How to Become Known as a Thought Leader or Influencer Through Content Marketing

How to Become Known as a Thought Leader or Influencer Through Content Marketing

content marketing to be found

In order for people to come to know you and trust you as an expert, they first must FIND YOU. Content marketing has become the leading way in which people are found, and because we live in a social sharing age, it is a way for people to become known by a much larger audience.

Karen wants to be known as a leader in the human resources industry. She wants people to hire her to work with their companies and trust her 23 years of experience. Her problem is, only a few know about her. She doesn’t want to spend time “messing with social media” and she doesn’t produce any other form of content to let people know about her expertise.

content marketing

Kevin has a great service taking people on adventure vacations. He provides everything that is needed; food, canoes, backpacks, transportation to get into the remote areas where their adventures begin. He is passionate about adventures and helping people have a safe and memorable time, but he doesn’t like marketing and is trying to figure out how to get the word out about his awesome service.

content marketing to be known

You may be the very best consultant in the country or the finest hat maker in the world, but if no one knows who you are and what you do, your business won’t last long.

Today’s consumers are tech savvy and www stands for Whatever they want, Whenever they want it, and Wherever they are. When a question pops in our head, we simply whip out our smart phone and ask SIRI, or Google. So when Sally in San Francisco wants to know, “Which kind of hat goes best with a spring dress?” She simply asks Google. When she does, Google serves up content that Sally will most likely find helpful and interesting.

blogging to be found as an expert

What would your ideal customer type into Google if they were searching for your products or services? Write down a list of questions they might ask about your industry. Now go type these questions into Google and see what content comes up. See WHOSE content comes up. Who is known in your space? Who are the leaders that have the answer to the questions your ideal customer is searching for?

If you want to become known in your space as the leader or someone who is an expert, you must start creating more content.

Your marketing content can come in many forms:

  1. A Blog.

    This is simply a spot on your website, or perhaps it stands alone on a blogging platform like WordPress, for you to share thoughts, stories, answers to questions people have about what you do. Blogging is one of the easiest and quickest to start with since it’s simply writing. If you feel that you can’t type, simply open up a word document go up to edit and select start dictation. Before you know it you’ll feel like a doctor dictating your patient notes.

  2. A Video.

    The beauty of creating a video blog (or VLOG) is that it usually takes a lot less time. If I turn on the camera and speak what’s on my mind or provide 3 helpful tips, I am usually finished in five to ten minutes. If I write a blog post on the same concepts, it usually takes an hour. If you can be a one-take wonder and not need to stop and start, it’s quite easy. You can even use the camera on your smartphone to do this. Another thing that is great about video creation, is you can have the video transcribed when you are finished and turn it into tweets, quotes over graphics, and perhaps even another written blog post or article. (Check out TRINT for easy and low-cost transcription service) I love what Jessica Edwards does. She is a realtor in North Carolina that does videos from her car. They are GREAT and talk about easy! Check out her YouTube channel. No fancy intro or outro graphics or music, just answers to her ideal customer’s burning questions!
    creating video content as a thought leader

  3. Screenshare or Webinar Video.

    While this is still a video blog, it’s a form of blogging that requires no “good hair days” to go live on camera. Using tools like Screenflow, Jing or other screen capture tools, you can record your audio along with whatever you are showing on your computer screen. A great way to share technical information in a video blog. Because video itself, has very little SEO (search engine optimization) power or Google Juice, as I like to call it, you will probably want to do a short write up to go along with your video or have it transcribed like above. A great screen capture video tool that I have recently been using is called LOOM. It is a FREE tool that allows you to create short, 10-minute, screen recordings with or without your video showing in the bottom of the screen. Super easy to use and it is a Chrome extension, so there is no expensive or clunky software to install. See the video I created using LOOM right here:

  4. Photos.

    We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you love taking photos, this could be another way for you to share your expertise. Now a photo alone will not be very “findable,” but if you are artistic or work in a very visual industry, snap more photos and then write a short paragraph about what is going on in the photo to share with your audience. If you are a personal stylist, take pictures of items of clothing on someone or laid out creatively on the floor, creating style boards of your own (very popular on Pinterest). While Karen Hutton is a photographer, her photo blog will inspire even those who feel they don’t have a creative bone in their body. Pay attention to how it is laid out and the other content pieces she offers in her right side bar. How can you use this style of blogging in your industry?

    content marketing for creatives

  5. Podcasts.

    If you are not wanting to turn on that video camera, you can certainly do an audio blog or podcast, as everyone else in the world calls it. Podcasts seem to be more popular than ever and with all of the apps available, they have become easier to produce. Like video content, if you want to be FOUND in searches, you will still need some text for Google to read. Adding a thorough description and tags is important and if you have your podcast transcribed, you can add that in your show notes for added search engine sweetness.

  6. Industry Articles.

    If you don’t want to commit to weekly or regular blogging, perhaps writing for magazines, industry publications or even other people’s blogs will fit your schedule and style. Many people use this strategy as they are building their own blog following. Become a regular commenter and then ask the blog site owner if they accept guest bloggers.  The challenge with this is I think it takes more work to find regular guest blogging spots than it does to just write more often on your own site, but this is a good way to get noticed.

What is the content strategy that you feel most comfortable with? What challenges do you find with this? I’d love for you to share with us either in the comments here or on our SocialKNX Facebook Page.

@GinaSchreck

Gina Schreck, social marketing

 

Live Streaming Interview Style with BeLive.tv: What you need to know

Live Streaming Interview Style with BeLive.tv: What you need to know

facebook live streaming BeLive.tv how to use live streaming

Everyone is talking about live streaming and especially on Facebook, with Facebook Live events. You may not feel ready to fly solo just yet on a broadcast. Perhaps doing live streaming interview style with a co-worker, or an expert in your industry would help ease you into the whole live streaming world, but Facebook hasn’t opened up the multi-user feature on their live streaming product yet, so what else can you do?

There are a few tools out that allow you to connect with another presenter and pull both of your video feeds into Facebook to “go live.” One of the tools we recently tested and really like is BeLive.tv.

Here’s why we like BeLive.tv:

  1. Super easy to set up and use. No bulky client to download or equipment to purchase. Simply sign up, connect to your Facebook account and schedule your first event. Once it is scheduled, you will be given a link to send to anyone you want to join you as a guest or co-host. Anyone else can watch and participate in your event through chat. There is no limit there.
  2. The cost right now is …FREE (They are officially still in BETA and therefore offering it free for now. When they start charging a fee, I am guessing it will be under $40 a month to stay in line with other similar tools).

 

Tips to Keep in Mind as the Host of the BeLive Event for Facebook Live:

  1. You can have one guest, or co-host, with the host on screen at a time (two people total). I have read that they are working on the ability to add more, but as of March 2016, you and one guest will be shown on screen.
  2. You can have multiple guests slotted in your event as long as you have given the link to join you on screen and guest number one drops off or hangs up before guest two joins in. So if you had 4 people to interview in one show, you could schedule them all back to back and have them watching the live stream so you could direct the next guest to join in.
  3. You do not have to have a guest. You may want to just host a BeLive Q&A session or fly solo to discuss something that is on your mind or share tips. Using the BeLive platform allows you to schedule (something you cannot do at this time through Facebook), as well as have very nice features such as adding your name and company in the lower third of your screen (see names in lower third of screen) and pulling questions that are asked in chat, onto the screen to feature them.Facebook Live events using BeLive.tv
  4. Speaking of questions. During your event, any questions or comments that are typed into Facebook by your viewers are seen inside the BeLive platform. You can simply click on a question or comment to have it pop onto the screen as you answer it. (See Sarah’s comment below) The key to remember is to click it again when you are finished to take it off the screen so it doesn’t cover your lower-third name tag.Live streaming interview style on Facebook live
  5. BeLive.tv works best in Chrome browser, so be sure and have that downloaded prior to beginning the setup.
  6. Have your guests run a test with you before the show to ensure their video and audio is set up correctly. If you have one guest, simply have them join you in the BeLive platform 15-30 minutes prior to run the tests. If you have more than one guest, you have to run these tests one at a time.
  7. The only equipment needed would be a computer with a video camera and microphone or smartphone. You may want to use a microphone/headset to plug in for improved audio. TIP (from experience): Do not use a microphone-only plugin as it could affect your ability to hear your guest. Since the microphone is usually plugging into the headset jack. It is fine if you don’t need to hear anyone else speaking, but in this case, use a headset with a mic built in.
  8. You can schedule your event to broadcast into your personal profile, a group or a business page you manage.Live streaming interview style use BeLive.tv on Facebook Live
  9. When you schedule your event, notifications, as well as subsequent reminders, are sent automatically, which is wonderful!

 

Tips for the Guest Coming on BeLive.tv:

  1. You will be sent a link to click on the day of the event. Log in a few minutes early (if not several minutes early to practice) and test your microphone and video.
  2. Do a quick check of your surroundings. You will be on camera and you may want to tidy up around you or be sure there is no confidential information that will appear onscreen.
  3. You must have a Facebook account to participate. BeLive.tv pulls your name and info from Facebook, at this time, in order to connect you.
  4. Using Chrome browser is recommended, if not required. Do not wait until the day of the event to download Chrome.
  5. Just like the host, the only equipment needed would be a computer with a video camera and microphone or smartphone. You may want to use a microphone/headset to plug in for improved audio. TIP (from experience): Do not use a microphone-only plugin as it could affect your ability to hear your guest. Since the microphone is usually plugging into the headset jack. It is fine if you don’t need to hear anyone else speaking, but in this case, use a headset with a mic built in.
  6. As you are logging in for the first time, you will see a notification “Do you want to allow BeLive access to your microphone and camera.” This is a small message that will appear but watch for it. If you click away or click NO, your computer audio and video will not work. You want to allow the tools to use your camera and microphone. Don’t worry, they won’t snap any selfies on their own.
  7. Be sure to have strong internet connectivity or strong cell service if you are participating from your phone. Just like using Skype, Facetime or any other live video tool, your internet connectivity is crucial to a smooth live streaming experience.
  8. Have fun! Your personality is what will make the event fun for the viewers. Relax and don’t try and be scripted. Bullet points are fine but don’t read your answers onscreen.

So how do you begin? Can you test this before you schedule your first public event? Yes. Go in and schedule an event you will see at the bottom a TESTING ONLY-DO NOT POST option. This will allow you to get comfortable with the features before diving in.

If you need more tips on creating better social videos, be sure and download “3.5 STEPS and 8 TIPS for BETTER SOCIAL VIDEOS”

Tips for doing live streaming video

Connect with us on any social channel or join our DIY.social business building group on Facebook. I look forward to connecting!

@GinaSchreck

Gina Schreck, social marketing

Where to Begin Your Social Media Marketing When You Are Starting from Zero

Where to Begin Your Social Media Marketing When You Are Starting from Zero

where to start with social media

Everyone wants to know, “What social media platform should I focus on if I am just starting out?” or “Where do I begin my social media marketing if I am starting from scratch?” These are not questions that have a simple answer, although everyone wishes they did. If only the answer was, “Just post one piece of content each day on Facebook. That is how to begin” or “Definitely start on Twitter. That’s where you should always begin.”

I love springtime and gardening. I’m not that good at it yet, but every year I want to know what I need to do to plant and nurture a beautiful garden. What should I do first? What’s the easy way to plant 100 bulbs? Gardening is a lot like starting out, or reviving a stalled social media marketing plan. There is no quick and easy button.

The reality is, there are several things you will want to do if you are starting from zero and putting together your marketing plan. Of course, you need to take some time to really explore who your ideal audience is. Sure you want to target everyone, but as the saying goes, if your content is for everyone, it is for no one. After identifying your ideal (keyword there is IDEAL) customer, do some research to find out which social media platforms they are active on. Where are they engaged? What type of content are they commenting on and sharing?

Now it’ s time to fire up two engines simultaneously — your content creation engine and your community building engine. It’s like love and marriage, or peanut butter and jelly. You can’t have one without the other.

content and social media community

Start Blogging

You need to begin sharing your expertise and creating content that you can draw people in with. Your blog content can be written or it can be video, or perhaps a little of both. The core of your social media marketing is your blog or website. You have to spend time creating content there that you will share on your social channels. Set a schedule to write one post per month or one per week, depending on the amount of time you have. [READ: 8 Blogging Tips to Connect Better with Your Readers]

Create Content for Your Social Media Channels

There is a temptation when starting out on social media, to just start connecting with people. But if they come and see an empty profile, you may have a harder time getting people to connect back with you. Before connecting and inviting people to come over and LIKE or FOLLOW your brand, decorate the house just a little. Be sure you have 7-10 posts loaded on any social channel you are using so when someone comes to check you out, there is enough there for them to know what your area of focus is. Make them visually appealing. Make them different, intriguing, inviting. Not sure what to post? We have you covered. Download our “20 Types of Facebook Posts“. You can use these strategies for any platform.

types of facebook posts to increase engagement

 

Find and Follow (the RIGHT) People Everyday

Aim to find and follow at least 25, people each day on Twitter and Instagram to follow. This should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes a day. Use hashtags, geolocation, keywords, and other accounts that your target audience would be following, to find people. After following these people, scan your streams and spend about 15 minutes a day commenting, liking or retweeting their content. Let the relationships begin.

On Facebook and LinkedIn it’s a little more work since you can’t necessarily just follow individuals from a Facebook business page and if you just started randomly sending connection requests on LinkedIn, you’ll probably get “dinged” pretty quickly. You have to find other business pages and groups and get involved. Become a welcomed and valuable member of these “communities” and they will want to come and check you out. Comment, answer questions, do NOT try and sell or be spammy with “come and check out my page” comments. That will turn everyone off, except other spammers who will want to recruit you!

Email and Lead Generation

I don’t want to scare you or overwhelm you, so just know that after you have done the first three steps, you need to start thinking about building that email list and nurturing the subscribers to convert them from LIKES into LEADS. If you have not set up an e-mail service provider (different from your internet service provider), check out services like Mailchimp or Drip. This is important to do as early in your business as possible. I cannot tell you the number of people who say “I wish I would have started building my e-mail list earlier. When someone subscribes to your list, think about how you will nurture the relationship with them. Will you send a monthly newsletter? A weekly tip or word of encouragement or just hold on to them until you want to sell something (not the best idea).

Once you have an e-mail service provider, you can use tools like Leadpages to create easy templated landing pages that will collect e-mail address in exchange for a piece of content you have created. Sometimes these are called “lead magnets” “value offers” or “freebies” but the concept is the same. I create a valuable piece of content and you exchange your contact information for the item. You can then add the link to the value offer in your social posts and blog posts to begin building that list.

Stick with It

Like anything, social media marketing takes time and consistent care to grow your audience and content inventory. Make time each day and each week to keep these activities up and you will see lasting and beautiful blooms in no time!

where to begin to build your social media marekting

What has been the hardest piece for you getting started, or even if you have been using social media in your marketing mix for quite a while and now are wanting to put more focus on making your plan more strategic and helping you build your business, what is the hardest part? I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions.

If you need regular help with your marketing and you just don’t know where to turn, join our DIY.social group on Facebook for regular tips.

@GinaSchreck
Gina Schreck, social marketing