In the modern and digitally connected world, we live in reaching a global audience via the Internet can be achieved through the click of a button. More and more of your prospects are online, interacting with brands, businesses, friends and colleagues via social media.
And, with social media usage projected to exceed 2.51 billion in 2017 – and then 2.95 billion in 2020 (one-third of the world’s population) having a presence on social media channels is a must-have for the success and amplification of your content marketing strategy online – and the global distribution of your content assets.
Unfortunately, the sheer volume of people using social media means that the vast majority of social messages are lost amongst the abundance of news and memes, let alone the number of blogs, eBooks, reports, stats and tweets that are now so prevalent online. However, standing out amongst the noise is absolutely necessary if businesses are to attract prospects and engage with their audience.
So how can you develop a strategy to ensure your content assets stand out from the masses?
Start with Buyer Personas
Firstly, your buyer personas will help you to understand your customers and prospects better. By improving your understanding of their needs, interests and pain points, you can tailor your content and message to the specific requirements and behaviour of your target groups.
In order to construct your buyer personas, however, you need to answer a series of questions and compile information, as this will help you to narrow down who they are and where they spend most of their time. For example: What are the key demographics of the audience you are targeting? Think about their age, gender, occupation, income, hobbies and interests. If you want to learn more about building buyer personas, check out our blog.
Not only do the benefits of posting via certain platforms differ, but also best practice strategies vary across different social media sites. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to publish multiple posts to your Twitter account on a daily basis. This is often necessary due to the nature of Twitter, as tweets are far less likely to be seen by casual browsers just a short while after posting.
LinkedIn Groups, on the other hand, require a more selective posting strategy. Not only is it important to ensure that groups are targeted with relevant articles, but posting too frequently into the same groups can lead to your removal. Whilst it is fine to post more frequently to your company page, it is important to remember that LinkedIn requires a more professional tone than its rival platforms.
There are of course a multitude of other platforms, including Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest, which all require their own unique strategies. We have written an in-depth blog post that assesses these channels, which you can read here.
Best practice suggestions
There are, however, some universal rules that you can follow which can be applied to all social media channels.
It is vital that the correct dimensions are applied to posts with images to avoid any imagery being cut off or misaligned. Image size requirements differ across the various social media channels, meaning an eye-catching image on Twitter may not have the same effect on LinkedIn, for example. Marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, are equipped with auto-cropping tools with pre-determined sizes for each social media channel, ensuring your images are sized appropriately, allowing you to streamline your posting efficiency.
Also, creating a social media matrix can is a great way to keep track of your social media promotion. By setting out a clear and structured plan for activity on every platform, a social media matrix provides a clear overview of your scheduled and published posts to ensure that no channels are being overused or neglected.
Documenting your social media promotion several months in advance ensures everyone within the business has visibility of the organisation’s long-term strategy. By planning and building your social media strategy in advance, you can spend more time focusing on other elements of your marketing campaign and promoting other content assets. With any social media channel, it’s important to promote a variety of content, not just your own, as you want to attract and engage with your audience and not force your products and services on them.
According to our research, posts made first thing in the morning or at lunchtime typically receive higher levels of engagement, as workers are more likely to see your post outside regular working hours.
Another method to promote your content assets is through regular blogging. For example, using ‘availability blogs’ to generate awareness of new content assets will help to drive more traffic to your website’s landing pages.
The importance of blogging simply cannot be overstated. High-quality, fresh content drives people to your website, improves your Google ranking, and boosts engagement with both customers and prospects. By brainstorming a list of potential topics and creating a content creation plan, you can ensure that you have a wide range of interesting topics for your visitors to engage with – giving you the best opportunity to convert them into leads.
Analyse and adjust accordingly
It’s important to continually assess the performance of your social media posts to maximise audience engagement. Are posts with images performing better than those without? What about posts with questions? Does posting outside working hours deliver better results?
It’s also important to tailor your post to the specific social channel audience. Whilst it is acceptable to adopt a more casual tone on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is designed for professional use and as a result, it requires a more formal posting style.
In order to be able to analyse effectively, it is vital to be able to track website visitors back to the original social media link they clicked on. You can do this by including tracking links on individual posts or alternatively, many marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot have this functionality built-in.
Ultimately, when it comes to promoting your next content asset, following the steps outlined above will ensure you get the most return from your content assets. Knowing your audience, their preferred social platforms and following best practice are fundamental in that process. Once you have addressed these elements, creating search engine optimised blog content will help you to promote your content assets further, bringing more and more interested parties into contact with your business. Lastly, measuring and analysing the effect of your promotional activity and the performance of your content assets in regard to lead generation will enable you to understand what works – and what does not – and adjust accordingly.