Five Tactics for Building Strong Brands

building strong brandsThe word brand is tossed around the marketing world like a bottle opener at a tailgate party – everyone uses it, but no one really thinks about it.

While that works fine for popping a top, it’s problematic when it comes to building strong brands.

After all, how can you improve your brand if everyone on your team is talking about something slightly different?

So the first step to brand building is defining our terms.

We define brand as: reputation x visibility. Activities for building strong brands, then, should be tactics that work to increase both your reputation and your visibility among your audience.

Here are five tactics to help get you there:

Five Tactics for Building Strong Brands

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build your brand. This tactic involves providing a steady stream of free, useful information to your target audience through blog posts, white papers, books, videos, and more.

For many, giving away intellectual property for free feels counterintuitive – shouldn’t clients be paying for this information? But our research into high growth firms has demonstrated the opposite. Companies that share free, valuable information on a consistent basis actually grow faster and are more profitable. Content marketing is extremely effective because it expands both your reputation (by proving that you are an expert on a certain topic) and your visibility (using content to spread your knowledge, both online and offline).

2. Visible Experts

Visible Experts are people who have attained High Visibility and expertise in their field, creating a personal brand that is recognizable industry-wide. Many firms have experts, but few of them have reached this elite status. By deliberately cultivating a Visible Expert within your ranks, your business can dramatically increase the power of its brand, in the same way that a university becomes more prestigious when it has a Nobel Prize winning faculty member.

3. Partnering & Guest Blogging

Partnering with prominent bloggers, visible experts, or organizations is another proven strategy for building your brand. Consider co-writing an ebook or guide, conducting a research project together, or starting an educational or webinar program.

Writing guest posts for well-known bloggers is another great way to build your brand, and bloggers often appreciate the help. You can maximize your chances of top bloggers accepting your offer by providing a detailed outline of the post you intend to write. When considering partnering ideas, we recommend avoiding costly sponsorship events. While these activities can be moderately useful to spread visibility, they are less effective at growing your reputation. Remember, building strong brands requires growth of both visibility and reputation.

4. High Profile Clients and Case Studies

There are many successful companies and consultants that have built their brands around a single name-brand client or a well-known case study. But few businesses take the time to systematically seek out or leverage these opportunities. Implementing simple steps, such as making sure your contract allows you to use the name of a client to promote your work, or pushing for a wider scope with a big-name client for whom you have produced exceptional work, can pay big dividends for brand-building.

5. Social Media

Social media is an ideal mechanism for expanding visibility and reputation, and those who are focused on brand-building would be foolish to ignore it. Besides allowing you to post thought content and link back to your blog, social media is playing a bigger role in SEO, as Google and other search engines give it increasing relevance.

Remember that you don’t need to be on every channel; it’s more effective to be very active on one or two channels than to be slightly active on multiple channels. Find out which social site your audience patronizes, and go there. Implementing a deliberate social strategy, including delegating staff members and creating a content calendar, will get you on the track to success.

Memorizing the Formula: Reputation x Visibility = Brand

These five activities represent some of our most effective and most frequently used brand-building tactics, but there are many more. Remembering that a true brand-building activity must raise both reputation and visibility will steer you in the right direction as you decide where to spend your valuable time and resources.

Do you have an idea for a guest post? We’re always looking for FeedBlitz users to contribute their thoughts in the areas of social media, blogging, marketing, branding, and more. Just send an email to Kate with your topic idea and we’ll consider it!