While content marketing and social media are buzzwords in business today, most of the training and information out there is too singularly focused.
Social media and content marketing are far more closely related that you might be led to believe as you scour and consume info from the major tech and business blogs.
One major misconception that exists is this idea that social media is somehow a “miracle tool” that will magically reach new people, make you money, and cure cancer over night.
Contrary to the perception the media and “social media experts” portray, success from social doesn’t come from just sending out a couple tweets or posting some deep inspirational quotes on Facebook. It’s much more complex than that.
Success on social is a result of many different things, and one of the biggest components of successful social marketing is quality content. Social is simply an amplifier; it allows you to generate mass exposure to a message. If the content on your website or on your blog isn’t top-notch, social media will not magically generate sales and solve all your problems; instead, it will magnify your problems.
Content and social media are very similar to an electric guitar. An electric guitar doesn’t pack much punch without an amplifier, and an amplifier alone is pretty useless. Simply put, content is your guitar and social media is your amplifier. This is why content and social media are undeniably linked and each must be thought about, strategized, and implemented with the other in mind.
To help further your understanding of how social media and content marketing should work together, I’ve created a framework that will help guide your efforts.
Introducing the 6 stages to executing an effective content marketing strategy:
1) Create Quality Content Based on Metrics and Feedback
- Your content is only quality content if your target market gains value from your writing.
- Allow your customers & prospects to help guide your content production.
- If you’re just getting started, send a short survey to your existing customers to get a feel for what their challenges are.
2) Optimize Your Content for Conversions
- When I say conversions, I’m not talking just sales leads.
- Your blog should be optimized for people to subscribe to email updates.
- Make it easy for people to share your content on social with social sharing widgets like AddThis.
- The absolute worst thing that can happen when someone comes to your blog is leaving without taking some type of action.
3) Promote Your Content to Generate Traffic
- When you finish writing a blog post, most people think their work is done. This is where many people stop. In reality, this is where the real work begins.
- Promote your blog via social channels, your blog’s email subscriber list, and optimize your post for search (SEO).
- Reach out to people you quote or companies you mention and let them know that you featured them on your blog – be sure to include a link. If you make them look good, they will share your post with their social networks, generating more traffic and exposure to your blog.
4) Measure the performance of your content
- Make sure you have a web analytics tool integrated with your website to measure quantitative data like traffic, visitor flow, conversions, demographics, and much more. Google Analytics is the best and it’s free!
- Collect qualitative data by presenting your target market or audience with the opportunity to provide feedback and express their opinion.
5) Analyze the data you collect
- Analyze the qualitative and quantitative data that you collect.
- Identify areas of opportunity for content creation
- Prioritize topics and types of information your audience is hungry for.
6) Create more high-quality content based on your analysis
- There should be no guessing involved in determining the topics and type of information you share on your blog.
- All content creation should be intentional and based on the performance of published posts and feedback you receive from your target audience.
It’s a continuous cycle of:
Create > Optimize > Promote > Measure > Analyze > Create
Your blog will experience rapid growth when this content creation and promotion cycle is consistently implemented over a sustained period of time.
If you’re just getting started, it’s important to keep in mind that your blog is like a train, not a Ferrari. It will take quite some time to get your content & social marketing engine up and running at full-speed, but once you have it working, it’s very hard to stop.
I hope this post has helped you understand how social media plays an important role in content marketing and how you can increase the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns through optimization, promotion, and analytics.
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