What are the most effective marketing and digital strategies to increase brand awareness?
Sabrina Stoker, Founder of Two Comma PR, Tim Hyde, CEO & Founder of TWH Media, Jackie Fast, Managing Partner at Sandbox Studios, Flavilla Fongang, Founder at 3 Colours Rule and BBC advisor and Christina Okoracha, Co-Founder of VAMP took to the stage for the second day of Elite Business on 11 March in the Commercial Business Growth panel, speaking about the importance of PR for your brand – and how to convert publicity into sales.
Putting yourself into the spotlight can be a daunting feat for some people, particularly those who don’t feel comfortable in the public eye. What can business leaders do if they feel shy having their face in the media? Christina, Co-Founder of VAMP, explained: “We only started doing PR in the last year because we wanted to build our business and not be seen as founders who are ‘bigger than our business’. We didn’t want to be that, so to all entrepreneurs who think the same way as us, start thinking in a way that this is going to help build your brand. And if you’re not comfortable in yourself as an introvert, you can maybe get someone senior in your team to speak and stand as a brand ambassador for your company.”
Publicity doesn’t always mean posting selfies or being in front of a camera 24/7. Sometimes, writing a blog post or uploading content on platforms like LinkedIn can be a way to build your personal brand. Tim, CEO & Founder of TWH Medi, explained: “If you’re getting more eyeballs on your business, if you’re inspiring people, that’s going to put your business at an advantage. Personal branding means different things to different people. Some people wouldn’t feel comfortable doing Gary Vee selfie videos, being out there all the time. Whereas distributing blog content, and creating things that are very specific to your business are a way of maintaining that consistent touch point through a personal channel. If you look at LinkedIn from a basic standpoint, amplifying content through your personal channel will reach a lot more people than through your brand channel. From that perspective, amplifying that through your own means can get better results.”
Social media can be tough to navigate. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok… Which one should you focus on? Or should you be posting across all social media platforms? Flavilla Fongang, Founder at 3 Colours Rule and BBC advisor suggested using social media with a purpose and goal in mind – and to have a clear target audience in mind. She said: “There can be quite a lot of distraction and you waste your time having conversations and nothing happens at the end of the day. You have to decide why you’re doing it. Are you trying to drive opportunities for your business? Have clarity, it’s so easy to get distracted and be everywhere on social media. Really think in terms of what you believe your audience is. Can you visualise who you want to sell to? If you can’t visualise that person and group, then you’re going to waste a lot of time trying to be everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Sabrina said business owners should focus on social media platforms that bring higher conversions in terms of sales. She added: “The first thing would be to think where are your customers hanging out? But something else to think about is, what is actually going to stay and convert? For me, I would be putting 10 hours on social media every single week and delegating down to the 80/20 principle. And stick to the top 20% of which platforms are converting.”
On the contrary, Jackie, Managing Partner at Sandbox Studios, said TikTok is the way forward. She added: “Every brand that I’m working with that I invest in and we look at, the conversions on Instagram and Facebook, they just don’t work anymore and with the IOS update it’s very difficult. And I’m not saying everyone should throw loads of money into TikTok but that’s the only thing that we’re seeing that works.”