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5 Ways to Combine #SocialMedia and #ContentMarketing

OK, the new “king” is Content Marketing – I’m a believer. BUT, making your content “social media-friendly” is also essential. It’s the way you will meet (or exceed) your reach, engagement and conversion goals.  Need evidence?

1. The latest Altimeter Group report, Organizing for Content, confirms that “Content Marketing is the top go-to-market priority in 2013” – 57% of corporate practitioners interviewed say their “top external social strategy objective is content marketing”.

2. ” Some 37 percent of customers’ evaluations of products and services stem from conversations on social media.”  -Salespeople Need to Improve Their Social Media Skills” , McKinsey & Company

Accelerating campaigns with social and community multipliers is a fundamental part of the modern marketers’ toolkit.

Here’s the top 5 things to add to your toolkit – to combine #socialmedia and #content marketing:

1. SEO

2. Crowdsourcing

3. Launch day blitz-ing

4. Listening & responding

5. Extending with a series

1. SEO. SEO and search-readiness are key because a huge majority of your traffic will find you via search. Develop a list of the keywords most often used to find your topic (sufficiently-broad category terms to cast a wide net – e.g. #bigdata, #bankingIT) and bake them into your content in the title, abstract, body copy, CTA and tags. Consider putting your #hashtag in your title (apply this where it makes sense – I did it to underscore the point).

2. Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is more than an overused cliché. Tip #2  suggests you invite your online community to contribute content to your campaign – with suggested themes, success stories, top questions they’d like  answered, who in your org they’d like to hear from and talk to…and so on. This engaging way of creating content speaks to and addresses the pain points of the audience in an authentic voice.

3. Launch Day Blitz-ing. This is the most familiar part of the 5. Of course on release day you want to grab headlines. Do it with a coördinated multi-channel effort that touches Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, newsletters, banners in owned and earned media – any influential watering hole that your target audience frequents. Use SMMS (social media management systems) like Sprinklr to orchestrate and code every placement so you can measure the effectiveness of each channel.

joe pulizzi content quote

Guiding principle for content creation:

“Every piece of content should be excellent enough that customers are compelled to share it”, Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe) Content Marketing Institute

-Source: HubSpot, 20 Enlightening Pearls of Wisdom From Marketing Experts SlideShare, by Hannah Fleishman LINK

4. Listening & Responding. THIS is the nuanced but oh-so-important part of content socialization and curation. Listen to the conversation your content generates – or what related conversations are happening that you’re not a part of. Find out  who is talking, what they are talking about and where they gather online – using a social media listening tool like NetBase or Traackr. The influencers who comment can become your best advocates (even if their first comments are negative). Invite them in to talk to your product experts. Make them feel like insiders. This is where social’s “force multiplier” effect goes to work. You’ve got to give these folks a reason to advocate for you – what’s in it for them? Improved reputation? More successful in their jobs? Early roadmap insights? It’s courteous to reciprocate in non-monetary ways.

5. Extending with a series. Just as your product enhancements and extensions are ongoing – so should your conversations. You’ll gain more  loyal and satisfied customers by taking this step seriously. Especially if the sales and implementation cycle is lengthy for your product, your customers will be talking about you for a long time – why not be a part of the conversation? Your teaser and launch blogs can extend into a series – with various internal and external expert contributions. Host an online discussions with an expert and invite all your new followers from Step 4! This is how communities grow and thrive.

Conclusion: Executing these 5 steps requires content marketers to add new skills to their marketing teams – SEO experts, community managers, social tools and analytics experts – PLUS a willing pool of subject matter  experts ready to give credible responses when needed (#essential!). Traditional content marketing skills remain the foundation. Why not add these 5 skills to your team and watch your reach, engagement and conversion metrics soar!

Does this match YOUR list of 5 #socialmedia  #contentmarketing strategies? What would you add or subtract?

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