A deliberately provocative title: can you really promote your brand without spending money on advertising?
Yes, if you know how to do it.
But I don’t want you to think, reading this title: “So goodbye advertising, I don’t need it anymore!”. Absolutely not, it would be a serious mistake. To achieve your marketing and communication goals, you will still have to invest in advertising on the media channel you deem appropriate (based on your target, your purposes, and your product or service), but in this article, I would like to make you think about some ways that they allow you to communicate your brand without resorting to pure advertising.
3 ways to promote your brand without advertising: what you need to know
There are three elements, a sort of common denominator, that characterize the three methods of online promotion of a brand and it is good that you know them because they represent the very bases, the sine qua non for promoting your brand on the web.
Without content, you don’t go anywhere and there is no doubt about this. We read everywhere, online, that “Content is King”, the king reigns supreme and it is a concept that is known as well as taken for granted: if you think of a site, a blog, a social network or, more simply, e-mails, these are containers or media that need to be filled with content.
Get ready, therefore, to create lots of content that can be useful and interesting for those who will read you.
If you think you will make your brand known online in a few days and, even worse, believe that you will get contacts (such as requests for collaboration or quotes) within a few hours of publishing content, you are completely out of the way.
It takes a long time to work well online:
- time to get to know the audience we want to address,
- time to study the competition,
- time to analyze the correct communication strategy,
- time for execution, then work concretely, moving from strategy to practical implementation of activities,
- time to understand analytics and interpret them correctly.
Networking, building relationships, being good in public relations is essential to network, spread your knowledge, show what you are really able to do, exchanging opinions, points of view, and advice with other industry experts and other professionals.
How to promote your brand online?
So here are 3 simple but effective ways that you can put into action right away.
Maybe you will say: “Well, nothing more trivial!” but no. Do you know how many people, web marketing specialists but also entrepreneurs or business owners or even marketing managers, do not know how to use the blog to communicate their brand?
Do you know how many of them don’t blog? Don’t have an editorial calendar? Do blog comments close?
The blog is the first tool to communicate yourself and your brand indirectly: it’s a blog, not an institutional site, so I’m certainly not going to write self-referential posts, but I’m going to inform my readers about topics of my expertise that I know be in line with their interests.
Through the blog, reporting for example personal case histories, revealing how-to (how to do something), providing advice and suggestions to solve a specific problem, I show my knowledge and my experience in a specific field. As a result, my brand will also be promoted and I and/or my company/agency/brand will be recognized as competent, authoritative in that specific discipline.
To blogging you need to :
- know what interests my audience, then know the readers;
- know what are the current trends on the topic of my expertise (I can help myself with free tools like Google Trends, or paid tools like SEMrush );
- have SEO notions (you certainly don’t want to run into penalties, if your blog is already positioned!);
- know the main rules of Web Copywriting;
- identify the editorial topics to be developed;
- create an editorial calendar, which includes the posts to be published and the relative frequency of publication;
- knowing how to read analytics to monitor users’ interest in written articles;
- be willing to respond to comments received on the blog to establish a relationship and maintain a dialogue with the reader.
2. Guest Posting
This activity consists of hosting, on your website, an article written by a professional or an expert in a specific sector, or on the contrary, in writing a quality post for an external site, on which it will be hosted. It is a very useful and interesting method of promotion for all companies, especially B2B ones, where the levers of online marketing are more complex than those for B2C.
Through the Guest Posting, in fact, it is possible to sponsor the company, the brand, the products/services in an indirect way, avoiding that strong (and sometimes annoying) promotional push: it is the Marketing Director, the CEO, or the product manager of the company to write a content of added value, in which it addresses an issue of its specialization and strong competence.
The association between the content of that article and the company is indirect but evident, since in each article the person who produced that post is presented (so his job title and the company he works for are mentioned) and, sometimes, the link to the company website is also shown. It could also be said that Guest Posting, in addition to giving visibility,
There are five main goals of Guest Posting :
- Personal Branding / Brand Awareness
- Website traffic
- Reader education
3. Linkedin Pulse
Linkedin Pulse is the internal blogging platform of Linkedin, a famous social network: thanks to Linkedin Pulse, any person registered on LinkedIn can write an article just like a blog. The platform, in fact, allows you to use:
- the division into paragraphs;
- quotes and links:
- the insertion of multimedia contents.
Linkedin Pulse is truly a power to promote your brand, make yourself known, establish new partnerships, and attract potential customers, but you need to know how to use it in the most appropriate way.
5 Tips to use Linkedin Pulse at its best
1. Prepare a real editorial calendar (as you do for the blog or for your social networks), where you note topics to be developed and frequency of publication.
2. Write original posts: do not copy posts you have already written on your blog or vice versa, either because the content would be redundant for the user (if you have already written a blog post, write a simple post on Linkedin with a link to your blog article) and duplicated for Google.
3. Use the rules of Web Copywriting, such as:
- the correct subdivision into paragraphs;
- the inverted pyramid (start by saying the most important information immediately and then, as you go into the details towards the end of your argument);
- the bold to highlight certain keywords.
4. Always insert a header image at the top of your post to capture the reader’s attention more (there are many sites where you can find high-resolution images for free, for example, Pixabay ).
5. Insert one or more links in your post that can help people learn more about what you are about or understand who you are and what you do or contact you.