When you are starting out in business, you start out as simple as possible. A basic website and business card can keep your business going for months or even years.
Yet as your business evolves, the simple approach isn’t going to keep clients coming in. Once you touch the immediate people in your circle of influence, it becomes more difficult to spread out and reach beyond the people that know and love you best.
Here’s a guide to building strong relationships through content marketing by following the 3 Ps – Presence, Publish and Promote.
You’re online. You may have started with a basic website, but over time that has evolved into so much more. Your presence now includes a blogging platform such as WordPress, as well as a variety of profiles on sites like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Everything you do contributes to developing a highly visible brand to a variety of people – they choose how to follow you rather than you demanding they follow you in a certain way.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Basics: Your sites and profiles are built with search in mind, and regularly rank for the content you provide. You don’t just create content on a whim; you produce it with keyphrase strategies in mind. You use search-friendly titles, tags, headers and links for every post you create. Technical aspects are also in place, such as redirects, sitemaps, robots, etc.
Analytics: You use statistics and tracking devices to determine how well you perform at everything you do. Google Analytics shows you how much traffic you have, where it’s coming from, and what happens along the way. You use internal statistics plugins on your WordPress platform to help you determine what people like to read on your site and how they move from post to post.
Content: Your site isn’t just a brochure; it’s a platform for connecting to your potential clients. Your job is to produce quality content in a variety of formats on a regular basis – daily in some manner, depending on the source. You understand how things are connected and constantly reach out to people using every source available to you.
Once you begin publishing in a big way, its time to connect and use your content as efficiently as possible.
Comments: Integrate your comments to spark conversation and get your readers talking all over the web. Comments are great on individual spaces, but when you connect them, they are even more powerful. Commenting systems like Livefyre can make your site work doubletime for you.
Scheduling: When is your client and prospect most attentive? Is it at 6am or 6pm? Tuesday morning or Saturday afternoon? With so many possibilities to reach out and connect, using a system like HootSuite or TweetDeck with help you do more in a fraction of the time.
Listen: People today are more connected than ever before. And with mobile moving in as fast as it is, that will only increase in the coming months and years. Learn to listen to what your prospects are saying by using tools like SocialBro to analyze how they say it and what they say.
You have the content. Now spread it around and share it with everyone in a variety of ways.
Email Marketing: Many people say email marketing is dead. That depends on your demographics. A 50+ female reacts differently than a 20+ male. You have to know who your client is and the manner in which they most like to use. While Constant Contact is always popular, I’ve used aWeber for years and love the flexibility of having both ezine and autoresponder capabilities.
Google Tools: Google has a wide range of free resource tools that help you build your business. Try out Google’s URL Builder, which allows you to segment traffic inside your Google Analytics program.
Social Promotion: Social sites are free; that’s why we love them. But many are now developing revenue generating options that can help you grow your business in the process. Give some of these a try while they are new and very affordable. Facebook’s Promoted Posts allows you to choose your best content and share it with friends and their friends, often allowing you to see a quick boost in the amount of likes you experience.