Podcast Review: Is There a Way to Build Your Brand Without Paid Advertising?

by | Oct 2, 2015

Online marketing podcast: Is there a way to build your brand without advertising it?

Podcast Title: Facebook Growth: How to create huge Facebook communities without advertising

Podcast Date: June 19th, 2015

Michael Stelzner is the founder of one of the world’s largest business blogs, Social Media Examiner. The Social Media Marketing podcasts discuss different ways to boost your brand by giving marketing ideas that help keep you up-to-date with the changes through the world of social media. This podcast is designed to guide busy marketers and business owners in the right direction to discover what might work for their social media marketing. The guest speaker on this segment is social media expert Collin Cottrell, founder of Whitetailoverload.com, shares his actions and thoughts on what made his page successful and how others could possibly do the same.

Facebook growth: Provide great content

IMG_0961During the duration of building his brand with zero advertising, Cottrell focused on building relationships with people instead of focusing on the number of likes as an outcome. Collin Cottrell was able to build his brand and ultimately reach up to 1 million page visits within the first few months of starting his page. He’s grown the audience of his initial page to millions of people.

Collin has been an avid outdoorsman and businessman. He attended hunting and outdoor trade shows where he used his connections with major players to boost his business. In 2007 he launched a graphics/web design marketing agency and focused on providing customers with  “value- driven” content. His rationale behind this marketing decision was that value-driven content targets a specific community with valuable information that will be of good use to them. Once he started identifying content that resonated with his community, Cottrell focused on five specific strategies to grow his audience.


1. Post 3-5 times

Post three times per day. This regular posting interval provides users with daily and interesting content which makes them more likely to visit the page and share with their online friends. Creating valuable content is important to your communities because they want to be able to be able to retain and use this information.

2. Incorporate giveaways

Example of a contest

Example of a contest

Giveaways were a huge part of his success in building an audience.  People love free stuff and especially if it has to do with their their interests. For his hunting page, Cottrell used giveaways that promoted free hunting gear to stimulate interaction and engagement with his audience. To be entered in the drawing, fans would have to download an app linked back to his Facebook page, like the page on Facebook, and share the content on their news feed.

3. Cross-promote

Chris mentions the practice of cross promotion was vital to his early success in growing an audience. Cottrell would partner with other Facebook pages and raise awareness as well as create new pages. Cross promoting to other pages and posting simple links leads your audience to another source of value driven content.

4. Join not like

One interesting tip Chris had for entrepreneurs wanting to grow their audiences was to pay very careful attention to the verbs used to initiate action with your customers. He sent out two marketing messages asking Facebook users to interact with his page. The first message included “like our page.” The second message said “join our page.” The latter message increased new likes at a much higher rate.

5. Let your personality shine


Collin Cottrell is shown here deer hunting and posing for a picture for his audience. He’s showing his personality and relating to his audience on his website.

Chris mentions people visit pages not actively looking to purchase a product. Instead, they want a personal experience.  Sharing thoughts, experiences, and your personality can make your page personally relevant to a potential customer. He also identified that pages should actively be talking to their customers and communicating with them. In the end, it’s about being human.

What do I think?

Not Recommend, Recommend, Highly Recommend?

This podcast is Highly Recommend from me. The content was organized and had useful tips and information. Learning about building a successful brand without advertising is a skill needed by all small business owners, especially those with limited marketing budgets. Although a lot of his success happened before the big boom of Facebook business pages and may not be 100% transferrable to the modern marketer today, there are a lot of good foundational lessons to be gained from this podcast.


About the author: Lachelle Marshall is a student at Kansas State University and the current intern for the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement.