People don’t like advertising; it’s a fact of life. Do you know what they like? Content, and lots of it. Content is educational, entertaining, and to be honest, what makes the marketing world turn. Whoops, almost forgot, content marketing can also yield 4x better ROI than traditional marketing.
When people share our content, it creates advocacy. When people share our content, it affects purchasing decisions. – Mark Shaefer
Pair content marketing with social media and you have a match made in marketing heaven. The combination drives positive brand awareness, is a cost-effective strategy that increases ROI, and allows you to distribute content to the following people:
- 72% of adult Internet users use Facebook
- 31% of adult Internet users use Pinterest
- 28% of adult Internet users use Instagram
- 25% of adult Internet users use LinkedIn
- 23% of adult Internet users use Twitter
Do I have your attention? Good. Keep reading for more:
1. Create a Content Calendar and Stick with It
A content calendar allows you to organize your content. Before you can improve social media ROI with content marketing, you have to decide what content to use, where to use it, and when to post it. This is where a content calendar comes in to save the day. You can set a timeline for content creation/posting, eliminating the possibility of conversational lulls with your audience.
And as we’ll soon cover, different social channels attract different audiences, and each channel corresponds with a specific media format that performs best in it. With a content calendar, you can determine where each piece of content will go for optimal performance. Sounds like a win to me.
2. Start a Blog and Write, Write, Write!
Let’s start with a brief statistic: 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. Why? Because it works, simple as that. Posting blog content has many benefits. Seriously though, many benefits. A steady stream of blog posts not only showcases a business’ knowledge, but increases engagement, and with properly placed backlinks, improves SEO.
Backtracking a bit, starting a blog is the basic foundation of content marketing. Once you start blogging, you can branch off and create visual content for posts (these get very high engagement), guest post and syndicate content to reach new audiences, and repurpose content for a much needed extra oomph.
3. Use Visual Content for More Engagement
Starting with a statistic worked last time, let’s do it again: visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than any other type of content. This includes videos, animations, photos, designs, and pretty much everything that is visual and not text (although infographics contain text and are liked and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content).
Visual content is eye catching, engaging, and quite honestly, sometimes easier than reading an 800-2500 word post, no matter how interesting (people do say that a picture is worth a thousand words).
4. Create Custom Media that Sets You Apart from Your Competitors
We’ve heard it since we were children, don’t plagiarize! Not that using media that isn’t yours is plagiarizing (as long as you properly cite and source them), but custom-made images or videos, hands down, are the way to go.
For starters, custom media gives you more leeway in terms of what the images ‘say’ because you can tailor them for whatever content you’re pairing them with. Better yet, they give you a lot more credibility as a brand.
5. Go Live with Your Content Marketing
Let’s start with video. Mark Zuckerberg, a man who needs no introduction, said:
People are creating and sharing more video, and we think it’s pretty clear that video is only going to become more important.”
More than that, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, said at a conference that in five years, Facebook “will be probably all video.”
Live streaming is wonderful because it’s what comes after video. It’s just as engaging, with an added twist: it’s happening in real-time. Combine live videos with an influencer (we’ll go over influencers soon) and you’ll hit the jackpot.
6. Guest Post and Gain Authority
Guest posting is all about increasing your authority as an industry leader, gaining more exposure, and improving web traffic. By posting on someone else’s website or blog, you’re showing your content to a whole new audience that possibly would have never even heard about you or your brand. Watch your credibility increase as web traffic goes up with more inbound links. A win-win if I ever saw one.
7. Share Content on its Appropriate Channel for Optimal Performance
Bear with me on this analogy, but would you play an Oscar nominated movie for a child and expect the same reaction as a film major in his early twenties? The same goes for posting content on the wrong channels and for the wrong audience.
Whereas Facebook is good for making emotional connections, Instagram is perfect for showing off high-definition images. This is true for all social media channels; each has a different audience seeking varying content with a preferred media format. Take a look at the best time to post content on each channel below:
- The best days to post are Thursday and Friday
- 1PM receives the most shares and 3PM the most likes
- The highest activity occurs between 9AM and 7PM
- The best days to post are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
- 1PM receives the most retweets and the highest CTRs come between 12PM and 6PM
- The highest B2B activity occurs during weekdays and the highest B2C activity occurs on weekends and Wednesdays
- The best day to post is Monday
- On average, the highest post activity occurs between 3PM and 4PM
- Engagement is constant throughout the week with a slight dip on Sunday
- The best day to post is Saturday
- The best time to pin is between 8PM and 11PM
- Peak usage is at 9PM
- The best days to post are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- The best time to post is between 12PM and 3PM; avoid posting between 5PM and 6PM
8. Use an Influencer and Get Known
Want a sure-fire way of increasing social media ROI with content marketing? Combine content with an influencer. An influencer is exactly what it sounds like, a person who holds considerable influence over someone else. In this case, they hold sway over your target audience.
What an influencer does, the masses follow. This is the very same reason brands have promoters. They (influencers) send out a tweet or post a video, and in comes the money. In your case, they can share your content with their followers (your target audience), and if everything goes the way it’s supposed to, up goes your ROI. If you like the sound of that, check out this post that will help you find the right influencer for your marketing campaign.
9. Syndicate Your Content and Expand Your Audience
Content syndication can be a couple of things. It can be repurposing content (we’ll cover this next) or creating content for the sole purpose of external publication.
A good way of describing it is by saying that you’re publishing content on a third-party site with greater authority than yours to reach their expanded audience (semi analogy: why use a free meal voucher on a $5 burger when you can use it on a $30 burger?).
The goal with content syndication is to form an alliance with a high-traffic partner, and hopefully benefiting from their reach. Good, yes?
10. Repurpose Content Because Recycling is Good
Last but not least, repurpose your content! Think of this like recycling. You’re essentially using the same content, but in a different format. For example, you can turn a blog post into an infographic, a video, or any other media format.
Repurposing content saves time, and as we know, time is money. Better yet, you can get added SEO benefits by targeting the same keyword(s) in your repurposed content, reach new audiences, gain more authority as an industry leader, and more. Go ahead, give it a try.
Let’s Recap What We Covered
Follow through with the tips above and you’ll see your social media ROI go up, up, and away! Actually, combine them with this post and see an even bigger improvement. And in case you forgot, here they are again:
- Create a content calendar and stick with it
- Start a blog and write, write, write!
- Use visual content for more engagement
- Create custom media that sets you apart from your competition
- Go live with your content marketing
- Guest post and gain authority
- Share content on its appropriate channel for optimal performance
- Use an influencer and get known
- Syndicate your content and expand your audience
- Repurpose content because recycling is good
Best of luck improving your social media ROI!
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.