I often hear marketers banding around the phrase “content is king” and of course it is true, high quality content should be at the very heart of any well planned social media marketing campaign.
However one thing that brands and individuals, all too frequently over look is the context of where they are posting the content they have created. To succeed in social media marketing, you really need to understand that all social media platforms are not created equally and each one has its own unique distinctions that set them apart from the others.
Content marketing by definition is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and useful content with the intention of building authority, growing an audience and driving them into a sales funnel.
It is a value first form of marketing, as in you have to provide value to your audience in the form of great content before you ask them for anything in return. Content marketing is for those who want to create a long term business model and definitely not for anyone looking to make fast overnight cash.
Vector flat concept of process social media business and marketing. Startup, business planning and results – vector illustration
Whilst creating an effective content marketing plan does not need to be as stressful or time consuming as a lot of people anticipate – there is no way of escaping the fact that it is either going to require an a great deal of work or an investment so that you can employ someone to do the work for you.
For years content marketing was definitely looked on with great skepticism by most people, looking at the marketing world from the outside. I have personally worked with many clients who would ask me to create marketing plans with objectives such as:
- Generating Sales For eCommerce Stores
- Generating Leads For Trade Professionals
- Booking Appointments For Solo Practitioners
I would often be met with objections such as:
- Blogging Does Not Me Sales
- I Need Something That Is Going To Work Today
- I am Not Interested In Getting Sales In Six Months
Unfortunately even with a great deal of time spent on client education,some business owners simply will not take content marketing seriously. These always turned out to be the same business owners, who six months later would still be asking the same questions and giving the same responses.
Its accepted that content marketing is not suitable for absolutely every single industry, but for most that I have worked with it is a great strategy and is worth spending the time on.
Consider content marketing like laying a foundation for a house – if you simply build a house without one then the house will quickly subside or even collapse.
Any serious business website without a content marketing will simply fail, because you have created something with no foundation! Who will future customers trust – the business who are showing the world they are passionate and knowledgeable about their niche, the business who are solving problems and breaking down concerns of prospects, the business who are delivering value before you have even given them a cent or the business who has no other identity other an a few pictures and line of text on a website?
That was a rhetorical question – its a no brainer! So many businesses have an over inflated idea of who knows about them and assume because their business is the center of their world, everyone else cares about them to!
Unfortunately unless you are a world class brand (who by the way are all running content marketing campaigns of some description – maybe even user generated ones) or have some totally new product that has a much higher demand than the market can currently supply – I have some bad news for you buddy.
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
It never fails to amaze me how so many business owners are totally oblivious this simple fact.
It is not all bad news though! You can change that – starting today! You just need to start with creating a high quality content marketing plan – click here to see how. Below you will see some important points to take into consideration when creating this plan:
- Content Marketing Is Much More Than Just Creating Content It Needs To Be Integrated Into An Overall Strategy.
- Content Needs To Be Distributed On Contextually Relevant Platforms
- You Need To Know Who Your Customer Avatars Are
- You Need To Know Which Avatars Make Up Your Overall Audience
- You Need To Be Aware That You Maybe Have Multiple Avatars
- Each Piece Of Content Has A Different Role
- Each Piece Of Content Has A Different Place In The Customer Journey
- What Is The Goal Of Each Piece Of Content?
I could continue that list almost indefinitely – but that is beyond the scope of this post! Now we have talked about what content marketing is, its time to get the meat of this post – context.
The second point states “content needs to be distributed on contextually relevant platforms” – what this means is that in social media marketing, one size certainly does not fit all. You need to make sure the content your posting to each platform is within the right context for example:
Its Appropriate To Post A Short Funny Video To Snapchat And That Would Be Well Received As People Expect To Be Entertained But Posting The Same Video To Linkedin Would Be Out Of Place A Bit Like Turning Up To Present To Your Investors In Bermuda Shorts And Flip Flops
So in this next section we are going to break down the kind of content we recommend posting on each platform to you give a clear idea of what is considered to be contextually relevant! I highly urge you to use your own professional judgement on what is working within your particular niche or industry.
What do you use Facebook for? Usually its to catch up with friends, chat with people who share our passions and interests and share interesting and funny content.
When posting to a platform the first thing to consider is how would you react to the post? Although users are becoming more open to being advertised and being sold to on Facebook – simply posting a headline from a sales page is most likely to discourage people from engaging.
We recommend you use Facebook as a platform to start conversations! How can you start conversations? Simply by creating posts and content that povokes conversation! Avoid making too many posts that are straight up announcements or statements – ask questions!
Avoid Plain Text And Post An Image Or Video
Plain text “Status Update” style posts are unlikely to generate much engagement – so use a relevant image or video.
I recommend uploading your video directly to Facebook as it is much more likely to be shown in your followers news feeds. Facebook wants to take on Youtube and encouraging users to use native video by rewarding posters with increased visibility and lower advertising costs, when videos are posted directly to their platform.
Watch Your Facebook Post Analytics And Adjust Your Plan Inline With What Generates The Most Engagement!
As we have discussed in this previous post, Pinterest is an absolutely amazing source of free traffic! Pinterest users are really driven and on a mission to achieve something. The fact these users are so driven lends Pinterest for being the ideal platform to educate and inspire people on.
You need to offer something that inspires action and holds great value! Captions on Pinterest can be up to 500 characters in length – it is recommended that you take full advantage of this, and use every character available. You should include the following info on every “Pin” you put on Pinterest:
- Tell People What Inspires You About This Pin
- Overview Of What They Will Learn/Find Out If They Click
- Include A Call To Action
- Encourage Comments And For Your Audience To Give Their Thoughts
Another thing that I see all too frequently on social media is people treating social media as some kind of soapbox and the platform as a megaphone – endlessly shouting out their thoughts and achievements. This kind of attitude is so out of date – it hurts!
On Twitter this kind of behavior will bore your followers and you will soon notice a drop in either new followers joining you or people simply following you.
Twitter is a listening platform – the idea is to use the advanced search function to find conversations that are based around your niche and get involved. You obviously need to exercise some caution and judgement – its definitely weird if McDonalds chime into a conversation between family members but in a lot of cases its a great way to create natural conversation and natural engagement.
Linkedin is all about keeping it professional! I have seen a big change in the last year or so – with a lot of more marketing and creative type professionals joining and not conforming to the standard LinkedIn corporate picture and profile format.
On the one hand this is good it means that its diversifying and becoming more accepting of the fact you can be a consummate professional even if you do not wear a suit. On the other hand it is encouraging a lot of less self aware and less clued up people to misunderstand Linkedin.
I have seen people posting profile pictures as part of a couple – this is a big no. Its totally unprofessional and it also makes it confusing as to whose professional profile we are actually viewing.
Linkedin is also the place that most people will find you if you have made contact via email or taken your name in a telephone conversation. You only get one chance to make a great first impression – so make sure your profile does you justice.
The rule is don’t post anything you would not want your customers, parents or investors to see!
Tumblr is a visual blogging platform owned by Yahoo. A majority of its audience are under 35 and a large percentage of these are female. I have not talked about Tumblr that much as its relevance has started to slightly fade and has been superseded by other visual platforms such as Instagram and mainly Pinterest. However it still has a significant following and if you are working with a sub 35 female demographic then its worth looking at.
Tumblr is weird, whacky and wonderful. Tumblr is essentially where a lot of very weird, unique type people who follow alternative lifestyles and subscribe to various subcultures hangout.
You can re-purpose various visual content to be posted on Tumblr – animated gifs are huge thing on there! Tumblr is also where the night time crowd hangout – it has been discovered posting animated Gifs after 10 pm generate the most engagement!
Its kind of populated by oddballs – so it gives you a lot freedom to be creative! Have fun and let your imagination run wild!
Instagram allows you to share your individual prospective of the world. Its easy to spend hours just scrolling through Instagram feeds in search of inspiration, enlightenment and beauty.
Instagram has notoriously become a hit a big hit within the Food niche with some people almost ritually taking a picture of every meal before they eat!
Its a platform that has an audience who are seeking visual inspiration and stimulation so it is a huge deal for people working within the fitness and nutrition industries. Fitness coaches use Instagram to inspire their followers and post content such as client success stories and motivational quotes.
Instagram is about inspiration – so its all about quality and hand picking the best images and then enhancing them to perfection. Instagram is for showing the world a digitally enhanced representation of perfection – its not really meant to be real, its meant to be magical and inspiration. So when posting on Instagram keep these points in mind and you will see results.
Here I have touched on a few different platforms and given examples of how each one of them can be used to distribute different kinds of content and keep your followers interested, inspired, engaged and ready to to take action. In my content marketing masterclass I will be touching on this issue in much more detail (covering more platforms as well) , so watch out for this as it is being released in coming weeks.
I have been Gary O’Toole with Sociocaster – I hope you have found this post useful and I will be back on friday with another awesome video.