By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Podcast.
Committed to helping business owners get noticed, Israel-based consultant Omri Hurwitz shared in a The California Herald article how he assists clients to build a brand around their companies.
His agency, which is headquartered in California, offers advertising and PR services to clients. Omri and company help build a media company around their clients’ brands. They do so by elevating their podcasts, getting them media and press coverages, and advertising thought leaders through pieces posted on platforms like LinkedIn among others.
How Can Businesses Build Their Brand
Any company can build their brand by themselves and work with an agency like Omri’s once they want to scale things up.
Omri notes that one of the first tactics that can be done is to set up podcasts. This avenue offers an amazing networking environment, allowing users to reach many people. The second one is to write blogs and post thought leadership videos on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. The last one is to pitch to journalists and create a network of these professionals with specific niches. These are things that virtually everyone can start off with right now.
As content creation is easier said than done, Omri advises companies to kick things off with key players in their organisation. Let these people write about the things that come very naturally to them — and not those complicated articles or blog posts. They can use emotions and their own experiences from their profession, and let things flow from there. For example, a chief technology officer or a sales development representative can talk about their experiences working in their respective positions. Once blog and media articles are treated more like personal posts, these can snowball naturally and allow companies to write the way they really want to.
Ensuring Consistency of Voice
With different personas contributing content, how, then, can companies ensure that there is a consistency of voice? With the internet breaking that norm — wherein a company would only have one author, one press release channel, or one person dealing with external affairs — how can businesses obtain that consistent look, feel, and narrative?
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According to Omri, the key is strategically tapping only two to four extroverts in the company. In a company, people would find that not a lot of employees are actually comfortable expressing themselves on social media or news coverages. Therefore, you only have to select a few who like being publicised and play on the strengths. Every company has these natural communicators who, given the platform, can market and brand themselves out well.
For employees who cannot write but can communicate verbally, Omri encourages creating audio-format content. In recent years, the use of audio has significantly increased. For instance, there’s a social media app called Clubhouse. It’s a platform wherein instead of posting writings, you can simply talk, record your audio, and post the clips.
Given audio’s effectiveness and emerging popularity, companies can leverage this trend and allow their people to talk about valuable things on record, and make a podcast out of them.
It’s All About Advertising
Building a media company around a certain brand is one thing. But getting people to know that it exists is another.
For this, Omri has one tried-and-tested solution: Advertising. When you promote thought leadership pieces, podcasts, or blogs — that’s a form of advertising. However, when it comes to advertising, there is no shortcut. If you’ve got a great piece of content, you need to get past the saturated market and advertise it to a very targeted niche.
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For Business-to-Business (B2B) companies with a budget, Omri recommends advertising on LinkedIn and remarketing on Facebook (which has a wide audience). Meanwhile, for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies, he advises sticking out to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (which has a very low cost-per-mille or CPM).
Each of these platforms demands different budget allocations. Omri shares that the people who advertise on LinkedIn usually have a budget of $3,000 to $15,000. He recommends using 30% of that to advertise on content that promotes demand generation (e.g., thought leadership pieces). On Youtube and Facebook, spending $1,500 per platform is a good place to start things off. What’s important is to test these allocations and see if it works for you.
Compared to other platforms, LinkedIn charges higher advertisement rates because users can target specific people in specific companies. This narrowed-down approach can’t be found anywhere else.
B2C companies can also promote on LinkedIn organically. For instance, if you have podcasts, you can cut a few clips from your episodes, promote them on the platform, and allow them to organically grow.
But if your company is already doing advertising but it’s all about lead generation, Omri can come into the picture and help add ungated, creative content.
Meanwhile, if you’re already doing both demand and lead generation, what Omri and company can do is to help you get quality media coverage, which completes the whole picture.
The point is, the minute you start advertising and you’re doing it correctly, your company will grow — you will get more leads, improve brand awareness, and eventually increase revenue.
Gated vs. Ungated Content
Contents of a company’s brand-awareness plan can be gated or ungated.
Gated content, as its name implies, refers to content wherein you’ll ask your potential customers to fill out a form before getting access to the information you are providing. The form may entail asking for the user’s phone number or email address. It’s considered a lead generation strategy.
On the other hand, ungated content includes content that demands no commitment from potential clients. An audience can click on your link and read your content without leaving any contact information.
Omri recommends for companies to produce 70% ungated content and 30% gated content. The gated ones will be the remarketing stuff. This will allow you to capture audiences who have already been exposed to your previous content, such as podcasts and blogs.
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When it comes to tracking how content traffic is generated, tactically speaking, Omri shares the benefits of using Google Analytics. The platform offers a feature where you can see where the traffic to your website is coming from. For example, if a New York Times article included a link to your website, you can track how much of your traffic can be attributed to that link.
On the philosophical side, Omri, however, notes that companies that are doing PR correctly won’t need to let the numbers tell them how they are faring.
Role Models to Look Upon
If you’re looking for companies or individuals to draw inspiration from when it comes to effectively building a brand, Omri mentions New York-based real estate expert Ryan Serhant. Through amazing PR and marketing tactics (he’s virtually everywhere, from LinkedIn to YouTube), he was able to build a billion-dollar real estate business.
Another is Gary Vaynerchuck, who, in a way, has invented digital, personal branding. He is the chairman of Vayner X, which is an innovative media and communications holding company.
For companies, Omri cites Gong, a company that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help clients increase their sales. The company, which has already mastered B2B marketing, actually even had an advertisement shown on Super Bowl.
Red Bull, on the other hand, is doing a great job doing influencer marketing projects.
If you want to have Omri as your consultant, he can be found on LinkedIn.
When building your brand, think about how you can do so with multiple sources of content. Building a brand for your business is as important as operating the business itself.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast The UnNoticed, you can listen here.