Smartphones and tablets make our lives easier as consumers, but for marketers they’re a blessing and a curse. Sure, they give marketers another potential way to reach and connect with prospects. But that doesn’t make it easy. Cluttered is an understatement when describing the digital world. It’s easy to be lost if a marketer doesn’t make moves to ensure that the brand can be found by your prospects.
Being discovered online happens two ways: organically through browsing sites and social networks (the prospect isn’t specifically searching for your brand) and through search engines (they are more often than not searching for your brand or something related).
In the last 10 years, marketers have focused on being discoverable through SEO. But these days, being discoverable goes way beyond traditional search. Of course, it’s still important that your brand shows up when prospects searching for related keywords. If you’re a small chocolate company based in Austin, Texas, if someone types on Google, “dark chocolate store in Texas,” you definitely want to appear in those results.
But the truth is that not every prospect knows specifically what they’d like to search for, and many surf the Internet to kill some time. We now live in a world of browsers and it’s common for someone to scan the headlines on Daily Beast then look for funny cat videos on YouTube and then browse through dessert recipes on Pinterest.
Being more discoverable on these heavily browsed sites can set brands apart in the digital landscape.
Here are some of our ideas to ensure that your brand is found amongst the crowds.
- Create relevant, high-quality content with a focus on engagement rather than lead generation. Ask your customers what topics interest them and create content around that. Once you start to determine the themes/posts that get the most traffic/shares, you can then work on optimizing to make sure that you’re getting email addresses and other key information from your prospects. Keep this in mind for your blog and website specifically, but for other types of content too, including white papers, infographics and podcasts.
- Social network thoughtfully. Before you jump in and create an account with every social media site out there, take a step back to determine where your current customers engage. Your brand’s presence should depend on where your consumers and prospects interact. If you’re a b-to-b company focused on researching the behaviors and attitudes of lawyers, it might not make sense to spend most of your time on Facebook. LinkedIn might be a better fit. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store with customers that love coupons, Foursquare might be for you. Do your research, ask your customers which sites they’re on and use that to inform your strategy.
- Engage in every way you can. Crafting your own original content is essential, but it’s also important to read and engage with your customers and prospects elsewhere. You should already read the magazines and newsletters they read. Is there an upcoming Tweetup related to your niche topic? Take part! Link to outstanding articles that you think they would enjoy on your blog. Retweet them when they say something your brand would agree with. Consider advertising on the sites they visit. Comment on their content. Get in front of them in all the places possible – not just on the sites you own. And above all, remember to be authentic.
What are your ideas for ensuring your brand is found online?