Everything you share or display says something about your brand. This includes interactions and content you publish on social networks, blogs and even third-party portals. It all works to build a reputation or personality, which relates back to your organization. Are you quirky? Are you professional? Are you caring?
If you’re not careful, you can give off the wrong signals. That’s where proper marketing and promotion comes into the picture. By taking the initiative, you can carefully craft, hone and optimize the ways your audience sees your brand. More importantly, you can exude your brand’s reputation and personality through the content, information and media you make public.
The question is, how exactly can you do this both efficiently and reliably?
1. Commission Sponsored Content
Informational sites are more popular now than they’ve ever been, and customers flock to them for news, reviews and even product demonstrations — think YouTube. You can leverage this by ordering or purchasing sponsored content to be hosted on a third-party portal.
Sometimes this requires you to pay the content creator, while other times, you can strike a deal, such as offering a free product or promotional discount for their audience. The creator shares their experiences or opinion on your brand and product, effectively exposing your offerings to a wider audience, including their own.
Zig Marketing revealed 67 percent of bloggers claim paid sponsored posts are their most profitable revenue generator, which makes perfect sense. They can charge a lump sum to brands and clients, and in return provide the exposure to gain a leg up on the competition. Remember, this extends to nearly all forms of content, too, including video, infographics and audio — such as podcasts.
2. Crowdsource Your Marketing
Obviously, you’ll want to do some marketing yourself, namely when it comes to building initial awareness about your brand and product. That said, the beauty of the Internet is that you can get plenty of your customers and potential clients to do the work for you, with little to no investment on your part. You will need to provide a compelling and unique product or service, however, so keep that in mind.
This happens naturally too, but there are ways to elevate the frequency. You can run contests on social media, for example, that encourage loyal customers to share and discuss your products. You can offer exclusive deals and offers for referral counts — when a customer refers a certain number of people to your company, they get a reward. Customer loyalty programs also work to this end, by keeping everyone interested and working toward a common goal: rewards points people can redeem for various prizes or promotions.
Real estate professionals and agents use this strategy on sites like Zillow to boost traffic to property listings. By uploading high-quality, video walkthroughs of homes for sale, they can naturally generate more traffic and exposure for their brand. The videos lend themselves well to social shares, online discussions and more.
3. Real-World Events and Meetups
It’s easy to get lost in the realm of digital, especially with everything going mobile or into the cloud these days. But another way to promote and market your brand is through live meetups or events. You could, for instance, host a giveaway at a local bar or coffee shop. This is referred to as experiential marketing or also — though unrelated — event marketing.
How does this tie into a third-party site, you ask? Simple. One of the ways to spread awareness about the event or market the experience is to share it as many places as possible, including third-party sites, social profiles and partner portals. If you want the event to be a success, after all, you need to make sure as many people know about it as possible. You could even involve your third party or partner in the event and make it a joint effort.
When Google decided to donate $5.5 million to Bay Area nonprofits for a philanthropy campaign, they let the public decide where the money should go. People could cast their votes online, but also through large, interactive signs at places like bus stops, restaurants and more.
4. Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
You are likely already aware of affiliate networks and affiliate marketing, primarily because they help you turn your content and marketing streams into an additional revenue source. You essentially include affiliate links in your important content, and clicks or referrals earn you a little extra money.
However, you can leverage these systems in the opposite way, too. By signing up to affiliate networks to promote your brand and website, you can land on third-party sites and portals you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. More importantly, these networks help expose your company and reputation to a wider audience.
Some examples of platforms that offer this service include Commission Junction, Google, Amazon and more.
5. Build a Rapport
Another way to use third-party sites to market your brand and products is to build a rapport with the rest of your industry, just by curating content on your channels. The Huffington Post is one of the most successful examples of this in the current market. They share a variety of content and information, scattered from all over the web, which encourages their audience to return for different reasons. Furthermore, it also encourages others to share their content with the administrators in hopes of getting it viewable in their public platform.
Sure, they publish in-house content, which makes their own stuff all the more valuable. But they also share third-party videos, articles and events, which amounts to a win-win for everyone, including the Huffington team.
6. Enlist Help
Your social media or marketing efforts likely aren’t as robust as you’d like, especially if you don’t have the budget to outsource your efforts. This can be true whether your business is big or small. It also puts a damper on your marketing campaigns, causing them to reach fewer customers and potential clients than if you had more resources.
But you’re forgetting one very important thing here. The beauty of the Internet is that you can enlist help from nearly anyone, or anything. There are automated systems and bots that can market and promote your content while your team is out of the office. Third-party services and tools will help you reach wider audiences. Your loyal customer base will even assist in sharing your content and spreading awareness about your brand if you do things right.
The main point here is that you don’t have to go it alone. The proof’s in the pudding: The fact that we’re even here talking about promoting your brand through third parties is proof enough such a thing is possible.
Maintaining Your Brand’s Personality Comes First
First party, second party, third party, invisible party — none of it really matters in the grand scheme of things. Yes, you can leverage the different media to do various things. Third-party sites, for example, can really help you spread, promote and fine-tune the reputation of your organization.
Ultimately, though, the focus should always be on optimizing and maintaining your brand’s personality. As long as you’re working toward this simple — yet seemingly endless — goal, you should be just fine, and so should your brand.