Having lots of content is great, but it's nothing without an audience. The growth of social media platforms has become an integral part of content marketing. Many believe that social media and content marketing are interchangeable, but they’re not—they are quite different. Publishing your content on social media, in addition to traditional outlets, gives it another dimension, and strengthens its impact.
Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing quality content with the purpose of enhancing the consumer experience and influencing consumer behavior. It is one of the fastest-growing methods of digital marketing, and it is part of a larger, integrated approach.
Social media gives content a voice. It is one of the most effective tools for businesses to attract new customers, build loyalty, and increase conversions. Being social offers brands in any industry the opportunity to engage and interact with audiences. Here are six ideas you should consider when pairing content marketing with your social media strategies:
Define Your Objectives
Content needs to communicate without selling, but it should also communicate messages aligned with your business objectives. The best content is content that overlaps your business objectives and your audience’s needs. For example, will your content resonate with your customers? Are you solving a pain point? Are you considering content in relation to your sales cycle? Answering these questions will help you to develop and add value to your content while ensuring that objectives are relevant to your company’s overall vision.
Choosing the Right Networks
The promotion and distribution of your content are vital. No matter what you hear from different sources, there is no one perfect social media platform to use. You’ll need to target your promotions where potential clients are most likely to pay attention, and bring you closer to your content marketing goals. There are various social media networks that will effect the way your campaign generates leads and brand awareness. You can also judge the value of a social network based on how well it fits your content and strategy. During your exploration of the right network, there are many factors that could weigh a decision for you, and it’s okay to be picky. You have budgets to consider. For example, if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn may be the most effective channel, but you should be aware that it’s also one of the more expensive. Slightly cheaper options would be Facebook and Twitter. From our experience, a mix of channels work best. But it’s important to know that a one-size-fits-all approach to social media isn’t effective. It’s important to use real data and insights to inform your choice.
The Evolution of Monitoring
There are various new tracking, social listening, and monitoring tools available to help you analyze your successes and failures. We utilize the following three technology partnerships to make informed decisions for our clients:
- Brandwatch -- A social listening platform that gathers millions of online conversations and provides the tools to analyze them to make insightful, data-driven business decisions.
- Clarabridge -- An industry leader in Customer Experience Management (CXM) analytics and software solutions. Its CXM tools help hundreds of major brands to understand and improve the customer experience.
- Glimpzit -- An AI-powered decision engine for the visual web that analyzes unstructured data (pictures, videos, and text) enabling businesses to build personalized offerings that resonate with customers on an emotional level.
By being tuned in, monitoring, and applying data through advanced methods derived from multiple touchpoints can help you to plan campaigns and achieve the desired end outcomes.
Properly Resourced Execution Plan and a Capable Team
Successful social media campaigns aren’t built in a day. With the right preparation and strategy, you’ll understand what you want to achieve and by when. You’ll need to clarify the roles and responsibilities for each team member. Social media marketing requires specific skills (e.g., writing and editing, photo editing) and the ability to respond in real time. It's critical to have a qualified team that understands the audience and the channels through which to reach them. Do you have the adequate resources to consistently update your content on social media? Do you have pre-approved messaging, images, and design assets? Make sure to communicate effectively. An informed and knowledgeable team can drive the project and ensure your strategy is executed efficiently.
Make Modifications as Needed
The most important thing to understand about your social media marketing plan is that it should be constantly changing. Unexpected challenges may arise that you need to address. As you attain goals, you will need to set new targets. By doing so, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how you can transform your campaigns and implement the proper mix to optimize and evolve the campaign. Making frequent modifications will help to deliver timelier, relevant content that is more likely to resonate with your brand’s target audience.
Show Me the Metrics
Measurement is essential if you want to demonstrate the value of your campaigns. How will you know if your content marketing is working? aWhen you produce content, you want to know which investments are making an impact and which are not. There are advances in technology that can provide end-to-end tracking from first impression. You’ll want to develop meaningful benchmarks to compare results when assessing the effect of your campaigns. Measures should ideally be designed to offer developmental feedback to improve future campaigns.
Whether your choices are driven by which networks your audience lives on, analytical data, or how best to showcase your content, you’ll want to leverage the potential of social media and content marketing together. Ultimately, the success of your campaign will depend on the quality of your content. However you’ll quickly find out that social media and content marketing are more impactful when they work together.