Monday, February 20, 2012

Using Online Communities to Create Brand Awareness - Part 2

This is Part 2 of my thoughts on Using Online Communities to Build Brand Awareness.  Last time I discussed how online communities help you build credibility and general awareness about your products and brand.  This time I want to discuss how online communities help you create SEO-aware content, and how they can help you build customer satisfaction.

Many marketing directors don't realize that as you are building awareness through your community posts, you are also creating SEO-aware content.  All posts and comments are index-able.  Search engines such as Google are able to look through and "store" your posts from an online community.  Because these posts are on a website other than your own, Google gives this content more weight, since it considers content about you on other websites more relevant.  As a result, your brand name and product information move up in ranking within relevant search results. 

Google also looks for links back to your website.  Make sure to put the address of your website in your signature.  This insures that your website's address is always displayed with every post, and that it is indexed as many times as possible when a search engine crawls the online community's site.

As you post more searchable content, it becomes easier for existing customers to find information that may help them solve problems.  Online communities are a great way to get involved in the first steps of basic customer service issues.  You can use the posts of others as an opportunity to acknowledge issues with your product.  You can also show your willingness via the public domain to serve the customer and create a positive brand experience.  However, remember that people tend to be more vocal on the internet, because it's a more anonymous experience.  You must always write posts that are calm, clear, and emotion free.  Use positive language, but never "beat around the bush" when a clear acknowledgement of a problem is best.

Remember that today being a part of online communities is necessary when marketing digitally, because it gives you a direct opportunity to build credibility, build awareness, create SEO-aware content, and address customer service issues.


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  2. Authentic communications that describe events, opinions, and information in ways that others know and can identify with the individuals within our organization, as well as our brand as a whole.
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