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Five ways to combine #socialmedia and #contentmarketing

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Okay, the new "king" is content marketing—I'm a believer. But making your content "social media friendly" is also essential. It's the way you will meet (or exceed) your reach, engagement and conversion goals. Need evidence?
  1. The latest Altimeter Group report, Organizing for Content, confirms that "content marketing is the top go-to-market priority in 2013." Fifty seven percent of corporate practitioners interviewed said their "top external social strategy objective is content marketing".
  2. Some 37% of customers' evaluations of products and services stem from conversations on social media, according to "Salespeople Need to Improve Their Social Media Skills," by McKinsey & Co.

Accelerating campaigns with social and community multipliers is a fundamental part of the modern marketer's toolkit.

Here are the top five things to add to your toolkit, to combine #socialmedia and #content marketing:

SEO

SEO and search-readiness are key because a huge majority of your traffic will find you via search. Develop a list of the keywords most often used to find your topic (sufficiently broad category terms to cast a wide net , e.g. #bigdata, #bankingIT) and bake them into your content in the title, abstract, body copy, CTA and tags. Consider putting your #hashtag in your title (apply this where it makes sense—I did it to underscore the point).

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is more than an overused cliché. Tip No. 2 suggests you invite your online community to contribute content to your campaign, with suggested themes, success stories, top questions they'd like answered, who in your organization they'd like to hear from and talk to...and so on. This engaging way of creating content speaks to and addresses the pain points of the audience in an authentic voice.

Launch Day Blitzing

This is the most familiar part of the five. Of course on release day you want to grab headlines. Do it with a coordinated multi-channel effort that touches Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, newsletters, banners in owned and earned media –any influential watering hole that your target audience frequents. Use SMMS (social media management systems) like Sprinklr to orchestrate and code every placement so you can measure the effectiveness of each channel.

Listening and responding

This is the nuanced but oh-so-important part of content socialization and curation. Listen to the conversation your content generates, or what related conversations are happening that you're not a part of. Find out who is talking, what they are talking about and where they gather online, using a social media listening tool like NetBase or Traackr. The influencers who comment can become your best advocates (even if their first comments are negative). Invite them in to talk to your product experts. Make them feel like insiders. This is where social's "force multiplier" effect goes to work. You've got to give these folks a reason to advocate for you. What's in it for them? Improved reputation? Being more successful in their jobs? Early roadmap insights? It's courteous to reciprocate in non-monetary ways.

Extending with a series

Just as your product enhancements and extensions are ongoing, so should your conversations. You'll gain more loyal and satisfied customers by taking this step seriously. Especially if the sales and implementation cycle is lengthy for your product, your customers will be talking about you for a long time—why not be a part of the conversation? Your teaser and launch blogs can extend into a series, with various internal and external expert contributions. Host online discussions with an expert and invite all your new followers from Step Four! This is how communities grow and thrive.

Conclusion: Executing these five steps requires content marketers to add new skills to their marketing teams—SEO experts, community managers, social tools and analytics experts—plus a willing pool of subject matter experts ready to give credible responses when needed (#essential!). Traditional content marketing skills remain the foundation. Why not add these five skills to y
our team and watch your reach, engagement and conversion metrics soar.

Does this match your list of five #socialmedia #contentmarketing strategies? What would you add or subtract?

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