In last week’s post on using Google Plus for business, I shared four main reasons why I’d advise anyone in business to start using Google+, and start using it now.
The more people who add you to their circles, the more authoritative your content becomes … and your increased authority brings a host of benefits for your business, such as increased search engine visibility and online influence.
However, it’s tough to get people to add you to their circles and takes a long time, so the sooner you start the better. So how do you start attracting people to start following you and add you to their circles?
It’s early days for my own Google+ involvement, but one of the best ways to build up your following on Google+ (the number of people who have you in their circles) is to create great content and share it on a regular and consistent basis.
By doing that, there’s more chance people will:
- Decide to +1 your content, and increase the number of people seeing your content in the first place …
- Come across your content and decide to follow you by adding you to their circles … so your content will now show up in their feed on Google+. If they choose to be notified each time you post on Google+, they’ll also get an email.
- Recommend your content to others, encouraging others to follow you too.
It therefore stands to reason that the more content you have on Google+, the more advantage you start to gain.
You can also not just post to your own followers, but to relevant communities which often consist of thousands of followers … and this can be very effective in building up your own followers more quickly.
But to make it work, and to successfully incorporate Google+ as an active part of your content marketing strategy, how do you come up with enough content to regularly post?
Here are some ideas …
Each time you publish a new blog post, share the link on Google+, adding a brief comment that entices people to click the link and read what you have to offer. Ideally, each blog post you publish serves to feed your whole Content Tree™, and gain large exposure on various channels through a single root content item.
Product Updates/New Products
Share with your audience when your product is updated, or when you release new products. Be informational (you’re just keeping them informed) rather than promotional – save the promotional content for your website for those interested enough to click through.
New videos that you add to YouTube are ideal to then be shared through Google+. With a bit of rewording, you can re-use content from your YouTube video description as your comment for the post on Google+. Leveraging existing content wherever possible for maximum benefit is key.
And it’s not just longer videos … shorter Vine videos were of course created for the purpose of social media sharing, and Google+ is no exception.
If you’re hosting a webinar or otherwise involved in one, share the details on Google+.
If you record the webinar and choose to make it available later, you can also share the recording over Google+ … you could even make the recording available only to those who have added you to their own circles.
Email or Other Marketing Promotions
Running a marketing promotion? Share it with your Google+ community too. Again, respect your followers by keeping it as informational as possible rather than overtly selling on Google+ itself, and provide a link to the more promotional content on your own site.
If you’re syndicating a new article, it makes sense to share it on Google+ too.
In the interests of leveraging existing content as much as possible, and as part of my Content Tree™ philosophy, most of my own articles are based on existing blog posts – either rewrite it yourself as a new, unique article, or hire a writer to take care of it for you.
By leaving it a few weeks or months between the original blog post and the resultant article, when you come to share your article on Google+, the partial duplication won’t even be an issue and means your content reaches fresh eyes.
If you’ve had an infographic created, or created one yourself, of course it makes sense to share it as widely as possible – Google+ is no exception.
You don’t always have to share a link on Google+ – you can just make a straightforward post directly on Google+ itself.
To do this, you can again leverage existing content. Go back through your published blog posts, articles and other written content, and use them as the basis of a new Google+ post.
Just write a few paragraphs (or use a writer to do the same) based on the original, and post that content.
Content From Other Channels
Think about content you may be adding, or have added in the past, to your other social media channels.
How can you leverage the same content for Google+?
Google+ lends itself very well to effective imagery – in fact, it’s very popular among photographers for just this reason.
Capture something interesting with your smartphone and share via the Google+ app.
Other People’s Content
The above are all of course concerned with sharing your own content. One of the keys to attracting and keeping your own followers is to share other people’s content too, and gain from your engagement in the Google+ community as a whole. This increases your own visibility and can get you noticed by key influencers with large followings themselves.
- If you come across a great blog post or website, recommend it (+1 it) …
- If you find interesting/entertaining/enjoyable content on Google+, share it with your own followers …
- Provide thoughtful comments on other people’s posts, and engage regularly
Ultimately, Google+ will form just one part of your overall content marketing strategy, but it’s an important part of the mix, allowing you to disseminate your content further and reach audiences you wouldn’t otherwise reach, and increase your online visibility and authority as a whole as a result.
And if you’re just getting started, accept it will be tough for the first few months as you get started, but once your followers start to increase in number it gets a lot easier and can begin to snowball as people’s levels of engagement with you increases.