Build your brand with video

/ Max Thorpe

3 ways to build your brand top bannerSummer is finally here. The kids are out of school, coworkers are taking off for vacation, and when it comes to businesses, some are in their offseason while others are in full swing. No matter when your peak season is, it’s never a bad time to focus on building or improving your brand. Here are three fun, creative branding ideas to try this summer.

1. Promotion with a theme (holiday/season/event)

Throwing a promotion that’s aligned with a theme is a simple but effective method to drive revenue and increase brand awareness. There are plenty of different themes to choose from. Some of our favorites (just in time for summer) include:

  • 4th of July
  • Back to school theme
  • Shark week (July 28 to August 4)
  • Summer solstice
  • Make a splash theme
  • Beat the heat theme
  • Labor day

After you have a theme and an appropriate discount (25% off, for instance), set the duration of your campaign and start promoting. Plan to have your social posts queued up in advance for the entire duration of the campaign; it’ll make things so much easier! It’s also a good idea to include written content that your readers will find interesting on its own, but includes the promotion as well. Finally, here’s our pro tip: a short video promotion can really tie your campaign together!

2. Giveaway contest

Hosting a giveaway is a great way to increase engagement and build your audience. When done right, contests can propel your company forward, but like all things marketing, you need to have a goal in mind and plan accordingly. Once you establish a goal for hosting a giveaway, you can then determine what the prize should be and what channels you’ll use to promote it. Here are a few goals to consider.

Giveaway contest goals

  • Increase backlinks: Increasing backlinks can help boost your SEO. Have contestants share a link to your website for a chance to win a prize.
  • Increase blog post engagement: If your goal is to boost organic traffic to your blog, you can encourage contestants to like, share and read a blog post as a contest entry.
  • Increase social media engagement: Social media is a critical part of any online contest whether you create an associated hashtag, a medium to share a blog post, or a photo post collecting likes.
  • Increase newsletter subscribers: Hosting a contest is an easy way to have people opt-in to a newsletter list by entering their email address.
  • Collect user-generated content: Having contestants use your product to make content or promote your brand is a great way to get people onto your platform and generate material that can be used for future promotions.

Once you have a clear goal in mind, choose an appropriate prize to give away. Your prize should be enticing enough to move the needle toward your chosen goal, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank just for likes, retweets or shares. The more valuable the prize, the more time you can expect from the contestants who choose to enter. For example, if your prize is a vacation to the Carribean for two, then it’s reasonable to ask contestants for a travel video that is much more time consuming to create, versus liking a post or entering an email.

With the prize in place, there are only a few more logistics to hash out before you start promoting your contest.

Contest duration

Choose a length of time that gives contestants plenty of time to enter and allows the contest to gain traction. That said, it shouldn’t be so long that people start to lose interest and a sense of urgency. According to Hubspot, the ideal length for engagement is either 25 or 60 days, depending on what's required of contestants. 

Contest winners

Now that the contest duration, prize and format of the contest have been established, all that’s left to decide is how the prize will be awarded. Will the winner be notified by email, social media, an announcement on your website, etc.? How will the other contestants find out who the winner is? Be sure to consider the resources you’ll need, whether it’s a contest landing page, a new email address or account for contest notifications, etc. To make sure your contest runs smoothly, do a few mock walk-throughs that mimic the contestant’s experience before launching. Hopefully, you’ll find a few opportunities to make the contestant experience even better. 

3. Give back to the community

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, build your brand and soak up the summer sunshine while you’re at it. Whether your business is a small startup or a large fortune 500 company, there are plenty of ways to give back to the community or contribute to a great cause:

  • Create or contribute to a local community garden
  • Plan a picnic or fair to raise money for a cause
  • Host a 5K run or walkathon
  • Organize a car wash
  • Start a clothing drive
  • Plan a volleyball or other sports tournament
  • Host a silent auction
  • Organize a chili cookoff

Once you’ve decided on an event, it’s time to make it happen. Organizing your event doesn’t have to be stressful, but it does require a little planning. After all, you want to make sure your event runs smoothly, has great attendance and is an overall success for your brand. Here are a few tips to help you knock it out of the park.

Plan in advance
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan a company event -- that’s a no-brainer, right? Depending on the size and location of your event, you may need as much as several months to fully flesh out your plan. It’s a good idea to add an extra buffer of time to address any unforeseen obstacles that come up (and there will be a few!). Give yourself and your team plenty of time to prepare and plan the logistics, so come the day of your event, you can fully enjoy it!

Align with an appropriate cause
Think about your company’s mission and choose a cause that aligns with its values. You can also consider the people you work with and what causes impact them. For example, if your colleagues or their loved ones have been affected by a disease like cancer, your team could volunteer or raise money for a related non-profit organization. If your business is in the education industry, finding a way to give back to local schools might be ideal. For smaller companies, giving back to the city where your headquarters are based is always a great idea as well.

Promote your event
The more people who participate in your event, the better! To make sure you get the most participation possible, start gauging the interest of your fellow colleagues early and coordinate with their schedules. Getting executives and managers involved is a great way to start generating excitement and encouraging company-wide participation. After you’ve spread the word to your colleagues, set a date. While it’s tempting to hold a volunteer event during the weekend, most of your colleagues may already have plans. Attendance will likely be higher during a weekday if your business can swing it. After the date’s decided, start collecting RSVPs and hold employees accountable for their commitment. Lastly, leading up to the event send out reminder emails with content about what to expect and how to prepare.

Share on social media
Take pictures and video during the event to share on social media. Your followers will love seeing your team in action and will get a sense of who your company is outside of the office. At the same time, you’ll be sharing what values are important to your company and how your business makes a difference in the community.

Have some cool ideas of your own? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments below!