Improving Outreach Online: 12 Approaches Your Brand Can Use by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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While brands continue to tap into mediums like newspapers, billboards and magazines to share news and build recognition, outreach online remains vital for companies looking to establish what they stand for in more detail.

But brand building online isn’t simple. Many companies look to online spaces like search result pages, online reviews or well-designed company sites in order to develop their brand and following. While these can work quite effectively, they aren’t the only ways out there for building outreach. Below, members of Young Entrepreneur Council share some of the common — and less common — approaches brands can improve their outreach online, along with why they work so well. Here’s what they said:

Members share a few ways you can strengthen your brand online.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Podcast Marketing

Expanding the reach of your brand online has become tantamount to the success of digital companies today. There’s an endless amount of potential customers online that you can potentially reach and you need to figure out the best possible ways to get in front of them. One strategy that can be extremely effective and that I think is overlooked by many business owners is podcast marketing. Podcast marketing is the strategy of researching niche podcasts within your industry, reaching out to the hosts, and landing an interview to speak to their audience. With podcast marketing, you gain immediate exposure to thousands of potential customers within your niche. It also opens the door to build a relationship with the podcast host to get them a part of your referral program. Highly recommended! — Connor Gillivan, FreeeUp

2. Highlight Loyal Followers and Customers

An easily overlooked but effective way to improve brand outreach online is to look to the people who have been with you all along: The people who love your brand, have had great experiences with it, and are eager to share it with friends and family. You sincerely appreciate them, so reward them. Give them the attention and love they want. If someone likes your page and posts a lot of comments on your page, then reply to them. Learn their name. Comment on their page in return. They will be more eager to become a free spokesperson for your brand and will help spread the word better than any influencer could. — Shu Saito, Godai Soaps

3. Use A Segmented Email Strategy

Having a segmented email strategy will help you in your outreach because you’re sending out more targeted communication. For example, if someone signs up to your email list from your press page, send them press releases with news about your company instead of your marketing newsletter. This will provide them with the emails that they are looking for and may even feature your company in a story. If instead you start sending them coupons and marketing emails, they may start ignoring your email and end up completely unsubscribing. Email segmentation is not more commonly used because it is time-consuming to create different targeted emails for all the different interests, but it’s worth it! The more segmentation, the stronger the results. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

4. Publish Guest Contributor Posts

One consistent way I’ve managed to increase our brand awareness online is by securing guest columns in high-traffic sites where my audience spends their time. Then it’s just a matter of being disciplined enough to contribute regularly. Done right, you’re basically sitting at the cool kids’ table in the lunchroom. And everyone (read: your target audience) who passes by can see you there. This approach works very well, but it’s not more commonly used because it’s hard to secure guest columns. Not only do you have to be a pretty good writer with something engaging to say on a regular basis, but you also may need someone to write your pieces for you (if you don’t have the time or willingness to do it yourself). You also have to make sure you and your editor stay in a happy, committed relationship. — Han-Gwon Lung, Tailored Ink

5. Go Offline To Improve Online Outreach

Conferences and other industry events present many opportunities for outreach. Encourage your team to attend industry events and give conference talks, enhancing both the company brand and their personal brand. Offline outreach translates easily into online engagement, with links from conference sites to your site, social media promotion, guest blogging opportunities, YouTube posts and more. — Vik Patel, Future Hosting

6. Give People Information To Share

More times than not there are already people using, loving or boasting about your products or services. Maybe they are doing it by word of mouth, maybe it’s social media or even on your website. Identify and reach out to these key consumers, making a consistent point of engaging with them, giving them things to do and interact with. People love being able to tell their friends about new products, places, and things. Arm them with this valuable information so they can spread your message organically, proudly and excitedly to all of their friends, followers and family members! – Kim Kaupe, The Superfan Company

7. Make Short, Simple Videos In Your Area Of Expertise

The fitness industry was one of the early movers here, mostly because video is a platform that lends itself well to visually appealing industries, but the concepts can be applied to nearly any vertical. It can seem daunting to create and launch a video, but it really has gotten much easier in the past few years due to mobile devices with better cameras and mics, and platforms with huge video reach, like Facebook and YouTube. The simplest way to start is to simply ask yourself “what questions are on my customers’ minds?” Write down a list of those questions, and then film simple 5-10 minute videos, using the technology available to you, answering them using your industry expertise. Now is the time: Unlike traditional SEO, these video platforms are not yet saturated with content. — Tim Chaves, ZipBooks Accounting Software

8. Create Infographics

Creating eye-catching, interesting infographics is a great, lesser-used strategy for improving brand outreach online. If you create a great infographic and make it available for others to share on their websites or social media, you’ll get a ton of links pointing back to your website. Many people don’t use this strategy because they think creating an infographic is difficult, but there are a number of free and paid tools online that will help you make an awesome infographic in no time. — Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Use Influencers And Facebook Groups

One of the best ways to improve brand outreach today is by using influencers and Facebook groups. At the beginning of 2018, Facebook switched up its algorithm to begin promoting more organic content from family and friends while downgrading the content from brands. These changes elevated the power of influencers to reach and maintain authentic organic connections directly with consumers. Facebook groups provide brands a closed environment to directly engage their mega-fans. By inviting an influencer to your group to do a live Q&A, provide exclusive video content or help launch a branded contest, you get the best of both worlds and are able to massively improve online outreach. The key is to focus on creating value and not always trying to sell or by spamming with too many offers. — Joe Stolte, Purpose First Project

10. Let Influencers Use Their Voice

Let your influencers decide how they’ll tell your story. It’s not commonly used because organizations tend to be overly protective of their brand identity. They’d prefer to tell influencers how to show it and want to say about it. We have to remember that we do not own our brand. It exists in the minds of our customers. They own it. Influencers have followers because there’s a sense of connection that happens through communication. If an influencer truly believes in your brand, let them tell its story from their perspective. They already know how to connect to their followers. What they say about your brand may not be the way you’d choose to say it, but does it matter if it prompts others to seek out your product or service? — Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

11. Increase The Odds of Getting Referrals From Existing Customers

A strategy we’ve found massively effective is something we call “Referral Amplification.” Professional services companies, in particular, rely on word-of-mouth referrals as their primary lead generation and sales strategy. However, they then stop there — thinking that by servicing their existing clients well, they’ve already done everything in their power to grow their business. This just isn’t true! Take those satisfied customers, and conduct a high-quality photo shoot and professional interview that does a deep-dive on their story and their success with your product or service, and then post it to your company blog. Then buy targeted media and ads in that person’s geographic region, so that those who know them ask them to learn more about the success they’ve had. Prompt new referrals this way! — Keith Shields, Designli

12. Volunteer With A Local Charity

Find a charitable cause you believe in and donate resources to a local charity. Charities will certainly welcome monetary donations, but for this purpose it would be best to donate your time by volunteering or your company’s products. Afterwards, use social media to educate the community on your company’s charitable donations. This will help the business in multiple ways. First, it helps to build goodwill and improve your reputation in the community. Secondly, it can help your business gain exposure on social media. Users are more likely to share your charitable donation than they are your company’s products. A picture of your company’s employees actively volunteering in the community can gain a lot more traction than a bulletin about a new product or sale. — Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

April 10, 2019 at 09:07AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/04/10/improving-outreach-online-12-approaches-your-brand-can-use/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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