7 Categories of Social Media Content
Content makes social media an effective tool for achieving core marketing goals including building brand, attracting prospects, converting customers, and supporting sales and advocates. Content feeds social media’s voracious appetite for information in a variety of forms.
Distributing targeted content across different social media platforms helps brands and businesses respond and engage with prospects and customers. This targeted information shows prospects that marketers have been listening to their problems. Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion refers to this as the secret sauce. As a result, this content provides context for future interactions regardless of the device prospects use.
Here are the seven core social media content formats laid out in a useful infographic to help you use them effectively.
- Blogs are your social media home base in Chris Brogan’s opinion. Have one or more blogs to provide content that’s easily distributed and shared on other social media. Actionable Marketing Tip: Leverage the power of blogs to support your search optimization by integrating your blog(s) into your website, focusing each post on a keyword phrase, developing magnetic post titles, and creating stellar content that gets people’s attention.
- Images, particularly photographs, are a quick content format anyone can create with their smartphone and share via social media. Photographs pull viewers in and engage them. Use images to show your brand’s vision and versatility. Actionable Marketing Tip: Curate other people’s images with their permission. Also create images using text.
- Videos offer three options: high quality professional content (The figure mentioned at Content Marketing World was $10,000 per minute (but I haven’t checked this fact.)), the scrappy DIY approach used by up and coming YouTube celebs, and voice over presentation that’s like watching a webinar. Your choice depends on your subject and your budget. Actionable Marketing Tip: Optimize your video for search by adding text to it (since YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.) Also, integrate a call-to-action into the audio portion of your video like a DRTV ad.
- Audio, specifically, podcasts, provide a personal channel to talk one-to-one to your audience with a human voice. Audio has significant potential given the prevalence of smartphones and the ability to multi-task while listening to podcasts. Actionable Marketing Tip: Build your audience and learn to use this medium before it’s growth period. Audio is low cost relative to video. Further, with smartphones always within arm’s reach, it’s a great way to give your audience content when they’re focused on your information such as drive time.
- Slideshare. According to Todd Wheatland, author of The Marketer’s Guide to Slideshare, Slideshare is a content treasure trove since it can deliver any content format including PDFs, infographics, video, and text, to a targeted audience that generally B2B focused. Closely integrated with LinkedIn, Slideshare helps get your content found more effectively than posting it on owned media. Marketo, according to Maria Pergolino (@InboundMarketer), transformed their content into the SlideShare presentation, Building a Better Inbound Marketing Machine; it garnered 145K views and and 173 comments on Slideshare. Actionable Marketing Tip: Strategically select content that positions your organization for the business terms your target audience is searching and transform it to shine on Slideshare.
- E-books are a sexy way to provide information that answers your target audience’s questions regardless of business type. Sheridan compiled information comparing all of the pool manufacturers into an ebook for their customers called: How to Buy a Swimming Pool the Right Way, causing them to call him. Sheridan says, “Have a dang opinion and share it because no one likes grey today!” Actionable Marketing Tip: Keep e-books short (5 pages or less) or long (over 50 pages) based on research by Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella. (BTW-Here’s a link to my e-book, What Every Blogger Needs to Know – 101 Actionable Blog Tips.)
- Infographics are a visually appealing way to present information. This is attributable to the fact that many infographics transform data into colorful charts making it faster to grasp the concept. As a result, infographics integrated into articles and blog posts are highly shareable. Actionable Marketing Tip: Use infographics to show your expertise and build links back to your blog or website.
To increase your social media marketing’s impact, incorporate the appropriate form of content to provide your audience with the information they need, when they want it.
What forms of social media content do you use and how do you use them?
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55827596@N05/7972054276/