1. Update your company’s digital footprint. An active digital presence from your company is vital. Journalists, publications, and industry leaders want to see valuable content, an active social media trail, a fresh brand story, and a website that has a simple overview of what your product or service is. We all know this. But how many times have you clicked onto a website tab that leads to a broken link? Or visited a startup’s Facebook page and notice there’s absolutely no engagement?
Take the time to Google your company and really play detective. See what pops up and evaluate what needs editing, added, or deleted. Does your Wikipedia page need an update? (Do you even have a Wikipedia page?) Does your blog content reflect what you want your startup to represent? Is your last Tweet circa 2014? Did you recently launch a new product and it’s not featured on your company’s website? Are you ignoring customer’s questions posted on your company’s Facebook page? Do you need to film a higher quality product video? Let’s be real, does your site just simply need a complete face lift?
Pro tip: Depending on how many people are on your team or how many changes you’ve decided to make — this step can take awhile. With that being said, do not rush this crucial step. I suggest creating a realistic to-do list and divide them into smaller tasks. So instead of “revamp entire website” break it into pieces with deadline dates: upload new product images (Tuesday), update mission statement (Thursday), add an “About Us” page (Friday), link Instagram feed (Friday). Knowing specifically what you have to change and by when will reign in more productivity and you’ll have a clearer estimate of when it all will be completed.
2. Publish and repurpose relevant content. Valuable content is a great way for a journalist to peek beyond your products or services to see what topics are important specifically to you. It allows them to connect the dots and think about what story they can potentially unfold. For consistency and variety, stick with specific themes to write about that best describes your brand’s voice. For example, Kiip’s main themes are mobile marketing, startup tips, thought leadership pieces in the digital space, and Kiip culture. After publishing your posts, share it on social media — but also on platforms like StumbleUpon or Medium that can boost more organic traction long-term. Here’s a full list of sites where you can repurpose your content.
Pro tip: Create a process to welcome influencers to write guest posts for you and also search for industry blogs you’d like to write for. Offer a blog post trade to steer away from content costs. Besides gaining more unique views, this will diversify your brand’s voice and bring balance to your content style. For a higher response rate, target companies that are around the same size and also in the same industry as you, yet not a direct competitor.
3. Make data your best friend. I repeat, make data your best friend. This piggyback’s onto the idea of creating valuable content. Depending on your business, track the appropriate numbers that will create powerful stories for your startup and help back-up the points that you want to get across. Don’t just state how wonderful your product is, prove it. Once you build enough of a budget, have an outside marketing research firm create a report to help tell the story you need for more credibility on the numbers you’re dishing out. For example, here’s a Nielsen report proving that Kiip outperforms the mobile awareness benchmark norm by 9x.
Pro tip: Keep your audience engaged with visual appealing graphs and charts. With society’s attention span shrinking, you need readers to quickly understand what you’re explaining. Also, creative assets are a whole lot more enticing to share on social media.
4. Join in on the conversation. Now that your website is close to perfection and your blog content is on a roll, it’s time to join in on the conversation with other industry leaders, influencers, and brands. This brings more awareness to your company, but also positions you as a thought leader. Join weekly Twitter chats, comment on LinkedIn posts and articles on Facebook, and share your thoughts on a company’s blog post. This can also create leads for guest posts or co-marketing events. Feel free to mention your company, but keep in mind that nothing is more annoying than someone dropping a random list of links just to gain traction. So when commenting, try your best not to promote your company in a spam-like way. Make sure you’re commentary is relevant to the topic at-hand and share something genuinely valuable.
Pro tip: Get verified on social media. Not only will that little blue check mark validate that you’re the official account, but it also exudes a professional presence. There’s also a few perks when you’re verified. For example, on Facebook you could immediately notify your followers when hosting live video chats. Also, your comments will immediately rise to the very top on any post — which will bring traction straight to your page.
5. Create real life presence and leadership. Yes folks, it’s time to stop hiding behind your laptops and implement actual human interaction — real “face time” that doesn’t involve your smartphone. I know that we live in a digital world, but it’s wise to create an “offline” calendar for your company. Sure, this can eat a lot more of your time or take a big bite out of your marketing budget, but nothing builds brand awareness and business relationships like real life moments.
Turn your successful Twitter chats into actual discussion panels. When joining industry conferences or events, effectively network and ask questions during Q+A’s. Submit your CEO or other execs into speaking engagements and podcasts. Apply your company to run for relevant industry awards. Host intimate networking parties during popular conference dates. See if local startups are interested to hear from anyone from your team for an afternoon “lunch and learn” session. Schedule coffee dates with important stakeholders to keep your startup on their radar. The point is to leverage from your meaningful connections and create a valuable benefit for everyone involved.
Pro tip: Not only will this beef up your company’s presence and potentially create business leads, but this can also reign in more digital content. Just as you would repurpose your blog content, repurpose your startup’s real life interactions. Live tweet your favorite quotes during panel discussion or keynotes with the appropriate conference hashtag. Write a recap of the “marketing lunch and learn” session you just hosted. Film your CEO’s speaking engagements and upload it on YouTube. Actually contact the people you met and see if they’re interested in writing a guest post or hosting a co-marketing event with you. Tag and follow the companies and individuals that you meet on social media, not only in hopes that they’ll follow you back— but to stay connected for future industry or marketing tips.
Do you have other tips you live by to create buzz? Let us hear about them!