Webinars - Featured Articles

October 25, 2011

Webinar - Webinar Explores the Power of Building Your Brand through Online Communities

Building out your brand online can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you lack the necessary tools to ensure a consistent message to support a valuable brand.

TCMnet recently hosted a free webinar, “Building Your Brand, Get the Sales: Lead Generation and Advertising Tactics for Online Communities.” This event included industry insight from Jon Miller (News - Alert) of Marketo as he shared important tips and tools for companies seeking to leverage a strong position online.

“The building blocks to a strong brand include consistency, reliability and trustworthy initiatives,” said Miller as the webinar got underway. This consistency, reliability and trustworthiness are critical in all online marketing efforts.

“The new world of online advertising and lead generation has its challenges,” said Miller. “Advertising your brand and generating leads online is vital to your company’s survival. It’s a tricky game, one that requires a balance of sales messages with education and thought leadership. Adding to that, there’s an abundance [of companies] online, all competing for the same top positions on search engines.”

Miller offered his top nine tips to building your brand online:

1.      Develop and distribute powerful, educational content

2.      Have an easily recognizable brand

3.      Engage with your audience

4.      Establish a presence on industry sites, communities, etc.

5.      Be in control – own the conversations

6.      Integrate, integrate, integrate

7.      Mix online and offline initiatives

8.      Survey and ask questions

9.      Be patient

Among the participants for this particular webinar, a real-time survey found that 55.8 percent are using e-mail for prospecting; 18.6 percent are using online registrations; 4.6 percent are using Pay-per-Click; 6.9 percent are using social media; and 13.9 percent are using other forms not listed here.

The most common channels within the industry used for prospecting include e-mail at 85 percent, online registrations at 48.1 percent, PPC at 37.7 percent and social media at 65.7 percent. Other common lead generation activities include thought leadership and content marketing, organic SEO efforts, online communities, company website optimization, tradeshows/telemarketing and outbound campaigns.

Social media has a strong uptake among the industry survey, yet not among webinar participants, Why should your company do social media? According to DigitalBuzz, more than 97 percent of people say that social media has influenced their decision to make a purchase of a brand or product. And, over 22 percent of people follow a brand on Twitter (News - Alert) for interesting and entertaining content.

How can you use online tools – such as social media and communities – to drive leads? Try Miller’s five steps to using online communities for lead generation and branding:

1.      Get people to your community (SEO, content)

2.      Have a consistent message/branding

3.      Get people engaged on your community

4.      Get people to trust you

5.      Provide continuous lead nurturing content to turn prospects into buyers

By following Miller’s tips and steps for building a valuable presence online, you can better position your brand for strong market growth. The key is to identify and use the right tools. Want to know more? Check out this webinar in full and you’ll learn how to extend out the value of your brand for market dominance.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin