Content Marketing & Social Media

As a marketing-savvy business owner, you understand how content marketing can benefit you. You also know that social media is a key part of your marketing strategy. But how do content and social media go together, and how can you combine the two for maximum effect?

content and social-1

Well, great content turns your audience into customers, but only if they see it! Social media is one of the most effective ways to make that happen.

65% of Americans are using at least one social network, and that more than likely includes your audience. If you’re not promoting your content on social media, you’re missing a major opportunity to get it in front of potential customers.

Let’s take a look at how social media promotion works and, more importantly, how you can use it to reach your audience.

Types of social media promotion

There are three levels of social media promotion — owned, paid, and earned.

Owned Promotion

Owned promotion is when you share your content (or other people’s) on your own social media channels, such as your Facebook business page or your LinkedIn company profile.

Paid Promotion social media promotion

The next level is paid promotion, where you can pay for your content to be featured in your audience’s newsfeeds or dashboards. This may include pay-per-click ads or sponsored posts, both of which are designed to look like ‘regular’ posts. It’s important to pay attention to your ad integration and avoid common mistakes such as not engaging with your customers or not updating your promotions regularly.

Earned Promotion

The final and most effective level is earned promotion, when other social media users share your content for you. It’s much harder to achieve than owned or paid, particularly if you’re going for the holy grail of promotion — viral content. However, the benefits are well worth the effort.

The best way to earn promotion is via high-quality, original content. Let’s talk about how to create great content, and where to share it for best results.

Creating social media-friendly content

When it comes to social media, there are two key actions you want your audience to take — engaging with your content (likes, comments, favorites, etc.) and sharing your content (shares, retweets, tags, etc.). So how do you create engaging, shareable content?

We’ve already explored the topic of creating high-quality content your audience will love, but let’s talk specifically about social media. Here are just some of the ways you can boost your content’s visibility and popularity on your social media channels.

Tailor your content to your audience

You know your audience well (at least you should!), so give them what they want. Rather than putting out content for the sake of it, take the time to create content that offers value to your audience and meets a specific need.

different types of online audience

Are they searching for answers? Provide them in a blog post or a white paper. Do they like to escape into a beautiful Instagram feed? Fill yours with gorgeous photos that will capture their imagination. Are they simply looking to kill time with some entertaining videos? Then get Snapchatting!

Share rich content

Rich content is one of the best ways to encourage engagement. That’s any content that requires user interaction, such as a poll (voting), a video (clicking play), or a quiz (playing and sharing results).

Think visual

We’re highly visual creatures and we process images much more quickly than text, so it’s no surprise that visual content gets far more engagement than text content across all the major social platforms. Take advantage of this by sharing high-quality images and infographics, and creating eye-catching visuals to go with your written content. Studies have proven that consumers are much more likely to remember your content if it includes visuals.

Tell a story

We love a good story, especially one that tugs at our emotions. Your social media content is a great vehicle for telling your brand’s story, and the more it resonates with your audience, the more likely they are to engage and share.

Examples of great content stories include how you overcame adversity to build your business from the ground up, how you make a positive impact in your community, or how your customers use your products and services to change lives.3-happy-people-at-computer

For more on creating quality content, read:

Types of Content

How to Create Content Your Audience Will Love

Choosing your social media channels

You’ve got great, highly shareable content, but where do you post it?

It might be tempting to jump on every single social media platform, maybe because you want to cover all bases or just because everyone else is doing it. For most businesses, this is not only unnecessary, but it can drain you of time, energy, and money.

We recommend choosing only the platforms that will bring you value. For some businesses, this might be all of them! For others, it may just be one or two. There’s no magic number, but you can figure out what’s best for your business by looking at three key factors — your resources, your objectives, and your audience.

Resources

While you can certainly be active on social media for free, you need resources to get results. Do you have the time to keep six or seven profiles updated? If not, do you have the budget to pay someone else to do it for you?

Think about what you can reasonable afford — in both time and money — and don’t overburden yourself unnecessarily. After all, it’s better to be excellent on two social media channels than mediocre on six!

Objectives

You should already have a content marketing strategy with clear, measurable objectives, and your social strategy should align with these. Do you want to build awareness of your brand? Do you want to reach out to a specific audience? Do you want to generate more sales? Then just as you’d create your content accordingly, you should choose your platform in the same way.

Audience

Your content marketing strategy should be based on a deep understanding of your target audience. Ideally, you’ll know the social platforms they use and the content they love. You can choose your social media channels and the content you share accordingly.

Now, let’s explore those social media channels in more detail.

Social media channels at a glance

There are endless channels to choose from, but we’ll focus on the main platforms here. In this at-a-glance guide, we’ll talk about who uses each platform, which brands they’re most suited to, what types of content work best, and when to post for maximum engagement.

FACEBOOKfacebook_logos_PNG19751

Facebook is the largest social network by far, with 1.32 billion active users per day. 79% of American adults use the site, with 53% of users logging in several times per day.

Who uses it most?

45-54 year olds.

Women (by a slight margin).

Which companies is it best for?

All of them! Any brand that wants to build awareness and promote genuine engagement should have a presence on Facebook.

What should I post?

Facebook is great vehicle for every type of content, but image-based posts typically get more engagement.

When should I post it?

The best time to post is between 1pm and 4pm during the week, reaching peak time on Wednesdays at 3pm.

TWITTERtwitter

Twitter is the fast-moving micro-blogging site that gives users just 280 characters to say what’s on their mind. It has 330 million active users per month, with 24% of American adults using the site and 42% of users logging in more than once per day.

Who uses it most?

18-29 year old males.

Which companies is it best for?

Any brand that wants to engage in conversation and capitalize on breaking news, current events, and trends.

What should I post?

Blog posts, brand news, polls, and links to relevant Twitter conversations about your brand.

When should I post it?

For more retweets, post around 5pm, and for more clicks, post between 12pm and 6pm.

INSTAGRAMinstagram

Instagram is the original visual social network, allowing only photo and video posts. It’s hugely popular with 800 million monthly users. 32% of all internet users are on Instagram, and 51% of them log on several times a day.

Who uses it most?

People under 35 (90%).

Women (68%).

Which companies is it best for?

Lifestyle, health, fitness, fashion, beauty, travel, and luxury brands.

What should I post?

Aspirational content in the form of high-quality photos and short videos.

When should I post it?

The best times to post are 2am, 5pm, and between 12pm and 1pm, and the best day to post is on a Wednesday.

LINKEDINlinkedinlogo

LinkedIn is the home of online networking. The definitive social media channel for businesses and professionals, LinkedIn has 250 million active monthly users, with 29% of American adults using the site, and 45% of people earning $75,000 or more online.

Who uses it most?

Middle- to upper-management professionals.

Recruiters and job-seekers.

Men (57%).

Which companies is it best for?

Professional services and B2B brands.

What should I post?

Professional content such as company news, blog posts, white papers, research, thought leadership pieces, and job vacancies.

When should I post it?

The best times to post on LinkedIn are just outside of office hours — think 7am to 8am, lunchtime, and 5pm to 6pm. Mid-week is busiest, with posts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays getting the most attention.

PINTERESTpinterest

Pinterest is the aspirational, image-centric home of all things lifestyle. It has 200 million monthly active users, with 31% of all internet users logging on, and 25% of them visiting at least once per day.

Who uses it most?

Women aged 18-64 years old (80%).

Which companies is it best for?

93% of Pinterest users visit in order to plan or make purchases, so this site is best for showcasing products and services to drive sales. Lifestyle, food, fashion, beauty, and travel brands fare particularly well here.

What should I post?

High-quality photos, videos, recipes, tutorials, demonstrations, tips, and advice.

When should I post it?

Pinterest picks up at the weekend, with the best times to post being 2pm, 9pm, and 2am on Saturdays and Sundays.

YOUTUBEyoutube

YouTube is the home of video content, with 300 hours of video uploaded every second. 30 million visitors watch 100 billion hours of video every single day.

Who uses it most?

25-44 year olds (49%).

Males (62%).

Which companies is it best for?

Brands with millennial audiences and those with the means to produce quality video content, as production costs can be expensive.

What should I post?

Short videos, demonstrations, tutorials, and entertainment-related content.

When should I post it?

The best time to post your videos on YouTube is between 2pm and 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and between 12pm and 3pm on Thursdays and Fridays.

SNAPCHATsnapchat

Snapchat is the social channel of choice for the younger crowd, known for its fun filters and temporary content. 79% of all US teens use the app and 47% of teens say it’s their most important social media network. Its 255 million active users watch 10 billion videos every single day.

Who uses it most?

Teens and millennials (71%).

Females (70%).

Which companies is it best for?

Brands with teen or younger millennial (under 30) audiences.

What should I post?

Light-hearted videos, photos, pop culture news, and brand news.

When should I post it?

For maximum engagement, get snapping after hours between 10pm and 1am.

Social-media

Want to get your content in front of even more people?

When it comes to promoting your content, social media is just a small piece of the puzzle. For the bigger picture, download 15 Foolproof Strategies for Promoting Your Content now. It’s 100% free — just enter your details below for instant access.

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Further resources

What is Content Marketing – and Why Does Your Business Need It?

Types of Content

How to Create Content Your Audience Will Love

How to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

How to Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

Content Marketing & Blogging

 

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