5 Steps For Social Media Content Marketing

Content Marketing and Social Media Food For Thought

Think you’re a marketer merchandising a non-media product or service? Think again. In today’s content marketing driven, social media world, you’re a digital media entity. Extending beyond your organization’s website, emailing and other communications, your media empire includes blogs, photographs, video, presentations and other content whether you own them or not.

Like the original Mad Men, you must convey your product’s message. But now you’re competing with other brands, media entities and consumers for your target market’s attention. To breakthrough with your point of view, you must think differently about your brand, consumers, and media.

While the concept of corporate driven content marketing isn’t new, companies are just learning how to use it effectively as social media options continue to expand. To put today’s dynamic digital media landscape in perspective, look at the food vertical where Kraft Foods, which ranks third with 9.2 million unique visitors in the US during March 2012, from all sources, according to Nielsen, follows top sites Allrecipes and Food Network which are owned by media companies. Notably missing from the list are traditional media names like Gourmet. 

What does this mean for marketers? Your marketing investment must develop a branded content experience on your media platform to drive prospects and sales. While every business doesn’t have the level of Kraft’s resources, you can invest in creating effective content marketing to drive results across a variety of social media platforms.

  1. Know your target audience.  As your firm’s public face, your audience extends beyond current customers to include all potential product users, distributors, employees, investors, the media, the government (particularly if your product is a regulated one,) the local community, and the public. To help understand how these prospective readers consume content, create marketing personas.
  2. Develop a hook for compelling content. Create a set of hooks to lure readers in. Use fun ways to attract your readers. For food companies this often translates to recipes. Consider what works for your company and brand. Don’t assume that it has to be Pulitzer Prize winning novels. It has to be fun and attention-getting. Use an editorial calendar.
  3. Expand your brand across the senses. While your organization probably has a set of brand guidelines, you’ll need to ensure you know how your brand must be presented in your content. Think in terms of language, people representing the brand, clothes, and other elements that support your brand.
  4. Engage with readers. This encompasses a combination of getting readers to share your content with their social connections as well as contributing to your content. To extend your reach include social sharing with the icons most relevant to your audience. Also offer email and RSS options. Encourage readers to contribute to your content in the form of photographs, comments and articles. Remember that most readers won’t take any action and the rest will likely do something small and low risk like sharing an article.
  5. Build your readership. The drawback of not using an established media entity is that you must develop a readership on your own. To this end, take a guerilla marketing approach to build your reader base. Don’t under estimate other corporate assets. Of course, advertising is an option.

As a marketer you need to evolve with the market, especially in terms of content marketing and social media.

What other suggestions do you have for creating amazing integrated social media?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mustafakhayat/6580304127

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