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3 Ways Direct-to-Consumer Brands Can Leverage Media Coverage

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3 Ways Direct-to-Consumer Brands Can Leverage Media Coverage

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The landscape has undergone a drastic shift. No longer can marketers rely on traditional marketing channels of search and social. The costs are rising, and profit margins are diminishing. Given this, DTC brands will find it daunting to capture high lifetime value (LTV) customers, and if they do, there is no guarantee of any long-term, repeatable . This is where , including PR, comes to the rescue for DTC brands. And it is intensely competitive. The three top ways in which brands can leverage media coverage are below.

Spread the link

The link here is a reference for . Affiliate marketing is a supplement to public relations. The success stories of DTC brands such as (explored in the next section) display the power of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing goes a long way in helping you to reach your target audience. And the best part? It occurs at every stage of the customer journey. Another aspect is that you only pay for measurable results in affiliate marketing, making it a low-risk method for DTC brands to generate leads and traffic and fuel sales volumes.

What is affiliate marketing? And how does it work?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based method. In this, an individual or company (or a network) gets to earn a commission by redirecting new visitors and customers to a business website. Essentially, a brand promotes a product or service and leaves a link to that offer. Content creators such as bloggers and social media influencers often use this method on most platforms. Also, affiliate marketing entails signing up with a company or network.

Through this network, DTC brands get to widen their reach and visibility. And when someone buys or executes the desired action using the network, the network gets paid. There are several affiliate networks out there. The few common ones are:

  • Clickbank.com

  • MaxBounty.com

  • JVZoo.com

  • CommissionJunction.com

The stats on affiliate marketing

Note that 21 percent of the higher average order value of sales happens via affiliate marketing. About 16 percent of all e-commerce sales in the U.S. are generated through affiliates. And around 58 percent of the higher annual customer revenue happens via affiliate marketing. With good reason, there are more than a few benefits to be gained from affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing generated $6.8 billion in revenue in 2020 alone. So, there’s proof to the pudding.

Related: An Affiliate-Marketing Program Might Be the Perfect Move

Monitoring SEO and other search trends

Today, publishers are very savvy and enthusiastic about SEO trends. Thanks to , the platform has transformed how it surfaces product reviews. The reason is that today’s consumers Google a product before making a purchase. They do so to avail themselves of the best possible evaluations that are easy to find. These savvy brands then serve as a public relations avenue by helping journalists to create excellent reviews. Hence, knowing the search payoff beforehand is worth the extra effort for DTC brands to jump on the bandwagon.

However, Google does more than just present reviews. The search engine also looks at the article for expert knowledge. It uses that information to find comparable products and quantitative measurements to gauge how the product or service measures up. The work for the DTC brands begins with samples. The brands usually send samples to journalists with tip sheets to help them write fact-based, authoritative articles to improve their visibility. It is these articles that, once they appear in the engine, make for an excellent PR strategy for the DTC brand.

Related: All You Need to Know About Google Trends to Grow Your Business

The case of Casper

Casper, a U.S.-based mattress brand, has set up search-specific landing pages. It has also funnelled Adwords money to its website to elevate its position in the market. The result? Casper gets a critical share of the 550,000-plus monthly mattress Google searches. What’s more, Casper tops the Google search results for several mattress-related terms. Right from a reviews landing page to a duvets inserts landing page, Casper has, for itself, a customized SEO flytrap page. So, virtually any mattress-related keyword that users type into Google, their purchase intent will present the Casper website.

To leverage and up the SEO game, DTC brands can use several SEO tools to optimize their websites. Some of the more notable are:

  • Hubspot Website Grader

  • Google Search Console

  • Google Analytics

  • Ahrefs

  • Semrush

Leverage the power of social media

Another way to attract eyeballs towards your brand is to leverage social media advertising. So, if a DTC brand receives media coverage, it should share the news with its fans and followers. And these are typically found on social media brand accounts. Social media is an excellent way of racing out to new customers. A word of caution there — do not stop here!

You can also leverage other powerful aspects within the PR spectrum. These are reviews and personal recommendations (digital word-of-mouth marketing methods). Your regular and known customers get updated on your press coverage. But, they can do more than just that. Often, they share the link with friends and family via WhatsApp and other applications. What this does is provide multifold influence from an existing customer. It makes for an excellent way of converting new customers. Most importantly, your owned content is crucial. So share the coverage details on the blog site and link back to the article.

Remember, consumers prefer and trust a well-rounded review that mentions other brands. So make sure that the coverage is not pushy or overselling. This is especially true for the younger generation, as they are more media-savvy. They belong to an era where reviews are a daily social media staple.

Related: 5 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas for Bootstrapped Startups

Parting words

Media is the name of the game. As seen from above, it can take several forms. DTC brands need to hone and forge collaborative pursuits with the media and audiences to break out of the competitive clutter and stand out among their peers. This online presence, PR included, can then make or break your brand. Additionally, DTC brands should also consider leveraging the power of media to be at the top of trends.


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Did OpenAI steal Scarlett Johansson’s voice? 5 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs in The AI Era

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Did OpenAI steal Scarlett Johansson's voice? 5 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs in The AI Era

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Did OpenAI steal Scarlett Johansson’s voice? OpenAI has since paused the “Sky” voice feature, but Johansson argues that this is no coincidence. In response, Johansson delivers a masterclass for entrepreneurs on navigating the AI era successfully.

In today’s discussion, we delve into what this controversy means for business owners, highlighting five critical AI strategies they must deploy. We also explore essential methods to protect your intellectual property and leverage AI for a competitive edge—insights vital for keeping your venture ahead in the AI revolution to remain your competitive advantage.

Take the AI skills quiz here (available for a limited time) and equip yourself with practical knowledge by grabbing a copy of my new book, ‘The Wolf is at the Door – How to Survive and Thrive in an AI-Driven World.’

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Why Are New Business Applications at All-Time High?

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Why Are New Business Applications at All-Time High?

More people are starting businesses now than ever before — and the reason could be that the opportunity cost, or what they have to give up in exchange for entrepreneurship, is lower than ever.

Data that the U.S. Census Bureau released earlier this month shows that the total number of applications to start businesses hit a record 5.5 million last year.

That’s half a million more applications than what was filed in 2022.

Related: Here’s What Millions of Small Businesses Have in Common, According to a New Survey

Census Bureau data from the first four months of this year show that the startup boom is still going strong, too — from January through April, the number of new business applications totaled over 1.7 million.

Why are more people filing to start new businesses?

Columbia Business School professor Angela Lee told Entrepreneur that the reason could be the “unprecedented number of layoffs from big tech companies in the last several years, resulting in a large pool of talent freed up to pursue entrepreneurship.”

Columbia Business School professor Angela Lee (left) and Co-Founder of Plum Alley Investments Andrea Turner Moffitt (right). Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Lee, the director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, also noted that “entrepreneurship has historically been counter-cyclical because the opportunity cost to start a company goes down during a recession.”

Related: Want to Start a Billion-Dollar Business? Look to These Two Industries, Which Have the Most Unicorn Growth

Big tech companies have been laying off employees in record numbers in recent years.

Tech layoffs last year affected 263,180 employees globally according to tracker Layoffs.fyi.

Amazon laid off the most people (27,410) last year, but Meta (21,000), Google (12,115) and Microsoft (11,158) also contributed to record numbers.

The unemployment rate has remained stable, in the 3.7% to 3.9% range in the U.S. over the past nine months, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report.

Related: ‘The Employment Situation’ Report for April Shows Employers Are Taking Hiring Down a Notch, Employee Wage Growth Slowing

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How CEO Visibility Shapes Your Company’s Reputation

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How CEO Visibility Shapes Your Company's Reputation

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hyperconnectivity and social media have forever changed the reach and impact of company leadership. These days, chief executives are expected to be the face of their companies, not only in the boardroom, across annual reports or at shareholder meetings, but across the entire and endless digital expanse.

The supercharged visibility of CEOs and other C-suite executives online plays a pivotal, if not essential, role in shaping brand perception and, by extension, brand perception and reputation. This transformation not only forced corporate PR teams to shift focus toward heavily digital branding strategies; it’s also prompted many leaders to rethink their entire approach to image management and public engagement.

Related: How to Skyrocket Your Business to the Top With Thought Leadership and Visibility

The digital persona: More than just a role

The internet (particularly social platforms) has democratized information in incredible ways, giving consumers unprecedented access to the people behind the brands their favorite brands. This shift has made your CEO’s digital persona an integral part of your company’s image.

When your CEO actively engages with audiences online, whether that’s through social media, blogging, webinars or workplace videos, they essentially humanize your brand, lending a powerful human element that can lead to stronger connections with both current and potential customers. A proactive and carefully managed online presence can boost such intangibles as trust and transparency. When your CEO is visible and interacting in ways that align with company values, they can help create a sense of openness that builds trust and connection with your business.

Such a presence can also elevate your thought leadership efforts. By sharing industry insights and forecasts, your CEO (and other executive leaders) can establish themselves and your brand as experts in your space, strengthening a critical perception that nudges customers closer to the finish line.

Impact of CEO visibility on brand perception

How your CEO crafts their image and engages with folks online can have a meaningful, sometimes even lasting, impact on your brand’s relevance and relatability. For example, a CEO who makes themselves approachable and (perhaps most importantly) relatable on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and even TikTok can deliver real-time dividends for brand loyalty, driving trust and consumer interactions in the right direction.

In contrast, as a leader of an organization, a CEO who often seems aloof, distant or disconnected — especially from the values they preach or relevant societal issues and events — can inadvertently drain their company’s reputation, creating an association that can be hard to pull away from.

Successful CEO visibility efforts

Consider Tim Cook of Apple or Satya Nadella of Microsoft. Through both brand PR and adept personal efforts, both leaders have crafted online personas that align closely with the innovative and forward-thinking ethos of their companies. Cook and Nadella are not only effective, often persuasive advocates for their products, but also for broader issues like border societal concerns like privacy, security and corporate responsibility, often mirroring sentiment among their customer base.

Related: In a Downturn, It’s Not Enough to Have Good Financials — Brand Visibility Is the New Currency.

Potential risks of higher visibility

Of course, while there are clear benefits to having a highly visible CEO, there are also risks, including:

  • Inconsistency. Any discrepancy between your CEO’s online persona and your company’s actions can lead to public relations issues. Consistency and brand-leadership alignment are key.
  • Overexposure. Too much visibility can backfire over time, especially if it shifts focus away from your company and onto your CEO’s personal views or actions. Again, coordination and careful management of each strategy is essential.

Harnessing social media for CEO influence

Social media can be a double-edged sword. While it does offer a host of valuable platforms for leaders to engage audiences, it also poses considerable risks, especially if not managed carefully.

Here’s how savvy CEOs use social media to their advantage:

Regular updates: Skilled leaders understand how to leverage social channels to keep followers informed about company news and industry trends.

Engagement: While often challenging, CEOs who respond to comments and participate in discussions (measuredly, of course) help build a community around the brand.

Crisis management: Executives who address issues head-on can turn potential negatives into positive press. This also helps demonstrate leadership and accountability, essential to building positive sentiment and trust among consumers.

The SEO advantage of CEO visibility

While sometimes overlooked, CEO visibility can have a sizable impact on your brand’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. For instance, regularly updated blog posts and articles from your CEO can provide an incredible opportunity to drive organic traffic to your website, in turn improving its search engine ranking. Additionally, positive mentions of the CEO in the media can help generate positive headlines in Google, boosting your company’s larger online footprint.

Elements like consistent content creation — high-quality, optimized content — and link-building (leveraging and promoting CEO-authored articles and posts) can heighten your CEO’s online visibility and, by extension, elevate your brand across critical search results pages.

Related: This CEO Shares 4 Highly Effective Ways to Promote and Scale Your Small to Medium-Sized Business

Stepping into the spotlight with integrity

Visibility is powerful, but it must be handled with integrity to really benefit your company’s reputation. Your CEO’s online actions and communications should be thoughtful, authentic and aligned with the company’s values. Whether it’s participating in online discussions, writing insightful articles or engaging with followers on social, every activity contributes to the tapestry of the company’s online presence.

A CEO’s digital visibility is a formidable tool that can profoundly shape your company’s reputation. By embracing the spotlight with sincerity and strategy, your CEO not only bolsters your company’s image but also sets a benchmark for future leaders.

In this rapidly evolving digital landscape, those at the helm who can navigate with visibility and integrity are the ones who will steer their companies to new heights of success and influence.

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