If you’re a business that is trying to grow your online presence, you keep hearing how important inbound marketing is. The methodology of using your website, blogs, free offers (like an ebook), email workflows, landing pages and social media helps drive traffic, leads, and conversions.
One of the ways to you can attract brand awareness to drive traffic to your site involves social media. Posting content is a great way to start, but how do you stand out from the crowd?
Become a social media influencer.
Easier said than done, right?
Especially if your team is small and you don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for a social media team, nor the time and money to find and pay influencers.
Here is a three-step formula to becoming an influencer:
- Offer a lot of content for free.
- Automate social media and post scheduling.
- Grow your influence.
Let’s break down each step and review the tools you need to master them.
Step 1: Offer a lot of content for Free
There is so much information available online – and for free. If your business isn’t creating and sharing content with your audience, you’re simply losing to other brands. People are used to consuming a brand’s content and building trust before they make a buying decision. So if you don’t have a blog, an ebook, free webinars, or another way to get content out to your audience, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build trust – and eventually, gain sales.
How to Create Engaging Content
There are numerous strategies for creating engaging content. We are going to discuss the forms of content you could create and the quality and the quantity required for a good content strategy for your business.
Forms of Popular Content
The most widespread form of content is still the written form, believe it or not. Make a blog for your business if you don’t already have one and start writing articles that speak to your audience’s problems and pain points. You can write how-to articles, best practices, common myths, benefits of using your product or platform, or anything that will be interesting to your audience. If you are new to blogging here is an excellent article about how to start your own blog.
Best practices dictate publishing content every week, with once a week being your minimum. If you want to be successful then you should publish 3-5 blog posts a week. You don’t have to do this alone. Partner up with other businesses in your industry and have them contribute at least 1-2 guest posts to your blog every week. This will not only help you create more content but also increase your traffic by those businesses sharing your blog with their audiences. You can do the same thing with a podcast, a webinar, or an interview.
Webinars are a super powerful tool to build an audience and boost engagement. Webinars drive high-quality leads to you and greatly increase your sales, and it’s really easy to set one up.
- Choose a topic or a strategy that you can teach (with specific steps, examples, tools)
- Make a 1-hour presentation with slides and a script
- Pick a webinar platform to use (Top 15 webinar products here)
- Email and invite your audience to the webinar event
- Deliver answer questions, and put a call to action in the end for your product
For a specific article just about webinars check out this article from GetResponse.
Offering a free ebook is an effective way to share content and get email signups. You can pack three to four articles you’ve already written into an ebook and continuously update it when there is new information on the topic. Then you can offer it on your site, part of your popup or at the end of related blog posts to offer added value to your readers.
It’s actually much easier than it sounds. You don’t need to hire a designer if you don’t want to, nor hire a tech guru to convert the ebook into the right file format. There are numerous tools out there that allow you to choose the blog posts that you want to use and automatically convert them into an ebook for you. One of these tools is called Beacon. It has slick templates and a WordPress plugin that make the whole process super easy.
Step 2 – Automate Your Social Media and Post Publishing
Social media takes a lot of time, right? You’re probably wondering where do I get the time to post so much content and where do I get the content?
It’s super easy. There are numerous tools that can help you automate every single process involved.
Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or eClincher can help you automate the publishing of your posts. You can bulk upload a series of tweets or Facebook posts and schedule them to go out for the next 30-90 days. Also, you can use Quuu to find the most relevant content from the top brands in your industry and share it on your social media. Here are Buffer’s top 20 tools for content curation and social media management.
Step 3 – Automatically Grow Your Following
Once your posting and content curation is automated you will start seeing more user engagement. People will begin sharing, retweeting, and commenting on your posts because of the increased frequency of your posting and the quality and relevancy of your content. How do you find the time to respond to everyone? You guessed it, automate it!
That might sound strange, how do I automate an interaction? Do I use a bot? No, that’s not what we mean. First, create an auto-message to go out to every user that messages you on Facebook.
Next, create an automatic welcome tweet and DM to go out on Twitter to show your users that you care about them. Then use a platform like Nimble or eClincher to be able to respond to every message on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in one place – instead of having to log in to every social media channel separately. You can even add your team members to help you manage the social media engagement.
Now that we covered engagement, how do we grow the audience? There are a few amazing tools that can help you automatically grow your audience exponentially. Use StatusBrew to follow and unfollow hundreds of people per day automatically with a few clicks. You can use GetRiver to do the same for you on Instagram. These two tools allow you to find brands or influencers whose followers might be interested in you or your product and follow them, in other words, they simplify the process of finding people with similar interests to expand your brand.
With these three steps, you can grow your brand or business on social media, without having to pay for ads. To recap, here are the three steps:
- Offer a lot of free content.
- Automate your social media and post publishing.
- Automate engagement and automatically grow your audience.
If you use these simple steps and the automation tools described, you will eventually become an influencer. It might night take a month, more like six to 12 months. But you will begin to see incredible results and growth in your business.
Ben Kazinik is an inbound marketer @eClincher, the world’s most powerful social media management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email: email@example.com, @eclincherRocks, www.eclincher.com, Facebook, LinkedIn