Sucking Up For Fame and Fortune in Digital Marketing

Any good digital strategist knows the basics of engaging a community. Keep up friendly conversations. Offer useful resources. Maintain authority on relevant topics. You know the drill.

But digital marketing is still very much like the Wild West — which means there are ways to trick the system.

Social media is often misrepresented as a tool for consumer interaction, when it is actually excellent for partnerships. While it’s true that regular consumers and early adopters use sites like Twitter for genuine interaction, the true conversation leaders are often brands.

This means that on the other side of the “conversation” is another you — a community manager, digital strategist, or online marketer trying to do their job. Like you, they want to expand their brand’s reach, so they are often experimental, and quite vocal.

Reaching these people is incredibly useful — even crucial — for social media brand expansion. Because unlike regular followers, these people have marketing budgets to spend, bosses to please, and benchmarks to hit.

Here’s how to take advantage:

First, Flatter Them

Blogs aren’t really competitors in the way more formal publishing mediums are. Besides, attempting to monopolize the conversation is an impossible and unnecessary task.

Therefore, it is totally acceptable for you to give some love to other sites that are producing good stuff.  We do this on The Content Strategist all the time.

We like Copyblogger...

Copyblogger, Mashable, and Get Satisfaction are all producing content in the same realm as ours — but instead of fearing them, we refer our readers to them.

...So We Gave It Some Love!

There are some easy and effective ways to do this. For example, try:

  • Linking to great posts in your site’s wrap-ups
  • Retweeting something interesting or appealing of theirs
  • Writing posts highlighting or responding to something they do well.

Do this casually, and you will be noticed.

Then, Stay On Their Radar

If they are good at their job, like you are, they will probably check you and your brand out.

If your content is juicy yet consistent with their brand’s objectives, they will probably start to return the favor. Balancing stock and flow content is pretty standard practice in digital strategy these days, so it will be in their best interest to use what you’ve got.

But the key here is that these actions are not out of the good of their hearts. If you reach out to the right brands, your content might make them look better.

Aim for this. Make them look super knowledgeable and innovative. Their bosses will be happy, and will let them keep doing what they are doing.

 … But be Somewhat Genuine

Beware — if you appear too spammy, none of these tactics will work. Period.

Use your links and retweets wisely. It can be a big turnoff when a respected link takes you to something regurgatory, or spammy or irrelevant. And don’t post crap. If you don’t have genuine insights or can add some sort of value, think twice before you say it.

But please, for my sake, don’t abuse this methodology. Try to maintain the image of digital small talk, not digital yelling.  Digital flattery, when done right, can be the most effective organic publicity a brand can get.

So be strategic, and don’t get caught.

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