How strong is your social media content marketing strategy?
Social media is everywhere. Once little more than a digital trend, social media has now evolved to become an essential part of how we live our lives. Around 4.62 billion people or 58.4% of the world’s population now use social media.
This means if you’re not already active on at least one social channel, you could be seriously missing out on opportunities for growth. Of course, to generate real results, companies need more than just a social media profile –they need a social content strategy.
Today, we’re going to look at what social media content marketing involves, why it’s so important, and how you can develop an effective plan for success.
What Is Social Media Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on the creation and promotion of valuable assets or material (usually online). Content comes in the form of videos, blogs, and even podcasts, created to inform, educate, and entertain your audience.
With content marketing, companies can demonstrate thought leadership about specific topics, gain customer trust and build relationships with specific groups.
Social media content marketing is the process of creating content specifically for social platforms. Similar to standard content marketing, it can involve the production of a wide range of different kinds of content, from educational and informative videos to pictures, news updates, and more.
In social media content marketing, your exact strategy will be dependent on your audience and the social channels you’re using. The campaigns you publish on TikTok will be different from the ones you create for Twitter or LinkedIn.
Social Media Content Formats
As mentioned above, the types of content you create and share on social media can be extremely diverse. This is particularly true as social platforms evolve, offering more ways to connect with your target audience. For instance, on:
Users can share guides, whitepapers, and useful B2B resources to highlight thought leadership and cultivate credibility. Your business might also post about case studies, provide slideshows, or develop interest for upcoming webinars. NP Digital, a top performance marketing agency, regularly posts updates about upcoming events to generate excitement among attendees.
You can share infographics packed with useful information for followers to share with their friends, host live Q&A sessions over Facebook live or simply post links to recent press releases. You might even boost audience engagement with photos and memes. Sprout Social, a social media management platform, shares regular videos with tips on how to use your social strategy:
Users can post all kinds of photos, videos, and clips in the form of Instagram Reels. You might share stats from original research or promote illustrations or animations sharing information about your business. There are even “Stories” for promoting upcoming sales and events with followers. Instagram is also excellent for user-generated content, often created through competitions.
Amnesty International posts regular content with influencers linked to their cause:
You can highlight recent news and changes in your business in short and engaging posts. You can also promote polls and quizzes to collect audience information or simply provide your audience with quick predictions about trends in your industry. NFT company Bored Ape Yacht Club regularly posts about events and changes in the organization:
Why is Social Media Content Marketing Important?
Social media is one of the most valuable tools any business can access in today’s world. Increasingly, consumers are searching for opportunities to build relationships with the companies they want to buy from. Social media builds trust, affinity, and rapport while keeping your brand top-of-mind with the people who matter most.
Around 92% of marketers now use social media as part of their advertising efforts.
With social media content marketing, companies can:
Build brand awareness and recognition:
Consumers want to buy from brands they feel familiar with. Regularly sharing content on social media builds rapport between your company and its consumers. What’s more, with half of the world’s population now active on social media, you have a huge audience you can reach.
A strong social media presence generates conversations around your brand, partners, and products. For instance, Xbox regularly tweets about upcoming announcements and new products. In doing so, it gets customers talking about events, sharing its posts, and generating more attention for the brand.
Understand your audience:
Understanding your audience means you can deliver more of the experiences they’re looking for from your brand. Social media gives you a chance to listen to conversations about your brand, industry, and customers. You can collect information about what your customers think about your products, services, or even just the content you post and use it to drive future campaigns.
Tell their story:
Social media provides a platform for telling your brand’s story, sharing your mission, and improving your overall image. These stories can be extensive or simple, depending on your needs. For instance, Airbnb regularly shares stories about its hosts and locations, so people can better understand what the company stands for and the mission it’s trying to accomplish.
Build customer loyalty:
About 90% of people say they buy from the brands they follow on social media. The more your customers learn about you and the more information they gather from social media, the more likely they are to be loyal to your company. You can boost your chances of keeping customers loyal by offering promotional codes directly through social media or asking open-ended questions that encourage conversations.
Drive traffic to a website:
Social media marketing can help drive customers directly to your website. While search engines and SEO are great, being overly reliant on search results could mean you’re losing out on a ton of traffic. Social platforms allow for a more diverse range of inbound traffic streams so you can potentially convert more customers.
Social channels can also bring customers back to a website after they’ve visited it for the first time, thanks to retargeting campaigns.
Supports content distribution:
Even with excellent search engine optimization, there’s no guarantee everyone will instantly find the content you publish on your website. However, with social media marketing, you can share links directly to your blog posts and help to boost your presence online. For instance, companies like Sprout Social regularly post about their new blogs on Facebook.
Establishes thought leadership
Social media can also be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge of your industry. The more content you share in the form of videos, pictures, and written content, the more you’ll highlight your understanding of the marketplace. Even better, because you can target your social campaigns to a specific audience, you can help boost your presence among the right people.
Seth Godin regularly uses Instagram to post content like interviews with other thought leaders. Marketers look to him and his blog when they have questions about marketing.
How To Excel In Social Media Content Marketing
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for successful social media content marketing. The right strategy for you will depend heavily on the audience you’re trying to reach. However, there are some steps you can take to boost your chances of success.
Step 1: Set a Marketing Goal
The first step in successful content marketing is setting a goal for what you want to accomplish. The best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For instance, if your aim is to expand awareness of your brand, decide exactly what that’s going to look like.
You might decide you want to improve your followers on Instagram by 20% and your website traffic by 10% within the next six months. Keep your goals realistic, and make sure you know how to measure your success. Some of the best metrics to measure with social media content marketing include:
- Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, and other types of “engagement” show you whether the content you’re producing is reaching your target audience correctly.
- Growth/Reach: Your follower count and the number of @mentions you get on social media can give you an insight into your growth.
- Conversions: How many people click on your links or watch your videos? This can help you determine if you’re targeting the right audience.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Any successful content marketing strategy is built on a deep understanding of your audience. Different kinds of customers will respond better to different forms of content. For instance, on Instagram, you can reach a wide range of customers through standard feed photos. However, you can also reach a lot of younger audiences with tools like Instagram Live and Reels.
You’ll get a feel for the content your customers like over time by looking at the metrics measured above. In the meantime, you can get a good idea of where to start by looking at your website analytics. Find out what people tend to look at when they visit your website. Are they browsing your blog posts, watching videos, or checking out product pages?
You can also get inspiration from your competitors. Look at the posts competitors publish on social media and see how your potential audience is responding to them.
Loot Crate is an excellent example of a company that knows its audience. The company frequently posts content with “geeky” themes to capture the attention of pop-culture fans. They also use emojis and brightly-colored images to capture the attention of younger audiences.
Loot Crate also takes advantage of opportunities to learn more about their audience, holding polls and asking questions to get a deeper insight into what customers want. The result is a following of almost 700k on Instagram alone.
Step 3: Choose the Right Platforms
Social media content marketing strategies can include a wide number of potential platforms these days. The chances are you won’t have the time or budget to appear on every site. Your brand may also be better suited to some platforms than others. For instance, B2B companies generally perform better on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Your knowledge of your target audience should help you to determine where your customers are most likely to spend their time. Once you’ve chosen the right platforms, make sure you get a feel for how to leverage each channel correctly. For instance:
- Facebook: Combine photos, infographics, and videos with emotional captions and engaging polls to connect with your audience. Remember to respond to comments to facilitate conversations among your target audience.
- Instagram: Visual content is key on Instagram. Whether it’s live streams, Reels, or IGTV, you’ll need to make sure you know how to produce high-quality images. A good CTA and caption can be helpful here too.
- Twitter: Fast-paced content, opinions, news updates, and re-tweets work best on Twitter. Make sure you don’t try to share too much information at once.
- TikTok: Have fun with engaging content and challenges. Get involved with hashtags and try to show the more authentic side of your brand in short videos.
- LinkedIn: Focus on reaching out to B2B customers. Share stats and news stories, insights into your business, and other valuable information.
Karl Lagerfeld is an excellent example of a company that understands how to use social media channels effectively. On Instagram, the company regularly posts content with a specific color theme, taking advantage of things like @Mentions to highlight influencer connections, and hashtags to encourage user-generated content.
The company also takes full advantage of all the different content options available on Instagram, from videos and guides to Reels and Instagram Stories. As a result, they’ve earned a massive 6.1 million followers over the years.
Step 4: Maintain a Consistent Image and Voice
Whether you’re using a single social media channel for sharing content alongside your website or combining multiple social profiles, you’ll need to ensure your voice and image remains consistent. A set of brand guidelines can be helpful here.
Think about what kind of personality you want to show to your customers. Do you want to be fun and youthful, or serious and respectful? Try to keep the tone the same across all channels so you can create a sense of familiarity with your customers, even if the content format is different.
Remember, your overall message should be consistent too. You’ll need to be able to draw consistent attention to a specific set of values to show your customers what your business stands for. Make sure your business values are clear.
Step 5: Use a Content Calendar
Managing your social media content strategy can be stressful and time-consuming. Handling everything on a day-to-day basis is rarely the most efficient strategy. Instead, it’s worth having a schedule and content strategy to help keep you on track.
Your content calendar will help you promote the right content at the correct time when your audience is most active. It can also help you get ahead of seasonal promotions. You can use your content calendar to draw attention to upcoming sales and generate excitement for new product launches.
A good schedule will also help you align your content strategy across multiple social media marketing channels. For instance, Ipsy uses its content calendar to create high-quality content on Instagram which follows a specific theme. There are daily deals posts to draw attention to the latest products on offers, and regular Reels, guides, and videos.
With more than 3.2 million followers, Ipsy is also excellent at getting in touch with the topics customers care about at the right times. During June, the company frequently posts content related to Pride Month, complete with influencer connections.
Mastering Social Media Content Marketing
Social media content marketing is one of the most valuable tools any business can leverage in today’s fast-paced world. Customers are spending less time interacting with companies in person and more time building relationships through social channels.
With a social content strategy, you can connect to your audience on a deeper level, generate more traffic, and pave the way for a better brand reputation in no time.