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 four are among the best and most unique tools out there that aren’t being overused and aren’t reaching to get results—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-answer website where users post questions and become part of topic-driven conversations.
The tool works similarly to a social network, so it therefore requires you to create an account and upload a quality photo of yourself. Below is a sample of what a typical question looks like:
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 this 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!
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.
So 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).
Get started on Quora here.
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.
Here is what the iAcquire SlideShare page looks like:
As you can see, 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.
Get started on SlideShare here. Be sure to add a link to your website within your presentations and on your account to help your SEO as well as develop your brand.
While Scribd has been gaining popularity over the last few months, 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.
According to Ahrefs, Scribd users have access to more than 400,000 books from over 900 publishers, including everything from The New York Times to simple how-to articles from user-uploaded posts. For this reason, Scribd costs readers $8.99/month. It works essentially like a digital library compatible for mobile, tablets and even Kindle Fire.
EBooks and other long-form content is 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.
Get started with Scribd here.
Just like Scribd, Topsy 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.
Below is what you will see if you type your brand in the search box and then click the “Influencers” tab on the left-hand side:
As you can see, you don’t have to sort by influencers. You can sort by Links, Tweets, Photos, 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.
If you sort by “Everything,” you will get a score that tells you how often your company is being mentioned on social media and where, which can also be helpful when trying to monitor your brand.
Get started using Topsy here.
Know of other effective tools or platforms for developing your brand visibility? Let us know by commenting below.