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5 Creative Ways to Boost Brand Awareness and Reputation
There’s a line of thinking in the bowels of marketing chambers that any publicity is good publicity. It’s based upon the premise that any bit of notoriety is beneficial if it gets you in the public eye.
While a reputation for recklessness might keep a celebrity in the news and boost record or ticket sales, it’s not the reputation you’d want from a law firm or a business enterprise.
Gimmicks and stunts might get your company lots of coverage, but it isn’t sustainable. Such things could even backfire and destroy your business.
However, that doesn’t mean that your branding can’t be edgy or unconventional. A little strategic creativity can go a long way toward boosting brand awareness without sacrificing your professional reputation.
Here are five of our favourite brand-boosting techniques.
Take it to the Streets
You don’t need to have a brick and mortar location to work on manufacturing some street cred. Everything from billboards to murals and wall posters effectively draws attention to businesses and professional services.
Flash mobs are exciting and popular ways to create buzz. They can be leveraged by releasing a video of the event on social media. Going this route doesn’t have to cost a lot, either, if you can coordinate street teams in carefully chosen locations to spread awareness.
You can put a twist on the same-old, same-old by adding a bit of mystery to your street outreach.
Ideas range from sending exclusive invitations to a live, community-based event to simply posting messages in prominent public areas that say things like “Are you part of the in-crowd? Find out here,” followed by your web address.
Such ideas attract interest and increase FOMO (fear of missing out).
Leverage Social Media – With a Twist
Social media should always be a part of your digital marketing strategy. You can increase brand awareness by going beyond the typical posts, newsletters, and blurbs by creating buzz through social media contests and giveaways.
This is an ideal platform to showcase viewer-created content, such as launching a campaign/contest where you urge customers to send videos of themselves enjoying your product or service. You could even let your audience vote on the winner.
Build interest by launching via Facebook live, count down to the final day by creating daily posts that grab attention (link it to all of your platforms through automated platform syncing), and showcase the big reveal or prize via another live event. This could include going live with the drawing or broadcast the winner receiving their reward.
Tie Your Branding to an Event
Everyone loves to be part of a big event. Rather than doing the typical Grand Opening, you could sponsor a fundraiser, arrange a block party or holiday event, or host a themed event, such as a cosplay or vintage cocktail soiree.
Build up to and promote your event by sending out invitations and incorporating some of our other suggestions, such as creating mystery or broadcasting it live on social media. Other ideas include free workshops and webinars.
These types of promotional events allow you to have some face-to-face interaction with potential customers and partners. You’ll also provide your audience with an opportunity to get a feel for your business or experience your products first-hand.
Further increase awareness by handing out free promotional items, building your subscriber/contact list, and giving out samples.
Make Branding a Team Effort
What better brand ambassadors could you have than your own team? Consumers like to know that they’re dealing with real people behind a brand name rather than a faceless corporation. It’s even better if you can get to know them in a way that allows them to relate to your team.
For example, parents will feel comradeship when they can relate to stories about how staff members create work/life balance.
There are several ways to go about this. One is to post employee-created content like lifestyle or behind the scenes video on your website and YouTube channel. Double-dip the SEO by including links in other content and indexing the video separately by using alt_tags.
You could also tie this in with your social media contests by awarding winners a free consultation or the chance to be CEO for a day.
You can keep everyone up to speed and foster enthusiasm through open communication, team brainstorming sessions, and regular meetings. Don’t forget to include remote and street outreach teams by initiating virtual meetings on platforms like Slack and Zoom.
Partner Up, Strategically
You can increase your reach effortlessly by partnering with companies who sell products that are complementary or otherwise related to your own, but not directly competitive.
For example, a flower shop could offer discounts to the local bakery, photographer, or bridal shop, and vice-versa.
You could also coordinate joint events, such as a craft supply shop sponsoring a crafting workshop or companies launching a local charity or fundraiser.
This will not only expose your products to a whole new audience; it’s an excellent way for a startup to leverage brand awareness of a more established or larger business.
Another idea is to sponsor an event, sports team, or important cause. Just make sure that you choose carefully when searching for something to sponsor.
The cause or event and organization associated with them should be free of controversy and have a good track record/public reputation.
The sponsorship doesn’t necessarily have to be directly tied to your product or service, but it helps to if it’s related in some way.
As a business owner, it’s up to you to protect your brand in every way. Our goal is to provide companies like yours with insightful advice that’s actionable and easy to implement.
By following the above suggestions, you can boost your brand awareness and reputation in creative and sustainable ways.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.
Thanks for being a guest, Michelle.