Branding: Are you getting all of it right?
I have always been amazed by the power people can have on an organization's brand image.
A recent post I read by Matt B. Britton reinforced this. His message that "The new brands are people" cannot be truer today. How many times have you googled the guy you just met at a tradeshow, a networking event, or even just in the lift of your office building? How many times have you judged the brand they are working with on the basis of their online profile? Well, no doubt your customers are doing the same.
We have had many, many cases over the years where brands have disassociated themselves from people not because of a drop in performance, or "professional differences", but because these people stopped being strong representatives of the values and the image the brand had created for itself.
So as a marketer myself, I believe in addition to your usual marketing campaigns, PRs, product launches and CSR activities, you NEED to concentrate on your team who your clients/prospects are most likely to google up. If your company portrays itself as a trendsetter in the industry, do the thoughts and ideas your team shares online resonate the same?
Here are few places that can help you rake up the branding of your people:
The first search result on Google in most cases is the link to person's LinkedIn profile. And there, the most important part is the activity section. Apart from person's professional and educational background, the activity section reveals what content your team member has created and shared.
Your goal should be to ensure that this section shows as much value as possible. Help them create content that they can publish. Suggest content that you think they should not just be sharing, but penning(typing) down their thoughts on before hitting share. Get those followers figure rising. And this will, in turn, result in your company's followers increasing.
- Content Itself
Want to establish your people as thought leaders in the industry? Flood the online world with their content. Many of the renowned publishers are happy to receive contributions if they are in tune with what their audience would like to read and gives them something substantial.
Do your research thoroughly before you create content and approach a media. Creating good relationships with them will ensure you have a reliable, guaranteed medium to use everytime you have something to talk about. Screw this up, and your content will not get picked up, even if its good. So tread carefully.
- Speaking Opportunities
A crowd paying to listen to someone speak is the nirvana of personal marketing. And if you have achieved this, congrats. You have a dedicated audience to influence and endorse your brand among their network.
But if you haven't reached there yet, then get there. Through regular speeches, media interviews, and online content, you can get your team of influencers prepped up. Start somewhere and learn along the way what works and doesn't work for your industry.
So those were three areas I think you should definitely be concentrating on if you want your team to be google worthy. Of course, these are not the only ones. But here is something to start off with, if you are not doing it already.
If people marketing is already something you have clearly identified and are working towards in your organization, then do share what has worked and what has failed for you. Would love to discuss these.
image source: http://www.appletoncreative.com/2013/07/12/effective-social-media-marketing-how-to-turn-satisfied-customers-into-brand-advocates/