Traditionally, including your name in just about every piece of content you generate was the best way to increase brand awareness of your company and products. What advertisers don’t anticipate is how this subtle suggestion can become overwhelming spam. Consumers who have a brand shoved down their throat might be averse to invest in its services in the future.
Today, we need to rely less on brand saturation and more on delivering exceptional, useful content. So, when is it best to hold back, and when is it ok to go a little overboard?
Your own site is your domain
Many of the old laws of branding still hold true, as far as your company’s website is concerned. Although you still don’t want to wallpaper every page with your logo, displaying it prominently is crucial. Since most readers start reading in the top left corner and then move downward and across as they go, place your company’s logo in the top left corner.
Make sure to mention your brand often in the site’s central content— About page, Services pages, contact form, etc. Include your name in the header and in a number of the subheads, with a light sprinkling throughout your body paragraphs. Work with tags, too, so that when someone searches for a company that sells sportswear, for instance, your equipment company will come up by tag association.
This will help bring in traffic that is searching for your company by name. Avoid namedropping yourself in your blog posts. If they’re already on the site by way of your blog, they can usually find their way to conversion without an extra shove.
Posting to neutral party websites
Most social media platforms have very lenient posting guidelines, but this should not be taken as an invitation to upload content that’s swimming in brand propaganda. If anything, forget about your brand when creating posts, taking pictures, or capturing video. Focus on your target audience instead.
If your consumers are teenagers who love to go to the movies, post videos that parody the latest blockbusters. If your audience is mostly investors who seek out tech startups, write a brief review of your favorite new startup on Facebook.
One of the advantages of marketing with social media is that you can always link to your brand’s website in a description or caption. It’s the topic, picture, or video that will draw them in, not the brand name.
If you are looking to post your content on a website that gets serious exposure, you may have to jump through a few hoops. Many of these sites see thousands of submissions a month, so they implement specific guidelines.
Say you want your brand name to appear in the meat of the article. You will probably have to pay for a post like that. This gets your name out there, but readers are less likely to trust a sponsored post over one from a source who appears genuinely interested in delivering expert advice. Even if you do write a sponsored post, don’t sacrifice quality for a shout out to your business— another point that could make readers leave before they check out your site.
Writing a non-sponsored guest article is the more cost-effective route. Most blogs will let you include a hyperlink or two back to your landing page, but they frown on using your company’s name explicitly. Even though this limits your brand visibility, it still helps with backlinks, which increase traffic in a number of ways.
Stick to the guidelines, write a well-researched article, and you’ll soon find that brand awareness will come about naturally this way, whether or not you get your name on third party websites.
Your company is more than a brand
Advice that flies in the face of what we’ve known seems intuitively foolish at first. You trust your instincts and you trust in brand awareness. But what you’re selling, and getting it to the people who need it, is more important than spreading your name across the internet. If you’ve got your name on the side of a building, nobody will care if they don’t know what you do. Show them what you do by bringing content to your audience that makes your expertise unquestionable.