Promoting Your Brand and Building Trust

Promoting Your Brand and Building Trust – From Content Marketing and SEO to List Building and Social Media

Unless you’re made of money, there’s only so much you can do with PPC advertising alone. Eventually, then, affiliate marketing comes down to being able to promote your website and your brand and to reach a wider audience. This means leveraging the mailing list, blog and social media accounts that you have set up and using them to attract more new visitors and to build trust and authority.

What you need to recognize here is that you are the ‘middle man’ – and in any business, the ‘middle man’ is effectively unnecessary. The buyer doesn’t really need you and the seller doesn’t really need you, so you need to make yourself indispensable to each. In this case, that means helping the product creator to sell a far greater number of products than they otherwise could. And for the buyer, it means providing great quality content and information and helping to find the best deals and products out there.

Every business is ultimately predicated around providing value of one kind of another. This is how the internet marketer provides their value. At the same time, it’s also how you succeed as an internet marketer and how you build momentum and a following.

In this article, we will see this link very clearly while looking at the three main types of marketing available to you to promote your brand.

How to Succeed on Social Media

One of your number one tools as an affiliate marketer is social media. This gives you a direct line of communication while at the same time letting you leverage the power of real world social networks.

Compared with e-mail marketing, social media has the drawback of meaning you have to go through a third party – that being Facebook, Twitter or Google. But while this can be a problem, the positive side is that people can share your content with their friends and this gives it the potential to go viral. At the same time, social media is generally  more multi media and makes it easier for you to share different types of content.

But unfortunately, 90% of businesses and marketers go about their social media marketing in entirely the wrong way. The problem here is that they will spend their time posting to social media but all they’ll post about is how good their business is and it will sound very much like ‘corporate speak’.

The kind of content you can often expect to hear then, is just comments like: “Find out why our EPOS system is the best on the market!”

“Save yourself time and money with a better EPOS system!”

“Looking for an EPOS system? Why not choose the top rated software package in the industry!”

If this is the type of status you are publishing to your Twitter or Facebook account, then unfortunately you are entirely missing the fundamental objective of social media marketing.

This type of content would be fine of course, if you already had an audience and your objective was simply to market to them. (Even then though, there’s a good chance you’d lose your followers who would quickly unsubscribe…)

What’s actually happening here though, is that you’re posting content to nobody and you’re not giving anyone who might stumble upon it any reason that they should consider signing up. The question to always ask yourself when creating content for the web is: would you follow it? If you saw a social media account like this, then would you subscribe?

If the answer is no, then you really need to reconsider how you might be providing your value.

How to Do Social Media Right

The key is all in the way that you look at your social media and the way you consider it within the broader context of your marketing. Specifically, it’s important that you start to think of your social media profiles not only as an opportunity to promote yourself but actually as a product in its own right. What does that mean? It means that the social media accounts should provide value to the point where people want to sign up to them and would be disappointed if they were gone.

Of course you need to do this while also remaining on-point with your marketing and that means you need to focus on whatever niche or industry you’ve chosen. If that’s fitness, then it’s no good for your Facebook account to be all about business.

But it’s also no good for your account to be all about how good the product you’re selling is. Instead, you should aim to fill it with inspiring images of people working out and getting into great shape, with interesting industry news about genuinely fascinating new products and with helpful tips and advice.

If you’re selling life insurance, then you may find that it’s a little harder to see how you can maintain an interesting and entertaining social media account. In that case though, you simply need to think a little more out of the box. In particular, this could mean that you share pictures of families enjoying life together, or tips for family activities. Maybe you could run a social media account about ‘tips for the modern parent’, or maybe you could give it a humorous angle ‘dispatches from the frontline of parenthood’. Either way, you’ve now created almost a new brand, a new mission statement and a new form of value for that social media account itself and you’ve given people good reason to follow you.

This is how you then build your following and you would find that if you consistently put out good quality in this vein, it would eventually give you a huge audience to market to. Notice here that what’s really important is the value that you are providing.

More Ways to Provide Value

There are more ways you can provide value too. One is simply to share lots of great content. This means sharing your own content (more on that later) but it can also mean sharing lots of content from other blogs in your niche. This latter option essentially

means you’re providing a curated content service that will keep your readers up to date with the latest news, products and breakthroughs in your areas.

The great thing about sharing content that you didn’t create is that it provides a ton of value while at the same time taking you only seconds. If you browse YouTube and  Reddit in the morning, you can simply click ‘share’ to post to your Facebook page or Twitter feed and thereby provide your audience with great content.

Another bonus of sharing third party content is that you can make sure what you’re selling is likely to succeed. This is similar to picking the right affiliate products: there’s no chance that the content won’t succeed because you can already see that it is being read, like and shared.

One of the best ways to do this is through Reddit, as this site has a social structure that lets you see when content has been ‘upvoted’ (similar to a like). Another option is to use a paid tool like BuzzSumo which shows you how well each blog post is doing on different types of social media and then lets you very easily share to your own blogs and other media accounts.

Focusing on the Lifestyle

Another tip is to try and focus on the lifestyle you’re promoting. Once you enter into a niche with a proper brand, you should try and think of yourself as more than just an affiliate marketer trying to sell your product. Instead, think of yourself as a leader in your niche and as someone who is promoting a specific way of life, a specific activity or a specific activity that you really believe in. You’re not selling running shoes – you’re selling fitness. Try and find the emotional hook that resonates with your customers and you can get them to become loyal fans of your social media.

A good example of this would be to approach Instagram with your emotional hook in mind. To sell those running shoes, you could post images of people in great shape running on the beach against a sunny backdrop, or you could upload images of people lifting heavy weights in the weight room – complete with motivational quotes.

Likewise, if you sell eBooks about earning money online, then you can post pictures of people working on fancy looking computers in coffee shops, sitting in hammocks writing against a sunset, or standing in high rises wearing nice suits. People who are drawn to this way of life will enjoy your content, they will follow you and they will be more moved to buy your products when you mention them.

The Social Factor

What’s also key to remember here though, is that social media is… well… social. That is to say that people go on social media not only to consume content but also to discuss it and to engage with others. This is a communication tool first and foremost and as such it’s important that you consider this aspect when you’re trying to promote your brand.

So how do you leverage the communicative aspects of social media in order to increase your following and to get more people to read your content?

There are numerous different strategies you can use. One is simply to engage in more discussions yourself. When you take part in a discussion on Google+, on Facebook or anywhere else using your brand, you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, your area of expertise and your personality and this can lead to some new follows on those networks.

Additionally, you should invite your followers to connect with you. Ask questions and consult your audience. Write back when someone comments to you. Retweet messages you like from your followers. All of this will help your followers and fans to feel more engaged with your brand and it will increase their likelihood of sharing your messages. If you retweet something that someone says in your messages then they’ll be far more likely to respond in kind and do the same. Two things are at play here:

Reciprocity

Narcissism

Reciprocity because people are highly driven to repay favors afforded them by others (which is why a salesman in Turkey will always offer you a free drink in the hopes you’ll be obligated to do them a favor!) and narcissism because we love promoting things that make us look good or that show us in a generally good light.

So if you comment on someone’s Tweet, they then get the perk of interacting with your brand which demonstrates their own influence. To prove that they’re making waves then, they may be motivated to share one of your Tweets or to respond to you and this then means you get seen by their audience. We’ll talk more about these kinds of strategies and ‘influencer marketing’ in a subsequent chapter. Generally though, the more you interact and act as though there’s an actual human personality behind your Twitter handle, the more you’ll gain exposure and momentum across social media.