Everyone is trying to do everything with their brands these days. There’s so much content competing for clicks and attention real estate every moment of every day in every category. Competition is inevitable. Inundation is everywhere. So what can we do about it? I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in the content machine and forget what really matters, and that’s providing value to people. Not every company can be BuzzFeed or Adweek or Facebook or Wendy’s. Sometimes it’s best to start simple and distinct, then expand from there as you grow. Here are some ways to grow your brand by doing just that.
- Start With A Minimalist Business Model
Keep your content lean with a single product or service if possible. You have less maintenance, less overhead, and less need for employees. You can keep your website simple, your services simple, and your work streamlined. And hey, you can always expand.
- Post Consistently And On Target
People are fickle. We get irritated at the slightest of things that make us unsubscribe or unfollow brands. We’re so inundated with content it can feel like a burden just to follow a page if it’s not delivering what we want. Keep your content digestible and on target. Don’t get swept into the day-to-day cultural winds.
- Create Referral Incentives
People love being rewarded. Give them something to do or somewhere to go. Dropbox has mastered this with their program that gives users more free storage space when they refer a friend. Get the audience involved by giving them something.
- Encourage Word of Mouth
Rather than pushing promos to get new customers or subscribers or “likes,” encourage people to spread the word about your brand. If it’s truly worthwhile, word will spread. People hate being pressured to opt-in to things. Ads can only go so far. In the world of Internet culture and marketing, if it’s good, it gets around.
- Be Entertaining In A Real Way
I hate the word “authentic” because it’s been obliterated by marketing-speak to now mean absolutely nothing. But be real. Find people to represent your brand that align with your values, but are also genuinely entertaining and up-to-date with their cultural demographics. These days you need to be immersed in the culture to be entertaining in any way that isn’t too try-hard or fellow-kids-like.
- Make Some Memories
People go to countless restaurants, visit countless websites, follow countless accounts, and have countless interests. One of the best ways to stand out from the clutter is by creating a distinct memory. Some retail outlets do this by offering raffles or “wheel of fortune” style games to customers for free products or coupons. Some websites will have a pop-up when you visit to give you an exclusive deal customized for you. Some hotels and banks give people free cookies for coming in. These methods get people talking and sharing your brand. The more unique and creative of a memory you can create, the more effective you’ll be.