Content marketing has become a “jungle.” There is so much content out there and it has become so time-consuming to create and then promote it. A lot of businesses, in fact, have ditched their inbound content marketing programs and have gone back to strictly outbound programs. They have decided to pay for advertising that just promotes their products and services. This is a huge mistake for several reasons. But probably the most important reason is that today’s consumers no longer respond very well to a “hard sell.” Instead, these “new” consumers are looking for information, for a relationship with a brand, and for a level of trust that influences them to buy. And research shows that price is less a factor than trust.
Where Consumers are Getting Their Information and Developing Relationships
The answer is a very short one – social media. Admittedly, social media as a source of information is actually indirect. Rich and important content exists on websites, most often on blogs. So, if you are producing great content on your blog or offering great things on the rest of your site, then you are using social media to drive people to that blog or to other pages on your website where they can get things of value. The key is to do it as effectively and as easily as possible. So here are 9 ways to make your social media promotion the best it can be.
- Leverage the Visual
If you really intend to promote your content you have to use visuals on your social media accounts. They just engage readers more and result in more sharing. Recent data shows that photos on Facebook result in 53% more likes and shares than a post with only text. Other research says the same thing about Tweets and re-tweets. And the newer social media platforms – Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram – are totally visual. If you are blogging correctly, you also have visuals on all of your blog posts. Sometimes, then, you can double dip. If you have a really cool image, photo, infographic or video on a blog post, promote it by posting that visual on your social media accounts with a “teaser” back to your website or blog.
- Headlines Really Do Matter
If a headline you are using for a blog post is not amazingly engaging, then you can keep it, but you can’t use it on your social media accounts. You will have to come up with a new, much catchier title to promote that post on social media. Some say that most content writers spend as much time creating a title as they do producing a post. If you are not the creative type, then use one of several title generator tools that are out there – Buzzsumo is one that comes to mind immediately.
- Start with Just a Few and Choose the Right Ones
If your product is home décor, then LinkedIn is probably not your first choice for a social media account. On the other hand, if our product is office furniture, then it probably is. You can’t pick the right platforms unless you have a target persona developed. You have to literally come up with a really detailed identity here – age group, socio-economic status, gender, education level, type of career, and so forth. Once you have that persona, you are ready to do the research to learn where your target hangs out. Facebook is probably a no-brainer, because it crosses all audience types. From there, you need to determine 1-2 more. There is solid research on where specific demographics are online, and you need to use that research to decide where you will promote your content. Over time, you can expand the platforms you use to such sites as YouTube, SlideShare, and such.
- Tweak Your Promotional Messages According to the Platform you are Using.
If you are promoting on Facebook, you will want a great headline, an image, photo, or other engaging visual, possibly the promotion of a discount or freebie, and a link back to the web page or blog post. If you put content on your Facebook page, make sure it is truly compelling. If you are using Twitter, get clever with hashtags. If you are promoting on Instagram, use its new carousel feature to tell a story with pictures. The “rules of engagement” will differ with each platform.
- Post Your Promotions at the Right Time
Again, there is a lot of research to rely on about the times your target audience is online on various social media platforms. You have to catch them when they are actually there to be caught. Read up on the research regarding times of day and days of week, and plan your publishing schedule around those. There are also some tools you can use like FollowerWonk or Facebook Insights.
- Multiple Postings – Yes, Do It
This is another tactic to reach more of your audience. You can do a couple of things:
- Change out a headline and/or image and re-post on the same platform
- Post the exact same promotion on the same platform at a different time or day
Many experts suggest, for example, that you post the same content on Facebook a week apart for a month; post on Twitter and Instagram several times in the same day for several days in a row. Do a bit of reading on the benefits of multiple postings, and follow the advice of those who have the data.
- Ease the Pain – Automate Your Posts
Instead of trying to set up some elaborate calendar and setting a reminder to get back on your accounts and re-post your promotions, use one of the many tools to automate those postings. Most have a free version that will serve you well. Buffer is a good one, because you can modify the schedule and the platforms each time you are ready to publish. They handle the rest.
- Keep Those Conversations Rolling
Of course you have conversation plugins on your blog. But you need to engage your readers in conversation on your social platforms too. One of the best ways to do this is to ask questions. The more comments and feedback you can get from your readers, the more they remember you and your brand, and the more you are establishing that important relationship.
- Get Everyone You Know to Share Your Posts
Everyone on your team should be sharing your posts to their communities. Friends and relatives should be sharing your posts. Join groups related to your niche and set up reciprocal arrangements to share each other’s’ content. The more shares, the more communities you reach – it’s as simple as that. And the more communities you reach the better your chances of increasing traffic.
Some of these 9 strategies you can implement right now, today. Others you can add as you have time. But all of them are easy and effective – others have come before you and found success with them.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community