Note: This post has been contributed by guest author Kamy Anderson. For his bio, refer to the end of this post.
Social Media Marketing is one of the most beneficial forms of digital marketing. By utilizing it in their marketing strategy, businesses can establish a stronger digital presence and become more recognizable. The success of such a marketing campaign is closely tied to the type of social media activity a business chooses to engage in. And the main problem lies in how companies think about this form of marketing.
Social media marketing is so much more than focusing on and hunting for engagement, likes, shares and retweets. By putting the focus on sharing quality content, a business can achieve greater things.
Let’s see why content is important and what it is capable of doing in any social media marketing strategy.
What is Content Marketing
First, let’s start by defining content marketing. There are many definitions online, but this one sums ‘what content marketing is’ pretty well: “It is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”.
Today, content marketing is the favorite method of most marketers. It is able to raise brand awareness, build entire communities around a business and, in the end, drive incremental sales.
But as you may have figured out, the battle for social media users’ attention is quite a fierce one. The harsh competition has been driving marketers to come up with new content and ways to utilize it to win the attention of social media users.
An important statistic to consider is that in 2016, 75% of business establishments increased their content marketing budgets, while more than 40% of companies hired experienced content marketing experts.
Grow Your Audience and Establish Credibility
High-quality content has the best effect when it gets distributed over social media. It’s no wonder that many marketers say that social media and content marketing go together like wine and cheese. It takes a bit of time to figure out which types pair best, but once you discover the formula, your audience will start growing like never before.
The usual procedure consists of publishing content on your official website and promoting it on social media platforms. Unfortunately, companies want immediate results, and content marketing is not able to deliver them. It needs to build up momentum before it delivers obvious results.
This is why content marketing experts advise companies to stay consistent with providing valuable content to their audience. The momentum I’ve mentioned above takes time to be built, which is why an organic approach will help you build credibility and grow your audience at a slower pace.
If you are sure that your content has value, you can brute-force your social media growth by using sponsored posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter, announce follow-up stories and reach out to influencers in your industry.
It Connects the Audience with a Brand
The primary purpose of content marketing is to establish a connection between the audience and a brand, and not just any connection, but one where the audience has sympathy and empathy for the brand. Content has the power to make people feel passionate about the brand. Mainly because a successful content marketing campaign helps them see that they share the same values.
In marketing, this effect is called ‘Brand Affinity’. Once you successfully achieve it with proper content, it becomes the most powerful way to convince the prospects to become customers. This sounds great, but how can it be achieved?
In order to turn your content marketing strategy into a brand affinity strategy, you must provide unique and valuable content. A great way to start is to share and demonstrate the company’s values throughout the content you share on social media. For instance, if your company values a smooth flow of information, knowledge and skillfulness, you can create a course or a quiz and share it, along with study materials, with your audience for free.
It Increases Conversion Opportunities and Rates
Content marketing is the only method that can help you increase conversion rates through building remarketing audiences. The connection between these two may seem vague at this point, so let me explain. The key lies in content analytics.
Let’s say you have numerous different types of content on your official webpage (blog posts, infographics, products, product reviews, etc.) and dozens of posts linking to your content on your official social media profiles. By implementing Google Analytics on your website, you will be able to take a deep dive into your visitors’ data. The good thing is that Google Analytics’ tracking code includes visitors’ behavior.
By using this data, you can create remarketing lists and serve prospects who are juggling between social media and your official website with content they showed interest for. Keeping your business in front of the prospects who are starting to make a purchasing decision can compel them to take action.
It Helps You Become an Authority
By addressing specific subjects quite often from different point of view and making sure that you are giving your audience relevant, accurate and fresh content, you can become an authority on this subject. And where better to share your clever and honest insights than on social media.
People love to share valuable content. If you provide it to them, you can expect to gain publicity and engage many. Becoming an authority on a certain topic doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use technical jargon. Content written in a more of a pragmatic fashion has more potential to engage.
The final words
As you can see, marketers love social media platforms. In order to attract more people, your content has to resonate well with your target audience. Before you devise your content marketing strategy, make sure to get to know your audience, so that you can discover what type of content will engage them the most.
Author Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & elearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.