4 alternatives to an edgy messaging campaign

Are you worried that a bold message will alienate some of your audience—or create a PR crisis? Here are some small ways to start building your following without courting catastrophe.

There’s nothing wrong with a bold, edgy communications campaign.

However, not every brand feels comfortable with the associated risk. For many, when a campaign fails, that simply mean your tactics weren’t as successful as you would have liked. Sure, they didn’t achieve the level of success you wanted, but they didn’t adversely affect the brand’s integrity, either.

Consistently working on proven digital communications channels and tactics—SEO, content marketing, social media, etc.—can deliver similar results as a large-scale, more controversial campaign.

True, it might take a bit longer. However, the results can outshine what a large campaign may deliver.

Here are ideas on how to get started:

1. Launch consistent content marketing campaigns.

Content has always played a critical role in communications.

For example, the aim of the press release was to help brand managers inform audiences about recent developments. Other branded content introduces products to potential buyers, and so on.

Blog posts, guest posts, ebooks, whitepapers, podcasts, videos and other content types help brands show up in front of their target audience, continuously and consistently. This way, you imprint your brand in their mind, attract them to your website—and potentially affect their buying choices.

2. Use big content to generate media awareness.

Content offers an opportunity to gain valuable media exposure.

By publishing reports or any data-driven content, you help generate media mentions, reposts, quotes, and you can drive more brand awareness.

3. Implement SEO Strategy for the buyer journey.

Today, customers typically begin their buying journey using a search engine. They Google information about their problem, hoping to learn more about available solutions.

For that reason alone, gaining visibility and securing online real-estate has become the primary goal for many businesses. The more people who find their brand while going through the buying journey, the greater the chance for conversion and sales.

Many digital communications and content specialists work closely with SEO teams to ensure the content they promote is optimized for relevant keywords and promoted to optimize links and mentions to boost their domain authority and ranking.

4. Initiate conversations on social media.

Social media can bring brands and customers so much closer to each other.

It allows both sides to have meaningful discussions which can convert into lasting business relationships. As communications professionals, we can initiate many of those, drawing the audience closer.

Twitter chats regularly attract hundreds of participants, and they can speak to a finely targeted audience.

Can these strategies replace big stunts?

Slow and steady can’t completely replace the splash a bold campaign can make—but grand gestures are only part of the mix. Ensure you have a process or practice in place which protects the integrity of the brand.

That’s why brand awareness and reputation are so important—and sometimes, so difficult to manage.

But whether you’re a long-standing, stalwart brand, or a fledgling organization, you must start with a solid foundation to build and grow upon. You need a solid, consistent brand message that will help you connect.

You must maintain that connection with your target audience, so you can properly position the product or service.

Anna Lebedeva is head of growth marketing at SEMrush. A version of this article originally appeared on the Spin Sucks blog.

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