Imagine if you got stuck in a vacuum where there is no air and no light! Do you think you can survive?
Obviously, no, likewise, no marketing channel can thrive in isolation as all of them are interlinked and considering how crucial marketing any brand has become nowadays, creating a comprehensive promotional strategy holds the prime importance for entrepreneurs.
The real challenge is identifying what strategies to align for making a cookie-cutter marketing recipe that guarantees a streamlined promotion of your products and services for generating 10k+ customers.
Here we are going to crack the formula of integrating two of the most effective marketing strategies.
On the one hand, we have content marketing, which is the best way to keep your audience engaged and educated.
On the other hand, social media helps in the seamless distribution of your content, and 67% of marketers believe that these channels contribute to their organization’s revenue.
Content marketing and social media are like muffins and cupcakes. They might look entirely different from outside, but in reality, they are quite similar, work in tandem and complement each other exceptionally well.
But determining how to align these two marketing strategies is a daunting task and even before finding that some basic questions need to get answered.
So, without further ado, let’s hit the bullseye!
Content marketing has become a buzzword in the digital landscape, but it’s nothing beyond the art of storytelling.
One of the simplest and the best definitions of content marketing is by an award-winning marketer and the director of content marketing at Fuze Amanda Maksymiw:
“The process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target [an] audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.”
From this definition, it’s clear that content marketing isn’t limited to creating content. It’s about the entire process which begins from the creation and comprises distribution and promotion of different formats of content such as eBooks, blogs, infographics, brochures, videos, etc. with a motive of:
Social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have become powerful tools to connect with your customers and influence potential leads by posting and sharing relevant content for:
However, social media marketing isn’t limited to just posting content on your social pages. You need to ensure that you are sharing tailored content to suit the context of a particular social channel for driving maximum engagement.
To boost conversions, attract leads, and retain customers, you need to build a strong social media branding gameplan.
It helps develop and manage a consistent brand image of your organization across various social channels with a motive to increase their understanding of your brand and positively impact how they perceive your products and services.
Do You Think Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing Are The Same? If Yes, You Are Highly Mistaken!
Content marketing and social media marketing overlap at various points, and their objectives are also similar, yet there’s a fine line of difference between these two concepts.
Content marketing is the starting point of your digital campaign. It aims at educating your target audience for solving the pain points and achieving increased leads, sales, and demand with the help of mostly long-form content such as blogs, eBooks, etc.
Social media marketing comes at a later stage in the digital arsenal and is a two-way street for a business to build robust relationships with their customers and leads.
The social strategy also includes creating content like Facebook infographics or LinkedIn posts, which are some of the most powerful visual communication tools to precisely convey the brand’s idea and strike a healthy discussion with the leads.
Also, social channels help you establish a long-lasting connection with your audience, which is beyond selling.
Is It Possible To Align Content Marketing With Your Social Strategy Without Defining An Ideal Plan For Each Of These?
You can’t blend two things without first knowing what the ingredients of each one of them are! So, let’s first devise an ideal content marketing and social strategy:
Irrespective of what your specific business goals are, there are some critical steps that you must follow when creating an ideal content marketing game plan for your brand. Let’s explore each of these steps in brief:
If you don’t know who you want to reach, then all your efforts will go vain. First, understand your target audience and create a buyer persona for your brand to attract the right leads and turn them into paying customers quickly:
Determining these many aspects of your target buyers isn’t easy.
Hence, you can either conduct online surveys or dig out your competitors’ techniques to grab valuable insights about your ideal buyers.
Explore niche-specific forums and communities and collaborate with your sales/customer support teams to understand the issues your existing customers are facing based on which you can refine your content marketing efforts and attract potential leads.
Making a random effort is of no use, and hence it’s incredibly crucial to determine the specific business goals that answer the following questions:
Your content marketing arsenal should have clearly defined smart goals as it’s one of the critical aspects of a robust marketing strategy. It means your objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound that makes them achievable and practical and keeps the entire process transparent to stay away from unrealistic expectations.
Not every potential buyer will follow the same path while going down through your sales funnel.
Still, understanding your leads’ standard customer journey helps identify how to be in touch with them sensibly and promote your products and services.
Moreover, understanding the different stages of your customer’s journey helps you craft the best content for each of these phases as you can’t offer the same content format to your audience at all the stages.
For example, at the awareness stage, you can offer infographics to your target prospects. But blogs would be the best for the consideration phase, and eBooks or case studies work wonders for the final or decision-making stage.
Randomly investing your brains and time on discovering relevant content ideas isn’t going to help you at all. So, if you have an already existing content marketing strategy, it’s better to do an audit to identify what’s working and what’s not.
You can use different tools like SEMRush or AHREFs, to do your content audit and identify the gaps in your existing content marketing strategy. Pay attention to the following key metrics to produce more relevant and share-worthy content:
You might think this is an unnecessary point, but in reality, most of us believe that we are creating quality content. However, we end up creating common or irrelevant pieces that don’t strike with our target audience as they can’t find answers to their questions.
Creating quality content looks easy, but you need to do a ton of research and understand that there’s a lot of difference between quality and quantity.
To create content that resonates with your readers and fill the loopholes found in your content audit, you must follow the below-given pointers:
Identify the relevant keywords with commercial intent by leveraging tools like Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Ads Keywords Planner. There might be many keywords in this category, such as Buy Now, Deals, Free Shipping, etc. The tools can help you select the right ones in your niche.
Moreover, getting an idea of three search categories will also let you discover new and relevant keywords:
You are done with your audit and brainstormed the best content ideas, but how will you keep things on track if you don’t have a calendar for streamlined scheduling? Therefore, an editorial calendar is a must.
There are many tools, such as Trello, which you can use to keep your content creation process hassle-free. It’s a handy tool with a flexible pricing scheme which makes it useful and economical both:
A well-organized content calendar helps you churn quality content continuously on various channels and prevent your plan from falling off.
If you assume that once you write something, there’s no work left, then it’s an entirely wrong notion as the main task will begin, which is distributing that content piece. You can share your content on various channels, but social media is one of the best platforms because you can find and reach out to your target audience directly.
Facebook is considered the best channel to share long-form content, and on Instagram, it’s great to post carousels with crisp captions. Besides, Twitter and LinkedIn are more relevant for sharing formal content. Also, you can use email marketing for disseminating content among your subscribers.
No strategy is permanent, and regular monitoring is essential to identify and optimize on the gaps. The same applies to your content marketing strategy as a robust analysis is crucial for keeping a tab on the key metrics and tracking the progress.
There are many metrics that you can check, but some of the most important ones are:
Conversion rate, number of leads, and ROI are the three very crucial metrics that tell you whether your prospects think that your products or services are worth buying? Based on the metrics, you can tweak your current content marketing strategy for better outcomes.
Similar to a content marketing strategy, your social media arsenal also needs precise planning. Also, the social channels are quite dynamic, and hence you must follow some critical steps if you want to serve your audience and encourage them to take the desired action:
Although one of the purposes of social selling is to provide a human touch to the entire online selling process, everyone has different objectives for developing social media presence. Hence, knowing your specific purpose is very important.
Whether you want to build brand awareness, boost community engagement, or generate leads, each objective requires creating and sharing different content types. You must also attach a goal to each purpose specifying the timeline you expect it to get fulfilled.
For example, if you want to build brand awareness, it’s crucial to share content that can help your audience connect with your brand. Let’s take a look at one of Tiffany’s & Co. Instagram photos, which is an American luxury jewelry brand.
You can see that they have kept the image relevant to their brand’s theme without getting dull and included a sense of culture, fashion, and arts for making it look classy.
Every social media platform is unique and has a different set of audiences with entirely different needs. So, identifying which are the social channels where your target audience hangs out the most is crucial. Also, what kind of content they find share-worthy and which brands they follow are vital questions you must answer to plan an effective social strategy.
Spying on your key competitors is one of the best tactics that help you identify how they are performing and which techniques they’re leveraging to attract and convert leads on social channels.
Doing a SWOT analysis can be the best way to identify your business rivals’ strengths and grab the best opportunities by finding the answers of questions like:
Starting to create and share content on social media without a proper calendar can lead to a mess. It’s better to have a comprehensive social media calendar that outlines the following details:
You need to plan your social media calendar for about 2-3 weeks in advance, helping you get into a rhythm and maintain consistency. After a while, you can leverage any social media tool like Hootsuite to schedule weekly content creation and sharing on social channels.
Evaluating specific social media metrics is essential to track the progress and identify the gaps in your existing social strategy. You should keep an eye on ample metrics, but the key ones are as follows:
No social media strategy will last forever; hence you must keep revisiting your existing plan and analyze it based on the results you are getting at regular intervals. Based on your judgment, keep identifying the loopholes and optimize them moving forward to achieve better outcomes. Social channels are also quite dynamic, so keeping an eye on changing trends and adjusting your social strategy accordingly is equally essential.
If Content Marketing & Social Media Strategy Are Different Then Why There’s A Need To Align These Two?
Let’s understand this by assuming that you have an active blog where you post informative and engaging articles daily, but what will its use if the content isn’t reaching your potential customers, right?
So, to let your content reach out to the target audience, it’s crucial to align your social media game plan with the content marketing arsenal.
According to a survey done by eTail and Stackla, more and more brands are turning towards integrating social media marketing to build customer trust and boost sales in 2020.
This extensive rise in social media marketing’s popularity is because businesses leverage social channels to push their content to the target audience in easy-to-consume forms.
Leveraging social channels to share and post relevant content helps you maintain a robust relationship with your audience, nurture existing customers, and bring in new leads!
Also, a holistic content marketing strategy well-aligned with social media marketing can hit the right chord and help in achieving desired outcomes.
To build any robust strategy, you can follow the golden circle theory of the British-born American author and motivational speaker Simon Oliver Sinek.
His idea illustrates the perfect way to build any plan beginning with “why” you’re doing it where you need to specify your goals and concluding with “what” you’ll be doing, which involves the tactics:
However, just knowing the golden circle wouldn’t be of any good to you as we know, it’s easier said than done.
Aligning content marketing strategies with social media looks very easy, but it’s quite tedious in reality.
So, let’s go step by step and look at the things you need to do to align your content marketing with social strategy:
You can have a seamless alignment of content and social strategies unless the goals of both of them are well-aligned.
Before going further, make sure that both of these should serve one or more of the below-mentioned purposes:
Having similar objectives will help you move ahead in the right direction, and there won’t be any confusion.
Irrespective of whether you are sharing a blog on your website or posting social media content, your brand’s voice, tone, and aesthetics should always be consistent, which gives a sense of familiarity to your audience.
Answer the what, why, and for whom before defining your brand’s DNA.
Make sure that your brand’s voice, tone, and aesthetics are consistent across all platforms if you want to align content marketing and social strategy.
The overall style of your writing and presenting any form of content is your brand’s voice and tone. Majorly, your brand’s voice and tone depending on your target audience.
For instance, if you want to grab female customers, your brand’s voice will be soft and fragile. You must understand your ideal buyer persona, as discussed in the earlier section, before finalizing your brand’s tone and voice.
For example, Harley-Davidson, the popular American motorcycle manufacturer giant, has kept its voice very aggressive, bold, rugged, and tough. It challenges its audience to show that they are worthy of handling their robust bikes!
Coming to brand aesthetics, it’s the cohesive feel comprising your content’s visual look and appearance that you offer your target audience on any platform which establishes a mood and defines your brand’s personality.
Let’s take a look at the aesthetics of SEMRush the imagery, background, and colors used on their website are quite bold and bright.
And, when you scroll their Twitter profile, you will find the similar aesthetics which resonate with that of their website and makes it easily recognizable for the audience:
Still, it’s up to you as you can decide how you want to portray your brand in front of your target buyers. You can talk with peers in the same industry to get an idea of how to develop your brand voice and tone.
Remember, once you finalize your brand’s tone, voice, and aesthetics, document the same as a style guide for reference and share it with your entire team so that every content displayed on any platform must look and feel similar.
Come on, face the fact that you aren’t a content churning machine! Hence, creating 10X content every time is impossible, and having that much time every day isn’t easy. So, what to do?
The best solution to this problem is repurposing your existing content into various formats and offering them to the same audience or a different segment as you wish.
But doesn’t this mean that you can pick any random piece from your previously published samples and repurpose it?
No, you have to be cautious and select the best-performing ones into different types and tailor them according to varied social channels.
For instance, you can try the following content repurposing tricks to begin with:
For aligning your content marketing and social media strategy, it’s crucial to maintain coherence between both.
For that, you must make it easy for your audience to find links to your content, no matter which platform they are!
But linking one channel to another is no less than an art.
For establishing a seamless connection, you need to include social navigation on your website and promote links to your site’s content on social channels.
Some of the best examples of cross-promoting your content are:
However, remember that while cross-promoting your content following the 80/20 rule is a must, which states that 80% of your content should educate the audience, and 20% can be promotional!
It’s one of the most effective strategies that turn more of your followers into paying customers as it helps you to refrain from sounding promotional all the time and build a real connection with your audience.
Not all your audience needs to enjoy your content, but there might be some of them who are looking for more information.
How to find and grab those?
Here retargeting comes into play as it presents ads to the customers who have previously visited your website on different social media channels such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.
Retargeting presents your content to the audience looking for similar solutions or have been your customer in the past.
For example, retargeting you can grab the attention of visitors who have visited your eCommerce portal but:
Facebook is the most accessible platform for retargeting as when you share one of your blog posts on this channel, and you can keep an eye on who has consumed it, and based on that, you can retarget content to the relevant audience.
Let’s look at the retargeting done by Jasper’s Market, which is quite hyper-focused along with crisp message specifically about one of their products to target a particular segment of audience interested in that niche:
Retargeting helps you display relevant ads to site visitors and deliver content directly to their feeds to highlight the value of your products or services.
Creating, optimizing, and distributing content on an exponential scale can be quite tiresome, but you can use various tools to keep the efficiency of the entire process intact.
There are many tools available in the market, but some of the best ones are:
Measuring metrics is essential as it allows you to optimize your efforts for better future outcomes.
Failing to measure critical KPIs is one of the biggest social media marketing mistakes that can harm your overall progress.
You need to track the data from your website and social media channels to understand your current situation and drive 10k+ customers. Let’s look at the critical metrics in brief:
Measuring KPIs is an essential part of the entire strategy as it helps you understand what your audience likes to read.
For example, the same content might be more prevalent on Instagram in the form of a carousel, but on Twitter, that wouldn’t work wonders as plain text.
Keeping an eye on metrics allows you to analyze the loopholes and provide the audience with what they want and encourage them to take the desired action.
Considering the dynamic social media landscape and the business economy’s uncertainties sticking to the same strategy forever isn’t right.
So, based on your analysis, keep experimenting with your current plan and revise it every few months for keeping up with the changing market trends.
You can find ample ways to introduce innovations and fresh tactics in your content marketing and social strategy collision, but some of the best ones are as follows:
Aligning your content marketing and social strategy might take some time and a lot of effort, but if you maintain consistency and be patient, no one can stop you from reaping rich rewards.
So, what’s stopping you from trying?
Start doing your bit of research, create value-adding content for your audience, and promote it on the right channels to achieve your goals.
Here’s to your alignment and goals!
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