Content marketing is like the quiet kid who sits in the back of the class to whom no one pays attention. Yet, below the surface lies a superhero who can transform your content marketing into a powerhouse via its integration with social media, search, and sales.
So how can content marketing supercharge your social media, search, and sales?
Content marketing super power: Social media
Content marketing helps fuel social media interactions in many ways, such as:
- It attracts prospects, customers, and the public with engaging, useful, and entertaining information: Place content on social media platforms to lure your target audience in.
- It provides currency for interactions through information and entertainment in a variety of media formats: Think comments, photographs, graphics, videos, audio, and presentations. Prospects, customers, and the public can consume content on any device, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, so be sure to tailor your content so they can access it on their terms.
- It helps you interact with prospects, customers, fans, and the public: At its core, social media is about a public conversation. Content marketing provides the basis to start a dialogue, as well as help you respond to prospects’ and consumers’ questions.
- It extends your reach through sharability. Regardless of where you place your content — whether it’s on your owned media, social media, or third-party media — add easy-to-use social sharing buttons to expand your reach and make it easy for consumers to spread it around while they are already engaged.
Content marketing super power: Search
Content marketing provides a relevant environment to support search optimization (Here’s additional help from 15 SEO experts.):
- It offers context for appropriate keyword phrases: Relevant content supports keyword use on your owned media, since it enhances the meaning of the words used — which will improve its search rankings.
- It functions across various media formats: Integrating non-text media into your content provides additional entryways to help searchers (and search bots) to find your content. Be sure to add relevant keywords for non-text content (photos, videos, etc.), as well.
- It attracts inbound links: Offer useful information your target audience and the public seek, such as checklists, resources, and round-up posts to increase your inbound links and social shares.
- It supplies links to appropriate areas of your owned media: Include links to relevant content on your owned media to help prospects and customers with their pain points and questions. These links also put your content in context for search bots, so you will want to link to pages that are as close to the purchase phase as possible.
Content marketing super power: Sales
Content marketing provides information to answer questions and support sales at every step in the purchase process:
- It enhances a brand through a 360-degree view across different media formats. While many firms have branding guidelines, few if any consider how to present their brand in today’s multi-media environment. In other words, when creating your content, make sure you consider how your brand talks, what sounds it makes, how it should look in photographs and other images, and how it should act on video or in real life.
- It tells memorable stories about your products, brand, and company: Stories with a beginning, middle, and end are easier to remember than a bunch of facts loosely tied together. Enhance your brand and products with stories that engage consumers at every step of the process, whether it’s explaining why your product is important for them or showing them how to use it.
- It supports purchase by answering questions at every phase of purchase. Content marketing provides information that helps consumers evaluate and choose products, as well as enhancing product usage after purchase. Don’t underestimate the need to create content that helps customers post-purchase — which can help sell related products.
- It offers customer reviews to provide a sense of reality for customers: Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust marketers. Providing this user-generated content to your customers helps them overcome potential impediments to making a purchase. Invite customers to give you their feedback post-purchase as another way to get them engaged — and to give you a reason to extend the relationship.
Like any super power, content marketing needs to be used properly to achieve the maximum benefit. To this end, consider how you’ll use content marketing to support your social media, search, and sales marketing efforts and to integrate them into your editorial calendar.
How do you use content marketing to give your social media, search, and sales super powers?
Need help getting started with Content Marketing? Attend Heidi Cohen’s Content Marketing 101 at Content Marketing World.
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