Do you struggle with integrating multiple marketing efforts to achieve maximum results? As a small business owner, you wear multiple hats—and some fit better than the others. You’re not alone when it comes to struggling with the nuances and complexities of online marketing. Taking on the role of a marketer is not easy. There are more ways than you can imagine to reach consumers online and putting all the marketing practices together to work in harmony can be challenging.
Content marketing and social media are two must-haves in a small business’ marketing kitty. You can build a strong online marketing plan by combining content marketing and social media. When used in harmony, these two marketing tactics can engage your audience and bring the good kind of attention to your business. But before we get into how to integrate the two, let’s understand the core of each channel.
Two ways to market your small business
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is any piece of content that you create and distribute for public consumption with the aim of helping your business and providing value to your audience. Content creation is a major part of content marketing and it is about identifying the message and the best platform to communicate that message. Some examples of content creation include:
- Blog posts
- Web Pages and landing pages
- White papers and eBook
Content marketing determines identifying the platform from where your audience will consume your content. Examples include:
- Email campaigns
- RSS subscribers
- Community groups
Why does content marketing work?
Content marketing works because it gives the person on the receiving end something of value—it could be entertaining, informative or purely engaging. Your business builds better visibility and credibility as the provider of that said value. Content marketing creates associations between businesses and its consumers and creates a positive and enriching connection.
2. Social media marketing
Only the most tech-resistant must be unaware of social media’s reach and influence. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and a host of other social platforms are connecting millions of users to one another—and to businesses.
Social media networks are one of the most effective content distribution channels. Users on these platforms want to stay connected and therefore are open to engagement. They tend to be much more casual and interactive with one another and with the businesses that they favour. Skillful use of these platforms can put your business’ message in front of a highly receptive audience.
However, you cannot dive into this unplanned. A successful social media campaign requires a documented strategy. And that starts with a specific goal such as:
We want to increase our followers on Instagram (Specific) to drive more organic social traffic to the website (Achievable/Relevant). We want to gain 1,500 new followers (Measurable) from our marketing by 31st January (Time based).
Now as a small business you might not have the budget to hire an agency or the daily hours to devote. This is why having a documented plan and a social media content calendar helps. Even if you plan to invest three hours a week, you can have a list of articles, industry news, quick facts, fun memes, etc planned and saved as you go through the week. Then, during those three hours, you can schedule these posts on your social platforms, engage with your users, influencers and other brands. You can track your progress and alter your strategy as you go along.
To maximize your use of social media, follow these best practices:
- Follow what your consumers are saying and doing on social media before you put your own message
- Ensure that the content you’re sharing is of high-quality and is valuable to your audience
- Find out which social media channels your customers prefer, and establish a presence on those platforms
- Use those platforms to distribute content that sits on your blog, YouTube channel, etc
- Use social media to build your email subscriber list
- Tailor the content you share on social media, just as you do for email marketing
Making content marketing and social media work in harmony for your business
Deploying these marketing efforts together will highlight their real power. Consider this scenario as an example of how to integrate content marketing and social media:
- Create a blog post/podcast/video about a topic that your audience can find interesting.
- Publish the blog and share the link on your social channels.
- One of the unique ways you can indulge your customers is by sharing brandable links. As a business owner what you might not recognize is that every piece of communication that you put out there is a branding opportunity. From the copy of your Facebook post to the text on the image, everything is brandable; even the links that you share. Consider having a domain name digitalmedia.online and then every time someone shares an article related to digital media, you could use the branded domain such as digitalmedia.online/seohacks or digitalmedia.online/content to promote your content.
- Don’t just share the link. Take this opportunity to engage your fans and followers and encourage them to share their opinion and stimulate engagement.
- Take it notch up and share your email/newsletter on social too so that your fans know that they can follow your content on multiple channels.
- Add an extra benefit by making the call to action at the end of the blog post/podcast/video an invitation to sign up for your email newsletter.
When it comes to marketing, the message is the same. The only bit that alters is how that message is communicated depending on the medium. Integrating various mediums and techniques can amplify the reach of your message and help you establish a stronger connection with your audience.