Brand Building Through Search & Social Media
A company’s brand is its cornerstone. Given that, building your brand requires a balance of marketing efforts across various channels. Fortunately, search and social media are great ways to build your brand today.
Social media’s role in branding
More than ever before, a company’s brand is influenced by what consumers are saying about it online. Blogs, search engines, and social media sites have a strong impact on public opinion. Unlike the past where marketers could push their brand messages to consumers, the control has flipped and consumers are actually driving the opinion of brands. Considering that, social media can help marketers engage with users and become involved in the conversations taking place about their brand.
The Harpoon Brewery—one of my favorite brewers in the Boston area—is a perfect example of a company doing exactly that. They have a Facebook page, and notify all of their fans about the availability of their seasonal brews and any happenings at their different locations. Their Facebook page allows other Harpoon fans to interact with each other and discuss topics of interest. This is a great example of how you can boost your brand and build your customer base by simply interacting with consumers.
How search contributes
But this idea also applies to organic search. How so? Marketers can tap into it as a means to build brand awareness on keywords that are important to their target audience. The key to success for this channel is creating engaging and timely content centered around keywords that are relevant to your business.
The Gatorade G campaign from this past winter is a great example of how marketers can use search in this way. Perhaps you recall the black and white ads that featured famous athletes? As their images silently scrolled across the screen, an unseen announcer asked “What is G?”
When I came across the ad, I had no idea what it was about, so the first thing I did was search for that keyword phrase. I immediately found an organic listing from a marketing publication on the campaign, a YouTube listing of the commercial, and PPC advertisements from Gatorade. This is a powerful example of how marketers can leverage search to reinforce their offline advertising to increase their brand presence.
Search and social media can be highly effective means to help build brand. To best capitalize on all that they have to offer for this purpose, follow these tips:
Create engaging content. You must have content on your site that users will connect with. This will keep them coming back to your site, and also make bloggers and webmasters more apt to link to it. The more links that you have pointing to your site, the more likely you will rank highly within the search engines.
Create timely content. You must have content that is constantly updated and relative to what is happening right now. Understanding what topics your customers are interested in, and then shaping your content strategy around that will help you get in front of users that are searching on those terms and very timely keywords.
Encourage user interaction. Whether it be a forum or a blog comment section, allowing users to discuss your brand will not only give you a firsthand look at what you are doing well and what needs to be improved, but it will also provide you with content that is naturally optimized to keywords that users associate with your brand.
Update regularly and often. Your social media outlets should be constantly updated in order to provide that constant branding message. The updates should be relevant and be a way to start a conversation between your customers.
Listen to your customers. Read your followers’ posts to see what is being said about your brand. If the comments are positive, think of ways to promote these things to potential customers. If they are negative, look at them objectively and figure out how things can be improved.
Promote your social campaign. Remember this old saying:”If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If no one knows about your social media campaign it has no impact. Bbe sure to promote it on your website and through other marketing campaigns.
Ultimately, brand building requires efforts across many different marketing channels, including search and social media. Smart marketers will leverage the two to reinforce their brand and interact with their customers.
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