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Content Marketing Monday: Why Social Media is Content Marketing

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Or is it? Last week we talked about how you can implement content marketing in a B2B and a B2C environment. But what do you do with all those content marketing campaigns? Do they magically gain you sure customers? They don’t. You need to flip your content marketing coin and see that the other side of it is social media. But don’t get them confused, they are not the same thing!

This blog posts’ title suggests that social media IS content marketing, but it isn’t, so why mislead? Because despite what some marketers think, SM and CM need to work together to maximize the potential of what you are selling, giving, or offering to prospects. Jay Baer, the author of Youtility, has made a great analogy for this “Content is fire, and social media is gasoline” – so, with that in mind, let us jump in!

 

Persuade Customers to Click AND Talk

In order for your social media platform to blow up and bring prospects, you need the right content and the right strategy. In our first post we spoke about the moment of inspiration and we learned that it is important for your content to provoke something in peoples minds, a moment which will stick with them and drive them to come back to your brand. We need to take that content and move it to social media.

Brands usually use SM as a means of communication, a place where customers can share their thoughts or exchange ideas, it is a platform for spreading news and information. However, what many brands forget is that social networks are a great place to begin content marketing campaigns, a place where you can share and gain twice as much.

More recently, we’ve seen brands take to social media in order to engage with customers AND take them back to their website where actual rich content is waiting for them. Take a look at Martha Stewart’s creative and engaging post:

MStewart_sugarcookie

Not only did it create a lot of buzz but it provided a link for people to click and go to the Martha Stewart website where content is waiting. Now this is how you combine social media and content marketing. A good CTA will not only get people to buzz on your Facebook or Twitter page but it will also get people clicking on your link to find out what more you can offer them. What are some great CTA’s to link back to from social networks?

  • What are is your most useful tool in marketing? Here is our list of 10 best tools <link>, number 7 is especially good!
  • Take a look at your email marketing strategy and compare it to our “The Perfect Email Marketing Campaign” guide <link>
  • We looked into what is best in marketing, have you? <link>
  • Share with your marketing buddies the buzz on new online trends! Tag them in the comments below <link>
  • How did you prepare your business for the Holidays? Share with us in the comments below, and check out our guide! <link>

Create an environment where someone is not only tempted to respond back in a comment or share your update, but also give room for questions: What tools are they talking about? What is best in marketing? I wonder what they advise to do around the Holidays? These are all questions that a potential Facebooker might have, which will persuade them to click on the link you provided. What can someone find behind that link? Your website, a blog post, a landing page inviting people to a webinar, or a download link to your new whitepaper.

 

Doubling Down on Content Sharing

Now, you have hooked your Facebook or Twitter fans, they are responding and clicking. However once new content is shared on your Facebook page – old posts are not as visible. Once a tweet is tweeted it dies within an hour of its publishing. Which means that valuable content needs to be shared more than once.

Leo Wildrich from Buffer has created a list of 9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips and what really struck me was #2 Share Content More Than Once. With each reshared content the retweet rate, on average, increased by 75% Can you image that? A 75% increase on average! How can you use this type of statistic? Here are 4 ways you can keep your content around and buzzing:

  1. Research what time your customers are most sociable on Twitter, pick two times a week when they will be most active – use one day to share new content, the other day to remind them of something you’re previously shared with them.
  2. Use Facebook Ads and boosted posts as a way to make sure that your content doesn’t disappear within a day or two.
  3. Twitter Ads are an easy way to recirculate your content. Every content strategy needs to use this tool to share important content. Twitter Ads are no longer a social media tool to lure people into signing up to your brand, it is a marvelous content marketing tool to share your brand new blog posts or whitepapers!
  4. Use social media platforms in your campaigns. Whether you have a community management agency or you’re using tools like Insightpool, you need to get familiar with taking your content to the next level by approaching segmented prospects with content they could be interested in. What’s more, if you’ve hit your target they are likely to forward your content.

 

 A Content and Social Media Calendar in One

Your Social Media and Content Marketing team should always be in touch. It is not about creating a last minute post on Facebook with the new blog post in it. It should also never be about rushing a content piece everyone forgot about. Create a calendar where you will be able to see what you are posting content wise:

  • Dates with new whitepapers coming out
  • When are you planning your webinars
  • Special blog posts series
  • Ebook or premium content offers

And take those dates into your Social Media calendar. Create a strategy that will wow with great Call to Action’s, inspiring content behind links, and make use of Twitter and Facebook Ads.

When looking into both calendars, make sure that you optimize your content to be shared more than once and especially on days that your customers (or potential customers) are most active on social media. Also, make sure that you find what speaks to people, jot down CTA’s that engage the most influencers or segmented audience – these are things that are valuable to every Content/Social Media calendar. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

 

A/B Testing Your Content

With social media it’s not just about posting but also optimizing. Take a look at the engagement rate on two posts from Martha:

Photo_link

Although there are numerous likes on this photo post, the overall statistics aren’t as great once you compare them to a linked post with a good CTA, like this one:

linked_link

Why are these an example of A/B testing? Because for some brands like Harper’s Bazaar, which posts quite often, photo posts are better as they don’t clutter and they take the reader back to their website where all the fashion scoop is happening. However, a brand like Martha Stewart focuses on valuable content, a single blog posts or landing page that’s not full of scattered information, therefore it is more valuable to attach a link.

We’ve previously written about click-baiting and how the Facebook Newsfeed looks at posted content. Which is all the more reason to test what type of posts your customers respond in order to make sure that your content is optimized to its full potential.

 

A Powerful Duo

Take a moment to go through what you’re posting on your Social Media. Find your tone of voice, see what type of posts really bring out the conversion rates, and begin posting your content. Whitepapers, blog posts, and webinar invitations are more likely to be noticed if they are a part of your Social Media strategy.

Don’t hesitate when it comes to using Ads and repurposing great content. Give your posts and offers a second life, think of ways you can reshare and people who you could reach out to with your content. Don’t be afraid of creating segments or new relationships with influencers who could appreciate your content and forward it to their followers.

Social Media can be a powerful side of your Content Marketing coin! Share with us in the comments below how you use your SM strategy to bring out your CM strategy!

Content Marketing Essentials for 2015If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this free Content Marketing Essentials for 2015 Guide that we’ve prepared for you! There’s plenty of valuable information and examples waiting for you, so get your coffee and a note-pad ready. You’ll definitely want to write this down and present to your team when you’re back in the office.


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