If you spend any time on social media, you’re familiar with the phrase content marketing. While you might be familiar with it, you probably tossed it aside as a complicated strategy reserved for the “gurus, masters and mavens” of social media. The good news is that it is not as complex as it might seem.
Content marketing is in its purest form connection marketing. It is offering the right content to the right people with the right frequency and consistency. Content marketing is what drives sales, boosts your bottom line and connects consumers to your brand.
Whether you are the manager of your own personal social media content, or the leader of a company’s social media marketing team, finding the right balance, rhythm and flow for your content is crucial. So how can you find perfect content that resonates with your audience?
1. Do Your Research
Telling a story before you know your audience is a mistake I see many marketers make. Rather than mapping a destination and setting the course, content is pushed out in haste with little understanding into the wants or needs of the audience.
Just like any other marketing endeavor, a documented and well supported plan is vital to sustained success. Simply put, taking the time on the front end to research the where, what and why of your potential clients will pay off tenfold down the road.
Research will allow you to avoid these questions:
- Why is no one listening?
- Why am I not receiving any retweets, shares or comments?
- What’s wrong with my content?
- Do people even care about my brand?
Instead of constantly reinventing your strategy only because one does not exist, make a conscious effort to focus on the consumer and strive to connect by offering intentional, deliberate and strategic content that resonates rather than repels.
2. Understand Internet Media
There are three types of media on the Internet: Paid, Owned, and Earned.
- Paid is just what it sounds like, getting your product out there through established members of the internet. For example, Google AdSense, Facebook sponsored posts, and Twitter sponsored hashtags.
- Owned is the practice of leveraging all of the tools you already have on hand such as Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube, to gain better notoriety.
- Earned media is then the culmination of the first two media types. Earned media is the mentions you gain from the time and effort you have put in to your brand that set you apart from everyone else.
3. Find the right content marketing channel
I find that I tend to follow a company or brand on only one social media outlet, whether that is Facebook, Twitter or Google+. While I may follow company A on Facebook, Company B on Google+, and Company C on Instagram, I will rarely follow any of those companies on more than one. Typically it is the social media outlet where I first found them.
Fans will follow a similar pattern. The key is to determine which social network they prefer. It may be a difficult process at first, but discovering where your audience spends their time can be a huge breakthrough in your content marketing.
Instead of beating your head against a wall trying just to get five +1’s on Google+, you can take that time to focus on your 100,000 followers on Twitter.
4. Create shareworthy content
The final, and most important key is to create content that others will find “shareworthy.” Getting likes and comments on Facebook may feel great, but it cannot compare to the power of a share.
Once one person shares your post, a whole new audience is opened up that you otherwise never would have reached. In essence, you have just received free marketing.
Not every one of your posts will be gold, but if you take the time to research your audience, understand how to promote your post across multiple social channels and discover the right way to ultimately deliver the content, you will find that success becomes a consistent part of your marketing strategy.