“The most valuable forms of marketing are consumed voluntarily.”
-Seth Godin (Source)
With 69% of B2C brands making more content throughout 2014 than they did in 2013 (and B2Bs creating 70% more), many brands are becoming major producers of high quality media as their marketing itself becomes a service offered to their audience. With a growing number of brands building significant libraries of content, a distribution plan needs to be drafted to maximise the effectiveness of your branded content through your available channels. How can your social media strategy help you to reap the greatest rewards from your content marketing?
Identify The Metrics That Matter, And What They’re Worth
The whole marketing team needs to be clear on the goals of key pieces of content. Do you want your content to help build a following? To lead to web visits? Reach a specific audience? Drive sales? On top of deciding this, it’s also worth ascertaining how much value you place on each action to help you define the ROI of your social activity. Once this focus is in place, it will help drive your strategy for utilising your social channels to promote your content.
Inform Your Wider Content Strategy
Sending a Tweet doesn’t have to cost anything, yet the results you get from it can help to show you what’s working and what isn’t before you spend more money on marketing your content. Unlike a TV ad, where you have one shot to make an impression, social allows you to experiment with different calls to action, straplines, images, and other ways to entice your followers to consume your content. Once you’ve made these discoveries, they can be implemented where appropriate into marketing activity on other channels.
Market Appropriate Content For People Throughout The Sales Funnel
A recent study from The CMO Club revealed that CMOs are spending their budgets relatively evenly across the whole buyer journey. This represents a shift towards delivering an all-encompassing brand experience, where content needs to be relevant to people at each stage. Targeting people with content curated to where they are through the buyer journey will help deliver a tailored experience that’s more likely to achieve the results you desire. This can be done by using email integration tools, Tailored Audience campaigns for people who consumed previous content, or targeting followers of your customer service channel (who are likely to be customers).
Collaborate With The Creators
Ensure that the people behind the content are aware of your insights into what performs best on each channel. In return, learn from them what the key messages are within the content to ensure you help to deliver them. As an example of how this partnership can work, NASA explained to us how they take hugely complex scientific discoveries, create content around it, and then integrate social media into the strategy.
“We have a great team of science writers that work at our different centres, who sit down with the scientists and basically interview them. The writers try to get to the heart of the research that the scientists have done and what they’re talking about. They then create a document on how best to communicate it with the public. Once it has been checked multiple times for accuracy and clarity, the social and web teams will be given that information. We’ll then start building our content based on the document, and at that point the language has already been thoroughly vetted and approved for release.”Jason Townsend, Deputy Social Media Manager, NASA (Source)
Let Your Twitter Research Lead The Way
Your social channels can act as a massive focus group, both through direct questioning and in-depth analysis of Twitter users who match highly customised segmented parameters that align with your target persona. Analysing the Twitter data within those groups can be hugely useful in planning your content, and identifying specific users whose followers you want to promote your content to.
Channel Curation Is A Must
Looking at how to deliver your content strategy on specific channels is vital. Both from a technical standpoint, and an audience one. Different platforms will require their own unique strategy, understanding where each one can fit within the promotion of your content is something that marketers need to be capable of.
“Ten years ago most agencies would deliver a TV first approach, or at least something focused around broadcast media. Now we look for a more centralised idea that can work across all channels… Brands will really need to concentrate on making interesting and entertaining content that suits the platform and drives engagement with the user. You can’t just slap a TV ad on social anymore and expect the best results, you need a dedicated team to be on the pulse of your audience and understand what will work on each channel.”
Kristian Lorenzon, Head Of Social Media, O2 (Source)
The precise strategies will differ from industry to industry, but a clear idea on how to promote your content across multiple channels is a must for every business. Intelligent targeting and engaging social content has the potential to drastically reduce the gap between your content and its intended audience. What are some ways that you use to get the most out of your content using social media?