As bloggers and business owners we know how vital it is to have social awareness in our field.
One the best ways for small businesses to gain awareness without spending lots of money on marketing is to have their content marketed by others for free.
Many large businesses however end up hiring a marketing team or virtual assistants to do the marketing for them and that cost money.
Money most small start-ups don’t have.
But what if you didn’t have to hire a single person to market your content?
What if you’re raving fans did all of the marketing for you?
What if you built a loyal, loving fan base of 1,000 or more people who think your content is absolutely amazing and want share everything you do with their friends and the world?
Think about it.
Imagine the level of influence you could have by tapping into a small dedicated audience.
Imagine each of them bringing 5 to 10 of their closest friends, colleagues or family members to your blog or business.
By using a content marketing strategy that focuses on building a loyal, raving fan base that can’t wait to tell everyone about your content you greatly enhance your chances for success and recognition.
By growing your business through word of mouth you not only bring in those who are most interested in your content you also gain free traffic from your raving fans who are more than willing to help you build your business by marketing it for you.
And because your fans have close friends who trust them you acquire more authority and trustworthiness with their friends, which can help you build strong relationships with people who otherwise might not have been interested in you.
In the beginning you will have to put in the effort to get the word out and build your audience one by one, but as your audience grows they’ll begin to share your content for you.
To show you the value of having a small raving fan base let’s do a little math.
1 person (you) marketing your content several hours a day = 1 person (you) spreading the word to gain potential visitors and traffic.
1000 people (your adoring fans) marketing your content for you all day and night = 1000 more opportunities (and many additional marketing hours) to bring in new visitors, which can substantially grow your traffic and business!
Now I can hear you saying to yourself, ” Patrick that all sounds great, but how do I get visitors to begin with and how do I build a relationship with them?”
Let’s take a look into some of the questions you may be asking yourself (or me) and see if we can shed a little light on this topic.
1) Finding people who share your values and interests
The key word here is “find”.
Before anyone shares your content you need to find people who are actually interested in what you have to say.
In many cases this means doing some research.
Look for other websites that already have an active audience that share similar values and/or interests with you and your content.
Social websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter already have millions of daily visitors who may be interested in what you have to say.
Podcasting is becoming another highly viable method for attracting new visitors to your blog or website.
There are tons of highly successful and authoritative blogs that have regular readers who may find what you have to say worth listening to.
You can also participate in group discussions and forums to build your audience.
In the beginning though it’s a good idea to look at a few successful bloggers in your niche or related niche who have similar views and personality traits so you can study how they built their audience.
Some of the best blogs are the ones that teach you how to do what they do and obtain the results they’ve obtained.
Over time you’ll begin to learn how to adapt their strategies to your own website and you’ll develop your own writing personality as well.
The important thing for you is to find out where your viable audience is and then proactively communicate with them regularly and create an emotional bond and/or interest with them and what you have to say.
The speed of your success often depends on the social medium you use to connect with your audience, the quality of your content, the level of influence your fans have and the amount of effort you put into it.
2) Focus on being proactive instead of reactive
As I stated earlier, everyone starts at zero when they first start out so you’ll need to be very proactive in the beginning to build your audience.
Being proactive means you are actively taking steps to find and build your audience instead of waiting for them to just show up.
Some of these activities include sending useful emails to your subscribers on a regular basis, writing guest posts for other websites to increase your traffic and awareness, actively participating in social networks or gatherings, commenting on other blogs, being interviewed by other blogs (to build awareness), using multimedia to engage more people, and communicating with others through various social media platforms.
Don’t wait for visitors to arrive, be proactive and give them a reason to want to visit your website.
Being reactive means that you are responding to a visitor after they’ve taken the initial step to make contact with you.
This is an important step as well, but most people aren’t going to actively look for you or find out about you if you aren’t taking the steps necessary to inform and educate or entertain them.
Being reactive may include activities such as responding to comments, answering emails, waiting for visitors to come to your website before you engage them and trying to get back fans or customers after they’ve decided to go elsewhere.
The more you focus on being proactive the more likely you will be to grow your audience.
3) Build your raving fan base one person at a time
There tends to be a multiplier affect in marketing.
In the beginning you build your fan base one person at a time, but as that fan base begins to grow so does your awareness and your audience.
Don’t underestimate their value because your audience will likely determine the success of your business and each of your fans has the potential to help you grow your market significantly beyond its present state.
When writing content there should be a balance between what you feel is important for your website and what your fans feel is important to them.
By tapping into the minds of your audience you can find out whether or not the content you’re writing is of value to them and eventually you’ll be able to create products and services that
meet exceed their wants and needs.
It’s also important to understand that you don’t need as big an audience as you may think you need in order to be successful.
For example if 1000 of your fans purchased a $100 product/service from you then you’ve generated $100,000.
Even if you only sell 1000 products over the course of a year you’ve brought in a significant amount of money.
Here are some of the things you can do to make money online: 16 popular ways to generate income using content marketing.
4) Be consistent
Consistency is something I talk about often because it’s so important to your success.
Creating content on a regular basis and following up with your audience is vital to your businesses success.
Continually produce new, quality content for your blog, email your subscribers on a regular basis and contribute outside of your blog with guest posts and through the use of social media platforms.
In the beginning you’ll only want to focus on one or two ways to connect with your audience until you’ve built up enough knowledge, practice and energy before you begin focusing on adding more ways to connect with them.
The more consistent you are the more likely you are to be found, talked about and shared online.
You also become much more educated and specialized about your field through your consistent efforts to create new, useful content.