Many businesses are struggling to get the visibility they need in order to find new clients, get referrals and grow their business in today’s competitive environment. Below are four of the strategies I use that are guaranteed to help you gain a targeted following and become well known online.
Create valuable content
The content you create must be valuable to your target audience. This sounds pretty simple but very often quality gets left behind in favor of quantity.
Start by forming two types of content. The first type should be lead generating content such as whitepapers, ebooks and reports that are intended to solve a pain your target audience is facing and showcase you as an expert in this area.
The second type should be educational content that is intended to share quality, helpful information that is valuable to your target audience and will showcase your brand in a positive light. This content typically comes in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, slide share presentations, etc.
If you are going to go to the trouble of creating valuable and engaging content then it only makes sense to let others help you share it! Make sure you have a prominent RSS feed on your website/blog so those who are interested in your content can easily subscribe to it.
Add Tweet buttons, Facebook “Like” buttons, “Send” buttons, Google + buttons and “Share” buttons to your content so others can share it with their favorite networks. These are all very simple things you can do to ensure you and your content have the best opportunity for getting seen!
If you haven’t done this already then it’s time for you to get social. Once you have great content and are allowing others to share it, you’ll want to begin connecting with your target audience, listening to them and sharing that value yourself! People can’t learn more about you or your business if you don’t engage them where they spend much of their time.
Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow you to join your target market’s community, connect with them, listen to them and share information that they will find valuable. Social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and Reddit are another great way to get in front of your target audience and introduce yourself to all the right people!
If you want to gain a following, you’ll need to give people a reason to follow! Never underestimate the importance of sharing interesting bits of information about yourself as you interact on social networking sites. Some of the best connections I’ve ever made were as a direct result of something personal, a quote, a sentiment or even just a kind word.
Whichever sites you choose to use, you’ll want to ensure that you are there to interact and not just promote. People will be able to see through to your underlying intentions and your results will be directly proportional to how others perceive you.
Syndicate your content
Now you’re ready to begin syndicating your content! The purpose of the content you create is to educate your market, provide them with value and show them the way back to your website. That means you’ll need to send that content out and away from your website so it can act on your behalf to direct people back to your website in order to buy.
Don’t just put your new white paper or blog post up on your website and wonder why nothing is happening. Go ahead and add it to your website but then send a link to it out among your target audience. You can do this by posting a link to your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. You can bookmark it via Digg or Reddit. Encourage your audience to read it, share their thoughts with you, ask questions about it and get to know you a little better as a result.
Take that same content and repurpose it into a video and a slide share presentation. Different people use different platforms and you’ll want to reach as many of your target market as possible!
There are some great tools out there that will help support your content syndication efforts and make things a bit easier. Just a few of these great tools include Posterous, which allows you to syndicate your content simply by sending an email! Networked Blogs is another great Facebook app which allows you to syndicate your blog post to your Facebook newsfeed. TubeMogul allows you to syndicate your videos out to multiple online video sites with a simple click of a button!
Technology is a wonderful thing and the tools and resources available to help with content syndication just keep coming! I’ve put together a list of over 250+ tools and resources that were designed to support you in your efforts to syndicate your content among your target audience.
Online visibility that produces results is something that can easily be achieved with the right combination of tools, tactics and strategies. Create the right content, make it easily shareable, interact with your target market online and ensure you have the right tools in place for syndicating your content. Do all of this and you’ll definitely produce the results you’re looking for! Add consistency and passion to the mix and your job marketing yourself and your business online becomes infinitely easier and more pleasurable!