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Daria Kushnir on Strategies for Online Visibility and Engagement

As industry leaders begin to uncover more and more possibilities for their businesses, it's never been more important to have a strategy in place for online visibility. Today, Daria Kushnir - an expert in marketing and communications, Founder of Kushnir Consulting Agency shares her knowledge to help other business leaders get noticed.

Can you share a bit about your business and how it has embraced the digital landscape for growth and visibility?

I’m turning over every stone of the digital landscape for growth and visibility of my personal brand. The main channels of communication are: Linkedin, Medium, some local Ukrainian media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. I actively maintain them, as that's where my key target audience is present.

I also diligently participate in business communities and online networking events. I pay great attention to PR activities and try to prepare regular expert publications in my niche.

What specific strategies have you employed to enhance your online presence and engage with your target audience?

My strategy is focusing on organic growth. Therefore, I concentrate on attracting and engaging with my target audience, and building a community. My favoured tools include: collaboration with other experts, including joint live streams, requests for interaction, quizzes, and regular stories. Active interaction with the audience requires the background of personal brand awareness, which is ensured by constant PR activities.

Focusing on organic growth does not ensure immediate results, but strategically it builds an authentic and consistent personal brand, and fosters the audience loyalty. I see a strong connection between my audience loyalty and my business performance.

Can you provide an example of a digital campaign or initiative that significantly boosted your business’s visibility or customer engagement?

Last year, I joined as a mentor several charitable projects, where I provided free consultations on my topic. The projects had good media support and wide reach, they were talked about a lot, and I also used these projects as a newsbreak for my social media. At the same time, I constantly conducted live streams and managed to publish my articles in several top business media in Ukraine. While participating in these charitable projects, I collected feedback and recommendations - video and written. This marketing mix made it possible to increase mentions in target media, to expand the recognition of my personal brand and receive commercial requests for consulting as a result. Therefore, in order to get something, you need to be ready to give and work hard.

The digital world is constantly evolving. What challenges have you faced in maintaining an active and effective online presence, and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges in consulting is the high cluttered media space around us. When we are online, we feel constantly bombarded with tons of information and it’s hard to detect somebody worthy. So the brand or a specialist must be outstanding among all this. The only way to get spotted is to stay authentic and be yourself, when it comes to consulting and personal branding. Several years ago one should touch a client 7-8 times to get a lead, now it’s twice as much needed to reach that level of trust and loyalty. Therefore, the most rewarding strategy is to grow a loyal and warm audience for your personal brand, which will support and recommend you as a specialist.

What tools or platforms have you found most effective for building your online presence and engaging with your audience?

The choice of platforms and channels for communication obviously depends on the audience. Perhaps someone has such a geeky audience that they have already drifted to Mastodon. As for me, I am currently most active on LinkedIn. Also in my case, it turned out that Facebook is more effective than Instagram for audience engagement. PR placements in leading media worked very well boosting my authority and personal brand recognition. I mainly have a Ukrainian audience, so I am not active in X. As for tools, I constantly research and track innovations. New useful AI tools emerge all the time.

How do you measure the success of your digital strategies, and what key performance indicators do you focus on?

Since my business is consulting, my KPIs are the number of requests for consultations. The next very important indicator is the engagement rate in social media, as it directly affects the number of requests. That’s what concerns me most, and the number of subscribers or viewers is not so important.

The digital landscape is always changing. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, and how do you decide which ones to adopt?

The only way to keep up with changes is to change yourself. Therefore, I habitually research, study, and read. I try to find extra time for professional online learning. Since I know my audience well and follow the trends, I periodically offer them matching trends in relevant contexts. The process looks like formation and testing of marketing hypotheses. As a result of testing, the most interesting topics, strategies or formats are selected, those that work best. Any decision must be data-driven and testing-based.

What advice would you give to businesses that are just starting to establish their online presence and engage with customers digitally?

If a business has been around for a while but it’s not yet present online, it looks strange. I think it's a matter of info hygiene. Everyone should have some kind of social proof and digital traces. Lacking them, there will be no trust in the business. Therefore, the issue of online presence is not up for discussion.

You should start by researching the target audience. Based on this, you can choose relevant platforms: 1-2 social networks, and create a website. There you need to place all the basic information about the business, “why we are so cool” etc, and be sure to include the mission and values. This will be the base that anyone interested can find in Google. And then you need to build strategies depending on the market, location, and general business goals. Then specify online platforms and how they will help achieve the business objectives and goals of communications, and the next step will be choosing the set of tools and tactics to use. One needs to understand the customer journey and the purpose of being present online in order to set the right KPIs. In some cases, it may not be necessary to create a website, focusing on social networks instead.

I can support the entire process with strategic planning and marketing consultancy services.


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