The role of social media in content marketing success is hugely important, allowing content marketers to build brand awareness, influence potential and existing prospects, and ultimately drive a healthy return at every stage of the sales funnel. Social is the place to meet target buyers as well as allowing brands to nurture relationships with existing customers through content they care about before urging them into an action.
With over 2.5 billion people active on social networks it provides a prime platform to find, connect and engage with your target audience. When leveraged correctly, social media can help:
- Grow and curate an audience
- Build stronger brand awareness
- Prospect and attract potential customers
- Increase traffic and traction to content hubs
- Drive conversions metrics
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Content Marketing Strategy
Crucial to your social media strategy to be successful is for it to be completely aligned with your content marketing strategy. It’s important to review your current content marketing strategy and evaluate the key elements before crafting your social strategy.
1. Target audience: who to reach through content
2. Mission statement: what to achieve via content
3. Distribution: the channels best suited to deliver relevant and timely content to your target audience
4. Measure: clear reporting on your success metrics
It is important to understand exactly what those are before you even consider getting started on your social media strategy.
Goals that align with your content marketing strategy
Ask: a) what does a successful social media strategy look like for your company? and, b) what metrics and KPIs will you measure?
Answering the above allows your brand to set achievable and realistic goals. Identify primary and secondary goals and ensure you are held accountable for hitting those targets. Moreover, ensure you set yourself a timeframe to meet your goals.
Establish and allot a minimum of one goal for every stage of the funnel. It could be the top of the funnel you want to build brand awareness, increase your target audience numbers, and drive traffic to your content hub. Lower-funnel goals may be driving leads and achieving business results through influencing deals.
Next, determine the best platforms and social tactics that will help you and your team to achieve those goals at every stage. You may decide to leverage Instagram and LinkedIn to boost awareness and drive traffic whereas Twitter to drive leads. Whatever channels you utilise for each step of the funnel ensure there’s a clear process and track your successes and failures.
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KPIs to measure success
Content marketing isn’t just a fad to jump on board for. It isn’t even a way to turn you into a publisher. The best content marketers exist to ensure your business objectives are met, or exceeded. Beyond engagement it’s necessary to understand how your social media strategy is driving leads, conversions, reach and fundamentally revenue.
Expose your audience to content and only then can you prompt them to take an action or to convert.
KPIs to measure: Impressions & Reach
2) Traffic and Engagement
Decide which metrics are most appropriate for your brand. No one KPI will paint the entire picture. You may receive likes though they matter little if your pageviews and sessions on your content hub are dwindling. View the results in the context of the entire marketing funnel and bear in mind the goals you’re working towards.
KPIs to measure: Web clicks, Shares, Comments, Pageviews, Sessions, Followers
At this stage of the funnel it is crucial to evaluate how your traffic and engagement impact upon your lead generation. Are your engaged followers converting? Is social media proving to be helping with the generation of new leads? It’s at this stage you may encounter that it is not in which case it might be that you’re not publishing the right content on the right platforms at the right time.
KPIs to measure: Blog or Website vists, Newsletter sign-ups, Downloads of content; product page visits
Most platforms provide built-on social analytics to help track and measure success such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Audience Insights and LinkedIn Analytics for company pages.
The content you post on social should regularly engage users and incentivise them to invest more time with your brand and your services. Use a template to track KPIs and measure success at every stage of the funnel.
Auditing is key
Assess how you’re using social media currently, identify strengths, and discern areas for optimisation and improvement.
1) Take an inventory of all your social channels, active and dormant. Delete or merge duplicate accounts. Remove any secondary or inactive accounts if your posting cadence is irregular or the performance is insignificant.
2) Establish what content is at your disposal and how often you would be able to publish new content whether that is original or licensed. Score that content and determine which content items can be redistributed across multiple channels. Opt for evergreen content which has a longer shelf lige and is proven to provide long-term success for boosting traffic.
3) And finally, ascertain who will own the content curation and creation journey. Assign roles your agency or in-house editors, copywriters, designers and videographers.
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Establish your target audience
If you haven’t already then it’s a worthwhile task to get yourself a documented content marketing strategy in place so as to enable yourself to work toward ideal customer profiles. With the amount of information and data available on social media this step serves as a chance to target people who are outside of your buyer personas.
If you haven’t started building your ideal customer profiles then start by building a buyer persona. Some things to consider are: job title, income, gender, age, and location of primary and secondary personas. The content shared should tap into their preferences, habits, interests, concerns and emotions. Customers favour business whose values are aligned to their own.
Brand Personality, Voice and Tone
Your company should have brand guidelines in place and this will allow you to establish a brand voice and tone to keep social messaging across all channels consistent. Ultimately your social messaging is there to emphasise your brands pillars and personality. Build a social personality that reflects the look and feel of your brand all the way from your colour scheme to the font you use.
Make a list
A simple keyword search on social networks will provide a panoply of companies in your space. Make a list and keep an eye out on your major competitors. This’ll allow you to gain valuable insights into their best and worst practices for execution. If something works for them then no reason you can’t replicate or improve upon it. And of course, it’ll provide a useful guide to what to avoid too.
Monthly Social Calendar
The most critical step to a successful social media strategy is to realise your content calendar will be the most valuable tool to help you plan ahead, be organise, maximise efficiency and lead to content creation and management in the most effective way.
To begin with a simple spreadsheet can be set up as your content calendar. Keep the design simple and easy so updates and edits on a regular basis are manageable. Before populating your content calendar you will need to:
- Establish content pillars
- Survey asset types
- Decide the frequency with which you will post on each platform
- Decide the strictness or flexibility of your calendar and calendar’s schedule
- Set KPIs you’ll measure for success month-to-month or year-to-year
Upon completion circulate your calendar to the wider team and ensure that everyone is aligned. The calendar will reveals tools and services you require additional resources and support for and therefore creating a calendar is vital for allocating budget.
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Stay ahead of the latest topics trending on social and gain insights into the preferences and interests of a much wider audience. Keep monitoring social trends, buzzwords and hashtags, daily.
Reporting and Adjusting
Documentation is essential. With a data-driven measurement of success in place you are ready to report, prove ROI and determine next phases on your overall content marketing strategy as well as that of your social strategy.
Inform colleagues, especially department heads, regularly of the social content planning and calendar months in advance allowing your team and strategy to align on your future approach. Meet with senior management at a minimum once every quarter and present results, inform of any planned changes and updates to your strategy. This will be the best time to request more budget should it be necessary.
Social Media Strategy
Possibilities are endless and thus every content marketing manager should ensure social media is integral to their content program. Social can, amongst other things, increase brand awareness, strengthen brand credibility, expand audience reach and influence customers across all the stages of the funnel. And because of this pivotal role a social strategy can be difficult to nail down perfectly right away. So, it’s OK if it takes a few attempts to perfect. Don’t be afraid to test new tactics and adjust your methods accordingly.
For more information on how SyndiGate can help you establish — or strengthen — your brand’s voice, why not get in touch?
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