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It’s easy to forget that marketing is really just the art and practice of influence. After all the buzzwords and technological bells and whistles, marketing is really about moving people from passivity to partnership.
Once you understand how to do this through building influence, your company won’t just enjoy more customers but more customers who feel an authentic connection to your brand – a profitable advantage.
Minimum Viable Connection (MVC) is the bare minimum amount connection a brand needs in order to influence a potential customer. Until MVC is established, all other efforts will struggle. Just like you can’t have a conversation with someone who doesn’t know you’re in the room, you can’t hope to influence someone who doesn’t even know your company exists.
That’s why the MVC every brand needs to work for is attention. There are a number of other strategies you can later pursue for moving people from passivity to partnership, but it all begins with first getting someone to realize your brand is there.
Fortunately, there are four different channels you can use to reach MVC.
Depending on your specific market, some of these channels may grab the attention of your audience better than others.
After you’ve read through each of them, it might be clear from experience which ones represent the most promising paths.
Still, it’s worth doing some research to see if your competitors have found any of them to be especially effective. As much as they’d enjoy having that channel all to themselves, I’m sure they’d understand that it’s important to share.
Influencer marketing continues to find fans across almost every industry, even among B2B companies.
As recently as 2017, a survey of 272 marketing managers found that 28% said influencer marketing was the fastest-growing method for customer acquisition. That put it in the top spot over mainstays like organic search, email, and paid search.
If you’re not familiar with the tactic, here’s a great definition from Neil Patel, who’s no stranger to exerting massive amounts of influence himself:
“Influencer marketing is the process by which brands leverage well-known figures who have influence over their target markets to promote their brands.”
In short, someone else has already achieved MVC with your market. In fact, they’ve achieved a whole lot more than that. They’ve made it all the way to the summit: holding influence over an entire group of people.
So, while it’s definitely wise to pursue a similar path and build your own authority, why not borrow theirs in the meantime to start influencing your audience ASAP?
If you’re already a BuzzSumo user, our Influencer Tool will make this much easier (we now have a YouTube Influencer Tool too). Here’s some helpful advice from our own Steve Rayson, too:
“I would personally consider avoiding influencers with very large follower numbers as they are likely to be approached very frequently. I would focus on finding the niche influencers that are passionate about your topic.”
A similar tactic for grabbing your market’s attention is guest-posting. Instead of allowing influencer content to carry your message, though, you’ll actually be the one creating it.
Think about what sites your market currently goes to when they’re in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. Where do they go to learn more about the challenges they’re facing and potential solutions? What would happen if an article you wrote was waiting for them with the answers they desperately needed?
You’d gain more influence.
The more you post on these high-traffic sites, the more that influence will grow. Clearly, you must know what you’re talking about if these websites are willing to lend you their platform.
As an added benefit, your site may receive a backlink from the website on which you’re posting. That would be great because Google tends to look kindly on links from high-quality sites. It tells them that your site must be something special and should, therefore, receive a boost in rankings.
There’s plenty you can do with your own social media accounts, as well. So, while you’re waiting to hear back from your pitches to influencers and authority blogs, stay busy by growing your social presence into one that commands attention.
The first way to do this is to create content based on what’s trending. You can try to manually survey your industry or simply use BuzzSumo to find out which topics are popular by keyword. This will help you join the conversation and even bring traffic back to your site.
The second way is by going out and engaging with other accounts in your market. Comment on their posts with your own thoughts or by sharing other helpful posts (not necessarily your own). Every day, make sure someone new knows that you’re a trusted resource and your influence will grow.
Finally, video marketing is becoming an incredibly popular strategy with almost 90% of companies reporting that it’s part of their repertoire and 54% of consumers saying they actually want more videos from marketers.
With YouTube, you have a simple method for hosting your company’s videos, too. Just record, upload, and then share them on your website and through social media.
Better still, YouTube viewers have no problem watching longer content. When Pew Research analyzed nearly 700,000 random YouTube videos, they found that the average length was 9 minutes, 31 seconds. That’s a lot of time to make the most of the attention you’ve earned.
Even though you know which channels to pursue for capturing attention and building your influence, you still have a lot of work ahead.
The good news is that, if you put that work in now and succeed at becoming influential, you’ll enjoy it for years to come without having to put in the same hard work. Sure, you’ll need to reward people’s attention by being helpful, but you won’t have to fight for it anymore.
Build your influence with the right people and content. BuzzSumo offers influencer marketing solutions that can help you find and filter key influencers of any topic and location. It lets you also discover the content that keeps their audience engaged. Know how you can use influencer marketing with BuzzSumo.
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