"Turn the CEO/founder [or another member of your team] into a thought leader," says Jeremy Almond, CEO, PayStand, a B2B payments platform. "Have them post regularly on Twitter, share on LinkedIn... and guest post on blogs. I talk about payments everywhere, I can't help it. I love it." Just remember to "focus on being helpful [and] sharing knowledge."
And "provide content that relates to your audience," says Dan Kogan, founder & CEO, 1Digital Agency. "Use the 70:20:10 rule: 70 percent of content should be adding value and brand building, 20 percent sharing others' posts and ideas and 10 percent promoting yourself or your business."
If you give good advice, as opposed to trying to sell people something, people will listen to you and you will build credibility for your brand.
"Blogging is a great way to build your brand," says Rasheen Carbin, cofounder & CMO, nspHire, a job search app. "It allows you to demonstrate your expertise while completely controlling the message." And your blog posts can lead to more traffic on your website.
8. Use social media.
Set up company pages on the social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram - that your target audience is most likely to visit, and include a link to your website on each page. Then assign someone, who can respond quickly (and appropriately) to any questions, to monitor your social media accounts.
One way to get your brand noticed on Twitter and Instagram is to "create a fun, memorable and unique hashtag for your brand," says K.B. Lee, founder & CEO, Ever Bamboo, the maker of bamboo-based deodorizers. Just "make sure you are the only [company] using the hashtag. For us, it's #RethinkTheStink."
9. Include/Publish reviews on your website.
"Having numerous published reviews helps establish credibility and directly helps sales and marketing efforts," says Mikhail Ledvich, head of Marketing, Shippo. "They can be promoted on social media, quoted in your collateral and help you stand out from other vendors as a customer-focused brand that delivers on your promises."
10. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and/or ProfNet.
HARO and ProfNet connect journalists and bloggers with sources. Both are a great, inexpensive (or free) way for startups to connect with reporters and get publicity.
11. Actively promote your brand offline.
"Join professional groups and boards, go to events, donate your time to charities, give presentations and guest lectures," says Shaun Walker, cofounder & creative director, HEROfarm, a marketing and public relations firm. "The more you put your business out there and are seen, the more name recognition you earn on your way to becoming a household name and gaining that incredibly important third-party validation. Even if a potential client or customer has never met you, you have the backing of trusted sources that confirm your credibility."
"Add your logo to [promotional items] and hand them out as gifts," says Bloem. Everyone loves getting a gift. Also be sure to put your logo on uniforms, if your company has them, or on polo shirts staff members can wear. It will increase your brand's visibility.