Top five tips for getting your brand to stand out online

Whether your audience is other businesses or consumers, being found online (easily) is vital for so many reasons.

To stand out and get ahead of your competition; to be found in the top three Google organic search results; to increase engagement on social media channels are the top three typical reasons businesses come to us.
Here’s a few hints and tips on how we help them:

1. Think like a publisher
The phrase ‘content in king’ is overused but true. The key to being interesting to your audience is to say something interesting. Surprisingly, businesses find this harder than you’d think. This is where an external perspective can really help.

If you think like a publisher or editor of a news source and reduce ‘push’ style sales messages in favour of useful, humourous or unusual stories, facts and opinion you will be found more easily and build a long term following. In this case less is more, one great article is worth so much more than a series of selling messages telling everyone how great you are.

2. Be brave
If you create content in the form of social messages or blog posts on a regular basis, well done, you are halfway there. The next step is to go to the next level and build some campaigns or one off initiatives into your activity. This could take the form of generating insight about your sector, a promotional activity to draw attention to you or a community/CSR idea that shows you have a particular set of values or interest for a particular cause.

3. Don’t be shy
‘Engagement’ is a word bandied around in our world a lot at the moment. All that means to us is engaging in conversation. Ask clients what they think of you and encouraging them to share their views online or be your case studies can give you high value third party content.
If you are a consumer facing business which faces queries from consumers online – think carefully how you appear to the rest of your audience in how you respond and handle hard questions/issues or complaints. A well thought through handling process can turn a negative into a positive/complainers into ambassadors.

4. Learn to listen
We know listening is the best communication skill. Apply this online. Look at what is being said about you publicly, ask for feedback directly and involve external people that have something to say about you in your communications. Consider consumer testing panels; running a round table of key figures in your sector; using your database to survey your contacts to gain insight on a hot industry topic.

5. Cover the right bases
Choose the right social channels for you and don’t disregard some channels without good reason. Facebook is not usually a key channel for B2B communications, however, it can have a place and can also help with giving you another search engine result. Instagram, currently very popular with consumer brands, may be a good one for you, but you must make sure you have enough of your own content to share. LinkedIn is great for targeting individual business people, similarly, it can be used to target a consumer audience depending on the type of product you have together with careful targeting of the right people. LinkedIn is no longer ‘just for recruitment’.

Taking time out to plan your content strategy will reap rewards; it might not be rocket science but it’s well worth doing and you can easily measure and assess your impact in a relatively short timeframe.