How do you go about improving the visibility of your business? Social media?Blogging? Or TV/online advertisements? When all of these can help, every competitor of yours is also doing the same. So how are you going to stand out with your promotional activities?
Here you need to explore innovative ways of putting your business in front of more pair of eyes. Especially when you are running a new business, you need to think differently to keep up with established players who can spend of millions of dollars on branding and advertising.
In this article, I will discuss 5 unconventional, yet powerful ways to improve the visibility of your business. These will help you reach more number of prospects, improve your brand image and differentiate yourself in an ocean of sellers and service providers.
1. Participate and deliver talks in popular conferences in your industry
Conferences give you immense exposure, especially if you want to improve your visibility in new geographies. If your operations are limited to only a few countries, and if you want to enter a new market, delivering talks on topics relevant to your industry in popular conferences is an effective way to introduce your products or services to a new set of audience.
So apply to conferences in your domain where you get an opportunity to take your business in front of potential customers. For example, if you are an IT services firm, try to take part in events conducted by events conducted by analyst firms like Gartner.
But when you get an opportunity, utilize it properly to spread awareness about your company. Following are a few tips to get the maximum benefit out of such talks:
- Choose a hot topic. For example, if you are in the technology sector, take something like ‘How blockchain can disrupt the payments industry’.
- Get your best speakers out there: This is very obvious. Get people who are good presenters, and can engage well with the audience.
- Give something for the audience to takeaway: Don’t just spread your knowledge, ask the listeners to apply it to their business, or read more about it by giving further references.
- Create leads indirectly: Don’t stop yourself from creating any leads from the talk. But do it indirectly. Like, if you are talking about blockchain in the payments industry, invite people to attend a webinar you are going to conduct, that will dive deeper into the topic.
So make sure you leverage this opportunity of addressing your prospects to create more leads for your business.
2. Personal branding of your leaders
Many companies spend a lot on corporate branding, but seldom do they encourage their leaders to be more popular themselves, thereby improving the visibility of the business they represent.
You might have heard about LinkedIn power profiles. They are the most viewed profiles in an year in LinkedIn. You can see Indian LinkedIn power profiles of 2018 here.
Number of views is a signal of popularity, and individuals becoming popular makes the company they work for more known. However, becoming popular on LinkedIn and other social media is only of the ways of personal branding. You can resort to more ways such as given below to improve a personal brand.
- Become an author: There is nothing better than writing a good book when it comes to establishing your credibility and authority. So write a book on a topic relevant to your industry and you are an expert in.
- Become an individual speaker: Delivering talks as an individual is an effective way of enhancing personal brand. Motivation, success, technology etc are some of the most popular topics.
- Get actively involved on business forums and similar bodies: Participate actively in business and finance related forums. It could be a new business forum such as World Entrepreneur Forum, or an independent international organization such as World Economic Forum.
You can also try things like acting as an advisory to the Government in your area of expertise, sponsoring social events (if you can afford them), or even doing a publicity stunt to become popular. The idea is to utilize the personal brand of your leaders to enhance the visibility of your business.
3. Introduce innovative policies focused on mental health and employee welfare
Now you might be thinking how this can help improve a business’s visibility. Do you know that employer brand is one of the most contributing factors to a business’s popularity? Well, it is.
A company’s care for employees brings the right talent to it. Focusing on employee welfare attracts the attention of the job market and aspirants. More people would want to work for your company. With some employer branding activities, you shall be able to position yourself as an organization that has policies and culture in place for creating a highly motivated workforce.
This will help improve your business’s brand and credibility. And if you are able to make it to lists like Forbes best companies to work for, the visibility definitely increases significantly.
4. Send your employees to national and international competitions
International exposure is key to expanding your business beyond the boundaries of your country. And one of the ways to do this is to send your people to take part in international and national level competitions.
PepsiCo’s ‘Change The Game’ is an example for a business case study competition in the area of marketing. It happens every year and has participation from corporates as well as graduate students.
You can find similar competitions in your domain, and send your employees to compete. If they win, the amount of visibility your business will get is limitless. Even if they don’t, such contests act as a platform for them to interact with other business professionals, who could be your potential customers.
5. Contribute to a social cause
Utilizing your company’s resources to contribute to a social cause is a very powerful technique to improve your brand image. P&G’s Shiksha initiative is an example of such, and it has helped to elevate the status of P&G to a company that cares for the society.
And if you are able to relate that cause to your organization’s core values, that will help you outline a brand story with emotional elements in it.
Let us take an example to understand how you can do it.
Assume you are a textile wholesaler based out of India, and you supply apparel to some of the top retailers in the country. You source a portion of your textile (especially khadi and silk) from villages across India. Items made out of silk are one of your major categories. Now how can you outline your mission to align with a social cause?
You might be knowing that the village textile industry in India is depleting, especially the handloom silk industry. Given this, one of your missions could be to support the industry by sourcing majority of your items from villages.
And you can run a campaign focused specifically on the handloom silk industry, by using taglines like “Source and save silk” which aims at sourcing more handloom silk than factory-made silk.
Similarly, see how you can design a mission for your business that works for a social cause, and align your marketing campaigns with it. This will help improve the visibility of your business to a large extent.
That wraps up my 5 unique ways to improve the visibility of your business. Try these along with your traditional methods. You shall start seeing positive results in a few months time.
Or are you already using any of these in your business? Let me know in the comments section.