When hiring sales talent, recruiters are increasingly looking for salespeople who can build their personal brands and do some marketing on their own. For the individual salesperson, this generally means blogging, videos, LinkedIn and other social media.
One challenge is the Internet is absolutely flooded with content, which makes even the best-written post or smartly-produced video bound to get lost in all the noise. Putting a piece on your LinkedIn is not enough, your personal brand and its content require amplification in order to be seen and make an impact.
Here are some proven amplification tactics salespeople like you can use to expand the reach of their content and create a greater impact.
Utilize content discovery services
Taboola and Outbrain are the two most well-known content discovery services, also known as native ad providers. You have undoubtedly seen them at work while browsing the web – they are the providers of the “recommended reading” or “you might also like” snippets which appear at the end of countless articles.
They take your content, such as a blog post or YouTube video, and broadcast it to thousands of publishers across the web, from well-known news brands like CNN to mobile apps. Both feature robust targeting options, similar to Google or Facebook ads, which allows you to have your content in front of the right audience, rather than spray and pray.
What’s the best sort of content to amplify? Your top performers, meaning the posts and videos which are getting the most views. The reasoning is: if they are performing well, there is something about them which is attracting people – so amplifying should get even more people to engage.
Work with fellow influencers
You might roll your eyes at the thought of engaging in influencer marketing due to recent stories about fake follower counts and entitlement complexes among Millennials, but it is a powerful marketing and cost-effective if done right. After all, it’s just thought leadership mixed with a bit of social proof.
Just as in hiring sales talent, the people you choose to work with should be carefully vetted:
- Check their followers. Buying followers is a problem and very widespread. The way to tell is by checking their follower list and looking for excessive foreign accounts or followers who don’t make sense, such as many housewives or children following a B2B marketing company.
- Rather than a high follower count, look for a high engagement rate. This is a moving target and differs per social platform, but in general 2-3 percent is considered the minimum threshold, 5 is good, and 10 percent excellent. If an account has 10,000 follows, they should average around 200 to 500 likes and comments per post. If they get 1,000, they have extremely high engagement and are a great candidate to collaborate with.
Once you find an account you want to work with, you can DM them and suggest a collaboration (“collab,”in influencer-speak). If they have 10,000 followers or more, they can share links to your content on their Instagram Story, which tends to generate a lot of engagement. Otherwise, they can share your content on LinkedIn, give you a shoutout in one of their videos or blog posts, or otherwise amplify your brand in exchange for a reciprocal mention (or a small payment).
An example of an easy influencer collaboration at work might be a mortgage officer promoting a few of her realtor and title partners’ blog posts, and maybe even live streaming after a successful closing when they are all in the same office – with a happy customer sharing a testimonial.
Write guest blogs
Hiring sales talent that can write well is a big plus for any company. And salespeople that do, in addition to their own blogs and social media posts, should be producing guest blog posts.
Guest blogging means writing a post for another website, with a backlink (preferably do-follow) to your own website.
In general, guest blogs are not allowed to be promotional. They must add value to the host blog and its readership and should mirror the tone, length, and subject matter of its other posts in order to increase chances of publication.
Guest blogs should be exclusively written for the host website. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot amplify one of your existing posts. Try writing a summary of one of your best-performing posts, add a few more points, and send readers back to the original with a link.
To find blogs that accept guest blogs, type the following (and similar) terms into a search engine.
- “Write for us”
- “Guest posts wanted”
- “Submit post”
Sometimes blogs will charge to publish guest posts. This could be worth it if the website has enough domain authority. There are plenty of free tools to find domain authority, such as https://smallseotools.com/domain-authority-checker/
Go all-in on video
Another skill those hiring sales talent are looking for is the ability to leverage video in a meaningful way. Today, if you limit yourself to publishing exclusively to YouTube, you are only getting a small return on your efforts. That same video could be amplified on the following channels:
- IGTV. IGTV now accepts both vertical videos and landscape, so you can take the same video you just uploaded to YouTube and repurpose on IGTV to reach more people. The caveat is that if you are not a large account, you will be limited to uploading videos 10 minutes in length. This is long enough in most cases. A bonus is that as long as your video is at least one minute in length, you can promote a 60 second snippet on your normal Instagram feed which will direct scrollers to the full video.
- Facebook Video. Make it a habit to upload the same videos you upload to YouTube to your Facebook Page at the same time. You can copy over the description and many of the tags and save time that way. It’s very easy to do, and you can pay for some inexpensive, yet highly targeted ads to boost viewership.
- Embeds. Where you cannot upload directly, embed or share your videos wherever you can. You can insert videos, even old ones, into each new blog post you write. And of course, it’s a given that you should be sharing video links on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your personal Facebook.
To wrap up, recruiters hiring sales talent want the whole package, and salespeople are expected to source their own leads instead of relying on the marketing department. This means becoming conversant with not only creating effective content but knowing how to distribute it through as many channels possible as covered above. If you would like a referral to content creation, social media, and amplification experts, please drop us a line.