There are various nontraditional ways to use the tools of the internet to help grow your brand. Whether it is sourcing relevant content to schedule on social media, or staying up to date with trends within your sector, using what already exists online offers key benefits. Below are resources that can expand your competitive advantage by growing your awareness of industry news, establishing your credibility with media outlets, and connecting with influencers relevant to your brand.

Google Alerts: Google allows you to set up alerts on topics that may be relevant to your company, which include your industry and competitors. This feature also delivers daily content to your inbox that is ideal for social sharing. It sorts through all of the information on the web and sends links with your desired phrases directly to your email. TIP: Always set up Google alerts with your name and your business’s name so you know immediately when your information is included on another site.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO): This free service (basic package) can help you become a sought-after expert in your field. By subscribing, HARO will connect you with requests from journalists who are working on a story. Queries are delivered to your email three times per day, and if you see a subject matter request that fits your expertise or someone else’s within your company, you can respond and potentially become a source for a journalist. In turn, you essentially get free advertising to their readership because your name and business are now out there. This also allows you to build up a portfolio for a media page on your website.

BlogDash: Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most successful means of gaining attention for your business. Bloggers have an established network of followers who often trust their recommendations. BlogDash gives you access to their blogger community to help with outreach on content you want shared. This service does come at a cost that varies depending on which package you choose. TIP: Blogging is a common profession within the military community. You can build your own distribution list by crowdsourcing on social media the names of popular blogs.