Change your thinking to build a marketing community

Once your educational content is refined, other bloggers will start to “work for you” as part of your marketing community by linking to it.

New entrepreneurs starting up usually want to build a business beyond themselves – but many don’t have access to capital. This is where you can use low cost, high engagement tactics to build a solid business with a marketing community.

But never be mistaken: marketing that’s targeted, relevant and future-focussed can take you to the heights of business growth… or it can lead to the pit of failure if you throw money at it without a plan.

In the old days, marketing meant advertising and promotion en masse. Companies did not generally give first; they tried to sell (or brand) first.

Now that content marketing has gone mainstream, more entrepreneurs are aware of the need to educate consumers before selling to them. Thought leaders in micro-niches have produced podcasts, books, community sites, webinars and blogs which attract, engage and educate people with something in common.

At this stage, you might be grappling with how building a community and finding a writing voice will fit in with your business vision. Maybe it’s time to change your thinking and realise that long term “reader” engagement is the way forward, rather than trying this new advertising tactic or that new social platform. (A reader can be a student, a member, a shopper and so on).

Bootstrappers can expand quickly by building a community and engaging target readers through as people, not just consumers. Remember, YouTube started as just a community for hobby video makers.

Warm ‘Em Up

But how do you start to get readers warming up to you over time?

By giving away the farm of course! Your offered content must be of real value and relevance to your target audience. This incentive offer is then placed on a special “landing page” or “pop up” window. In effect, it is a targeted email capture device.

The only focus for these landing pages is to get readers to be educated and trust your opinions. At this early stage, you are not even going to mention your product or service. Similarly, if you are building readers through a blog, the call to action at the bottom might be another free content offer. This piece will perhaps help them find out about common solutions to their problem.

Adjust, Test and Measure

The first draft of your offer page may not sing to them just yet. But there is no need to be paranoidly perfect. This is because all content marketing can be tracked, measured and changed quickly. Testing headlines and body copy will ensure that your website pages or offers are improving. This is done the easiest with landing page cloud software, although some WordPress premium themes also feature landing page designs.

Once your educational content (like books, a podcast, blogs and resourceful member site) is refined, other bloggers will start to “work for you” as part of your marketing community by linking to it. This is just the start, all by putting aside the consumer perspective and offering an educational experience.

Jennifer Lancaster, Founder, Power of Words, and author of “Power Marketing: An Aussie Guide to Business Growth

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