Not all companies can afford to hire a PR firm. Fortunately, there are five powerful DIY strategies to boost your brand's name recognition.
With the new year come new marketing goals. Many folks I speak with want to increase their name recognition and build their brand in 2018. While a full-blown public relations campaign is a surefire bet, a number of other tactics exist to meet your goal of improved name recognition.
1. Become a publisher.
While starting a blog or a podcast might seem daunting, publishing your own articles has never been easier. For example, if you feel strongly about a topic of interest to your industry or want to offer your take on a trend, you can quickly and easily publish your thoughts on LinkedIn. Anyone with a LinkedIn account can publish to the site's content platform. Your articles can then be shared with your connections on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
Have a new product you want to show off or a customer service tip? Consider creating a one-minute video and sharing it on YouTube. It's easy for any business to create its own YouTube channel, and with some interesting visuals and a short script, you can be publishing your own video content in minutes.
2. Become a contributor.
If you think your insights deserve a mainstream audience, you can even submit your articles for consideration at top media outlets like Forbes, Business.com, Huffington Post and Business Insider. We have successfully placed articles for our clients on many top news sites, which have large ranks of unpaid contributors.
3. Pick a social media platform and focus on it.
Social media can help build nearly any business, but managing multiple platforms is time-consuming. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat all reach different audiences. If you have steered clear of social media so far but want to give it a shot in 2018, my recommendation is to pick one platform and focus on it. For example, set a goal of tweeting once per day and following a few new businesses each day on Twitter, or to post a video to Facebook once per week. Dig into the advertising offerings on LinkedIn, or simply use it to connect with some former clients and colleagues. Pick one social media platform and give it a test run for a few months. The results might surprise you.
4. Create a system to connect with referral sources monthly.
Most businesses depend on referrals, but few actually market to referral sources in a systematic way. Personally, I like email, as it's easy to start a campaign, and most of us have email addresses for our customers and prospects. As the cost to send a first-class letter is now 49 cents, email has become even harder to beat. Consider touching your referral sources at least once per month with messaging that's informational and not just a sales pitch. If you pay for referrals, make sure you remind those in your network that they can make money by sending you leads that turn into customers.
5. "Meet" at least one influential journalist this year.
Again, a PR campaign can open doors with the media, but executives with something to say can become sources for journalists on their own. Reach out to an editor or journalist who covers your industry and offer your perspective. Believe me, most reporters love actual sources. You can start by sending a short note identifying a few trends in the industry, and then follow up periodically. Don't be surprised if they ask you to contribute a bylined piece for them. (Tip: It's almost always better to ask for an opportunity to contribute than to write something and send it blind.)
When it comes to New Year's resolutions, I'm a big believer in starting small. Set a few manageable marketing goals and give some new tactics a try, then build on them as the year advances.