When you think of the most recognizable corporate brands in the world what comes to mind?
For some it might be Apple.
For others it might be Tesla.
Some women might think of Spanx.
Building a corporate brand that stands out in a competitive landscape can be a process that requires a lot of time and resources. If you are a small to mid-sized company competing with large companies, it’s almost impossible to match their hefty marketing budgets.
So how do you differentiate your brand in today’s landscape especially against those larger companies?
You lead with your most unique asset – your people. Just like Apple did with Steve Jobs, Tesla with Elon Musk and Spanx with Sara Blakley.
The thought leaders in your organization are your competitive advantage so position them as the face of your company to capitalize on your differentiator. Below I’m sharing with you three ways you can position your experts at the forefront of your brand.
Curate content from team members
One of the most overwhelming aspects of marketing for a company is the content strategy. It can be the most challenging piece of the marketing puzzle especially if you have one person responsible for producing content for the entire company.
Instead of relying solely on the “company’s voice” for content production, involve your team members to curate content to be featured on the company’s assets. Create an editorial calendar that rotates team members responsible for crafting a blog post that week or filming an education themed video. This keeps a strong consistency for your content strategy and gives it authentic variety.
By rotating content features with each team member, you spread out the content load and responsibility while providing key insights from the top thought leaders in each position. If your team needs direction on what type of content to create, read Brand Strategist Sara Pence’s blog here on building a mission-driven brand.
Let your team drive your online presence
Involving your team members in your content marketing strategy is the first step to building a people-driven brand. The next step is to let your team members be the face of your online presence. When growing a brand, personal social media channels get more traction than a company profiles for many reasons. Social media algorithms now favor personal profiles over company profiles (most now requiring companies to pay for exposure on their platform). Also remember, people no longer want to be marketed to online by companies – they want to learn something from an individual they perceive as an expert in their space.
The smartest thing you can do to see organic growth for your brand online is equipping your team with posts to share to their personal LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Encourage them to add their own commentary and cross share each other’s post. It’s as simple as sending out a weekly email to your team and linking to the exact post you would like them to share. Utilizing this strategy you will see higher engagement, broader reach and more inbound traffic.
Make your team members spokespeople for your brand
Leading with a people-driven marketing strategy opens up more opportunities for earned media for your company. Earned media includes PR interviews, awards and speaking appearances. Journalists are always looking for experts in various fields to feature in stories as a credible source. The more you focus on positioning your people to be ambassadors of your brand the more opportunity you will have to diversify brand awareness and acceleration of trust with your audience.
Encourage your team members to sign up for the free PR tool called HARO which stands for Help A Reporter Out. If you sign up as an expert for HARO, they will send you three emails a day of journalists seeking out experts in various fields you can respond to. Investing in self generated PR like HARO or hiring a publicist can yield long-term results for your brand.