By Marquis Matson
It is hard to talk about social media without mentioning content marketing and vice versa. The two concepts have become somewhat interchangeable, especially among small marketing teams that are often made up of few individuals. Most successful social media strategies incorporate content marketing the same way content marketing almost always includes social media.
Social media marketers today understand that their failure to put in place a content marketing plan will result in failure, but the process of aligning these two in a way that ensures the two disciplines work together is not always straightforward. Following are some of the things you can do to align them.
Have a Plan From the Very Beginning
The best place to begin is by asking yourself why your brand needs to be on social media. What is your end goal? Do you want customers to buy your product, download some materials, or subscribe to your newsletters? By clearly stating your intentions, you can begin to look at the big picture to see how social media can connect with your content marketing plan to achieve these goals. Remember that when it comes to achieving results online, it always starts with acquiring traffic, changing the traffic to conversions and ultimately changing conversions to income. Without traffic, therefore, your website will be nothing more than an open store where no one shows up to buy anything.
Create Content That Offers Value
The primary reason anyone visits a website online is to find the information they are looking for. Even when a potential customer wants to buy a product, they first look at the information included with the product to make certain that the specs and features align with the type of solution they need. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to create helpful and valuable content for these visitors. Create videos, eBooks, templates and other freebies that help you better connect with these people. You can use these lead magnets to get the visitors’ email address and add them to your email list. The bigger your email list grows, the bigger your online business.
Remember Your Goal
While traffic is central to any online business, only the right kind of traffic will give you the results you desire. That is why you should keep in mind the goals you have when trying to attract people to your website. If you run a B2B business but all you attract to your website are people who neither own nor run any business, you will have a near zero conversion rate. Remember your goal and focus all your efforts on attaining that goal in the easiest and most effective manner.
Plan Your Blog Posts Accordingly
A clear understanding of your goals will allow you to plan your blog posts. If you want to increase subscribers, for instance, you can create eBooks and videos in your niche, covering subjects that you know your audience would want to know about. Then, create blog posts that introduce this information to your audience. You can then add a call to action at the end of the blog posts, asking those who want more detailed information about the subjects to get the eBook in which you’ve discussed the matter in detail, in exchange to subscribing to your newsletter.
Engage Your Readers
Content marketing should be designed in a manner that allows you to engage your readers. That is why it helps to ask readers to give their thoughts on a subject you’ve tackled in a blog post, eBook, etc. By creating a platform where people can give their opinion on a matter, you help people better connect with your brand. Even when you share your blog posts on social media, you should monitor the reactions you will get from your followers. They can offer insights into the subject, help you rethink certain perspectives you’ve held and give you some ideas on how you can improve your products and services.
Keep an Eye on Trending Topics
All marketers know the significance of keeping tabs on ongoing conversations. A social media marketing approach that does not include monitoring of trending topics fails to see the many opportunities that exist in social conversations; opportunities to sell products, create content that answers pertinent questions people can’t find direct answers to, etc.
Expand on the Ideas Behind What You Offer
Using the products and services you offer as a starting point, think of various ways you can explain to potential customers what you are offering and why they should consider your solutions. Use each post to create an image of a need satisfied by the goods and services you offer and make the reader long for the satisfaction your solution guarantees.
Use Social Media Strategically
Instead of just sharing anything and everything you have posted on your website, use social media to promote content that has the potential to attract a substantial number of visitors interested in your brand solutions. Center your social media conversations around your products and services without being too promotional.
Know & Understand Your Audience
While it is forgivable to make mistakes regarding who your target audience is at the initial stages of a business, it is unacceptable to not have it figured out months and years into your business. As you interact with people online, study those who are consistently interacting with your brand and buying your services and products. Going forward, focus all your efforts on this audience.
Ask Your Targeted Audience
After figuring out your target audience, don’t shy away from asking them what they think of the products you offer as well as the content you share with them. Ask them what they would want to see more of and what they think you could do to improve your products and services. A poll can help you get a more data-based perspective on what the audience thinks of your brand and its business proposition.
Your Ongoing Strategy
The above tips will help you stay consistent in focusing your efforts on results. They will prevent you from communicating with your audience online using content that would in no way lead to more conversions. However many times you create content, make these tips the gold standard. Any initiatives on social media or your website that do not meet this standard should be discarded, and better ones formulated to replace them.
Marquis Matson is a writer, social media manager and SEO content marketer for Growr. She currently lives on the coast of Ecuador, working remotely as a freelancer. Her primary focus is on building online visibility of new, up and coming brand, particularly brands that promote health and wellness. She lives a nomadic lifestyle, though is originally from California.
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