If you read our last blog post or participated in our last Hangout on content marketing, you’re already prepped to dive into the world of content marketing. But maybe you’re not sure where to start. So let’s start with the basics – how do your content marketing and your social media efforts work together?
First, know that content marketing and social media feed off one another – neither can succeed without the other. Strong content tailored to your audience’s needs enhances your brand’s credibility, raises awareness, increases brand perception, and, ultimately, moves people to take action. And social media helps connect your audience with that content.
So let’s agree that content marketing and social media work hand in hand. They should align with your organization’s goals and overall marketing strategy. In order to map out your content strategy, you need to know your audience and where they are in the social sphere. Then you can plan where to disseminate your content, knowing that the content you share is going to vary by platform.
It’s All About the Audience
Where does your audience tend to congregate on social? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. – they could be on any or all of them. Find out where there are and what they do by platform. Where would they like to see content from a brand like yours? Study the social platforms to understand what type of content seems to engage your audience.
Once you know the social platforms your audience favors, you can select the platforms that seem the best fit for your organization’s culture and content. You don’t have to own every platform– it’s better to have a solid presence on the platforms that are a good fit for you and your audience than to have a lukewarm profile on all of them.
Key audiences to engage with on social media channels are your employees, partners, and existing customers. You already have touchpoints with these audiences, so when you start out in social media, let them know. Use your town hall meetings, invoices, email signatures, newsletters, etc., to announce and link to your social platforms and invite them to like, follow, and engage with you. Empower your employees to broadcast and share your content to their networks – let them know they are brand ambassadors and can spread your messages just as well as your communications team.
With social media, you can continually learn about your audience and its needs, as well as generate new content through curation. Use your social listening skills (it’s just like you’re at a party) to pick up on cues for what content your audience is looking for. Take cues from other pros in the field and use social media as a resource for your customers – whether it’s technical help or information about upcoming product offerings.
Let’s say you have a white paper on your website that your content team has polished and perfected. Now you can drive traffic to that white paper from all your social media platforms, using the right content for the platform. Photos, memes, quizzes, links, excerpts, blurbs – all of these can be generated from the content in your white paper but used on the platforms where they are most appropriate.
Content Marketing Is Social Media Marketing
Social media is your means to distribute the powerful content your organization is creating. Without a robust social media presence, your content has nowhere to go. Without good content, you’ll have nothing original to share on your social media platforms. So know your audience, identify the right places to be, and share your content to grow that audience and reach your brand’s goals.
Looking for great resources for social media marketing and content marketing help? Check out the starter list below, or share your comments with us below.
- Social Media Today
- ClickZ Live – San Francisco – Aug 10-12
- Content Marketing Institute
- Content Marketing World – Cleveland – Sept 8-11