09 Jun Social Media vs. Content Marketing – A How to Guide on Where to Invest
When it comes to social media vs. content marketing investments there is plenty of confusion about where your dollars should be spent and how well these strategies really pay off. On the one hand, everybody wants their site to have a big enough reputation to draw people in on its own, but getting there often requires using social sites to push traffic that direction. Companies are frequently at a crossroads between paying for fresh new content, or paying to have their content featured on Twitter or Facebook. So how does one decide where to put their money?
Before there can be any discussion of the hows or whys of social media vs. content marketing investments, the first thing that needs to happen is deciding on a clear definition of what you are trying to accomplish. We know that a successful marketing campaign can be used to influence a number of behaviors, not just sales. The behavior you are trying to elicit from your audience needs to be laid out in black and white so that you can actually track engagement. If not, you will never know if you are succeeding or not, and you will certainly not be able to place a true ROI value on your work. Take the time to determine whether you are after just sales, or if you need to be looking at email subscriptions, followers, content downloads, or even just a measurable difference in the amount of time that individuals are spending on your website. All of these are valuable long term, whether they translate to a purchase in the immediate future or not. After all, we do know that SEO marketing works because it builds a lasting relationship with the customer so when they do finally spend money with you, they spend more per transaction on average, and they are more likely to turn into repeat customers.
In the days of yore, the goal of any successful content marketer was to flood the internet with as much volume as they possibly could. The more information you put out there, and the faster you got it online, the faster you would gain followers. Alas, those days have come and gone, and now the discerning eye of the public is able to pick out quality content above everything else. With that in mind, it is recommended that you only spend about 20% of your marketing budget on content creation, but it needs to be the absolute best 20% you will ever spend. Don’t use that 20% to go out and purchase tons of cheap content in bulk. Instead use it to get advanced, cutting edge industry information, presented in a clean and clear way. Don’t try to cram as many keywords as you can into that 20%, but space things out and make them worthy of your reader’s attention. Even Google is tired of businesses who constantly spam keywords, and they will flag your or pull your site down for wasting readers’ time. Hire a great writer, provide them with hard facts and statistics, and make your blogs a timeless part of the information library that you are providing to your future customers.
Pushing It with Social Media
If you’ve stuck to the 20% rule on content creation, that means you now have 80% of your marketing budget with which to share your content. Interestingly enough, reusing old content, or sharing the same content over and over, is the best way to reach new viewers. For the average Twitter user, anything more than twenty minutes old will likely get lost in the shuffle, so don’t be afraid to share the same blog two times in a single day or for three days in a row. Watch your content analytics and see which of your posts have the most shares. Go back to those and repost them again once a month or so because your newest followers may not have seen that content yet. Don’t be afraid to spend money on sponsored Twitter and Facebook ads to stand out above all the other noise on those platforms. Besides, most social media sites let you target your ads to specific age, location, gender and other demographics so that every click you pay for is a click that has high ROI potential. Even LinkedIn offers a great advantage to B2B marketers who are trying to reach other professionals with one of the cheapest paid ad options on the web. Plus, there are now several automated social media sharing services that allow you to queue and schedule content to be posted across all of your social media pages at once without manually posting several times a day. Ultimately, the topic of social media vs. content marketing investments is now highly related to quality over quantity.
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