Social media is only one aspect of building a successful brand. There are many more opportunities for driving traffic and garnering customers through content-driven sites, says Blair Thomas of First American Merchant. For instance, “become a subject matter expert in your field, develop a unique voice, and start reaching out to content providers to publish your articles and generate some real, quality leads and brand awareness,” he suggests.
What are some ways you can bring attention to your brand, without social media? BlackEnterprise.com reached out to Thomas and other members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Here’s what some other YEC members had to say.
1. Pitch journalists. PR still works. In fact, it’s how many of our favorite brands have been built. Bloggers and journalists prefer being pitched by a founder more than an agency representative. If you can come up with a truly compelling story of why your company matters to the writer’s audience, that’s your best shot of getting covered—and by extension, getting attention for your brand. – Fan Bi, Blank Label
2. Hold events. Partner with like-minded brands to involve their communities in special events. This is how you garner the attention of your desired audience. Don’t want to plan an event when there’s not something else going on? Integrate into a festival or trade show that’s industry specific. The event can be unofficial, and may end up being awesome. – Alexis Levine, Savvy Media
3. Reach out to product reviewers. There are many product reviewers and bloggers who would love to share your brand on their website. Start by doing a search for the terms “your industry category” and “blog” on Google and Twitter. Copy their website URL and check their website traffic on Alexa.com to see if it’s substantial enough, then reach out to them through the contact section and offer your product for review. – Andy Karuza, FenSens
4. Send direct mail. I know it may sound old school, but direct mailers can put your brand name and logo in front of thousands of people. These can be targeted pieces too. Lob.com is an excellent way to keep the cost of these mailers low. Plus, Google likes when people search for you by brand name, which mailers can help your target audience do. – Brad Cummins, Local Life Agents
5. Pursue channel partnerships. Channel partnerships are one of the fastest ways to grow if you don’t want to utilize social media. Find folks who have a similar audience and negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement where you can access their users. This can be done as referral fees, upsells, cross-sells, etc. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster