I enjoy reading, writing, and increasing knowledge on a number of SEO and online marketing topics, but I especially enjoy the topics of branding and reputation management. I would say the former relates to creating associations to your brand (and its elements: Web pages, executives, products, etc) while the latter focuses on your business' 'personality,' personifying a reputable "professional." I think branding and rep management are highly important regarding consumer relations.
I also highly champion creativity and encourage your brand to do the same. I've surveyed a few things particular brands are doing well, leveraging creativity to create a better consumer-brand experience. While debates will forever rage regarding best search engine optimization methods, you'll never steer your business in the wrong direction, adhering to the most important North Star-like navigational guide your brand has– its consumers.
Your brand is a source of information regarding its services and products. It's likely your consumers (likely doubling as industry novices) have a bunch of questions. Furthermore, and those who have had the pleasure of teaching in classrooms will agree, it's almost guaranteed if one person has a question, at least one other person desires its answers.
Last night on Twitter, Rand Fishkin openly asked people to fire SEO and online-marketing-related questions to him. Wow. Rand is a pretty busy guy and highly educated; he asking us to ask him questions?! What a great idea from a branding and reputation management perspective. Taking a gander at the question-to-answers-turned-post, the idea is highly championed by his brand's community and consumers. Could your brand do the same? Yes, it can.
Infographs have quickly become a popular trend within the online community. I like them a lot, as they also remind me of the ambiance of teaching: the more senses you can include in teaching, the better for your 'students.' Infographs fuse text and visual information to elicit a better understanding on an unlimited number of topics.
Take a look at this one, hosted by the Search Engine Journal site, explaining that little online-offline 'imbroglio,' which took place last week, involving two 'dirty' acronyms. Let's face it. All providers are releasing content, but infographs are a bit different and may appeal to a high number of your brand's consumers.
Did any of you out there catch the film, Social Network? It's about this social media site, Facebook? Maybe you've heard of it. Well, in one scene, Mark Zuckerberg is questioned about an application he developed. He states he was offered a lot of money for it but opted to upload it "for free." Why? I'm not sure; if I had Zuckerberg-like thoughts, I'd probably be thinking about the incipient Facebook IPO, but I digress. I really like that sentiment; I think Zuckerberg figured 'there's more where that came from.' Secondly, I think it enabled him to show the world what he could do, to give interested consumers a little 'sample.' Joost de Valk offers some great applications online. If you peruse online reviews, the sentiment is well appreciated and has garnered his brand some great respect and exposure.
How dedicated is your brand to getting creative? Maybe your brand can benefit from making it more of an objective.