional chops is LinkedIn, which also has a networking component as well as content-hosting features. LinkedIn has grown by leaps and bounds and is a great way to broaden your exposure.

And once your site is up and running, don’t forget to include your addresses and social media handles on business cards and promotional materials. You can even customize a few relevant hashtags as well.

Not only can social media be a tremendous amount of fun, but it’s also an effective tool that can help you grow your brand, so don’t miss out!

With purpose,

Patrick Gentempo

Patrick Gentempo