The Internet is rife with possibilities outside the written word – here are a few ways to get your business recognized online.
It’s a saying almost as old as the Web itself: Content is king.
But what exactly does that mean? For a business looking to build its brand and strengthen its online presence, it means creating something that engages the attention of potential customers and keeps it.
We’re simplifying it a bit, of course, but essentially content is that magic branding dust you sprinkle on the Internet to build buzz and send customer flocking to your website, dollar bills in hand, eager to become your next customers. Ok, we’re actually simplifying it a lot.
Generally, this content has come in the form of blogs, and for good reason. Continuous blog content, rich with SEO keywords, is one of the strongest ways to keep your site at the top of search engines. It also, when done right, helps strengthen your brand. Your followers and customers get something informative, entertaining or aspirational, and in return you get recognition for your product or service.
But the thing about blogs is, someone has to write them. And odds are good that if you run a business, you don’t really want to. Your time is best spent focusing on that core of what you do, not writing blog posts. So what else can you do to attract that attention and keep an active profile online?
Quite a bit, actually. Here are a few options for building your business online without blogs.
Debuting last year, Facebook Live is proving to be a powerhouse for brands looking to do something new and exciting.
So what is it? It’s right there in the name. If your company is on Facebook (and if it isn’t, you should probably work on that) you have the option of filming live video. This can obviously be daunting if you’ve already put a toe in the waters of online video and prefer to be able to edit out mistakes or re-shoot material, but the rewards are plentiful.
Mostly those rewards come from Facebook’s vigorous promotion of its new tool. Live videos are given vastly preferential treatment by Facebook’s algorithm over videos posted to your business’ page, and in many cases users are sent mobile push notifications when you start a live video.
As to how businesses have capitalized on this new feature, look to Kohl’s. The department store went live with an ingenious workout video to promote its line of athletic wear. This simple and easy-to-produce video brought in tens of thousands of views.
You know what’s easier than writing a whole blog post? Jotting down a few factoids and then getting a good graphic designer to put them into an infographic for you. It’s not only a giant time saver for the business owner that doesn’t have the time or inclination to write, it can actually create some great opportunities for your brand outside of your usual channels.
Branding an infographic serves a lot of the same purpose as a blog post – it puts your brand out there as a subject matter expert, and creates recognition. But more importantly, branded infographics are sharable. A blog just lives on your site and maybe gets linked out. An infographic can be published over and over again, spreading your brand far and wide.
As an example, check out how online ticket reseller Vivid Seats managed to put their brand in front of a huge audience by sharing one of their infographics with travel website TravelPulse. By finding a site that had some overlap with their audience, Vivid Seats was able to extend their brand message across an entirely different channel.
You’re passionate about what you do, right? So even if you have a hard time forcing yourself to write about it, it shouldn’t be too hard to talk about it.
Well as long as you’re talking about it, you may as well do it into a microphone and give your audience some that will really hook them. Actually hearing your voice, getting your unfiltered (well, mostly unfiltered) thoughts on your industry goes a long way in establishing you as a thought leader. Plus, anymore podcasts are not that hard to produce. Check out this lifehacker guide to getting one started.
This one may actually be a little more labor intensive than simply writing a blog, but the results can be extraordinary.
While common wisdom once held that no one would watch more than a minute of video at a time, more and more brands are finding success with long-form videos. (Look what a two-minute commercial did for Savannah attorney Jamie Casino when it went viral. It probably helped that the ad itself is bonkers).
Not only is Facebook starting to more heavily promote longer video content, consumers are starting to watch it. It’s not uncommon to see small businesses creating 10-15 minute videos. And what’s more, if you’re having difficulty coming up with relevant topics for blog posts, you have much more leeway with long-form video.
Take a look at diaper bag manufacturer Tactical Baby Gear. Their popular web series, “The Weekly Dump,” very rarely even mentions what the company does. Instead, it reinforces the general lifestyle of the brand by showing the owner of the business as he shares advice on parenting, builds his business and attends various trade shows. As the company is squarely focused on the young, affluent parent with a specific lifestyle centered around firearms and military culture, showing the owner in that world strengthens the brand. And some editions run upwards of 22 minutes.
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