Small businesses can learn a lot from bloggers. Yes, many bloggers sell their souls and integrity in exchange for free gifts and perks. But most serious bloggers really understand how to build an engaged and thriving audience.
If you are trying to get a community to rally behind your brand, then listen up. In this article, I will share some tactics used by bloggers to achieve phenomenal results.
1. Own your audience
This is the most important point I will be making today. Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform is rented ground.
You have access to the community you build there…until the platform decides to change the rules.
Recently, Facebook changed its algorithm, and the next morning brands were unable to reach more than 2.6% of their audience.
How do you own your audience?
2. Email is not dead
Email has a bad rap. We want to get rid of it. It inconveniences our lives and has been referred to as ‘other peoples’ to-do list for you. Yet, it is still one of the most engaged and lucrative channels out there. More than that. Your list belongs to you.
No one can take your list away from you. If you have done it right, then people will have opted-in for your email list. This already shows interest.
You already have someone further along the sales and marketing funnel than a person who only liked your Facebook page.
How do you get more people to join your mailing list?
Most businesses have some small opt-in form somewhere on their websites that reads, “Stay up to date.”
Not good enough.
Bloggers take this very seriously. They try and get you to opt-in whenever they can. Here is a great example. [Insert link] Bloggers know that once they have you on their list they can be even more valuable to you and nurture the relationship.
So do me a favour. Destroy your current opt-in form, and create something that you can give to people in return for their email address.
In doing that, you set the tone for the relationship and establish yourself as someone who will be valuable. It does not have to be something big and fancy, but it does have to be relevant.
Related: How to Make Money Blogging
4. Give to receive
Have you heard the words content marketing being thrown around, but you’re not sure what it means?
The crux of content marketing is that you provide value to your audience in the form of articles, shareable images, podcasts, webinars, and any other medium that is applicable.
In doing so, you become more than just a brand pushing your product or service. You become a trusted authority, and your audience gets to know, like, and trust you.
I will admit that time is definitely a problem for most small businesses. But if you can consistently create only one good piece of content per month, you are still doing better than ignoring this trend.
5. Understand automation
My personal favourite. A lot of what we have spoken about in this article can be automated. Using tools such as Leadpages, Mailchimp and Zapier, you can automate your marketing and relationship building process.
Someone signs up to receive one of your amazing free giveaways. From there they receive automated emails relevant to them. Each email adds value, creates demand, and builds relationship.
This continues until you eventually make your pitch. The goal is always sales. But the route to that sale can be less pushy and more like a friend whispering in your ear.
Bloggers have a massive toolbox that they use to build and nurture their audiences. Nothing is more important.
Even though there is a degree of automation, it is purely to allow for the handling of mass audience building. You would never be able to scale without it.