Image via Wikipedia
by Frank Reed
The Internet helps companies and individuals do many things, not the least of which is the ability to re-create yourself. You may ask why in the world this is important and what’s the connection to content, which is fine. One thing I am learning more and more quickly every day is that EVERYTHING is related to content, whether it’s business or personal. Everything we do from the spoken word to the written word to the unspoken gesture and more is content. If it weren’t for content, we’d have no way to communicate.
As for the ability to turn on a dime and re-create yourself? It’s amazing what can be done in the online space. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many that use this ability to be like a chameleon online so they can get over on people and take advantage of people. I admit that I have fallen victim before myself. That’s not the point here. We’ll only talk about the right way to utilize these tools.
So, back to the ability to re-create yourself. Why would you need to do this in business? You could have a stale brand. You could have an image in the industry for not being very involved. You could be completely new and have a need to simply create your image. Let’s look at some of the ways this can happen.
Brand Lift – If your brand is stale and there hasn’t been much said or written about it in a while, then it’s up to you to get the ball rolling. Press releases about new offerings or re-introductions of existing offerings can serve to ignite some interest in your existing customers. Introducing a Facebook presence does a lot to inject a “modern” feel to your company. Just starting a corporate blog can serve to be enough to ignite your business’ dying embers into a new flame.
Industry Involvement- If you have been on the sidelines for a long time and are now ready to create content that will impact your business, one of the best ways is to volunteer to contribute to industry blogs and magazines. Go to the various associations related to your business and ask for a chance to prove yourself. What have you got to lose if your brand is already stale? Don’t be discouraged if your current image is hindering your ability to get involved. Sometimes it might be best to just write something and then submit the final product to the right parties. It’s harder for them to say no to a finished product especially if it’s strong.
Start a Blog – If you have seen the other parts of this series you will notice that this idea gets mentioned a lot and for good reason. It’s one of the best ways to kill many birds with one stone. You create new content for your site (if the blog is part of your main site), you open the door for feedback from customers and you get a chance to spread your business wings a bit. These are all good things and activities that help inject new life into a struggling entity.
Reverse the Negative – Sometimes, re-creating a company’s presence involves trying to erase online negativity. I worked with a company that had a real problem. If you searched in Google for the company one of the top results was consistently a site whose URL was www.thecompanysucks.com. Needless to say, this didn’t help sales efforts or much else. So what do you do in this case? You need to re-create yourself by creating a variety of different content areas that the search engines can find and index relating to your brand. Over time, these efforts can push down negative items in the search results and lessen their impact. Note: Google has policies that speak to this very situation and they are committed to giving a balanced view of a keyword search if there are pluses and minuses to consider.
As a result, you need to give the engines good reason to rank other content ahead of the negative one. Some ways to accomplish this is through creating other blogs that are not part of your main domain, building out a Flickr account for the company, optimizing all local listings with strong content and even creating other sites using programs like Wet Paint. Blog platforms like Posterous and Tumblr are great options as well.
So, if you have a brand that needs refurbishing, the Internet is the perfect place to create content with intent. You can take your stodgy, stale existing image and polish it up much more quickly and effectively than ever before just from the tools that exist online today.
If you need a brand makeover don’t delay. It’s never to late to start over!