Tag Archives: Social Media Marketing

Content marketing, social media marketing and SEO are different but connected

It is normally assumed these days that content marketing, social media marketing and SEO are almost the same thing. They are interconnected but they are quite different and you can execute your content marketing, social media marketing and SEO strategies separately.

Being a content writer my personal opinion is your social media presence and your SEO are by-products of how you do your content marketing. It all depends on your content. I’m not saying this because I’m biased towards the importance of content. After all, what is SEO? It is the appearance of your content in search engine results according to its relevance. Similarly, what is social media marketing? It is about posting quality content under your profiles and continuously engaging people who follow you or connect with you, primarily due to the quality of your content.

But if an online marketer packages all these online marketing tactics into one solution, I don’t think he or she is doing anything wrong. Although you can reap benefits from them as separate entities, when combined, they can give you far greater results. Take for instance focusing just on content marketing. It involves publishing high quality and relevant content on an ongoing basis and then making sure that you leverage the strengths of all the channels available to you in order to spread your content as far as possible, among your niche audience. What are these so-called channels that you use in order to distribute your content? These may be

  • Search engines
  • Social media and social networking websites
  • Blogs and websites that link to your content
  • Blogs and websites where your content is published, attributed to you
  • Paid advertising to promote your content
  • Your mailing list

In order to promote content you need to have content. In order to reap the benefits of content marketing and content promotion, the content must be such as it should instil confidence among people who are drawn to it initially. This blog post explains in detail what’s the difference between content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.

Combine content marketing, social media and SEO for inbound marketing

Inbound marketing graphic

Inbound marketing is a balanced mix of content marketing, social media marketing and SEO. In fact, these are not standalone activities. Every effective content marketing strategy incorporates social media as well as SEO.

When I work on a client project, this is how I prioritise these three aspects of inbound marketing on the Internet:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. SEO

Although most of my clients contact me to improve their SEO on my priority list it is the last aspect of content writing I pay attention to. Does it mean I don’t think it is important? Of course SEO is important and I would never ignore it. It’s just that, I would prefer SEO to happen automatically rather than making an effort for it. I will explain below how. But first…

Content marketing is the most important aspect of inbound marketing

This is because unless you have quality content and unless you know how to market it and then actually market it, nothing much can be achieved. Inbound marketing means people coming to your website or blog on their own after, either having interacted with you on one of the social media or social networking websites, or having come across your content either on your own website or blog, or somewhere else. But whenever they come across you, they come across you via your content.

And it doesn’t just stop at them coming to your website, in fact, the real action starts when people are on your website. It is on your website that you have to convince them into doing business with you. This is where your content plays the most important part. If your content doesn’t convince them, everything goes to waste. If your content is below par, your social media strategy as well as SEO are going to fail. This is why, at the beginning of your inbound marketing campaign, the first thing you need to take care of is content marketing.

Content marketing automatically takes care of social media and SEO

Yes, for the sake of talking to clients one has to talk about content marketing, social media marketing and SEO as separate plans of action whereas they are not. They are all a part of your inbound marketing strategy fuelled by your content marketing strategy. Content marketing means

  1. Writing/producing high-quality content on your website/blog and elsewhere.
  2. Distributing that content using various channels available to you including social media and social networking websites and email marketing.
  3. Search engine optimizations so that people can easily find your content on search engines for the right keywords and search terms.
  4. Constantly analysing the effect of your content using web analytics tools like Google Analytics.
  5. Tweaking your marketing effort according to the results obtained from the web analytics tools

So why do I say that content marketing automatically takes care of social media and SEO?

Assumption.

Assumption that you are going to take all the right steps. What are these right steps?

  1. You use the right language to write your content – the language used by your prospective customers and clients. If you do that, you are automatically search engine optimising your content and hence, in the process, improving your search engine rankings.
  2. Strategically promote your content on social media and social networking websites. You know that in order to promote your content you need a responsive audience. How do you get a responsive audience? By engaging them with not just high-quality content, but also responding to them whenever they reach out to you. If you do this on an ongoing basis, you are handling your social media well.
  3. You are using the right words at the right places while creating content. If you’re going to address the problems and concerns of your prospective customers and clients you are going to use the appropriate expressions while creating titles. You will also use the keywords and search terms people normally use while trying to find your sort of products and services in your headlines and sub-headlines. If possible, you will also use these search terms and keywords in your bulleted points and the hypertext links.

If you properly take care of your content marketing, you are automatically taking care of the other aspects of content marketing like content writing and content production, content distribution, social media marketing and SEO. All these lead to a solid inbound marketing strategy that can totally transform your conversion rate.

Image source

How to draw maximum benefit out of social media content marketing

Social media content marketing maximum benefit

A content marketing strategy without taking social media into consideration cannot hope to achieve much these days because pretty much everybody uses social media and social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn. If you are into consumer goods or something like fashion accessories, your best bet would be Facebook. If you want to immediately provide support to your customer and client base, Twitter can work wonders to your content marketing strategy. If you want to reach out to the B2B market then there is nothing like LinkedIn. So what I’m trying to say is, for every sort of content marketing need, there is a platform available to you.

This Social Media Examiner blog post lists some ways you can increase your influence by strategically posting content on social media websites according to their core users. There are some basic traits that are common to all social networking and social media websites because basically, as the name suggests, they are “social”.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while posting content on social media websites:

  1. Post content for readers, not buyers: When you try to target buyers, your entire tone changes. People on social media and social networking websites don’t want to be bothered by marketers and businesses. They are there to interact with the existing friends and make new friends. They are there to share all the cool things they are doing. If they want to buy a mobile phone, they would like to buy it on their own and then be cool about it, also, on their own.

    Let us use my example. I provide content writing and content marketing services. If I want to target people on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I won’t constantly badger them with my marketing messages. They will be put off and soon they will start unfollowing me. My best bet would be to raise awareness about publishing high quality content on websites and blogs and what is the benefit of marketing such content. Obviously if they are interested in this topic they will follow me and they won’t mind hearing about this topic again and again. This way, whenever they need a content writer, they will know whom to approach.

  2. Stick to your niche to stand out: If I’m continuously publishing helpful content about content writing and content marketing than people obviously know what I do and what is my expertise. If I go on posting everything under the sun, they won’t be able to make out exactly what I do. This goes for any profession. If you are marriage photographer and if you want people to know that you are available for the same service, you should post lots of content on such photography rather than simply posting cute marriage photographs or cuddly animals playing with each other.
  3. Keywords also matter on social media and social networking websites: I think as long as people use textual cues to carry out searches, keywords are never going to go out of fashion. If someone searches for “business content writer” on LinkedIn or Facebook, they should be able to find someone like me rather than a morning breakfast supplier. Unless these specific expressions exist in the content that I post, how are people going to find me?

    Keywords also make an unconscious impact. When you come across my content and repeatedly read about content writing and content marketing, unconsciously these keywords are continuously stored in your brain and this will ultimately have an impact on your decision when you are looking for a content writer for your website or blog.

  4. On social media and social networking websites it’s important to know what your audience wants: And then post content accordingly. It doesn’t mean if my audience is more interested in morning breakfast suppliers or marriage photographers then I should start posting content on these topics – it means I’m attracting wrong sort of audience and which further means, I’m doing something wrong with the sort of content I’m already posting. This should be changed immediately. I should post content for an audience that is interested in knowing more about content writing and content marketing and more importantly, an audience among which someday I hope to come across my clients.
  5. Use data to add value:
    People love to know facts. They will love to know that 62% B2B marketers prefer to use content marketing rather than knowing that “more and more people are using content marketing”.
  6. Regularly engage with your audience: Content on social media and social networking websites should never be one way because then it defeats the entire purpose. Encourage people to respond. You cannot always do that, but occasionally, ask interesting questions from your audience. This will also tell you whether they are actually paying attention to what you are posting or not. Engaging your audience will make it easier for them to remember you for what you do.

What trends to follow in 2015 while posting content on social media

We are all on one or another social media or social networking platform, right? You must be spending considerable time sifting through updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and if not, maybe content creation apps like Flipboard. Social has become a part of life. It is no longer a fad. From grannies to toddlers, everybody these days has one or another social media account.

Where there are people there is business, whether one likes it or not. It is not just about businesses, even people running the social media websites need to make a buck. Normal people using Facebook aren’t going to pay Facebook unless they are really desperate to use it. The same goes with Twitter. With LinkedIn, of course things are different because anyway it is a business networking platform so people don’t mind paying it to use some of its features. But the other social networking platforms need to depend on businesses to make money even just to sustain the platforms.

There are two ways you can promote your business on social media: (1) advertising and (2) posting content and interacting with your followers and connections.

Although you may have your own preferences when you create and post content for social media and social networking websites, this Content Standard blog post lists three trends to follow in 2015 that can bring you success. These are

  1. Use more of the platform you’re already using: This perfectly makes sense. You must have spent lots of time creating your presence on a particular social media or social networking platform so why not use it instead of starting on with something new? Besides, the social networking platforms are constantly introducing new features that you can use to promote yourself and your content. For example, on LinkedIn you can create articles and blog posts exclusively for the platform to showcase your expertise.
  2. Create your own network of influential people: No, it is not something like starting a new version of Facebook or LinkedIn. What it means is, be proactive and establish contacts with influential people in your field. For example, if I provide content writing and content marketing services, in order to promote my content, I should establish contact with people who are already doing great in this field and have gathered a massive following. Even if once one of them decides to promote one of my blog posts, it can bring me lots of exposure.
  3. Start making money with your content: Well, some of us have already been making money with our content, if not by directly selling that content, then definitely by expanding our presence.

How to use hashtags as content marketing tools

Usi ng hashtags as content marketing tools

Hashtags are everywhere these days. People use them on Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and any other website where content is promoted using keywords and tags. You can use popular hashtags as content marketing tools.

Why use hashtags as content marketing tools?

More and more people are relying on social networking websites to find valuable, useful and relevant content. Random searches can be tiresome so people who are really interested in a topic follow hashtags (also called trending topics). They can either create streams based on a hashtag based on their favourite social networking tool (something like Hootsuite) or they can simply click the popular hashtag to view all the updates in the stream. For instance, if you want to know what all people are saying about content marketing today on Twitter, you can check out the hashtag #contentmarketing. So if you want to say something that you can somehow relate with this hashtag append it at the end of your message and post it on Twitter. All the people following this hashtag will be able to view this message. A problem with popular trending topics is that the message may not stay in front of your viewers because they scroll very fast – sometimes thousands of people are posting every second.

Do you want to use the trending topics as content marketing tools?

This is how it works…

Find out what’s trending and think of how you could use these trending topics for your content marketing requirements. Doesn’t matter if some popular trend is being promoted by a company, a sports club, an NGO or a political party. If it is in the public domain and if you can creatively incorporate it into your content marketing effort, you should go ahead and do so.

But make sure you don’t end up irritating people. I don’t believe that bad publicity is better than no publicity – in the business world it doesn’t work that way. You ruin your reputation as a business and it takes lots of time to undo the damage.

How to find hashtags that you can use as content marketing tools?

The first spot is of course the Twitter website itself if you want to use some Twitter hashtag. In fact most of the prominent hashtags are displayed on their respective websites. On Twitter you can find them on the left-hand side. You can see international hashtags as well as the ones specific to your country or region.

You can also create a list of hashtags that would be relevant to your business or your target audience and then routinely post updates and content links accordingly.