The following is a guest post contribution by Burkhard Berger
Getting a stamp of approval from powerful sites like Inc, Fast Company, Mashable and Huffington Post will mark you as a trusted source in your industry.
These media sites attract hundreds of thousands of readers daily. Getting your brand mentioned on authoritative, reputable sites can help improve your website traffic and organic ranking.
What are Brand Mentions?
Brand mentions are references to a company, product, event, or service online without a clickable link. You’ll often find these mentions in blog posts, news articles, product reviews, educational content, and podcast transcripts.
Years ago, brand mentions were a hot topic in the world of digital marketing. Endless companies were looking to attain them for instant exposure from big publications or people online. Although these mentions may not include a hyperlink, they still play a key role in improving your search visibility.
Brand mentions can come in different forms. They can be tags on social media platforms like this:
Or they can be review posts like this one:
Any business can benefit from a brand mention. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, a niche SEO agency, or even a personal brand. It’s basically free exposure to the followers of the individual who mentioned your business.
Imagine being mentioned by Oprah Winfrey in one of her social media accounts. For reference, she has 19.9 million followers on Instagram and 43.2 million on Twitter.
If Oprah makes a tweet or a post about your product or service, your business is guaranteed to go up from there. Why? Because of Oprah’s influence and followers.
Now think of how many people are there that have the same status as Oprah – the “Oprah” in your niche and industry and the “Oprah” of publications.
Can you now imagine the opportunities that a single brand can do for your business?
If this excites you, check out our are four effective ways on how to get your brand mentioned:
1. Leverage Your Connections
Your connections on social media or email lists can point you in the right direction when you’re looking for brand mentions.
If you’re active on LinkedIn, then you can leverage your LinkedIn connections to get introduced to the right editors and contributors across your target sites.
Beyond tapping into your connections on social media, what about your happy clients? You can also ask them to introduce you to an editor friend.
When you’re in business, leverage every connection you have. Reach out to people that matter in your life and business. Don’t underestimate your connections and friends. Tell them you’re expanding your reach, and you’re working hard to get brand mentions and features on larger media sites in the future.
The more people you bring up to speed with your plan, the higher your chances of reaching your goals.
2. Follow the Editors and Contributors of Your Favorite Media Sites on Twitter
For those who don’t know, Twitter is the cocktail party of the internet. It’s where you can jump into conversations and mingle with other people from different places. It’s the social media platform where you can try to have a conversation with people as big as Elon Musk:
Twitter is a goldmine for amplifying your reach across media sites. If you already have identified media sites you want to be featured on, start following their editors and contributors.
You can get an editor’s info when you dig around publication websites. You can also find the writers’ Twitter handles in their author bio or from a Google search.
You can follow these people on Twitter, comment on their posts, share their content, ask intelligent questions and retweet them. If you see them hosting business webinars or participating in an industry event, you can attend and ask questions.
Remember the objective of following the editors and contributors on Twitter. You want to get closer, be on their radar, and hopefully, they see your business and get a mention.
Another big benefit of following editors and writers on social media is that they’ll post when they’re accepting pitches or looking for sources, which enables you to identify opportunities.
There might be specific topics the media sites are looking to reference or cite in their upcoming articles. Better yet, if you have a useful resource (or comprehensive blog posts) already, you can share it with them.
For example, if a writer was working on an article about how to write effective PR pitches, The company Fractl could present their study related to this topic: “What 1,300 Publishers Want From Your PR Pitches.”
3. Engage Your Audience With Useful Social Media Posts
Wherever your target audience is, you should be there as well. If the demographics for your business are students, you should be analyzing where they spend their time online. You should be mindful of their behavior, read resources about them, and even go to the extent of surveying a small group to really understand this demographic.
The same goes for any age group or gender, the more you understand them, the better your engagements are with them.
But in this day and age, no matter what your business’ demographic is, your audience spends a lot of time on social media — a place where you should be as well. Most brand mentions are driven by a brand’s activity on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
So, if you want to increase your chances of getting brand mentions on your favorite media sites, it’s time to get serious with posting useful and engaging content on social media.
Staying active on Twitter, in particular, is important for getting brand mentions. Even in small niches, you should be able to share helpful information with users consistently.
As a brand, you need to increase your footprints online via social interactions. Responding in social media doesn’t have to be limited to good reviews, responding to bad ones allows you to show your customers that you care about their opinion. Even big brands like McDonald’s take time to answer every negative tweet about their food.
Since it’s impossible to know what every person writes about you, it’s important to track brand mentions using appropriate social listening tools like Mentions or Brand Mentions.
When you share useful information on Twitter, your audience can help amplify the voice of your brand. As they repost, comment, retweet, and engage with your post, media sites will take notice. And if the post is truly newsworthy and important, there’s a chance they’ll share, promote, mention it or even link to it.
A perfect example of this would be a tweet from a local deli shop in Chicago:
The owner of Manny’s Deli tweeted that they’ll be giving a free sandwich to anyone who shows up wearing a mask. This was a great initiative because a lot of people weren’t wearing masks in public even though the virus was still active.
CNBC Chicago – a very big media and publication site, took notice of this tweet. And with this, they created an article solely for this initiative.
Now for anyone in Chicago who didn’t know about Manny’s Deli before, I’m sure they’ve heard of it now.
This just shows the power of social media and brand mention. Remember that editors and contributors frequent social groups and communities to see what’s trending. Your brand or content might catch an editor’s attention. The more you post on social media, the more footprints you leave behind for your brand to be discovered and mentioned across key websites.
Ensure your social media page is active and lively. Share content from your blog or other important pages within your website.
Also, share a quote you like, or make an update about your recent product or event. This is a great way to create connections with influencers in your industry.
4. Get Brand Mentions With User Generated Content (UGC)
User-Generated Content (UGC) is content that your target audience creates about your brand, product, or event. It could be reviews, comments, or a post about your services.
An example of this would be customers sharing their feedbacks on review sites:
When users start to talk about your brand everywhere, there’s a chance you’ll be discovered better across social media, blogs, and online forums.
Don’t forget that editors and writers are following along and listening to what your audience is sharing. This can earn you several brand mentions on media sites. Let me show you an example.
One of my favorite examples is Marketo, a B2B marketing automation software that has earned 1,000+ brand mentions as a result of happy customer reviews. Here’s one mention at Techcrunch:
This proves that user-generated content is powerful and popular on the internet. 80% of users agree it adds a human touch to marketing.
What people say about your brand or website is more powerful than what you’ll ever say. Online consumers trust other people’s recommendations. They hate advertising that comes directly from the brand.
When customers are saying something about your brand on social media, for example, it can spark conversations that will get the attention of editors, contributors, journalists, bloggers, and of course, huge sites.
A great example is Bluehost, a company that offers cheap hosting. Having generated a lot of content from users, it’s been featured on Wikipedia with no link. That’s exactly what Google wants.
Aside from the mention, you can get traffic and see improved rankings from these credible websites. Plus you might get the attention of a business manager or founder who’s connected with a customer who shared your tweet or posted about your new product on LinkedIn.
Here are some of the proven ways to motivate customers to spread the word about your brand on social media:
- Host contests: When you host a contest, you encourage your customers to share your products with their friends using specific hashtags. Of course, there should be prizes up for grabs.
- Use fun hashtags: It’s important to use hashtags in your marketing efforts. Millennials, in particular, love to share new products with others. To inspire them, create fun-sounding hashtags they can use on social media.
- Offer discounts: A simple way to boost your sales is by offering discounts. Customers can win discounts if they share your content, products, and services with others.
Don’t let user-generated content (UGC) from your customers and social media fans go to waste.
Get the momentum started by sharing what customers say about your brand on your timeline. If you’re happy about it, then share it.
This will increase your chances of getting more brand mentions on sites like Mashable, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Forbes, you name it.
Pro tip: If you noticed that your brand has been mentioned by an industry blog that’s not a media site, don’t discard it. Why? Because an industry blog is relevant and their audience may be interested in your company. So, try and claim an unlinked mention from such a blog.
For example, Zendesk, a B2B Customer Service Software could claim this unlinked mention from a smaller site like Groovehq.com.
It’s a lot easier to get in touch with the blog owner or author — since the writer is probably the editor — unlike what’s obtainable with larger sites like Mashable.
5. Show Your Expertise
A way to get a brand mention is to display your expertise. People who don’t know much about a certain topic will gravitate to the pros in that field.
And one way to show your expertise is through blogs. One example is this blog: Medical Alert Buyer’s Guide. Being in the medical niche, they’ve shown their expertise by educating their readers with articles like these:
Another example of this would be Aura – an Amazon repricing software. The business shows its expertise by constantly writing blogs about all things Amazon selling. And because of this, a lot of bloggers in the space constantly gives them mentions:
If an editor were to be interested in this space, they’d look for businesses that have generated results. So if you’ve produced results with previous clients before, make sure to display them on your site.
Getting brand mentions is not an easy task to do, but it’s far from impossible. By following the 5 ways above, you increase your chances of getting mentioned by your desired media sites. It might not happen immediately but with enough effort and engagements, it just might happen in the near future.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on www.awesomex.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.