In today’s marketing landscape, blogs are a dime a dozen. What this means for bloggers is that standing out in 2017 is critical. Good advice is not enough. Now, you need a secret sauce alongside great content to get views.
While there are a few ways to get a competitive advantage in content marketing, a recent one that has stuck out for me is building a strong network. Surprisingly, investing 50% of my content marketing time in networking increased blog views over 100%. How did I pull this off? I’ll describe the process below.
1. Finding an influencer group in your industry.
It’s obvious for readers to tell if the person blogging is an influencer based on their industry knowledge. The ability to make intelligent market predictions is a make or break for building long-term followers. Because of this, getting top industry leaders in a room with you is one of the best ways to ensure you cover your bases.
A company that has done an exceptional job at this has been Currency Capital. In 2016, CEO of Currency, Charles Anderson, created a group for pioneers in the equipment financing sector known as the CEMC Council. The goal of the group is to help each member gain the insight, connections, and expertise they need to make great company decisions. And as a result of being in the group, many of the companies involved have been able to emerge as market leaders.
Currency Capital has been able to turn the lessons learned in the group to achieve massive growth over the past year. Appearing in outlets like Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and the Huffington Post, the company serves as an example of what a strong network can do for your company.
Creating or finding a group of thought leaders in your sector is critical for content marketing success. No longer can we be nonchalant about the networking process. To see growth, we need established communities we can rely on. Failure to do this will result in challenges to establish blogging credibility.
2. Utilizing social media to increase your community influence.
Too many amateur bloggers believe if they produce great articles, traffic will just come. This is why so many content marketers fail. As the number of blogs on the internet surge, the ability to attract attention has gotten harder. To adjust to this, authors need to be able to use social tools to stick out.
A few Tweets or Facebook posts a day will not do the trick. Instead, you need to be using these networks as outreach tools. Find the top trending people in your market, and connect with them. Today, Twitter is the best way to connect with “celebrities.” By following a daily ritual for social network outreach, you’ll be surprised at how fast your community will grow.
Once you have made a connection, create a pipeline to get a one on one meeting. You may have to start with an email or a phone call, but trust that this will lead to further opportunities. Once you create a strong connection, add them to the influencer community we discussed in point 1. This will create a network loop that will allow you to find new connections while leveraging the power of your existing ones.
3. Don’t get trapped in your blog.
It’s easy to get buried in your content. As bloggers, the most comfortable activity for us is being alone and writing. For many, this was the main reason we started to blog.
But while this is the easy route, it’s not the best for business.
The best content marketers spend just as much time networking as they do writing. Always looking to get better, they are the ones you see at conferences and seminars. They aren’t just doing this just for fun. Instead, they realize that who you know is now a major component of the job.
Without a network, you won’t survive as a blogger in 2017. And while it’s not easy, creating an expert community isn’t rocket science. Use the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to building a rockstar following.