It’s often been said that business, much like history, operates in cycles. In fact, the concept of the business cycle dates all the way back to the year 1819. In terms of creating increased brand visibility online, what once was old is a new again: word of mouth.
Long before the Internet, advertising or even widespread literacy, word of mouth was how merchants helped increase their business (coincidently, the term “word of mouth” originated in the same decade as “business cycle”). If you built a better shoe, baked a better loaf of bread, or sewed more durable clothes, you would be sought out for your skills. Hundreds of years later, massive brands spent billions of dollars on mass-market advertising, hoping to sweep up potential customers using the most general ads possible. With the advent of the Internet (and, more preciously, Google’s incredible revenue generating machine known as Google AdWords) companies were able to target the exact users and potential customers they were most interested in. While still a powerful moneymaker for Google, building online brand visibility has shifted to social networks. Why, the thinking goes, spend money on advertising when you can have the users do it for you for free? While logical an idea in theory, this is incredibly difficult to do in practice.
At the onset of a brand visibility push, it is an excellent idea to have specific goals in mind. What metrics do you want to use to measure the success of the program? Specific percentage increase in daily website visitors? Increased social media engagement? More monthly leads? Increased foot traffic into your store? Having these concepts in mind will make it easier to help create and define the brand visibility campaign.
One of the most important aspects of increasing brand visibility is a consistent push across all avenues of your online presence – social media, SEO, and pay-per-click programs all need to be reviewed, updated and coordinated as the program moves forward. There are numerous advantages to this. For example, if done correctly, content created for one area can be used and repurposed as a starting point for another. Just as importantly, however, is the need to avoid repetition. Nothing turns users off more than unwanted, irrelevant or duplicative contact from brands and companies.
As the program moves forward, if the predefined goals are not being met, the exact “mix” of SEO, social and PPC may need to be adjusted. While these types of programs have become highly refined over the years, creating the right blend for a particular company is far more art than science. Thankfully, here at Shift One Labs we are more than comfortable in this digital kitchen, and are ready to help your business define your online presence and build greater brand visibility. Just ask some of our friends.
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