The broad definition of content marketing is – creating relevant and valuable content consistently to attract a targeted demographic and encourage successful customer conversions. When it comes to marketing content, 91 percent of B2B companies are aware that social media effort or outreach is the golden key that can open the gateways to increased customer traffic and faster product buying cycles.
According to the CMI (Content Marketing Institute) research report of 2017, the preferred social media marketing channels for B2B companies were – LinkedIn (89 percent), Twitter (77 percent), Facebook (76 percent), and YouTube (59 percent), followed by Google plus, Instagram, Slideshare, and Print.
Even if we assume that your online presence is backed by strategic content marketing and you have planned your social media outreach, you must answer a simple question. Are the two teams (content marketing and social media effort) following a silo approach, one group not knowing what the other is doing? Are the two aligned perfectly, synching in unison to create an impressive brand identity and experience that thrills customers?
This brings us to a common misconception that prevails in the digital marketing world. There’s the feeling that content marketing, social media effort, and SEO are capable of operating in their own worlds separately determining how to reach their individual goals. The reality is that SEO is an organic colossus that straddles both the content and social marketing worlds, and SEO creates value that makes your marketing effort relevant to the targeted demographic.
The way forward is to incorporate the best practices for integrating SEO with marketing and social effort to provide a seamless buying experience for the customer.
Define How the Customer Visualizes Your Personality or Brand Image
Social media gives you the opportunity to build brand loyalty, and that comes about only if your content marketing initiatives speak in one voice to project the brand as unique with a positive personality. You need to bring all team members on board and lay down a content writing and marketing style guide documenting how you’ll project your brand voice.
1. Underline What Makes You Unique and Sets You Apart From the Competition
Decide how your content should play out in social media. Do you want to be a friendly conversational type or adopt a nerdy intellectual approach? Do you want to be seen as the high-fiving party animal readying to have fun, or would you instead project a steady and practical demeanor? Your approach determines how you communicate with people and what sets you apart from competitors.
2. Content Writers and Marketers Should Project One Brand Voice
Use a bare minimum of words to determine what your brand voice should sound like. For example, you may decide that content should be friendly and engaging without frivolous humor. Your tone could be “we are local but we think globally, we’d love to have a conversation with you, and we welcome your inputs.”
3. Choose Your Wording Carefully to Create the Right Impact With the Targeted Audience
If you’re using a lot of technical jargons and statistics, and your voice sounds geeky and scholarly, would you be happy with that? Or, would you prefer a conversational tone that simplifies jargon and makes you sound more accessible even to newbies? When an Instagram post is released, your content team should be dead sure they’re making your brand sound right.
4. Don’t Hesitate to Change Your Voice to Suit the Audience
You can’t adopt a conversational tone when you’re dealing with technically proficient people. Qualified audiences may demand statistics and technicalities that can’t be simplified. But if the audience is new to a concept, there’s no harm in softening your tone and simplifying the language suitably.
Decide How You Want Your Social Effort to Play Out
You’re off to a solid start; you have defined how your brand should sound and be visualized. Now, you’re ready for the complicated stuff; the art of creating a social media strategy for content marketing.
Experts in digital marketing say every company needs twin strategies: content mapping to decide how to generate the right kind of content, and channel planning to determine how the content should play out in various media platforms.
By integrating content mapping and channel planning, you’re deciding how your content is going to be structured to create the desired impact on social media users. We show you how it’s done in a few simple steps:
1. Be SMART About Setting Social Media Goals
SMART is an acronym signifying that you’ll have to be specific and very clear about what you want to achieve. Your goals will be measurable so you can analyze performance down the road. The goals are achievable with whatever resources you have at your disposal. The goals will be realistic and attainable and will remain time-sensitive, so you’ll know when to review performance.
2. Identify the Target Demographic From the Network Consumers
You can learn a lot by studying the social networking platforms that consumers use. The information is useful for demographic profiling to target the audience most likely to opt for your product or service.
A. Facebook: Lot of young people here fuel fast-moving consumer goods and high-end luxury items.
B. Twitter: Users here are primarily news and events driven. This is a great place to announce breaking news as it tracks your product rollout or upgrades.
C. Pinterest: If your priority or niche market happens to be the food and beverages arena or anything and everything to do with family and parenting, there’s no better platform to announce your presence.
D. Instagram: This is a mostly female-centric platform, particularly the age bracket between 18 and 45, which fuels a growing demand for entertainment, clothing, cosmetics, and lifestyle-related accessories.
E. LinkedIn: Analyzing the skills profile of subscribers helps you zero in on the demographic most likely to follow your product demand.
F. Snapchat: Almost half the subscriber base is between 18 and 25. Best platform to become an influencer and roll out product promotions, demos, and previews. Apparently, not the ideal place for targeting senior citizens.
3. Familiarize Yourself With the Art of Storytelling to Entice, Enlighten, and Enthrall
Forget the fact that the social media platform is a hugely complicated ecosystem. You are targeting an audience that is yearning for silver bullet products to bust their problems. The consumer wants a wholesome brand and a great service experience, and there’s no better way to reach that audience than to weave a delightful story around your product. The currency of great storytelling sells like hotcakes in a consumerist world.
Consider the iconic Lego commercial with the image of two red Lego bricks in a cross formation against a blue background with the shadow of an airplane flying below, and you get an idea that is instantly inspirational. Lego went beyond presenting a mere product to creating a storyline that moves the audience to see what remains unsaid. Content presentation at its finest.
4. Avoid the “Spray and Pray” Policy: Plan a Year’s Calendar of Social Media Postings
How to create quality content is half the mission accomplished; the more challenging part is deciding when to publish content, how often you need to keep refreshing content, and which networks you want to be seen in. This is the moment when your goals and aspirations need to be given space to match your expectations.
Customer attraction and retention are possible only when your product or service figures consistently in the consumer’s radar. If consumers know that your posts follow a regular schedule, they’re likely to come back for more and run into something they want.
Companies that continuously post tips, reviews and previews in social media stand a better chance of encouraging conversations and conversions.
5. Remember You’re Riding the Social Highway Where Traffic Moves in Both Directions
If you’re pushing an endless stream of one-way content into social media, you’re forgetting the meaning of the word “social.” Customers abhor companies that seem like one-stop Wikipedia’s of product information. People love companies that view them as human beings and find them worthy enough to interact with freely and add meaning to their monotonous lives.
The A R T of customer engagement rolls down to the aesthetics and authenticity that marks your presentation, the reliability, and respectability that the brand commands, and the transparency with which you conduct the interaction. Make no mistake, when you’re interacting with your customers, you raise yourself above the commodification of products to a pedestal where you’re showing genuine empathy and understanding for consumer needs. That positions you leagues ahead of the competition.
6. Social Data Gathering and Analytics Sharpen Your Strategic Thinking
You’ve identified your brand voice, you’re generating great content, your content placements in social media are spot on; in short, you’re pushing all the right buttons. But how well are you performing? You need some yardstick to measure success (or failure).
Are your Tweets gathering dust or generating responses? When are your Instagram posts attracting maximum customer engagement? Is Facebook making any difference to your website consumer traffic and are you getting new leads?
You need tools that measure and analyze social metrics and report back to you in simple formats to probe whether your marketing and social effort strategies are on the right track.
The Social Media Analytics Tool of sprout social gives you single-platform access to the most prominent media channels in cyberspace. The tool allows you to gauge the effectiveness of social media engagement across multiple channels with very little inputs from your side.
Tracking social data and analyzing consumer behavior makes you a better strategic thinker over the long-term. It works because both teams – content creators and social media marketers – will know what works and what doesn’t so they can return to the drawing board to jointly plan something better.
Bas ed on what we have discussed, analyze how you’re performing. Are your content marketing and social media teams working as islands of isolation making a cacophony of noise without showing results on the ground? The key lies in integrating both arms of marketing to optimize business benefits. If you follow our tips, your teams will work in perfect symphony producing melodious music enthralling enough for consumers to buy your pitch and the product.