Content Marketing on social media – A tale of chasing the crowd? From a marketing perspective, social media has evolved into a powerful tool that allows businesses to reach their target audience easily. Ninety-three percent of companies globally utilize content marketing on social media. A business with a stellar social media marketing technique has an edge in a highly-competitive industry.
While social media content marketing seems easy and doable, there are steps that you need to follow to ensure the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Small Business’s Guide To Content Marketing On Social Media
What You Will Need
- Social media marketing tools – practical social media marketing tools allow businesses to boost their engagement on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Social media planning and scheduling tool – enables you to create a content calendar and schedule your posts when most of your audience will see them.
- Social media analytics tool – this tool lets you see how your content marketing on social media is performing. This way, you will know what you need to improve to reach your target audience better.
Identify The Goals Of Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy
Every strategy starts with a goal in mind. That said, the first step small businesses need to take is to identify and set the goals that they want their efforts to achieve. This way, you will view the content type you want to create.
Start identifying your goals by looking at your business’s values. These values will guide you in knowing what type of social media content you want to serve your target audience. Then, research your target audience. Your analysis must include essential aspects related to your audience, such as:
- What type of content do they consume?
- What times are they most active on social media?
- What social media platforms do they use?
Once you have these details, you can craft a particular goal for your content marketing on social media. For instance, if your goal is to convert your social media audience into consumers, your content marketing efforts should include posts that attract people to purchase your product. Your content should also lead them to a landing page where they will see more about your business. (source)
Know Your Target Audience
The best way to communicate with your target audience is to use a language they understand, which, in this case, is by providing them with content they can easily absorb.
One of the best ways to get to know your target audience is by building descriptive profiles of your audience. These profiles, known as personas, are similar to writing fictional characters.
The purpose of creating personas when content marketing on social media is to find out the type of content that resonates with your target audience.
How To Create An Audience Persona
The first thing you need to do when creating an audience persona is to determine your potential consumers’ demographic and psychographic information. This stage is the identification stage. You really need to consider the audience and their needs. What solution are you going to solve for them? What problem do they need to be solved? What’s your ideal client like? You need to describe your ideal client more than you may think is necessary. However, the best-defined audience personas will typically help you the most.
- age range
With this information, businesses can customize content for the audience they want to reach. For instance, if you are a small business selling organic soap. In this case, your audience persona will be:
Customer A is a 22-year-old female college student from Washington, DC. She has sensitive skin and is constantly searching for a soap that will not irritate her skin. However, Customer A is always busy with her studies on top of being an athlete. For this reason, finding a suitable soap for her can be challenging, considering her busy schedule.
Once you have an audience persona, you can do your content marketing on social media to answer your potential customer’s needs and requirements.
Know Your Competitors
You can find out the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors by conducting a competitor analysis. It also lets you know what to expect when you begin content marketing on social media. A competitor analysis will also help you have a practical marketing approach that is better than your competitors.
In addition, a competitive analysis involves assessing the products, advertising techniques, and, as mentioned, the strengths and weaknesses of your industry competitors. With this information, you will have the advantage of strengthening your social media marketing strategies. (source)
Who Are Your Competitors?
Identifying your competitors when content marketing on social media is easy. But did you know that there are three types of business competitors? These are the
- Direct Competitors – your direct competitors are the businesses that sell similar products or services. Apart from the products offered, these competitors also target the same customers and location you do.
- Indirect Competitors – these types of competitors offer different products or services from what you sell. They also have a diverse audience. However, indirect competitors are still competitors because they are in the same general industry category. For instance, a skin care product business is your indirect competitor if you offer soaps.
- Substitute Competitors – as the name suggests, substitute competitors are businesses that customers can pick over yours. They offer different products or services but still are competitors as they target the same audience in the same geographic area. (source)
You do not necessarily need to check all your competitors when content marketing on social media. Instead, check who among them has a high engagement and focus on finding their strengths and weaknesses.
Once you know your direct, indirect, and substitute competitors, you will gather information about them. The data should include their:
- Products or services offered
- Promotional tactics
With these details, you can create content that is a step ahead of what your competitors are doing.
Identify The Social Media Platforms You Want To Utilize For Your Business
You will usually see huge businesses having a business account on every social media platform. But if you are running a small business with only a few staff, making the same approach can be pretty challenging. So, instead of utilizing all the platforms available for content marketing on social media, small businesses should focus on the platforms with the most audiences.
But before choosing what platform you will use to promote your business, it is essential to note that every social media platform has unique features that make it suitable for certain types of content.
Social Media Platforms And Their Functions
For instance, Facebook and Instagram are ideal for product images with calls to action. On the other hand, Twitter is great for holding conversations with your target audience.
You can use LinkedIn to share professional information if you have a business related to a professional industry.
So, if you have a small soap business and your target audience are females aged 18-35 years old, you will benefit from advertising your product on Facebook and Instagram. (source)
Conduct A Social Media Audit
You must conduct a social media audit if you are already using social media to promote your business. Performing a social media audit when content marketing on social media will allow you to see how your social media pages are performing. This way, you will know what efforts you need to improve to reach more audiences.
Your social media audit should look into:
- Who is engaging with your content
- Which of your marketing efforts are working and not
- What social media platforms most of your target audiences are using, and how much do they use it
- How your social media page is performing compared to your competitors
- Is your social media page helping you achieve your goals?
- Are your followers engaging with your posts? (source)
Benefits Of Social Media Audit
A social media audit will help you identify the purpose of your social media pages. Are you using social media to convert audiences into customers, or are you using it to promote your business’s name to more people? Regardless of your industry, having a clear purpose for utilizing content marketing on social media is crucial. This purpose will help you develop content that revolves around what you are trying to achieve for your business.
For instance, if your purpose for using social media is to promote your services, you need to create posts that tell people about these services. This way, you can tell your target audience what you do and why they should patronize your business.
Plan Out Your Content
After identifying your target audience and the platforms where they are most active, it is time to plan out your content. You can do this by creating a content calendar. The calendar will allow you to plan out your content and organize your ideas in a way that is easy to execute.
An effective content calendar should contain the date and time when content should be posted, along with the actual image and caption that will show up on your business’s social media platforms. You can make such a calendar using social media planners like Hootsuite, Later, and Buffer. These tools for content marketing on social media can connect to your social media pages. This way, you can schedule your posts on dates and times when your audiences are most active.
A content calendar allows you to compile a collective knowledge about your content, followers, and the schedule for when these posts will show up on your social media pages. It also makes collaborating with the people involved in your marketing strategy easy. Using a social media calendar tool, you can quickly provide your colleagues with login credentials, and they will be able to access everything you added to the calendar.
Should Businesses Use The Same Content On Different Platforms?
If you use more than one social media platform to promote your business, you may think you need to plan different content for each platform. However, that is not the case when content marketing on social media. You can use the same content and post them across all your business pages. This way, you can reach more audiences, potentially converting them into customers.
However, you have to ensure that you are posting during the times when your followers are most active. Some social media calendar tools have a feature that collects your followers’ data and creates a report. This data report will help you determine when your posts can achieve the most engagement. (source)
How To Create Content That Resonates With Your Audience
- Have Different Types Of Posts
If you are selling products, it is not ideal to constantly post content that asks people to purchase from your business. Consistent promotional content can look like you are spamming your audience. As a result, your followers may disconnect from your brand and eventually unfollow your social media pages.
Instead of only posting promotional content, you can create engaging posts that will pique the interest of your target audience. It is a fool-proof way of retaining followers when content marketing on social media. For instance, you can post content that tells people exciting facts related to your products. This way, you can prompt your followers to look at your products, which could turn them into customers.
- Make Your Content Personal
Content personalization allows you to connect with your audience more meaningfully. It will seem like your posts directly talk to them, making them relate to what you are trying to convey.
Personalizing your social media content is undeniably compelling. Epsilon’s Abacus Cooperative reported in 2017 that out of 1000 survey participants, 80 percent say they are likely to buy from a business that offers personalized content.
- Share Statistical Content
Your social media page will look more professional and truthful if you share news and statistics. Positive statistics make people trust your brand more. For this reason, share statistics and information whenever possible.
- Share User-Generated Content
user-generated content is suitable for your social media page as it prompts the audience to engage with you. It is an excellent way of making people know your brand. This user-generated content comes in the form of videos, photos, testimonials, and reviews. Such posts allow your audience to connect well with your brand since they know that audience like them created the post. (source)
Make More People See Your Content
Content marketing on social media does not stop after posting your promotional content. Planning and posting are only a tiny fraction of your content marketing strategy. You need to reach out to more people and expand your audience.
You can do such by creating a content distribution strategy that will let you share your posts with more people. For instance, if you have a website outside social media, such as a blogging site, you can link them to your posts and include a call to action telling them to visit it. It is also a good strategy for promoting products in an online shop. (source)
Some Steps To Increase Engagement
- Include questions on your social media captions and ask people to share their answers by commenting.
- Have a product giveaway where your followers should share your post with their friends so they can join. You can also conduct mini-games with mechanics aiming to have more reach and engagement.
- Share social proof about your product, such as testimonials from past customers. This way, you can show your audience how your customers felt about your product. This strategy is effective if you want to lead your followers into buying your products.
- Respond to comments. When content marketing on social media, you need to show your audience that you value their thoughts and that you are willing to answer their queries. People are likely to buy products from businesses that offer them good customer service. (source)
Moreover, each social media platform has a way to boost posts. For instance, if you are using Facebook, you can join groups related to your business. Once in the group, you can share posts related to the current conversation. If your business is on Instagram, using hashtags is an effective way to share your posts and make more people see them.
If you have a budget, you can collaborate with content creators and ask them to promote your products.
Develop Relationships With Your Followers
What makes content marketing on social media ideal is that it lets you connect directly with your audiences. You can talk to them when they have questions and comments instead of just asking them to purchase your product or service. It will allow you to build relationships with your followers over time.
Another reason why it is easy to develop relationships on social media because people use it to search for products. A study done by Sprout Social found that one in every three consumers use social media to discover new products and brands. For this reason, having a social media platform for you shows up on potential customers’ screens when they search for a product you offer.
Enable Branch Engagement
Additionally, social media allows people to engage with your brand. When people mention or comment about your business, you can quickly reply to them. It will make your audience see you as a trustworthy brand, which may prompt them to follow you. As a result, you can create a loyal following of people who consume your product, making content marketing on social media effective.
Moreover, building relationships with a community that can become customers will lead to consistent sales. This way, you can gain new customers consistently while still having customer retention. (source)
Track How Your Social Media Pages Are Performing
Content marketing on social media does not end with posting and promoting. You need to track how these posts perform along with your page. The reason is that just because you posted something relevant to your brand does not mean it will gain constant engagement.
If you are utilizing content marketing on social media for the first time, coming up with an effective strategy is a trial and error process. It is improbable that you will get the right approach during the initial process. For this reason, it is crucial to track your efforts to see what you need to change or improve.
You can gather data using UTM parameters to track how your social media efforts are performing. Short text codes are added to URLs, allowing you to see the page’s performance. With UTM parameters, you can find out the number of people that visits your page and which of your posts drive the most topic.
Once you have enough data about your social media platform’s performance, you can re-evaluate and test your strategies. This way, you can see which of your efforts are working and which you need to replace. (source)
Watch Out For Trends
One thing that attracts people when you are content marketing on social media is currently trending posts. So, watch out for whatever is viral on social media and see whether or not your brand can leap over it. Instead, see what trends are relevant to your brand and utilize them to resonate with people.
Here are some of the posts that can catch the attention of your audience:
- Current events and news
- Entertaining and funny content
- Images and videos
We’ve gone through the basics of social media content marketing here today. With the right tools, your social media marketing campaigns can run smoothly and on time, providing massive brand awareness and attracting new customers.
If you need any help crafting and setting up social media campaigns, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.
Our writing continues to be industry-leading with our transparency of research sources. Why? Because it’s fair for you to know where we found our information.
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