OK, so content marketing isn’t some amazing tip that no one else knows — that doesn’t diminish the value of content marketing for social media success. And, it doesn’t mean all those folks who know content is king are doing it right.
Social media marketing SUCCESS
Notice the roots of social media marketing success are anchored firmly by SEO (search engine optimization). Whether you’re talking about your website or other social platform, SEO is the fertilizer that brings forth visitors to your website. And, since your website is your primary sales tool, that’s the holy grail of social media marketing. Drive more traffic to your website and you’ll improve your marketing performance.
The hallmark of good SEO across platforms is keyword research. Find keywords your prospects search for and sprinkle them liberally throughout your social media content. Be careful that you don’t overuse your keywords or use them artificially. (NOTICE – Google is retiring its Keyword Tool, soon you’ll have to login to Google and use their keyword planner.)
Social media analytics
Obviously, social media analytics are critical for success of your content marketing strategy. How else will you know what’s working and what isn’t? And, I don’t care how good your social media team is, if they’re not monitoring with the right analytics, they’re not optimizing your social media marketing.
Since your entire social media marketing strategy is digital, a sound IT infrastructure is important — it enhances user experience, it provides SEO, and it facilitates conversion. But, don’t forget, at its core, social media marketing is MARKETING, and IT only helps make marketing happen. It’s NOT marketing.
Content marketing strategies
Content marketing strategies, at their core, provide value to VISITORS — and indirectly benefit the firm. Singular emphasis on your brand is one of the fastest means to content marketing failure. Social media is NOT an advertising channel and, if you use it as such, you’ll FAIL.
What are visitors looking for? Experts suggest visitors come for:
- To gain status
- To socialize
So, give visitors what they want if you want content marketing success. But, too many businesses don’t do that. I once met with a prospective client who said they weren’t comfortable talking about stuff that didn’t mention their brand when I suggested focusing on their target market! They just didn’t get the entire notion of content marketing — it’s to attract visitors by providing value, NOT a form of advertising.
Not only should you share content across social platforms, you should encourage others to share as well. Sure, having easy share buttons is important, but give visitors a reason to share your content. For instance, LivingSocial refunds your purchase if you encourage 3 friends to buy the offer. They even provide easy tools to enable sharing. In effect, they turn every buyer into an affiliate.
Social platforms are different and different tactics work on each platform. So, use care in sharing content across platforms to ensure each post is optimized for that particular platform. For instance, Twitter links work well, while on Facebook images encourage a click. On Pinterest, you’ll need a strong image, as well.
Don’t lose visitors after they leave your website. Encourage subscribers with offers of free content to allow follow-up to these visitors. Again, be careful to optimize content for this platform by providing fresh content not just rehashing what’s already on your website. And, provide value. Don’t just use your email newsletter as a sales channel.
Don’t rely totally on earned content marketing
Consider paying to help spread your content instead of relying totally on earned sharing. Google Adwords, Facebook advertising, and ads on other social networks WORK. People complain these ads are annoying, but they still click on them. I’ve found Facebook promoted posts particularly effective as they’re less invasive than traditional Facebook banner ads. And, these ads help you reach a LOT more people than you might otherwise.
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