In the social media age, the world is full of self-promoters – everyone has a product, a business, or just a brand that they want to promote. Some of the most reviled figures in America (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber) still lead off entertainment and news shows because of one huge factor: their ability to self-promote. However, that shameless self-promotion (Kardashian reportedly gets paid to make appearances and mention certain products on social media) is also part of the reason they are often disliked by certain people.
So what can we learn from this? Promotion is extremely powerful and effective; but you don’t want to be too obvious about it. So basically, you want to promote your business without engaging in promotion.
Sound impossible? It’s not as hard as you might think.
Attracting visitors to your site
With inbound marketing strategies, you can promote your business continuously without ever making it known that’s what you’re doing. You accomplish this through the use of content, primarily a blog on your business’ website.
Whatever market you’re in, there are certain problems, issues or subjects that arise consistently. For example, if you own a health store, you probably get similar questions all the time: What vitamins should I take as I get older? What kind of supplements will help me with weightlifting/the gym? Etc.
You have to identify what’s common and important in your market, and then write about it in your blog. But here’s the most important part: don’t talk about your business. As hard as it may be to resist, do not try to sell your products/services through your blog. The point of your blog is to attract visitors who are looking for answers. You want to be purely informational, not promotional. This will engender trust in your readers, who will then view your business more favorably and be more inclined to do business with you. It might seem counterintuitive, but trust me: it works.
If you write about relevant topics, your blog is going to start getting discovered regularly by internet visitors. Once they arrive, give them the chance to become a lead.
Generating the lead
To accomplish this, you’re going to need more content. But instead of blog articles, now you need to come up with content offers. These offers are something a little more in-depth and valuable than a short blog article; something along the lines of a white paper or infographic. You need the content offer to be valuable, because you’re going to ask for the visitor’s contact information in exchange for it. And if they think the content is worthwhile, they’ll happily part with their information – and unknowingly become a lead. Then you can finally start trying to make a sale, well after you’ve already established a favorable relationship with them.
Social media “promotion”
Another excellent way to stealthily promote yourself is through the use of social media. Social media users are very wary of promotions – they are constantly bombarded with ads, and the vast majority of users ignore them altogether. So instead of trying to promote your business on Facebook or Twitter, get involved and have some fun with it.
On Twitter, retweet interesting Tweets from others, and reply to people who say things you find amusing or compelling. If your company had a holiday party, post some (appropriate) photos of the shindig on Facebook and Instagram. Social media is all about friends sharing their lives with each other, so share some things about your company and employees. It doesn’t have to be very personal or revealing – it just has to be human. Allow people to attach faces to your company, so they view it as more than just an ad polluting their News Feed.