We’re at a unique time in marketing history. Technology and connectivity have never been more accessible and available to marketers.
We know that focusing on content is the way to go if we want to get B2B customers. But here’s the thing: It’s not just about producing the right content. We need to make sure it gets seen by the right people, too.
According to a study report by Instagram, more than 80 percent of Instagram users admit to discovering new products when on the platform. Interestingly, upwards of 49 percent of active social media users login to their accounts several times each day to check updates.
Here’s where it gets juicier; 97 percent of customers admit to checking online reviews before making a purchase or deciding on brands or products. And yet, only less than 50 percent of companies have a robust social media strategy.
Now, social media is powerful but they go hand in hand with content marketing to make a groundbreaking impact. When used together correctly, they can be incredibly powerful: Here are different ways social media and content marketing can work together to create maximum impact for your brand.
Social media can help to build brand awareness and authority. It works by providing a platform for you to share your expertise, discover what others are saying about your brand, and connect with influencers in your industry.
Content marketing can help brands establish their authority online by delivering relevant, valuable information that consumers want to read. This is especially helpful when it comes to B2B customers, who tend to do a lot of research before making a purchase decision.
For example, you can decide to generate more than 100 pieces of content per week across your blog and social media accounts. You can then use these assets not only as an opportunity to offer style inspiration but also as a way to communicate with customers about how products are made, materials used, and the people who create them.
Providing excellent customer service is essential these days — especially as brands compete for online reviews. It’s not easy to find a product or business, conduct some research, and then make a purchase - all within a few minutes. And with so many websites offering similar products and services, it’s important that you differentiate your brand from the competition by delivering exceptional experiences for customers.
Social media allows businesses to interact with their customers in real-time. This allows brands to offer immediate support when necessary, making it easier for consumers to solve problems on their own time instead of being put on hold. A perfect example we can use in this case is Nike. It interacts with customers across Twitter and Instagram and looks for opportunities to surprise and delight them with unexpected gifts. As a conscious entrepreneur, you may want to use this tactic as an inspiration to build a solid client base.
Content marketing can also help brands provide customer service by creating useful content that helps users solve their problems before they turn to the brand for help. For example, Amazon offers product-specific information through its website and social channels to help shoppers find the right products more quickly. It also uses Twitter chats as a way to engage with customers and answer questions on popular topics such as storage solutions or back-to-school trends.
Today’s consumers are incredibly skeptical of advertising messages. Statista estimates that more than 763 million internet users across the globe use ad blockers thus making it important that you establish trust with your audience. Social media allows you to communicate with your customers directly, listening to their feedback and showing them you care. That can help build trust, loyalty, and brand advocacy.
Content marketing provides an opportunity to establish trust by educating your audience about who you are and what makes your organization different, which can inspire consumer confidence in your brand.
One of the best ways social media and content marketing work together is by driving more traffic to your website. Social media creates demand for your products or services, while content marketing helps brands meet consumers where they’re at - whether it’s through blog posts or videos.
For example, using Twitter paid ads; you can promote select products from your store to spark conversations with consumers about your brand to help increase awareness and website visits. Campaigns like this can result in massive lifts in organic site visits, thus helping your brand to meet its goals of increasing product awareness and growing the fan base for your Twitter page.
Increasing traffic is obviously important, but it’s equally essential to use your assets to generate sales or leads. Content marketing can help brands track engagement metrics such as time on site or pages viewed, while social media campaigns can be used to track conversions from specific ads. A perfect example of a brand that uses social media in this way is the social media management platform Hootsuite. It uses Facebook Custom Audiences to measure conversions from its paid ad campaigns. This allows the company to see which campaigns are most effective at generating leads and sales.
Content marketing can help brands drive revenue by creating assets that help users make purchase decisions. Another good example of a brand that’s making use of social media for maximum impact in a scenario like this is Mint. The brand uses its Instagram account to highlight the practicality of products, while Pinterest is full of recipe posts for cooking enthusiasts.
Social media offers businesses lots of opportunities to show off their creativity. As you look for ways to work together, remember that social media accounts are most effective when they’re unique to your brand’s objectives, not just an extension of your website content or advertisements.
Social networks are a great place to build relationships with your customers. Customers not only look to brands for sales and promotions, but they also want customer service. Social media allows you to provide faster access to help, whether it’s through Facebook chat or Twitter direct messages.
Content marketing can help build strong customer relationships by providing relevant information that builds trust, loyalty, and brand advocacy. For example, search engine Bing built its business on industry expertise, offering advice on topics such as web design and development. This type of content helps the company show off its knowledge of the field while strengthening relationships with potential customers.
It’s more important than ever before for marketers to think beyond traditional digital channels when planning their social media and content marketing strategies. Social media can help businesses get their messages in front of customers who are offline by providing the opportunity to place branded posters or stickers in local businesses that are part of your customer base.
Take the example of Dunkin’ Donuts. The food industry giant used its Facebook page to announce an event at a New York City subway station, participation which resulted in several customers each day tweeting about their experience with Dunkin’ Donuts on location. Content marketing can be used to drive additional foot traffic offline. For example, Disney Parks encourages visitors to share their vacation experiences online using the hashtag; #DisneyPhotoPassDay.
Developing a social media and content marketing plan will help you more effectively allocate your resources. This process is designed to help you develop a cohesive strategy that addresses how each individual channel can contribute.
Let’s say you’re an eCommerce company with a small in-house marketing team. A solid social media and content marketing plan might look something like this;
Content Marketing: In the early stages, focus on producing high-quality blog posts to establish industry expertise.
Social Media: Once you have enough blog posts published, consider setting up paid ads on Facebook or Twitter, targeting people who are likely to be interested in your products or services based on their demographics and online activity.
Offline Engagement: Consider hosting events, sponsoring conferences, or distributing fliers to increase brand awareness outside of your online community.
The takeaway is; content marketing and social media should work together as a cohesive strategy based on the needs of each individual business. Whether you’re looking for new customers, reaching existing ones more frequently, or finding ways to engage offline, having a clear plan in place will help you avoid costly mistakes.
What if you don’t have the time to create the plans? Now, we get it. Being pressed for time may make you overlook some of the most essential things though that isn’t how it should be. There are several hacks you can try and one of the most effective ones we’ve seen with entrepreneurs furthering their studies is to get tools for success in college online. The key is being aware and knowing where to look.
The online marketing world is constantly evolving. New social networks emerge ad platforms change, and consumer behavior continues to shift. A successful social media and content marketing plan will keep your business ahead of the curve without breaking the bank. Here are the simple things you mustn’t overlook when creating your social media and content marketing plan.
Your employees: No matter how great your strategy, it falls flat if nobody knows about it. Consider developing a company culture that encourages team members to participate in social media as representatives of your brand actively. For example, if you are in the hotel industry, you can deploy your housekeeping staff as “virtual hoteliers,” encouraging them to post Instagram photos using the hotel’s branded hashtag from their own personal accounts. This helps reinforce your brand image and creates a fun way for guests to feel more engaged with hotel staff.
Your customers: An effective social media and content marketing plan should take your customer’s needs into consideration. For example, if you sell a product that requires assembly, you might consider creating short-form instructional videos to share with customers on YouTube. Or, if your company offers an industry service to help other businesses, perhaps you could use LinkedIn for B2B lead generation by hosting webinars or publishing white papers. When it comes down to it, the key is to make sure all of your efforts are in line with what matters most to your audience.
Your platform: Social media and content marketing will always be a work in progress. You should constantly be on the lookout for new platforms where your brand might fit in. Remember, social media success is more about quality than quantity. Before investing a lot of time and effort into building up followers, make sure you’re targeting the right people with meaningful posts that reflect who you are as an organization. And remember, many of these platforms are constantly changing how they present themselves to users. What works today may not work tomorrow; it’s important to keep up with these trends to stay successful.
Although social media and content marketing are similar in that they both focus on creating engaging, relevant content for your audiences, there are some key differences to consider. For example, marketers running a successful content marketing campaign typically have more freedom when it comes to the type of posts they publish.
Content marketers might create how-to videos or interviews with industry influencers. On the other hand, those specializing in social media may need to streamline their efforts into posting updates that link back to blog posts or product pages. You may also find yourself participating in conversations about industry news with your followers.
That being said, the most significant advantage social media has over traditional content marketing is its ability to generate leads almost immediately. Depending on which platform you’re using – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – your audience can see your posts and click the link within minutes.
Getting Started With Social Media And Content Marketing: Set Your Goals And Create A Strategy That Works For You
With all of this in mind, it’s important to remember that social media and content marketing should work together for maximum impact. After all, your social media accounts are merely one component of an overall digital marketing strategy. For example, you can choose to share your new blog posts on Twitter about 8–12 hours before they go live. This gives your followers time to read the post and share it with others — essentially acting as a free advertisement — before anyone else has had a chance to digest it.
Social media and content marketing should work together for maximum impact. It is important to have a clear vision of your goals before implementing a plan, but listening closely to your audience’s wants is even more important. Over time, you’ll be able to tweak your efforts to provide the best user experience possible.
Tiffany Harper is a training guru who’s been working in the corporate sector as a technology expert for several years now. She is a management graduate and loves to share her experience through blogs and expert articles. For her love of writing, she provided online consultations for students and beginning experts. Please do not hesitate to contact her on LinkedIn.