Online marketing today primarily consists of two heavy-weights that go hand-in-hand: content marketing and social media marketing. Brands use content marketing as a primary factor in their social media efforts. Today’s consumers are not only tech savvy but they are reputation savvy. They will trust what their friends and friends of friends say online about a brand any day over what the brand is telling them in an advertisement.
While brands know and understand this, they seem to miss the mark when creating their own content marketing strategies. Take infographics for example. If your brand is creating and pushing out infographics that educates and earns the trust of your consumer audience, that is great. Well done. However, if in these infographics your brand is being positioned and pushed in the content itself, then that is a serious fail. In essence, you are photo bombing your own content.
Take Your Brand Out of the Picture
Remember that your brand positioning, as well as your product and service offerings, live on your website. They do not belong positioned in the middle of an infographic, article, video, or in the majority of your tweets or Facebook posts. When that is done, it turns those content pieces into traditional sales ads. That is not what you want.
Content marketing, and social media marketing, is about providing solutions to your consumers’ problems, establishing yourself as a trusted resource, providing industry information they may not get elsewhere as well as creating buzz and getting them to engage with your brand. It’s an avenue to provide tips and ideas that may be new to your audience and a place to share transparent facts about your business. It’s about relationship building through emotional appeal and problem solving. There is no need to thread your brand positioning and sales pitches in the content itself. Your brand and offerings are inferred. So stay out of the picture and don’t photo bomb your own messaging.
Conduct a Content and Conversational Analysis
Focus on creating quality, educational content for your consumers. Audit your own content. Go back and see what types of content you have produced in the past that got the most social shares, comments and engagements. What was it about the piece that earned the buzz? What problems did you solve? Use these ideas to create new content. There may even be chances to create secondary, follow-up pieces that provide an opportunity to link back to the original content and create more buzz around it.
It would also be wise to conduct an audit of your competitors’ content. This will breed topic ideas you may have never thought of. It will also give you insights into how your audience engages with your competitors versus your brand in regard to the same services or products. Use that knowledge to know your audience better and cater your content marketing and social media marketing efforts accordingly.
Do an analysis of the conversations in the social space around your industry’s product and services. How is the audience engaging? What seems to get the emotional appeal from them that makes them share, comment and engage? What problems have they voiced that you can provide solutions to? What hashtag conversations are on Twitter that you can join in? Who are the major influencers that you need to be engaging with and sharing content? Are there negative reviews on Yelp that give you an opportunity to come in and save the day, crushing your competitors in the process?
Utilize Google Analytics for Keyword Insights
What keywords are users finding you with? These keywords need to play an integral part in your content marketing and social media efforts. Create content around these keywords and optimize accordingly; but don’t just use the keywords in your content. Use the keyword to brainstorm for topics and content ideas. Use these ideas to branch out to new audiences you may not have thought of before.
While you want to be a trusted resource to your audience, you also want your content to be indexed by the search engines. That means including structured content in order to communicate contextual information to the engines in a way they can understand. The best way to do this is to use the microdata tool, schema, to tag your content. This allows the search engines a better contextual understanding of the content itself and properly index it for search. You can learn more about using schema here: schema.org
The bottom line is this: Content marketing and social media marketing are not traditional forms of advertising. Work on becoming a trusted resource in your industry through education, transparency and useful advice. Also keep in mind not to forget the search engines. Cater to them as well with structured content. If you do these things, you should experience some joyful wins for your brand instead of embarrassing photo bombs.
For more information, please visit Content Marketing from Vizion Interactive