Content marketing efforts have become part and parcel of any brand's overall marketing strategy as a means to provide their target audience with valuable, relevant information, expand their reach and build a stronger customer base in the process.

But creating high-quality, engaging content is not enough to build brand awareness without having a proper plan to disseminate your content and make sure it reaches potential customers and advocates. These seven entrepreneurs discuss how using online publishing platforms such as Medium or Quora can help you increase brand awareness and ensure your content is reaching the right people.

Syndicate and customize.

A great way of leveraging publishing platforms to increase brand awareness is by reposting or repurposing content that has already proven to perform well, according to From The Future CEO Nick Eubanks.

"Standing on the shoulders of giants can be huge for gaining strong SEO rankings. One of my favorite strategies is to take blog posts that have done well on our company's blog and republish them on Medium, just changing the post title to target keywords that we weren't targeting with the original post," he says. "It has helped me gain additional rankings for commercial keywords."

Interview experts.

Depending on the industry, publishing content featuring experts in your niche can be a great way to increase your brand's visibility. "I have been interviewing experts in different fields and posting the interviews on Medium," says digital marketing expert Jean Ginzburg.

"I post the interviews to my social media channels and request the interviewee post the Medium article to his or her social media. I use that as a branding awareness strategy for my business to get the message across," she explains.

Be transparent.

"I've found that my most transparent Medium content has done best. Being honest, open and sharing things that others usually won't is a great way to attract new readers," says Ben Lang of IT Kit.

In addition to being transparent and honest, it also helps to make sure the things you share are unique to your brand. "Think about ways to share learnings, numbers, screenshots, product-related content and other unique things that only you can create," says Lang.

Create content around brand values.

Don't just focus on churning out as much content as you can. To truly drive brand awareness and build a strong, loyal following, stay true to your core values whenever you share content.

"In selecting content messages, I like to focus on specific values," says Serenity Gibbons, local unit lead for NAACP in Northern California. "They humanize the brand, are relatable and engaging to the audience, and connect the brand with things that are important to the audience. This might be helping others, increasing diversity, volunteering, etc."

Build your audience over time.

Before you even begin to put your content out there, make sure you have built a relevant target audience. "The only way to get distribution is for readers to engage. Assuming you can create quality content, the bottleneck is accruing followers," says Aaron Schwartz, co-founder and COO of Passport.

"I recommend kickstarting your base by asking friends and family to follow you and engage with your content. Even getting a few dozen people to comment will introduce you to new readers," he says. "Then you just need to be consistent with writing, and awareness will spread."

Connect with other people.

"I love posting articles on Medium, but I realized that it's more than that. It's about connecting with people and engaging with them so they can connect with you," shares Sweta Patel of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing.

According to Patel, anyone who wants engagement on their articles must also comment on and like other people's articles in their niche. "This will help you get that leg up and receive support from people who have similar interests as you do."

Focus on providing quality content.

Regardless of what publishing platforms you use, one of the most important things is creating high-quality content that offers real value to customers. "We are an app development company and we write high-quality content regarding app technology every month on Medium," says Piyush Jain, CEO of SIMpalm.

"Our content is mostly educational, with how-to guides on startups and technology, which helps us get a lot of impressions and followers. I have a part-time editor who proofreads the content and two part-time idea generators who come up with topic ideas," Jain explains. "Medium is great."

Published on: Dec 3, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.