What is Social Media Content Marketing?

Luke Gorski on Social Media Marketing

Social Media MarketingNow that you’ve learned about content marketing, what kind of content should you create for your company’s social media channels?

As a business, you’re at a disadvantage the moment you create a business page. The organic reach of your posts is lower than ever before, your placement in the Feed comes second to posts from personal (not business) pages, and creating compelling content for social media requires time and resources.

And yet, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the best marketing channels your business has at its disposal. In fact, nothing comes close. This is because the attention of your buyers lives on social media.

In this lesson, you will be introduced to creating content marketing for the most popular social media platforms. In specific, we will cover Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud.

What is Content Marketing?

Remember that content marketing is the creation of free content that provides potential and existing buyers with some type of value. This value depends on your buyer and their interests.

The four types of value your content can offer buyers is: education, motivation, entertainment, and inspiration. Effective content is most often some combination of these.

The Mistake Most Companies Make on Social Media

Distributing Content

Most organizations use social media as a way to distribute content they create. For example, a company shares the same link to their white paper across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Some may even create a YouTube white paper ad video, and others may even record an audio announcement on SoundCloud. Even then, most view all social media channels as one and the same.

When you view social media as just a distribution tool, the type of behavior described above is acceptable. In fact, it is the status quo. But social media channels are not distribution channels for your content. They are much more.

Ignoring Social Media Behavior

Every social platform is a unique community with nuanced behaviors. Users within these communities – your buyers – do not view social media as a distribution channel. To these users, their social media profile is a home base. Over the last 10 years, these digital home bases have become a part of your buyers’ identities. The posts they like, the people they follow, the online groups they join impact their actual lives.

Cheap marketing ploys are spotted instantly. And with the recent fake news legislations being passed, advertisements will become even easier to spot and ignore. So what can you, a company marketing on social media, do to create marketing results? The answer is to become part of these communities.

Effective Social Media Content Marketing

1. Understand Your Buyer’s “Social Media” Personas

They likely differ from platform to platform. Effective social media marketing starts by acknowledging your buyer uses each social media platform differently.

Example:

If your buyers fall into a younger demographic, they may consume and share funny video content on Facebook (link to video content marketing examples article) more than written articles. They may post artistic photos on Instagram, just like the influencers they follow.

But if your buyers are C-level executives, they may share travel video content and recipe articles with their Facebook friends, but share political and business commentary content with their Linkedin connections.

Visit their profiles and see what kind of Facebook posts they share. Visit their Instagram account to see who they follow. Check out their Twitter conversations to hear their opinion. Slowly, you will start to put together buyer personas that describe who your buyers are on social media.

2. Take Examples of What Kind of Content Your Buyers Share

For your company to see results from content marketing efforts on social media, potential buyers must share your content with their networks. In order to create shareable content, your content must become part of their entertainment.

Example:

If your buyer is already sharing video content, specifically, funny videos on Facebook, consider creating funny videos to use on your company Facebook page. Become part of their community.

If your buyer is a C-level executive, creating travel video content for your Facebook page can provide them with relevant and valuable content to share. For Linkedin, create the kinds of business commentary articles they are already reading and sharing with their Linkedin connections. Become part of their community.

The big idea is for your content to be shareable. This is the power of social media. This is the correct approach to distribute your content on social media. If travel video content does not relate to your business but it does interest your buyer, create a sister Facebook page that is “powered by” or “sponsored by” your company. Be creative, but create shareable content.

3. Create a Separate Content Strategy for Every Social Channel

Which social channels your company uses for content marketing will depend on your buyers.

Every relevant social channel will require its own content and strategy. Facebook requires very different content from YouTube, even though both support video content. Linkedin is very different from Instagram, even if your buyers use both platforms. Use the following framework for the most popular social media channels. Use The question to answer as a way to test your content strategy:

Facebook:

Effective content marketing on Facebook is created for fast, mobile consumption. Buyers on Facebook are connected with family and friends. Take this into consideration when deciding what kind of content to create. Would a potential buyer share your white paper with their mother? Probably not. Using video content, written articles, and quote images can offer buyers on Facebook easy ways to consume your content: they can read, watch, or glance at an image, and still find value.

The question to answer: would buyers talk about this content with family and friends?

Instagram:

Instagram was born as and continues to be a visual platform. Photos dominate, and videos are limited to 60 seconds. Just like Facebook, effective Instagram content is created for fast, mobile consumption. But buyers on Instagram are not necessarily connected with just family and friends. They follow celebrities and influencers. In fact, many do their best to emulate content shared by the celebrities and influencers they follow.

The question to answer: would an influencer or celebrity share this?

YouTube:

YouTube is a video platform. More accurately, it is a video library. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, YouTube content does not need to be recent and new to reach buyers on the platform. A popular video from 24 months ago is as likely, if not more likely, to reach buyers as a recent video uploaded 24 hours ago. This is because YouTube is also a search engine, and SEO depends on views, engagement, and total time watched. YouTube is the home of vloggers, and longer video content does not scare away buyers who use the platform.

The question to answer: would buyers watch this on TV?

Linkedin:

Linkedin is a professional network, and any content shared here speaks to a buyer’s professional aspirations. Linkedin has evolved into a networking tool, with users being very careful about what they share. Content sharing happens within Linkedin Groups as well as Linkedin Posts. To create content for buyers on Linkedin, include data, thought leadership, and commentary pieces into any written or video content you create.

The question to answer: would my buyer’s colleagues benefit from this?

Twitter:

Just about everyone who is social media savvy, such as journalists, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, use Twitter to communicate amongst each other. To create content for buyers on Twitter, create square video content that is captioned to account for Twitter’s muted auto play, animate photos to make them more captivating than static images, and optimize links with images. Perhaps the most important content you create for those buyers on Twitter is conversations: tweet at your buyers, retweet their posts, and comment on their content.

The question to answer: does this jump out in a constant stream of tweets?

SoundCloud:

Although built for musical artists, hosting audio content on SoundCloud is one of the easiest ways to share audio content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, three platforms that don’t yet natively support audio content. To create audio content for buyers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, consider the podcasts most popular with your buyers. If that data isn’t available, check the most popular podcasts within your space. Use that content as a starting point to creating audio content, and use SoundCloud as a way to share it on social media.

The question to answer: would somebody want to listen to this on her commute to work?

Final comment

Content marketing on social media has baffled most businesses. Instead of using social media to just distribute content, create content for each social media channel. When executed correctly, buyers who visit your social media profiles will share your content, and you will reach new buyers.

The next step to social media marketing is running paid advertising campaigns. Click here to learn about running paid campaigns or here to learn about running influencer marketing campaigns.

 

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