Four Steps To A Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy – Part 3
You should know your audience to get the maximum mileage out of your content marketing budget — if your audience is CEOs and other senior management type executives vs. whether you are targeting teens. This will determine the tools and platforms you need to use for your content marketing efforts.
The must-use social media these days is Facebook to get your message to the largest audience possible. Facebook is the number one digital marketing platform if you are a Business to Consumer (B2C) company while LinkedIn gets primacy if you are a Business to Business (B2B) company.
Getting the attention of Facebook users can be a tricky affair. After you create a company Facebook page and upload a Profile picture, a large header image and otherwise give the Facebook page a professional look, the next challenge is to attract followers to the page or getting Facebook users to ‘Like’ your FB page.
This will probably require you to ‘promote’ your page on Facebook and FB will do that for you and charge you accordingly. After you get people to Like your Facebook page, you can start posting content to the page. The content may be articles, FAQs, viral videos or whatever may be of interest to your customers depending on your business vertical.
Facebook’s ever-changing Newsfeed algorithm ensures that it’s not enough for you to get thousands of people to Like your Facebook page. Those who have liked your business’s FB page may — or, more likely, may not — see your Facebook posts.
Only if those FB who have liked your FB page have also chosen the option and asked FB to always show your posts on top of their Newsfeed when they log into Facebook, then FB will show your posts to them for sure. Otherwise, more Facebook paid marketing is required.
Facebook says it gives priority to friends and family meaning posts shared by one’s FB friends appear on others’ Newsfeed. After that, the next priorities are for the Newsfeed to inform and entertain.
Content Marketing Using Facebook:
You should of course upload your blog posts to Facebook and do that on a regular basis for maximum impact. Facebook’s trending topics give insights into what people are talking about at a given moment and you could post relevant links to a trending topic. You could share interesting YouTube videos as well as images to your FB feed as people respond more to images and videos.
Facebook’s search box lets you find people and other business pages who may be competitors or just noteworthy or notable or good quality pages in general that you could learn from. And you can promote specific Facebook posts as well.
If you want to target a wide range of tech-savvy professionals in their 20s and 30s, having a popular Twitter feed can be a powerful weapon to reach them.
Content Marketing Using Twitter:
You can settle upon your plans and outcome out of your Twitter campaign — whether it’s about generating traffic to your website or blog, or about some ‘conversion’ action such as signing-up to an email list or joining some free trial.
Find, build, and engage with your audience on Twitter using lists in Twitter, Twitter’s search box, and Twitter hashtags. And schedule your tweets to get the maximum impact. You can also get content ideas from Twitter as well as monitor your competitor’s Twitter feed and keep tabs on them as well as get new ideas.
You can also ‘promote’ your content on Twitter if you can allocate a portion of your company’s digital marketing budget for this.
Effective Content Marketing Using LinkedIn
To target business professionals, using LinkedIn for content marketing is quite effective — even Microsoft thinks LinkedIn is worth investing in to tap into the business professionals with accounts there. LinkedIn groups are definitely useful for sharing content. Since LinkedIn is a network of professionals, it works best as a B2B marketing vehicle. You should ensure your posts to LinkedIn groups are relevant and useful to the professionals who are part of that group.
SlideShare is part of LinkedIn; therefore, you could have a presentation about your company or a product and share that on LinkedIn. Similarly, sharing videos can be useful and effective on LinkedIn as they are on any other social media platform.
When you share something to Facebook or Twitter, make note of what LinkedIn group that post might be suitable to and share it on the group with a relevant question to get a discussion started.
Now that LinkedIn has its own publishing platform, you can try and write original posts on LinkedIn or share a part of your blog post existing elsewhere and then link to your blog. LinkedIn posts also do well in Google search results often showing up on page one of organic results. Online publishers such as Quartz are already doing this in their endless quest for more traffic and hits.
Using Quora for Content Marketing
Quora may seem like too small or geeky a social network for brands or marketers to bother with it but it has a lot of trust worthiness and can help your brand build thought leadership over a period of time. You can use Quora to learn if there is any discussion happening around your brand or your competition or your business segment. It will help you keep track of the conversation and join in when relevant.
You can learn from others as well as answer users’ questions. One nice thing about Quora is the first person nature of the answers people can get from the likes of Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder. There are astronauts like Clayton Anderson answering queries on Quora.
As with any other form of writing, use catchy headlines when you write something on Quora. Also, you can start your own blog on Quora where you can share your own thoughts on a given topic. One benefit of writing on Quora is that it seems to have good traction in Google’s SEO landscape.
You have to be predictable in your content marketing plans. Once you have an audience for your content, you need to keep supplying them with fresh content on a predictable basis so that the audience is not disappointed. Much thought and effort needs to go into ensuring that you have a ready supply of fresh content.
Different social media platforms need different posting frequencies and schedules for maximum impact.
Maximum Twitter users log into their accounts in the morning — many do that first thing after they wake up — and at night. So, depending on your time zone, you could try to time your tweets accordingly.
Links to your blog posts can also be tweeted more than once during the day to ensure more of your Twitter followers get to see it. Weekend tweets can be lists of the best stuff you have shared over the preceding week.
As to the schedule of posts on Facebook, it has been determined that Thursdays and Fridays are best to run Facebook campaigns as people are in a more relaxed mood ahead of the weekend compared to Mondays when people are more likely to be in a grumpy mood or on Tuesdays when people are likely to be in the middle of work and overworked or overstressed.
It works best if LinkedIn posts are uploaded when professionals are likely to have downtime such as just before the start of the work day (7 to 8 am), or during the lunch break (11 am to 2 pm), and towards the end of the work day (around 4 pm).
One way to ensure a continuous supply of content to post is to aggregate content. This can be done occasionally or you can have a weekly schedule of posting aggregated content. These can be either internal or external content.
Someone like Maria Popova has built a formidable readership for her Brain Pickings website, and her newsletter goes out every weekend and it’s all about mostly content aggregation — excerpts of books, commencement addresses and so on. One more similar content aggregator is Farnam Street.
You can use the different social media tools effectively if you become an expert at using them and learn each tool’s particular characteristics and quirks. NASA does a nice job of harnessing social media using different Twitter handles. Being ‘NASA,’ and doing what it does — operating rovers on Mars (Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity), spacecraft orbiting Saturn (Cassini Saturn https://twitter.com/CassiniSaturn), spacecraft now orbiting Jupiter https://twitter.com/NASAJuno) — it is relatively an easy task to gain followers among discerning Twitter users.
Everyone cannot be a pioneer in space exploration like NASA but businesses can try and build excitement around some scientific or space success or milestone being achieved and these can become popular on social media.
It’s not outlandish. That’s exactly what Google does with its relevant doodles. There was a Google doodle on the 4th of July when Juno successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit. There was a Google doodle celebrating Philae lander’s landing on Comet 67P.
A doodle landed on our homepage to celebrate the Philae landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Congrats, ESA! pic.twitter.com/dR7v2uQ9yT
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) November 12, 2014
And Google had a relevant doodle when Curiosity successfully landed on Mars.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) August 6, 2012
Your social media tools are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Quora primarily. You have to decide how to use those tools depending on your target and your budget.
Outsourcing Content Marketing
Outsourcing content marketing to a digital marketing agency in India can be a wise decision and an investment worth making to build your brand’s online presence and reputation in the long term. Outsourcing done right can get great results for any business. Giant businesses like Apple and GE are using outsourcing of various activities in a manner that adds billions to their bottom-line and top line.
Focusing on core competencies leads to business success. This is as true — or truer — for small businesses as it is for large corporate. It is better to outsource your content marketing work to content marketing professionals at a digital marketing agency in countries like India instead of asking the kayaking instructor at your adventure tourism company to double-up as the in-house blogger and content writer.
Instead of asking the chef of your restaurant to do part-time duty as your website’s SEO guy, it is better to outsource SEO work to SEO professionals at an SEO company in India.
Finally, content marketing can both help companies keep in touch with customers and be used as a platform to attract new customers. Having a proper content marketing strategy is essential to get the best return on investment on this technique.
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