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8 Ways to Boost Online Brand Mentions

25 April 2012 BY

Over the past 12 months, I have been working hard with the rest of the Koozai team to increase our brand awareness within the SEO industry. In this blog post, I am going to share some of the tips, tricks and actions that we continue to undertake to boost mentions of our brand name online.

No matter what industry you work in, all or at least some of the initiatives mentioned below will help you to grow awareness of your brand and the sooner you start, the better.

Recruitment

If you are serious about increasing the awareness of your brand then recruiting someone to take on this role is a great starting point. Having someone dedicated to promoting your brand will help you achieve your end goal a lot faster.

Making the decision to get a full time person working on your brand will take some time. However, once you have made that decision and the person has been set the right goals, you will start to see the benefits very quickly.

Social Media

There are four key social media platforms that you need to focus on to increase mentions of your brand:

* Twitter

* Facebook

* LinkedIn

* Google +

You need to become a prominent face on all these platforms and continue to engage with other people in your community. The more Circles you are in on Google+ or the more followers you have on Twitter, the better the chance of having your brand and content being pushed on these platforms.

If you don’t have business profile pages set up on each of these platforms, what are you waiting for? Go and get them registered and start engaging in your community and customers.

Networking

Later on in this post I talk about conference speaking, and networking ties in with this perfectly. Before you start speaking at conferences, you want to attend them and ensure that you network with all the attendees, organisers and speakers. This will help you get on the speaking panels at a later date.

The more people that you know in your industry, the more chance you have of people sharing any content that you produce via social media and other methods. I have looked at the number of Re-Tweets I get on content that I put on Twitter and the percentage of RTs is always higher from people that I have actually met.

People + Tweets + Content Shares = More Brand Awareness

Team Involvement

Networking and social media is very time intensive and if you just have the one person focusing on your brand, you will miss out on a very big audience. At Koozai, we get the entire team involved to help push everything that we do.

All the team have company Twitter profiles with consistent Twitter handles (@Koozai_Sam, @Koozai_Mike etc) which helps to push our brand name all through the day. If this is something that you can setup for your brand then do so, because it has really worked well for us.

Different people in your organisation may have different interests and specialisms and you should play on this when it comes to guest blogging and conference speaking. There is no point asking someone to write a blog post on a subject matter they don’t enjoy. You will get so much more out of an individual if they are writing about something they are passionate about.

The overall point here is that ‘many hands make light work’. Don’t just leave brand pushing to one person, work as a team to get a better and faster impact.

Competitor Analysis

Using a tool like BrandsEye will allow you to monitor the mentions of your brand name as well as the brand names of some of your competitors. I would recommend that you do this for at least two of your top competitors.

After a couple of weeks you will have data to analyse and from this you can achieve wonderful insights into what type of content works for your competitors. Using this information, you can tailor the type of content you produce to replicate their success. This doesn’t mean copy what your competitors are doing, but rather you can learn from their success.

For example, let’s say that you see a blog post written by your competitor titled ‘Top 100 Ways to Build Links to a Website’ which has generated a lot of mentions. From this you have learnt that ‘Top X’ lists work well in your industry, and you should therefore consider creating a blog post using this method in future.

BrandsEye is the tool that we have been using at Koozai for almost a year now and every day we monitor our brand mentions and respond to everything. This brings me back to the first point in my post, recruitment. Managing a brand’s presence online takes a lot of time, so having that dedicated brand resource will allow you to focus on other important aspects of running your business.

Guest Blogging

Every company will know of blog sites that are dedicated to their industry; this is all you need to kick start your guest blogging task.

My advice with guest blogging is aim high. There is no point going after blog sites that aren’t well known in your industry. You want to be getting in touch with the sites that you know are visited often and have a high level of engagement.

When you get started contacting sites about writing guest posts, don’t just choose a couple to target. You want to go at it seriously and handpick at least 10 sites that you would like to write for so that you have a higher chance of success.

We picked over 30 sites that we wanted to target and set ourselves a goal of writing for all of these sites over a 12 month period. We still have a few sites on that list, but by approaching the website owners in the right way, we have been able to achieve a high percentage of that target.

The last thing any blog owner wants is to be harassed by someone that they are not familiar with. In order to break this barrier, you need to ‘make friends’ with them first. You can do this by using social media to make yourself known. Once you are happy that you have built up a relationship, this is when you want to approach the site owner. Make sure you approach them with an idea or topic that you want to write about and explain the benefits that their readers will get. You should get a much higher conversion rate taking this approach.

Videos

YouTube is a fantastic site for pushing videos and they make it very easy to set up a channel. If you are in an industry where creating video content can work for you, I would really recommend this. We see this a lot in the digital marketing industry and the community helps each other by creating videos with great content and tips.

Conference Speaking

I would say that speaking at conferences, seminars or events is the channel that is most likely to increase your brand awareness. It can be difficult to get accepted as a speaker until you have a presence in your industry, so I would suggest leaving this initiative until last.

However, you need to start planning for conference speaking early to get a good understanding of the events at which you’d like to speak. For this, I would suggest creating a simple Excel spreadsheet listing all of the conferences and seminars that you would like to find more information on. If you can, I would always recommend attending the conference first, so that you are aware of the speaking set-up, as each event will run things differently.

Conference speaking can be very daunting, so if you can, try speaking at some of the smaller conferences first before aiming for the larger ones.

If you have the budget, public speaking training is the perfect accompaniment for this and I would strongly recommend it. At Koozai, everyone who has spoken or is planning to speak at a conference has been on a public speaking course; the difference of their abilities before and after is huge.

Monitoring Mentions

Monitoring mentions of your brand should be one of the most important everyday tasks that you undertake, even if you aren’t doing anything to actually push your brand. With the Internet continuing to churn out more and more websites that allow people to share their thoughts and give feedback about companies or products, you need to be aware of what is being said about you. If you aren’t monitoring your brand effectively, you could be in for a very horrible shock later on down the line.

Here are just a few places that you should be watching:

* Social media sites
* Industry related blogs
* Personal blogs
* Forums
* Review sites
* Article sites
* Video sites
* Photo sites
* Competitor websites
* Consumer websites

There are lots of tools available that will help you achieve this, some of which are free and others that are paid. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I would recommend using BrandsEye. It is a paid for tool, but the insights into brand mentions are excellent.

Summary

Since we started investing time in all of the above channels, we have seen mentions of our brand name increase by over 174% in the past six months. Even if you only have the time to invest in a couple of the suggestions above, if you do it correctly and consistently then your brand awareness will begin to improve.

If you have any other suggestions of ways to increase brand mentions online, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment in the section below and share your ideas.

AUTHORED BY:
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Samantha Noble is the Digital Marketing Director at Koozai, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Southampton and London and event and brand manager on State of Digital and part of the editorial team.
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