One way to build traffic to your company is to answer existing questions your customers are asking.
Another way to build (and you can do them at the same time) is to increase the number of people searching for your brand. Rand Fishkin brought this up recently.
Answering questions is one way to do that, but here are 10 additional ways.
1. Guesting (Blogging, Podcasting, Quotes, etc.)
Guesting is of my favorites. I’ve written about it (guesting) before.
The basic idea is that you’re providing content – some kind of education or entertainment – in return for access to an audience.
Think of an actor that goes on Late Night to tell a short anecdote, participate in a fun game and also chat a little about their upcoming movie.
Or think of an opening music act. They open the show, get the crowd warmed up and entertained for the headliner that comes out later.
The actor and the opening music act aren’t getting paid much, if anything, and may actually suffer a loss when all costs are added up, but it’s a branding effort on their part to get in front of an audience to pitch their product.
As a business, guesting is a great way to get access to audiences that don’t know you exist.
2. Free Stuff
One of the best marketing lessons I’ve learned over the years is that the best marketing dollars you can spend are just giving away your product.
Let’s say you have 50% margin. You can either buy $100 in advertising or whatever or you can give away product equivalent to $200. To you it will still only cost $100, but to the potential customer they’re getting $200 in value.
And they get direct access to what you’re selling. They get to experience it. This is one of the oldest and most successful marketing methods in business history.
Free samples, freemium software, etc.
And you can definitely combine this list of ten. You could combine this one with guesting. Be a guest and offer something for free to the listeners.
You can tap into other audiences by partnering with other businesses. It can be tricky to find another business that isn’t a competitor and that would benefit from partnering with you. You could partner by creating some type of content or by packaging your products together.
If you’re the smaller company with smaller brand awareness you might have to give up more. More product, more time, more effort or whatever, but if their audience is large it can be great exposure and it can increase the searches for your brand on search engines.
I mentioned Rand earlier in the introduction. He was the founder and CEO of Moz, but throughout that time and even after he was CEO he was still kind of a spokesperson for the company and brand. He would speak. He would create videos. He increased awareness for the brand and that increased searches.
The founder or CEO doesn’t have to be the spokesperson. It often is. You see them on commercials and giving interviews and things like that, but there are plenty of brands that have other employees as the spokespeople. It’s just finding the person that is best suited to talk on the company’s behalf.
This encapsulates influencer marketing. You’re paying for access to an audience. You could go big with a very well known person or you could go small with someone that is up and coming or someone that has a small audience, but an audience that really fits with your brand.
You’re seeing a lot of this on Instagram right now. Someone has an audience. A brand pays them to mention their product. The audience sees it and likely searches for the brand.
An increase in branded searches.
6. Social Listening & Engagement
This one takes time and effort and consistency in both of those areas. It’s a long-term strategy, but can yield results pretty early depending on your commitment.
This involves using social media like Twitter and LinkedIn and Instagram and all of them. Searching hashtags and digging into discussions. Finding what your audience is asking and then providing the answers.
Not really selling or talking about your brand. Answering more general questions and being seen as someone that is helpful. A certain percentage will get curious and look at your profile and search for your brand.
7. Forum Listening & Engagement
See social listening above, but in forums. That’s right, those old school forums or chatrooms and all that. They’re still very active and full of people needing answers to their questions.
8. Speaking, Networking
This one is getting out in person and meeting people. It may seem like you’re not doing much by meeting people in person and trying to get them to google your name and your brand name, but it does really work.
And it doesn’t need to be a high volume. If you meet the right people or speak in front of the right audience even a handful of people googling your name, clicking on your website and becoming clients can have great benefit. Not just that they become clients, but that they’re showing Google the value in your brand by searching for it and engaging with it.
Creating your own research. Survey your customers and those in the industry. Compile the data into a report and release it to the industry. You can use this one to increase your likelihood of getting on podcasts and blogs. It definitely takes effort to get people to fill out surveys, but it’s something journalists and executives and most others are really looking for and something they value.
We’ll end with content. Video, audio, text, etc. There are all kinds of things you can create and give away for free with your brand name attached to it that can increase interest in your brand, including searches.
The keys to creating content are consistency – doing it on a regular schedule – and long-term – doing it for years. Most people that get frustrated with their content creation efforts don’t create enough and they don’t commit for doing it long enough.
Increasing branded searches can benefit your company in multiple ways. It can lead directly to business. Someone searches for your brand, finds it, goes to your websites and inquiries. But it also serves as an indicator to Google and other search engines that your brand is valuable and sought after and trustworthy. The more indication you can give search engines that you’re valuable the more likely they are to rank you high for more general terms.
So if you’re a business looking for more organic search traffic the key to it all could be increasing brand awareness for your company and the tips above are great ways to do just that.