In 2015 I started to blog. Coming from a different industry (I was a financial analyst for a real estate investment firm) I didn't know where to start. Only after many trials and errors, I understood a few things. Now, after a few years, I identified five critical issues and hurdles to overcome as a digital marketer.
- Content Amplification
- Noise Filtering
- Personal Branding
- Network Nurturing
- Growing an Audience
- Top Four Communities to Join to Be a Successful Digital Marketer
- Summary and Conclusions
When I first started blogging, I thought all I had to do was to write great content and hit the publish button. That is what I did. I focused a hundred percent of my time at writing in-depth content about topics I was interested about and posted it. As time went by I realized how wrong I was. I had put so much time and effort into producing quality content. However, none (not even my friends) was reading it.
You may argue that writing is something you can do for the sake of it. Yet while this is true for aspiring writers, that isn't true for content marketers. If you write content, you're trying to build something. Whether that is a personal brand or business, you need an audience. In short, even before to start writing a piece of content, you have already to think about potential avenues to amplify that content. Usually, my rule of thumb is simple, if I'm not able to write something that can get at least a few thousands of views, then I don't even bother writing that. Therefore, to make sure I reach that target I must have a few channels I can rely on to make my content seen and shared.
Today over three million and a half blog posts were written, which amounts to a surprising one and a half (and over) billions of post in a year. How do you keep up with that? The answer is simple; you can't. In short, you need a sort of filter. A trusted community of experts in your industry that share contents they love. For instance, some of the people I follow that provide quality content, which I usually dive into are people like Nir Eyal, Sam Hurley, Neil Patel, and a few others (at least in the digital marketing space). This community acts as a sort of filter. In short, instead of having over a billion and a half posts to read each year I will have a few hundred. Finding communities of trusted people that help you cut through the noise of your industry is crucial to becoming a better marketer.
This step is complementary to the previous one. In fact, if you want to build a business or a personal brand, you can't be an expert in all the specific sub-areas of that industry. That is why sharing articles from other experts is crucial to add additional value to your audience. Thus, relying on the community of people that act as a filter to find great content is the first step. The second is to select content that makes sense to your audience. That is also how you become a trusted source for them.
Digital marketers know that the best currency to use to build relationships is awesome content. In my activity as a business developer, for WordLift I find it easy to create new partnerships and business opportunities by adding value with quality content. From webinars to ebooks or in-depth guest posts, none will say no to that.
Growing an Audience
Building an audience is one of the most complex aspects of digital marketing. Not everyone is interested in that because it sounds too committing. However, as Kevin Kelly puts it, all you need is a thousand true fans.
Top Four Communities to Join to Be a Successful Digital Marketer
Ok, time to dive into four great communities you should join today if you want to bring your digital marketing career to the next level.
Zest.is: transform your browser into a powerhouse
Imagine that as soon as you open your Google chrome tab, you could see fantastic content shared by a community of digital marketers. However, those articles or videos are selected and approved by a professional team to ensure quality. Also, imagine that with a click you could share your content with this great community with over 12,000 weekly active members to gain knowledge and get qualified traffic. Well, stop imagining because that is a reality. In fact, you can turn your Google Chrome into a powerhouse, while connecting with an excellent community to amplify your best content. Do that by adding the extension called Zest.is which will turn your tabs into a discovery and amplification tool. Also, they're launching a content boost page which you can join here.
Why should you use Zest.is?
For quite a few reasons but I'm going to list three main ones:
- find excellent, selected content quickly (in fact only about 1% of submitted posts get approved)
- make your content available to a selected, growing community of digital marketers (make sure to submit just your best articles for the reason above)
- build relationships within the community. In fact, Zest.is works pretty much with the same logic of a social network. You can follow and be followed by other people
Growthhackers.com: gain the growth mindset
If you are in the digital marketing space, you might have heard of growth hacking. A relatively new discipline, in the broader marketing arena, that combines several skills, from programming to sales, with one objective in mind: growth. Well, growthhackers.com is the website founded by the father of this discipline, Sean Ellis. There you can find the best content around growth hacking but also an active community of like-minded people. Go on and create your profile as I did:
Take some time to see what other marketers are posting and sharing. Upvote, comment and connect with marketers that share, write and engage.
Why should you join growthhackers.com?
- great content to grow your knowledge
- an effort to build an active community of marketers around an exciting and relatively new discipline, like growth hacking
- the opportunity to expand your network
Social media is one of those things you need to master to be a successful digital marketer. However, if you had to spend your whole time become a social media expert, you couldn't do anything else. Therefore, why not automate it? Although it seems a good idea, automation isn't easy. Most of the times lead to failure. Indeed, social media like Twitter got cluttered with bots rather than real people. But then why using social media all along if you don't build relationships? Quuu comes to rescue. In fact, this is a unique tool, more than a community that helps you in two ways. First, you can automate your social media account, by picking the topics that are more interesting to your audience and decide how many times per day to have those posts shared with your community. This kind of automation works because the content you share is hand-picked and selected by the team behind Quuu, which makes it possible for you to automate your social media. Second, you can submit your content to quuupromote.co (you can try it for free for 14 days) so that it will be automatically shared (if it fits Quuu guidelines). In short, you get to automate your social media, while also making your content go viral
Why should you join Quuu?
- automate your social media account while ensuring the content shared is hand-picked by a team of professional individuals
- grow your audience quickly and create conversations automatically
- make your content prone to go viral
Pocket: master the art of speed listening
Now that we put a filter on the millions of blog posts out there you may still end up with a few hundred to read. While speed reading maybe not the best option speed listening can. See what strategy Nir Eyal uses:
Pocket isn't only to make sure you avoid FOMO and save the best articles you find for later. It is also a great way to recommend great content. In fact, once you saved an article to Pocket app you can recommend it, thus building your audience there:
Why should you use Pocket?
- avoid distractions online, yet make sure you don't miss out great articles to read later on
- start practicing speed listening. So that you can keep up with the hundreds of articles to read each year
- recommend the content you find most valuable to build a community of speed listeners like you
Summary and Conclusions
Throughout this article, we saw what some of the roadblocks that a marketer encounters in his/her way. Some of them are listed below:
- make sure people read what you write
- cutting through the noise of the over three million and a half articles published each day
- build your branding through excellent content
- create a trusted network to develop future business opportunities
- nurture your audience to make it become a loyal ally for long-term success
How can you do that? I highlighted four communities/tools:
Your turn now. Which tools and communities have you found helpful to your growth as a digital marketer?