What is Covert Marketing?

Facebook business page on smartphone next to laptop covert marketing

For new companies, startup businesses, individual bloggers, and businesses trying to make massive impacts in their social media engagement scores, it can be tough trying to figure out how to tap into social media marketing on a more affordable scale. We all know about the trials and tribulations of paid social media marketing (SMM); the costs of LinkedIn and Facebook ads may exceed your marketing budget, and it can take a while to find your perfect keyword strategy.

Instead of trying to get your customers to come to you, why not try going directly to them?

Keep your Facebook Group Marketing organized.

Directly market into Facebook Groups! A marketing tactic that will place you in front of 1M users for free. 

An even better idea? Go to them for free.

How do I do LinkedIn or Facebook Marketing for free?

If you’ve done your demographic research and are writing content for your brand or business, you already have a good idea of who is interested in your content or services.

You can use that information to put your content directly in front of those people without spending a dime or creating an ad campaign.

You’ll implement a covert marketing strategy.

With a covert marketing strategy, you have the potential to increase your organic engagement by at least 335% and your organic reach by at least 895%!

How to use Covert Marketing as your Facebook and LinkedIn marketing strategy

What is Covert Social Media Marketing?

I define covert social media marketing as content marketing that is directly delivered to your demographic by someone who is of that demographic but appears to not be or is not from your company. This means that this strategy works very well with influencer marketing.

Covert marketing is exactly how it sounds. You:

  1. Find a group of people who fit your demographic
  2. Join the group as one of them
  3. Interact with them
  4. Share industry knowledge from your business in the form of content.

How do I implement a Covert Marketing Strategy?

It’s incredibly easy to implement a free, covert social media marketing strategy. I bet you’re already 50% of the way there. In fact, if you share your blog posts and articles to Facebook and LinkedIn, you’ve already done 50% of the work.

To implement a free social media marketing strategy, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1. Locate Facebook and LinkedIn groups that fit your content reader base.

Be sure that the groups you select:

  • Are filled with people who are likely to read and share your content
  • Have at least 1,000 members (I recommend at least 5,000)
  • Allow advertisement and promotional posts

Have active members who are posting and commenting regularly

2. Using your personal social profile, join the Facebook and LinkedIn Groups that fit your criteria.

This can be done with your primary personal social profile or any secondary social profiles. If you are a B2C or small B2B business and your primary account has it listed that you are the owner, CEO, sales, or marketer of the content you’ll be sharing, this strategy may not work as well. I recommend removing your connection to the content company or using a secondary account.

This is because the covert strategy is built on peer recommendations, not sales or marketing tactics. The goal is to blend in with the rest of the group as a Facebook or LinkedIn user who is a trustworthy friend, not a salesperson affiliated with the company. If this feels unethical to you, you can easily adapt this step to fit into an influencer marketing strategy.

However, if you are entering groups as a thought leader, it is actually beneficial to have your company listed on your profile. Decide which will work best for your business or split test both.

3. Create a spreadsheet and record the name, rules, and posting cadence allowed.

I have a sheet created for you already! Grab my Ultimate SMM Covert Marketing Worksheet Template here!

(PS: This is one of my many free tools for Facebook users.)

4. Post your content to your business page.

Because the goal of this strategy is to increase the engagement and follower base of your social media profiles (in addition to traffic to your site), it’s important to post directly to your business pages. You will use that post as the base of your covert marketing strategy.

5. Use your personal account to share the post from your business page to your groups.

Visit your business page:

  1. Click “Share”
  2. Select “Share to group”
  3. If you are doing true covert tactic and posing as a member, type a genuine caption to help your post relate with the members of the group. For example, “I had no idea I could do this.” Or “I’ve seen all of these except number 2!”

You want to share from your business page in order to begin creating brand awareness.

6. Record, monitor and watch your reach and engagement go up for that post.

Notate what you’ve shared to each group and keep track of how many posts you’ve shared to each group every month; you want to make sure you’re following the group’s rules. (PS: We have a worksheet for you!)

If you’ve already done standard SMM steps 3, 4, and 6, you’re already halfway there. Just add these three more steps, and you’ll be impressed with your business page’s growth. Be sure to do these steps for all of your Facebook posts.

Important Notes:

  • This strategy works best with content marketing, i.e. blog marketing, article marketing, infographic marketing, video marketing, and podcast marketing.
  • If you are directly sharing products, do not use the covert strategy; there is a fine line between covert marketing and deception. Either post as the owner when sharing products or utilize an influencer marketing strategy for product marketing.
  • Follow the group’s rules exactly; don’t risk 15,000 eyes on your content by not following the rules.
  • If you are ecommerce business, remember that this type of content marketing is meant to be the beginning of a sales funnel. You are introducing potential customers to your brand. Don’t expect an influx of new customers within the first week (unless you’ve optimized your content to convert readers into customers).

Copyright 2018 Jennifer “Kiza” McDonald / All Rights Reserved.