When Dove launched their "campaign for real beauty" in 2004, it was instantly memorable. Most products targeting women had only featured a certain type of woman. Dove famously showcased models of all shapes and sizes, complete with wrinkles and stretch marks.
The campaign was powerful. It spoke to a very real cultural moment, and let millions of real women see women who look like them in advertising for the first time. It arguably played a part in launching a body positivity movement that is still playing out today.
Dove chose this as a way to grow their brand. But it didn't come off as a gross PR stunt. It was a powerful example of how a brand can speak truth to power, take a stand, and change public perceptions.
Whether you're new to brand building or you've been at it for a while, you know that it's an essential part of building a profitable business. Your brand matters. But building your brand can also feel like some weird, intangible thing that’s hard to get a handle on.
Should you be posting on Twitter every day? Writing jingles? Appearing in Forbes? Hang gliding off the Empire State Building?
Any and all of these might be considered brand building. And that’s probably why it can get overwhelming. There are so many ideas out there, so many approaches. How can you find what works for growing your brand?
In this article, we're going to talk about 22 ways to grow your brand. All of these are doable. All of them are working for brands every day. We hope they’ll help you expand.
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1. Email list
Writing to an email list is a tried and true way of growing your brand. But it's also the method that literally every company is trying.
This means that people are, rightly, skeptical of emails from brands. How many of those emails in your inbox have been coming in for months and left unopened?
We're guessing the answer is… a lot.
Email still works. Let's just say that. But you have to do it well. Here are a few tips for making email work to grow your brand:
- Create a great subject line. It's the first thing people see, and it decides whether they open the email or not.
- Offer a ton of value. A great subject line might get them to open it, but the value of the email will decide if they'll open the next one.
- Reward people for being on your list. Don't just create the same stuff you post on social media. Build special offers, sales, advanced buying, invite-only webinars, or basically anything that rewards your subscribers.
- Segment your list. It’s really easy to add triggers with any modern email software so you can track your subscribers by what they click on, learning what they’re actually interested in.
Webinars can be really a great way to grow your brand. Delivering a webinar that offers a lot of value, teaching something to your ideal client or member, is always a good idea.
But, sort of like with email, we're living in a time with a lot of webinars. Chances are your audience gets a ton of offers.
Here are some of the benefits of webinars for building your brand:
- Video creates an instant connection.
- People can see you in action.
- Webinars are super scalable.
- Webinar technology is cheap and easy to use.
- You can easily attach a webinar to a sales funnel, building your revenue.
Here are a few tips to make a webinar a vital part of your brand building:
- Give value. Again, it's so important. People don't want to show up just for a sales pitch. If you give a ton of value in your webinar, ironically, people will be more receptive to buying than with a pushy sales pitch. Because they have a problem, and if they see that you can help them solve it, you're on.
- Be honest. There's something sort of gross about pre-recorded webinars that pretend to be live. It feels disingenuous. If you're going to go pre-recorded, admit that it's pre-recorded. If you make promises to get people into the webinar, make sure it delivers. A webinar is helping people decide whether or not to work with your brand.
- Create an offer or C2A. Some of the people who come to your webinar will want to go further. Make sure they know how to do that. Present a clear offer or call to action at the end of your webinar for how to move forward with your brand.
- Keep nurturing people who didn't buy. Chances are, if people came to the webinar and stuck through it, they are open to working with your brand. Maybe the time wasn't right. Or maybe they can't afford it right now. It doesn't mean that they won't buy in the future.
3. Asynchronous courses
An asynchronous course is a popular way to grow your brand. Asynchronous courses–that's a pre-recorded course if you don't know the lingo–can reach your audience where they're at.
Here are a few benefits of an asynchronous course:
- People can take it at their leisure.
- It works for people on busy schedules.
- It's great for people with learning disabilities or people who like to pause and take notes.
- It's endlessly scalable for your brand. Whether you sell tickets or make it free, adding more students doesn't change anything.
If you want to deliver a prerecorded course to build your brand, the same rules apply that we've talked about in the other points. Identify who your Ideal Student is. Create a course that offers them a ton of value–not necessarily a ton of information. Help them get to the transformation they need.
You could create an asynchronous course on a platform like Skillshare. It has the benefit of having a built-in audience, which can work for growing your brand.
But you can also choose a great online course platform that lets you customize your course and build in your brand to match.
4. A cohort course
A cohort course can be an awesome brand-building tool. Here are a few things they offer that traditional, pre-recorded courses can't.
- Live interactions: ask questions and have discussions.
- Meet fellow class members, build community, and make friends.
- You can adapt the course material to what your audience needs and wants.
- Your students become more accountable to actually show up and do the work, making them more successful!
Here’s a handy chart to help you choose between asynchronous vs. synchronous courses for your brand!
5. A live event
Live events went through a bit of a hiccup during the pandemic. The in-person ones went away altogether for a while, and it took us a while to get used to virtual events.
If you're building a virtual live event for your brand, consider things like special speakers, networking events, or a cohort course.
6. Host a live event
If you are holding an in-person event, the sky is the limit. From flashmobs to pub nights, from painting classes to 10k runs, live events done well build brand awareness and true fans.
7. A community
If you're wondering how to expand your brand, might we suggest a community? Communities are powerful things, built on relationships, connection, and friendship. Here on Mighty, we host a ton of great brand communities.
For example, Oiselle Volée is a brand community for women that's built around the love of running. The ArtSnacks Mix is built around the joy of painting, and sprung out of the founders' Instagram art box business. PLANTSTRONG is a community devoted to plant-based eating.
A lot of the biggest brands in the world are taking advantage of brand communities too. Look at Lego, where a fantastic community of builders share their creations. Or how about Apple, where volunteers spend a ton of time in the forums answering user questions?
No matter how you slice it, adding community is often a fantastic way to grow your brand.
If you're launching a community, try our AI-powered community name generator! Mighty Co-Host™ runs on Chat GPT and can create a Big Purpose, community name, brand, landing and sales pages, and more. Try it!
8. Sponsoring a conference
Since conferences and live events are back, sponsoring a conference can be a good way to grow brand visibility. If there's a conference in your niche that's well attended, you've got thousands of potential clients in one place. If you can get your name in front of them, you're building brand awareness.
This might be a great use for your advertising budget.
9. Exhibiting at a conference
Or how about exhibiting at a conference? Many conferences will have exhibition halls with booths where brands can showcase their work. Again, there may be a cost involved, but we'd be hard-pressed to think of a better way to get live and in person with many of your ideal clients.
If you’ve got something to say and you want to do it in digital print, blogging might be for you. Blogging is a great way to build your brand, by putting your thoughts and ideas in the hands of your readers.
For inspiration, look no further than the marketing guru Seth Godin, who blogs almost daily. He brings his marketing wisdom to readers. His posts are short, sweet, yet powerful. And they work. Because a blog needs to deliver lots of value too, just like everything else on this list.
Blog posts can be shared on your email and social media, and can generate website visits.
11. Search engine marketing
If you landed here thanks to a Google search, you've experienced one of our brand-building strategies: search engine marketing.
It's the same idea as a blog. But when you create a bunch of content–written in this case–that gives a ton of value and answers questions your audience has, there's an extra bonus…
Search engines can find it!
If you play your cards right and design your content well, it can build your brand on autopilot as searchers keep showing up.
Remember, you need to offer value here too. It's not enough to just post a ton of content. You need content that is good enough to teach, entertain, and ultimately rank in Google.
One of the things we love about YouTube is the same benefit we see from written content. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine (and is owned by Google–the biggest).
When we’re creating content on YouTube, we’re creating value for searchers. It helps them discover us and what we’re all about. Which is awesome! Mix a content and YouTube strategy together, and you’ve got a brand that can grow on auto-pilot as people search for you!
13. Guest posting
Whether you have your own blog or not, guest posting on other sites can be good for growing your brand.
From independent websites with niche followings to giant media sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, or HuffPost, guest posting can help you grow. You can tap into those brands' existing audiences, and reach new clients and customers.
14. Appear in media
Probably one of the ultimate ways to grow your brand is by appearing in traditional media. Traditional media, whether print or video, reaches millions of people every day.
So how can you get featured in the media? It's a discipline all in itself, but here are a couple of suggestions.
Sign up for HARO
HARO–Help A Reporter Out–is a listserv that reaches out for specialists in any given field.
What happens when a reporter is creating a story, and they say, "Gee, I really need a quote from someone who's an expert in beekeeping." They turn to HARO.
Registering your expertise and keeping an eye on the calls can help you get featured.
Hire a publicist
Publicists are usually for earned media, which we'll talk about below. But hiring a publicist for your brand can help with any type of media. Good publicists come with a solid media network and understand what journalists are looking for and how to pitch them.
Build your network with journalists
If you're not going to hire your own publicist, you can build networks with journalists. Getting on their radar, building relationships with journalists, makes it way more likely they'll call you for a quote when the time comes.
You can use LinkedIn and Twitter to find journalists to start engaging with them. And, if your brand is limited to a certain geographic area or local market, you should definitely make a point to meet some of the people in your local media space.
15. High-impact partnerships
This is a strategy for growing your brand that works so well it almost qualifies as growth hacking. Basically, if you can build relationships with people who have large audiences already, you can create a high-impact partnership.
When Russell Brunson appears with Tony Robbins, Oprah appears with Deepak Chopra, or when Amy Porterfield appears on Ed Mylett’s show, that's a high-impact partnership.
If you can identify creators in your niche who already have a large impact on audiences, can you work with them?
Here are some reasons why people with large audiences might agree to partner with you or your brand:
- You have something super valuable or interesting to offer their audience.
- You are willing to give the creator some type of value in exchange (for example, an affiliate partnership).
- You have an audience of your own that they can reach as you reach theirs.
- You agree to some sort of financial compensation.
It can take time and effort to find the right partnership. But if you can, it will pay huge dividends for your brand.
16. Podcast appearances
This is riffing on the last point, but podcast appearances are also awesome. They take advantage of someone's existing audience, and they let the podcaster do the work of promoting your brand.
That's a no-brainer.
The truth is, podcasters need content. They want to keep their audience happy and coming back. So if you position your brand in a way that they know creating content with you would be awesome, it could work for both of you.
17. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a tried and true way to grow a brand. In the last decade, the web host Bluehost has become one of the most popular places to host the website. The reason?
Their affiliate program was super popular, and the vast majority of big bloggers were pitching Bluehost to their audience–and getting anywhere from $75-$100 for each person who signed up.
If you create an affiliate program, it actually lets you reward your loyal fans for helping you build your brand. And what better reward is there than sharing the money?
The most common affiliate marketing set up is through some sort of marked hyperlink. Anyone who clicks that link gets a tracking code, and if they purchase your affiliate will get a percentage or flat fee for their sale.
The nice thing is, it helps you grow your brand on autopilot–you get customers you wouldn't otherwise have, so you gain revenue, even if you pay some of it to affiliates.
18. Earned Media
We talked about relationships to the media above, but what about earned media? When your brand is featured in the news, ideally as a standalone story, it's fantastic exposure.
PR people call this earned media.
So how do you get earned media? If it was easy, every brand would be doing it. And while most brands probably believe they are worthy of a news story, publishers might disagree.
One fantastic way to get earned media is through a clever campaign. If you want inspiration, look at some of the launches Richard Branson has done with Virgin. From trying to fly around the world in a hot air balloon to driving a tank down Fifth Avenue in New York, he’s not afraid to try outlandish things.
And they’ve often worked! They often earned him media features and free publicity.
You might decide to come up with a great idea for your brand to get featured, whether it's a unique and memorable launch, championing a cause you care about, or doing something in the community that's newsworthy, you might find yourself at the receiving end of earned media.
But do tread carefully. These types of campaigns can backfire and land brands with a bunch of attention that they don't want.
19. Social media strategy
Social media is an endless world of opportunity for brands. A lot of them seem to get that. But so few brands do it well.
Not every social platform is created equally, you'll need to choose where to devote your energy.
Once you do, start creating valuable content. There's no one size fits all recipe for content, but here are a few tips to make sure your content shines:
- Look at what other successful brands in your space are doing and learn from them. You don't need to reinvent the wheel.
- Give value to your audience. Don't just treat your social media platforms as a sales megaphone. Treat it as a space to nurture someday clients.
- Take a stand. Say something. A lot of brands post forgettable content and, no surprise, are forgotten. You choose what fits your brand, but saying things that are real and resonate with an audience can be a good start.
- Be consistent. Social media can take time to build. Don't expect it to blossom overnight. Keep posting consistently, learning from what works and what doesn't work. You can recycle your best posts, automating them with a scheduling tool like HootSuite.
- Go where your audience is. If you have a product for Gen X, they might be on LinkedIn instead of TikTok. You don't need to be everywhere. You need to be where they are.
- Put a face to it. People don't particularly like engaging with brands. If you can, consider using "personal accounts" to build your brand and not just your brand account. It could be employees - if they're cool with it. Or maybe it's a CEO or founder.
20. Viral Posts
Okay, it's easy to tell you to create a viral post. But if you knew how to do that, you would already be doing it.
It's not a perfect science to engineer it, but you can look at what has worked for other people and try to replicate it in your social media strategy. At the end of the day, you don't have total control, but a viral post can be a huge boost to your brand.
Look at the impact that Rachel Hollis saw when she posted a picture of her stretch marks on instagram. That post went viral and led to huge audiences, and a bestselling book, “Girl Wash Your Face.”
21. Targeted messaging
Something we've seen a lot of in the B2B space is targeted messaging. It basically works something like this. You choose people you think are your ideal users, and send them a cold message - normally via LinkedIn or Email.
This can be super annoying if you're doing it poorly and spamming people. But if you take the time to personalize, explain why you reached out to that decision maker, and make it clear that you're not just copying and pasting to hundreds of people, it can work!
Last but not least on our list of ways to grow your brand: ads. Paying for ads is a tried and true approach.
There are different ways to approach this. You might choose to use a social media platform like Facebook where you can customize your audience and make sure that your ideal clients and customers are finding your brand.
Or, you might use something like Google pay-per-click– that's where your brand will appear on top of the Google results as a sponsored result.
Then of course, there's the old-school advertising of things like billboards, radio, tv, etc.
If you're going to pay for ads, it's important to do some testing and figure out what works for your brand. Make sure you build out a complimentary funnel so that your ads are actually leading people somewhere. Then you're off to the races!
If you are working hard to grow your brand, we hope that these 22 strategies help. You don't necessarily need to do all of them. Just one or two of these done right can explode your visibility - not to mention your profitability.
And if you're looking for a great platform to grow on, come try Mighty! We're a cultural software platform that lets you bring together community, content, courses, and commerce. Whether you're building a brand community, hosting live events, or building a white-label app, we've got you covered.
Our flexible Spaces let you add in chat, messaging, member profiles, discussion forums, long and short-form content, live streaming, and more. And you can sell in 135 different currencies, or even monetize with token-gating.
It's free to try for 14 days. No credit card required.