There has been a lot of focus on social media and content marketing in recent years. Now could be a good time to re-evaluate content marketing and social media strategies for your business.
In a recent Content Marketing Institute article, Michelle Linn detailed some of the most significant trends in content marketing for social media, citing numerous CMI consultants and industry pros for their thoughts on the biggest challenges with these strategies.
"I'm finding that the majority of clients are focusing on where; that's all they care about," CMI consultant Michael Weiss explained. "They want to know where they need to be; and I say, 'STOP! We don't know where you should be. Let's figure out who, and what. Who do we want to talk to, and what do we want to say? Once we figure that out, then we know where they are.' So maybe it will work, B2B for Facebook, or maybe it won't; I think the increase of Facebook is just because it's easy."
Weiss emphasized the importance in understanding your business and brand to the level that you know exactly who is the target audience and what needs to be said in order to capture their attention. This is generally a good idea for any business embarking on content marketing and social media initiatives. Once these points are hammered out, businesses will be able to better select the appropriate channels to reach the end consumer.
Capital One's Tim Devaney, in an article for Forbes, recently explored using content marketing to boost business, noting that some of the most successful marketing campaigns are taking advantage of social media platforms like YouTube.
"Every small business should be actively marketing itself with content," Devaney wrote. "Consumers tune out TV commercials, look past billboards and print ads and ignore buttons and banners online. They search and find the information they want when they want it. To reach customers nowadays, especially on the internet, you have to tell them, not sell them."
The source cited a survey by Roper Public Affairs, which found that 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get information through articles rather than from advertisements. In addition, 60 percent of respondents noted that content provided by companies is useful for helping to make smart buying decisions, while 75 percent said that content actually makes them feel closer to a company.
Since the content a company puts out there can take a wide variety of forms and span numerous platforms, each with slightly different benefits, there is not necessarily an absolute guide to effective content marketing strategies. Each business will have individual needs to be considered. However, there are a few things that every business can do to set itself up for success.
Devaney collected a number of tips from top content marketing pros for effective strategies.
- It is wise to understand that this type of strategy takes time and effort, and creativity can go a long way toward optimizing a company's reach.
- When devising strategies, keeping the big picture in mind is a solid plan. In particular, the social medium requires that extra amount of interaction.
- Listening to what sort of feedback comes back from the content that goes out can be just as valuable as the planning stage.
Is your business utilizing content marketing? Is it time to start your strategy, or re-evaluate the one that you have?