Building Your Brand in the Digital Age

Marketing Yourself Through an Online Presence

a laptop on a white counter

It’s no secret that there’s money in marketing, the influencer market alone is an $8 billion industry and Business Insider projects it to grow into $15 billion in 2022. The money isn’t just in Instagram either, the highest earning youtuber makes a yearly salary of $22 million and game publishers have paid streamers up to $50,000 an hour to stream their gameplay. Whether you’re promoting a business or marketing your skills, fostering an online presence is in your best interest. Here’s some tips on growing an audience in the digital age.

Smart phone screen with social media app icons
Establishing a presence on multiple social media networks is crucial to expanding your digital presence.

Cross-Platform Presence

Establishing your Brand Across Multiple Networks

By having your brand spread across multiple social media platforms, you can collect every possible audience. While you can collect a solid following on Facebook, there may be an untapped market lying in wait on Instagram. By being present and active on multiple platforms, you reach larger audiences. This also serves to fully encompass the audience you already have. Link your social media accounts to each other, If someone follows you on one social media account then they’re likely follow you on others. Seeing you in multiple places gives you a larger portion of their attention.

Having platform-specific content should be taken into consideration, something trends on one platform might fall flat on another. Each social media platform has its specific “culture” and demographics. Before posting content, familiarize yourself with each platform’s dominant demographics. There are the obvious “atmospheres” to each platform. LinkedIn is catered to professionals while Tumblr and Snapchat are geared towards younger audiences. You can also look up demographics for each site. For example, Instagram is 52% female and 42% male and it’s audience is generally between 18 and 29 years old while on the other hand, Facebook’s average user is 40.5 years old and 57% of users are male. Keep this in mind as you create content for your different platforms. In addition to demographics, different platforms have different utilities. On Instagram, a video can only be one minute in length before it cannot be shown on the user’s main page and must be moved to the less viewed Instagram TV. Facebook does not have a maximum video length. Lengthier videos can be placed on facebook while shorter and to-the-point content is better for instagram. Finally, consider the “in-jokes” of each platform. Check Twitter’s trending hashtags for ideas or keep up with memes on Reddit.

pencils and paper
Embrace your fanbase

Establish a “Fan Profile”

Gain New Fans by Promoting Your Content Through a “Fan Account”

An easy way to get more attention to your content is to make your own fan account. Promote your fan’s content such as their fan-art and written works to give them positive feedback and give them motivation to continue making content. If a user who makes content is popular, their followers could come upon your page and become your followers. An important note is to give credit to your fan creators, this serves to link content and is general etiquette. Link your content on the fan-page as well to keep it updated and fresh as well as notify your fans about new content on other platforms, this acts as a bridge for your followers to follow you on other platforms.

phone with likes, comments, and follows above it
Keep your fans coming back to your brand


Getting Fans to Engage With Your Brand

Engagement is important for both keeping fans coming back and using algorithms to your advantage. Social media algorithms often favor content that increases engagement. Posts that get a lot of likes but not many comments will not be as favored as posts that get more comments than likes. Both Instagram and Youtube will favor high-engagement in searches. By having a phrase such as “Comment your favorite part of the video” or “What do you guys think?” you can increase engagement. Even light controversy can get comments stirring, although this should be done with care. Sharing political views of your fans is important to avoiding their scorn. Ask the opinions of your fans, this can be a great way to both engage your fans and get feedback on your work.

clock on a desk
Keep up with your online presence

Current Content

Keeping Your Brand Relevant

By constantly updating your social media accounts, you not only maintain your engagement but highly active accounts are favored in algorithms. The more often the better. An account that puts out daily content will be more successful than one that puts out content weekly. This content does not need to be substantial. If you are unable to post large content, even small posts and recycling old content can keep you in your audience’s mind and the algorithm’s favor. Stale accounts will lose viewers to accounts who more fully engage them. Once an audience is lost it’s difficult to recapture them, so be sure to update content regularly.

missing puzzle piece
Find your place in the online community


Building your Brand From the Ground Up

Trying to collect an audience that is generally monopolized will always be more difficult than catering to an untapped market. By finding niche interests you have fewer competitors and a more dedicated audience. Once a niche is captured, it’s easier to leverage into more popular audiences. A good way to find your Niche is to look at your own content. What makes you content different? A helpful tool is to check social media for the niches your content may be able to fill. Take note of any hashtags within these communities that could apply to your work. Once you gain popularity within a niche it will be easier to gain traction through your already established fanbase.

For more information, check out Kellee Maize’s blog posts on how to step up your social media as well as the Do’s and Don’ts of marketing yourself.

Abby Marsh

Abby is a Student at Pitt majoring in Communications.
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