3 Benefits of Social in Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing and social media are made for each other. Learn how to integrate social media tricks in your content with this guide.
The best content won’t generate the marketing results you want if it isn’t shareable. This is why it’s important to make your content marketing more social says Qamar Zaman CEO of Submit Press Release 123. We stand for Keep it simple and Shareable Content.
While content is certainly king, you could say that social media is its queen. As cheesy as it sounds, this pretty much encapsulates the current landscape of digital marketing.
Content marketing is arguably the fastest growing niche in all of digital marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 7th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, 89 percent of B2B Marketers use content marketing. This in itself isn’t surprising, but what’s more telling is how “62% (are) reporting that their organizations are much more or somewhat more successful with their overall content marketing approach compared with one year ago.”
With more marketers getting better results, it’s safe to say other organizations will increase their investments in producing their own content. In fact, CMI’s annual report notes that of the 11 percent who are content nonusers, “52% say they plan to launch a content marketing effort within 12 months.”
But content, however, is just half of the equation, which is where social media comes in. Compared to general content marketing, social media is about promotion and outreach. It’s a separate platform, sure, but one that should go hand in hand with your content marketing efforts.
Below are 3 ways to do just that.
- Make Sure Your Content Oozes Authority and Expertise
If there’s one thing most marketers will tell you about content marketing, it’s that it’s all about creating original and unique content. These days—everyone knows content should be original and unique.
It’s no longer enough for your content to meet these basic requirements. What you should focus on is making sure your content speaks volumes of your brand’s authority and expertise.
For example, content on legal blogs should contain insights your readers will only get from you. To do this, you can publish case studies with unique data and findings, which your followers will ultimately find valuable, not to mention shareable.
Rand Fishkin of Inbound.org (2) calls this “10x Content,” a concept fueled by “…the idea that there's just so much in our streams and standing out is so hard, we can't just say, "Hey, I want to be as good as the top 10 people in the search results for this particular keyword term or phrase." We have to say, "How can I create something 10 times better than what any of these folks are currently doing?"”
To put it simply, you need to create content that commands attention and respect from readers due to the sheer number of expert-level insights and actionable information it offers.
- Use Images Optimized for Social Media Sites
Images are a great way to break up walls of text in your content assets—pretty much every marketer out there knows this. You could be using stock images to kill the monotony of a blog post or landing page content, adding visual elements where they’re needed most.
However, it’s not enough to put images in your content, not if you want to maximize your social media engagement. When posting on Facebook and Twitter, your site can be enabled to display “cards” showing the images within your content. So, it’s important to optimize images according to the dimensions of these cards, or whatever platform they’re posted on. This is especially important for sites like Pinterest and Instagram, which rely on images to capture user interest.
Note that images are just one part of the equation to using these social features. You can look up how to use social media meta tags, which are essentially lines of code that let Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform, pull the proper images from your content when it’s posted on the social network.
As Steve Shaw points out in a write-up for vWriter (3), “When you use the right image, descriptive text, and so on for a sponsored update on social, you can improve engagement (including click-throughs) by often 100s of percent.”
- Incentivize Social Media Sharing
Reward strategies are about as traditional as any other marketing technique out there, and thankfully, they still work with content marketing and social media.
For starters, you can hold contests to encourage users to share your content on Facebook or retweet a post on Twitter. You can also offer exclusive access to a virtual product (think webinars, podcasts, e-books) in exchange for a social media conversion—a share, like, or follow perhaps?
You can even offer special discounted rates to encourage customers to leave genuine reviews on your Facebook business page. The possibilities depend on how creative you want to be.
If there’s one thing these pointers prove, it’s that content marketing and social media were practically made for each other. Content offers the foundation for generating awareness and leads, while social media serves as the platform for outreach and promotions.
Need help with your content marketing strategy? Make sure you talk to content marketing expert Qamar Zaman.