Content Marketing August 19th, 2020
As a marketer, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to have separate marketing strategies that are not sufficiently aligned. It is very common for companies’ content marketing and social media strategies to have little to do with each other. In a large business, different people or independent teams might handle social media and content.
However, content marketing and social media should be intrinsically linked. If your strategies are not joined up, you are missing out on valuable opportunities. Read on to learn about the best ways to align your social media and content marketing strategies for higher engagement, more conversions, and better results.
To put it simply, content marketing is a promotional strategy that relies on creating and sharing content in order to attract and retain an audience. Content marketing encompasses blogging, podcasting, video content, visual content and infographics, ebooks, webinars, virtual events, and more.
The vast majority of marketers businesses use content marketing. According to Review42, 72% of marketers say that content marketing increases leads, and 80% plan to spend more on it this year. Creating and distributing amazing content that is relevant to your audience is one of the best ways to both increase new leads and keep existing customers’ loyalty.
The world is increasingly interconnected. While a decade ago, businesses might have gotten by without being on social media (or perhaps being on only one platform), that is no longer the case. Customers and consumers expect to see their favourite brands maintaining an active presence on all, or most, of the major digital channels. Given that over 4.5 billion people worldwide are on social media, chances are your target audience is there too.
In other words, social media is a way to connect with your audience more deeply and to give your brand a strong personality and identity. Content marketing functions in much the same way. Both are also powerful ways to attract new business and introduce your products or services to a new audience.
With both strategies bringing in new leads, nurturing relationships, and maintaining a connection with customers, you understand the importance of ensuring that they work together. Let’s look at some practical strategies you can use to get started.
An effective content marketing and social media strategy is generally based on a clear brand voice and identity. If you already have a cohesive brand identity, return to it as you start analyzing and improving your content strategies. Does the content you’re producing across your various channels align with this identity? If not, something needs to change.
If you do not have a strong sense of your brand’s unique identity and voice, you need to develop it before you go any further. Start with your customer persona. This is a profile of your ideal customer or client. Consider the demographics they fall into, their job role, problems, and desires. Here’s an example:
Once you have a clear understanding of your customer persona, you can build your brand identity out of that. How does that ideal customer like to be communicated with? What are they looking for in a brand?
Try these tips to more clearly understand your brand identity:
Once you understand your brand, you can create content that authentically represents it to your target audience. I recommend creating a set of guidelines to ensure all content is on-brand and in the correct voice.
One of the purposes of marketing is to build brand recognition. Therefore, you don’t want your audience to feel like you’re an entirely different company on your website to the one they see on social media.
This means that the visual aspects of your brand identity, such as your logo, colour scheme, and fonts, should be as consistent as possible across channels. Here’s an example from stationery company Kikki K:
Notice how the brand uses recognizable colour schemes and font choices across both channels. You should aim for a similar cohesion for your brand.
A tweet is very different from a Youtube video, which is different again from a blog post. But that doesn’t mean you need to create completely different content for each channel. In fact, you shouldn’t. Since people prefer different channels and like to consume content in a variety of ways, repurposing ensures more eyes on that content that you spent time researching, crafting, and sharing.
So why not take snippets of that blog post and turn it into a number of bitesize posts for your social media platforms? The information in your latest Youtube video might make a brilliant infographic. And if your content on a particular topic consistently performs well, compile it into an ebook that you can give away as a lead magnet? And so on.
Retargeted advertising serves ads to customers on platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn based on previous website activity. For example, you can choose to retarget customers who visited your website but didn’t buy, who put items in their cart on your e-commerce website but didn’t check out, who did make a purchase, or who consumed content on your blog.
By using social media retargeting to advertise to site visitors, you can deliver content to their feeds that highlights the value of your product or service. Here’s an example:
Retargeting keeps your brand front and center in your target audience members’ minds and drives them back to your content again and again.
The other advantage of retargeting is that it’s highly customizable. Want to target people who read one specific post on your blog? You can do that. Want to offer a discount to people who viewed a specific product? You can do that, too.
By cross-promoting your content, you can increase engagement across all your channels. This seems incredibly obvious when you think about it, but it’s amazing how often marketers forget to do it.
How does this work in practice?
Your website should prominently include your social media links, not just on the homepage but on each page and blog post. You can also make use of social media sharing buttons, which allows your audience to share content to their social media pages in just a couple of clicks:
You can also promote new content, such as blog posts and Youtube videos, on your social media channels. Don’t forget to include a link to the content so that your followers can click straight through, though.
Here’s a bonus tip for you: Instagram does not support clickable links in picture and video captions. If you have over 10,000 followers, you can utilize the “swipe up” function to take mobile users directly to a webpage. Here’s an example from travel booking app Hopper:
If you do not have enough followers to use the swipe up feature, you can use the “link in bio” workaround with a tool like Linktree:
You probably have a core base of loyal social media followers who frequently interact with your posts. These people are a potential goldmine of valuable content. The best way to make sure you’re giving your fans what they want is to ask them and involve them.
Therefore, ask your audience a question and seek their input. But make sure it’s relevant to your brands and customers’ interests. For example, a kitchenware company might ask customers to share their favourite recipes. A travel company might ask customers which country is top of their travelling bucket list. And so on. You can use the answers directly, such as by creating a top-tips roundup post, or indirectly, using the responses to generate ideas and inspire future content.
Another way to seek customer input is through polls. You can run polls with up to 4 possible answers on Twitter, and this-or-that polls in Instagram stories:
Once you’ve created some killer content using your followers’ input, don’t forget to repurpose it in different formats and share it across your channels, as we’ve discussed above.
You can only measure the success of your newly aligned content marketing and social media strategies if you track and understand your metrics.
Establish a baseline before you start. How many views do your blog posts or videos usually get? How many engagements and shares do you get on social media? What is your clickthrough rate and your conversion rate?
Then track these metrics as you tweak and amend your content marketing and social media strategies. Be patient – you probably won’t see results overnight. An aligned marketing strategy is a long game, and it requires consistency.
But if you keep trying things out, measuring your results, and amending accordingly, you should start to see those numbers go up.
Hopefully, this article has demonstrated the benefits of bringing your content marketing and social media strategies into alignment. More closely aligned strategies can lead to greater visibility across all channels, higher engagement, stronger brand recognition, and, ultimately, more conversions, and more loyal customers.
Aligning your marketing strategies can take some time and effort. It will also require collaboration from everyone in your marketing team, regardless of which areas they’re responsible for. But if you stick with it and put the work in, you will reap the benefits.
If you’d like to get started, check out the Techwyse Smart Plan for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Here’s to achieving your goals!