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16 May 2012

Marketing

Buzz Marketing: It’s not what you say- it’s what others say about you

In the world of digital marketing, managing your online reputation can be a tricky business, which is why gaining referrals from customers and peers in your industry is a vital part of building a solid online presence. But should we focus all of our energy on developing our own websites with the hope of attracting visitors that way, or should we reach out to our audience and demonstrate our expertise on someone else’s turf?

Like the rest of us, you’re probably already putting all of your effort into the design and content of your own site, without worrying about contributing to other sites. But, unfortunately, that’s no longer enough because in order to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, a significant amount of your time should be spent watching what’s happening away from your own website and looking at the issues concerning your industry and your competitors.

Of course, focusing on your website is still a priority, but time should also be spent building and joining communities, forums and social sites where likeminded people, customers and companies are connecting already. This outside focus will help support the work you’re already doing to engage users on your own website by building buzz in the wider community.

And ultimately, you want your website to become a hub for your online community because your influence or direction is seen as highly credible and authoritative.


How do I achieve this?

Of course, it’s not easy. It can be a long road but if done correctly it can have a very positive effect on your bottom line, meaning that the time you invest in it will be well worth it.

Look at the diagram in this article. Your website should be the circle in the middle, surrounded by websites linking to it, positioning you as a hub for industry-specific, relevant information.

Gaining followers and building your profile amongst industry insiders is probably the most difficult part of this strategy. There are a number of ways you can gain followers. By using the social networks outlined below you can encourage your followers to reach your website in a way that suits them.

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • Blogger
  • YouTube

What’s your bait?

So now you have your social networking websites up and running, how are you going to show it to your audience if no one knows about you? The best way to achieve this is by socialising with other people in the same or similar field. Share your thoughts and opinions on their blogs or articles and add to the information that others submit to websites with your own content. Make it captivating and readers will generally look for more than you have written or added on behalf of your company.

This is known as “link bait” and it will help with your website’s exposure. Readers will generally link back to good articles that they find interesting and share the content you create with their audience.

Share ideas, comment, link back to and expose trends or industry best practice over your social networks and/or professional websites. Talk about new brands, or products and engage in the conversations others start; remember to know your field and over time this canvassing of information will generate interest for you or your company as a forward thinker, an industry leader and will in turn result in a more engaged following.

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If you found this post to be interesting or would like to know more, feel free to contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn

By Sunny Chana

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