Social Media has exploded over the internet and content marketing is braving new unchartered waters and its races to keep up with the tides.
Like any new sailor embarking on an epic journey, content marketers face fears of the unknown and the unpredictable storms that await. However, with courage and fortitude they step off dry and land and do it anyways. Social media is the new frontier and content marketing must adjust its sails to properly steer a course to its final destination.
As a seasoned veteran I can tell you it wasn’t easy that first time I set sail and embarked on a journey through social media. I crashed and burned several times. Yet what emerged from my defeats was a strong sense of purpose and an understanding of what not to do the next time around.
Each of us will make our own mistakes as we navigate through the treacherous waters of social business and content marketing. The rewards are bountiful and well worth the struggle and strife.Â Let me share with you a few tips I learned throughout my many jaunts through social media. If you pay attention to what I’m about to tell you, then you too can become a master of your own business ship and successfully brave the new age of social media marketing.
Content = Product Talk
Marketing involves the sale of a product to a potential customer. In the case of content marketing, your content IS your product. The term content marketing really implies that you are selling your content to your readers. Whether it’s a blog that you’re embarking on or just regular shares over a social media channel, you need to pay close attention to the workmanship. If you want to establish a reputable online presence, then emphasizing quality is a must!Â Let your writing speak for itself!
Share your company’s story and find creative and innovative ways to engage and inform your audience on what your business has to offer. Truly the goal is to create trust in the relationships you inspire and the only way to do this is through the production of quality content.
Contacts = Business Connections
For people to share your content with others they must truly value and appreciate what you have to say. This is the basis by which all content acquires a following. People see value in spreading the word and thus information is relayed and shared.
You may be under the impression that your job as an online entrepreneur is to gather as many contacts and connections as possible. You are not completely wrong. It is vital to make connections and establish relevant business relationships. But the keyword here is relevant. Your contact list should have a section completely dedicated to business contacts as these are the ones who will ultimately appreciate what you have to say and share it freely across their own networks. In this case it’s the quality of your contacts that counts not the quantity.
Starting a Blog = Being Heard
Building a successful blog takes hard work and dedication. Writing and maintaining the blog space with quality content is crucial to acquiring a following. However, it takes much more to attract visitors than first meets the eye. The sheer volume of up and coming blogs means that the competition for readers is at an all-time high.
Standing out from the crowd involves a dynamic and creative approach that is heavily vested in creating networks through social media outlets. Sharing your content across multiple channels with content tailored to the specific vehicle allows your message to be distributed to a wider audience. In order to acquire a following, you must take the time to write guest posts, connect to industry leaders and write thoughtful comments on other’s blogs. All in the hope of establishing connections. The more connections you inspire the more likely you are to attract word-of-mouth advertising and get your content noticed.
Shouting louder = Getting attention
Strong material speaks for itself. Your asset lies in the quality and maintenance of the product you are delivering. Seek to publish and produce consistent and relevant material on a continual basis.Â Persistently posting content that is rich is substance bodes well with your readers and will be likely to grab and hold their attention.
Maintaining a loyal following is a work in progress and you want to avoid inundating them with repetitive posts or trying to shout your message via CAPITAL letters. While this may attract attention it can also possibly cost you a follower as this type of tactic almost always serves to annoy and irritate readers.
Quality is a magnet that has incredible power to eventually draw a sizeable audience. Let it work for you too!
Contacts = Newsletter Subscribers
Be selective when you randomly accept contact requests. There’s a trend these days by which individuals are seeking to use their contacts as a marketing audience. Too often, you can be flooded with newsletters from newly acquired contacts that have somehow managed to get access to your email information.
Participating in this type of marketing tactic will only serve to alienate your audience and get your information marked as spam. It’s important to be truly committed to your goal which is to build a professional reputation with loyal followers. To do this you must be dedicated to valuable and authentic quality relationships and connections.
Having Connections = Having Conversations
Getting people talking is the trick. In order to get the discussion going you need to allow yourself to remain in an open state of mind. Asking questions and putting forth controversial viewpoints can elicit a response from your readers if done in the correct way.Â It’s always a good idea to leave food for thought at the end of your content and allow your visitors to peruse over a few engaging discussion points. If you plant the seed, then there is a greater chance that it will spark thoughtful comments and queries and ultimately generate interest in your content.
Don’t be disappointed though if you don’t get the initial response that you hoped for. The rule of thumb in social media is that only one percent of readers will create content and start conversations. Be patient and proactive in finding ways to engage and connect with your audience. The more connections you foster the greater likelihood of success.
Infographics = Social Media Strategy
Infographics are a fantastic way to showcase statistics and display results in an appealing and aesthetically pleasing manner. However, It’s important to view them as a part of the puzzle but not the sole component.Â Be open to multiple modes of content in order to drive a successful content marketing campaign.
Readers may be drawn in by your creative design and value the information given but this will not be enough to hold their attention over the long-haul. They crave more and so you must meet the demand by supplying multiple formats that attract and hold their attention. In the age of instant gratification your content must be as diverse as the population. Plan for this and you can’t help but come out on top!
Numbers on Infographics = Real Statistics
Infographics house data in a way that attracts and appeals to a broader audience at large. However, in order for your statistics to be deemed credible they must be accurate and derived out of unbiased experiments that are conducted solely to gain knowledge and not to prove a point. The authority of your site hinges on accuracy of your data so be thorough and concise when listing figures and statistics. Your rankings will thank you!
Statistics = Facts
Skepticism is healthy when it comes to taking statistics at face value. There are a number of different factors that can affect the accuracy and authenticity of a stated fact or statistic. Variables such as the quantity of samples taken as well as sample size can impact inferences that are directly drawn from the data. Even the individual characteristics of the sample group can skew your results and subsequent hypotheses.
When in doubt, leave it out. If you’re even slightly apprehensive about the statistics in front of you, then it’s vital that you refrain from sharing the information. Misguided beliefs and conclusions are often drawn from erroneous statistics. Don’t let your site perpetuate a falsehood because it will come back to haunt you when your site loses authority and high rankings.
Followers = Audience
Gaining followers is the order of the day when it comes to social media marketing. This idea is spawned from the belief that more is always better and that a large following equals maximum exposure and sales. However, this is not actually true.
A smaller base of contacts can help to facilitate authentic and strong online relationships. In this way you’ll be more likely to notice their updates and posts and give them the direct attention that they deserve. Mentioning people in your posts will gain their attention and help you to build rapport. Be careful to use these tactics sparingly as you don’t want the impact of your words to be lost over multiple mentions. You risk losing a follower in the process.
Followers don’t always equal listeners but listeners always equal exposure so be sure to pick wisely and keep it to a manageable few. Quality over quantity, I always say!
Marketing is an effort that connects people in such a way that supply and demand meet in the middle. The process is complicated. However, it boils down to building lasting customer relations through well-placed content over a variety of different channels. It’s important to follow industry experts. and take the time to connect and communicate to just the right business professionals.
While following others is crucial to your business, it’s imperative that you know just who to follow and how to appropriately connect and build relationships within your networks. Potential customers and word of mouth advertising can be the byproduct of practiced and directed networking. Put in the effort and you’ll reap the rewards!
Engaging in Social Media = The Masses Are Listening to Me
Are the masses REALLY listening to you? Do you REALLY have their attention?
Getting people to actively engage with your content requires that you first build rapport and establish personal connections. Sometimes this can translate into initiating conversations with authors and exchanging dialogue related to their content.
Other times this might simply mean that you continue to exchange thought-provoking emails with contacts that are already somewhere within your networks. People are far more likely be interested in what you have to say when there is an emotional component present. Feelings of connection often feel inspire reciprocation and that’s how you get people to listen!