5 Under-Utilized Tools to Make the Most of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Plain and simple, sometimes you need help building your brand visibility. You will find a lot of advice out there about developing your brand through various content strategies and social approaches, and while this is still incredibly important, sometimes it takes a little creativity to set your brand apart from the rest.
Not surprisingly, there are quite a few tools claiming to help build your brand (some with a hefty price tag). Which tools actually work and which are trying to make something out of nothing? I’ve got you covered.
The following five are among the best and most unique tools out there. And each is basically under-utilized. They’ve worked for me and they can work for you. While visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram are great for improving your visibility and developing your brand as an authority, these four tools can be just as effective when used right.
I’ve been writing about the importance of Quora since it launched in 2009. Former CTO of Facebook Adam D’Angelo created the tool, so you will find big names using this site including Matt Cutts, Mark Zuckerburg, and various other CEOs and managers of major companies. Quora is a question-and-answer website where users post questions and become part of topic-driven conversations.
The tool works similarly to a social network, so it requires you to create an account and upload a quality photo of yourself.
So let’s break this down…
Once you have a Quora account, there are a few different things you can do:
- Answer questions related to your brand. You can search for specific questions and keywords, such as your company name, and then answer those questions. This gets you involved in the community. Even if a question isn’t about your brand specifically but relates to your niche, you can help build visibility for your company by showing your expertise and answering the question.
- Find related questions easily. As you can see, on the right-hand side of a question will be other related questions that you may want to answer to share your expertise.
- When you answer a question, the company name is shown. Although Quora may seem more like personal branding than company branding, the company name and position of the person answering is clearly displayed. This helps develop a company brand through an individual.
- Follow questions and keywords. The green “Follow Question” button shows that I have not yet followed the question. But in the bottom left-hand corner in the Question Stats, I can see that three people have. If I wanted to follow the question, I would simply click the button and would then receive a notification each time someone answered the question. This is ideal if you do find a question directed at your specific company.
- Vote for the best answers, which will push them to the top. If people vote for your answer, it will be pushed to the top. To vote, all someone has to do is click the “Upvote” button at the bottom of an answer. The more votes you get, the better visibility for your brand.
Once you get comfortable searching for questions and answering them, there are a few other things you can do to help develop your brand even further:
- Follow specific users. This is a big reason that it’s so important to keep your profile updated and stay active. Quora users can follow you specifically, and all it takes is clicking your name or photo to learn more. If someone does visit your profile and chooses to follow you, it means that each time you answer or ask a question (discussed below), the follower will get a notification. Below is an example of a Quora profile and what I would see if I wanted to follow this person:
- Ask questions. Your next step is to post questions. This will create a dialog between you and your community. To ask a question, click the “Add Question” button on the top right-hand corner of the page. Below is a screenshot of what happens when you want to ask a question. As you can see, before anyone answers, I’m offered suggestions of profiles to ask directly. As a brand, you want to show up here!
All of this and SEO too?
It’s also worth noting that Quora answers will often rank on Google because, by nature, the website is all about asking and answering questions, which is typically how search queries work. In fact, Google has been working to change its algorithms to cater more toward the natural questions that are asked in the search box through things like semantic search.
It’s great to know what your target customers are asking online. And being able to give answers on behalf of your brand is a highly effective way to tie SEO and sales. Such a strategy drives both sales and higher rankings. It is a good idea to use these questions to build up your on-site knowledge base. This in turn will generate search engine traffic to your site. You can also turn those questions into lead magnets (i.e. downloadable checklists and flowcharts visualizing answers and steps to solve related problems).
You may also want to read: How to Create A Knowledge Base Portal That Your Customers Will Love
What about an account for your brand?
As you might have noticed, most of the ways you use Quora focus on individuals who are speaking for a brand as opposed to a brand speaking directly to the Quora community.
While you can create an account for your brand and use a logo as your image, most of the answers voted to the top are by individuals. This does not mean that you are not developing your company brand, it just means that on this particular platform, it’s easier to develop your brand through an individual (and it doesn’t hurt that your personal brand is always being improved).
SlideShare is a great way to get your content out there on another platform that typically ranks well in the Google SERPs. It’s also an excellent tool for showing what you know and aligning your content with that of other industry leaders. SlideShare has more than 60 million unique visitors each month, and according to the company, they are the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and are among the 120 most visited websites in the world.
To create a SlideShare presentation, you will need to have PowerPoint or a presentation program that can create a PDF, ODP (OpenOffice), or PPT file. You can also convert existing content into a SlideShare presentation.
You have a few options (many of which are very similar to Quora), including following SlideShare accounts. Just as with Quora, it’s important you keep your profile updated in case users want to follow your company, and it’s even more important to get active by following other companies or influencers in your niche. Comment and engage to help develop your brand on this platform.
While Scribd has been gaining popularity over the last few years, it’s still a unique gem that many brands overlook. Scribd is a document-sharing website enabling you to upload your content for a community of readers. Many businesses shy away from this tool because it seems more like a platform for novels or books, but it has been gaining speed when it comes to “how-to” advice and business articles.
Scribd costs readers $9.99/month. It works essentially like a digital library and is compatible with mobile, tablets, and even Kindle Fire.
EBooks and other long-form content are a great way to use this resource. Again, much like Quora, this is a platform where your company brand will gain visibility through an individual. Whatever you upload will be available for 80 million monthly readers around the world, so you want your company name on all of the content that is published.
Just like Scribd, Buzzsumo has been getting more popular, but still goes unnoticed by many. Mainly, the tool is used to help you find influencers in your industry.
In terms of brand development, this can be used to monitor what influencers are saying about your company, which allows you to respond back and keep your brand engaged and involved in industry discussions. You can also see what else influencers are discussing to decide if you should jump in. In other words, it’s a great way to find opportunities.
You can sort by links, shares, engagements, etc., and all of the information is grabbed from social media. However, sorting by influencers is the best way to develop your brand. To put it simply, the more you know, the more you can control.
5. Text Optimizer
Finally, one tool that I use every single day still remains unknown to many businesses. Text Optimizer is my ultimate source of content ideas. I use it on all stages of my content creation process: From ideation to optimizing my content.
Run it when deciding what to write about, and then once your draft is more or less ready, rerun it to see what you have failed to cover.
It is a great tool to ensure your content is in-depth and covers your target topic in full.
Finally, all the above tools will be useful for those brands that already have websites. This one is for those who are still looking to digitize their businesses or launch new projects.
Namify is an innovative tool helping you to find a new brand name that will be relevant and memorable. Simply type your core keyword and select your business category to generate a list of business names to choose from:
I love how easy this tool makes it to launch a new site because your chosen brand name will come with a free logo. The tool will also check your brand names on major social media platforms helping you to find a name that will be easy to brand across all channels.
Did I mention the tool is totally free?
When it comes to digital marketing, discovering new tools is key to keeping your strategy fresh and effective. New tools offer you new insights.
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Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_wrightstudio‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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