Brand awareness, sales, engagement, customer loyalty, whatever your purpose is, a proper content marketing strategy is now a must-have to achieve any of these goals.
Not that old, a couple of decades ago, the means and devices we have didn't allow us to do self-directed research on a desired product or service. For this reason, it was an effective way for brands to get in touch with potential customers and advertise their products.
That is what we refer to as an outbound marketing strategy with which the brands make the initial contact with the potential customers. As now we have high and easy access to information with the internet and social media, Outbound marketing strategies have been losing their impact on customers. In some cases, they can even cause a negative effect.
Nowadays, creating a successful marketing strategy highly depends on reaching out to the potential customer more organically. One effective way to do so is to tell a story and provide an experience for your customers rather than build your communication directly on your product.
This is where content marketing comes into play. With proper content marketing strategies, you can create more authentic, engaging and nurturing contents that will help you to increase your brand awareness, engagement, brand loyalty and sales volume.
What is content marketing strategy?
As the name speaks for itself, it is a strategic marketing technique of creating and delivering valuable and relevant content for your customers and targeted audience. To boost your brand awareness, engagement and sales, you need to have a consistent and holistic structure.
How to create a social media content marketing strategy?
It is important that your brand has a holistic image. You need to maintain consistency from your products to your communication language. As a first step, you need to define your brand and product positioning.
Brand positioning is a broad topic that includes your product portfolio, customers, market needs, and competitors. It is highly possible to get lost due to its scope.
So here we have prepared you a step-by-step guide to help your brainstorming process.
- Know your customer
The more we know about the target customer, the more effective content we can produce.
- If you have existing customers, find out who they are. You can evaluate their demographic data to get to know them.
If your brand has a Twitter account, check out Circleboom's Twitter User Analytics to determine your followers' demographics and characteristics.
- If you do not have existing customers, or you want to reach out to more people, determine your target audience and find out what kind of experience and services they desire.
As you get to know your customers, you can have a better understanding of their expectations and desires when you are building your content marketing strategy.
2. Evaluate your brand's scope and products
- What does your brand offer to the community?
- What are the added values of your services?
- What is unique about your brand?
If you internalize your brand's added unique value and the solutions it serves, you can create a more accurate personality for your brand. Eventually, it will guide you through creating an effective content marketing strategy.
3. Know the market and your competitors
If you know your competitors, you can understand the market needs and customers' desires and expectations more easily and effectively. As you get to know them better, you will understand what you can offer differently to your customers in your own unique way.
If you don't identify your business goals, you can get lost on the way. When you have specific business goals, you can easily figure out what steps you need to take to achieve these goals.
Once you've set your goals, you can understand how and where content marketing strategies will help you, and you can determine what resources you need for these content marketing strategies.
Strategies are the pathways to achieve your business goals. Your strategies should be based on who do you want to reach, how you plan to reach that target audience and through which content you will communicate your values and services.
You can get inspired from this guide and use it as a checklist not only for your social media content marketing strategies but for all marketing strategies. But now, let's focus on how to create a social marketing strategy.
Why content marketing is important?
Basically, your content is your showcase for your brand, and it is your brand's language through which you communicate with your audience. With social media content marketing strategy, you plan, create, deliver and share your brand's unique values to boost brand awareness, customer loyalty, engagement and sales volume.
With social media content marketing, you can;
- Attract more followers and increase your brand and product awareness
- Strengthen your bonds with existing customers to increase brand loyalty
- Create a love brand by building a community
- Increase leads and conversions
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Content Marketing
Step #1: Identify and set content goals
You should set your unique goals for your social media content marketing strategies in line with your business strategies and goals.
Here are some generic social media content marketing goals for you to inspire:
- Increase brand awareness -> emphasize your brand's personality and values.
- Generate leads and sales -> announce your products and campaigns
- Boost community engagement -> give your customers something to contribute; ask a question, invite them to produce user-generated content, gather them around a hashtag, and build up a community.
- Grow your brand's audience -> monitor related keywords and hashtags to attract more followers. Create conversations and engaging activities around your brand.
- Increase website traffic -> create promotional and ad content to lead traffic to your website. Keep an eye on conversions and URL clicks to evaluate your activity.
Step #2: Know your target audience on different social media platforms
People expect different content and information from different social media platforms. You can't create an all-in-one social media strategy for all platforms. So, you need to identify the needs and desires of potential customers separately for each platform.
We suggest you to check out the Digital 2021: Global Overview Report to gain insights about specific audiences of each social media platform.
General demographic data can give you a clue about the audience but don't forget that every brand aims for a different audience. So, user analytics tools can guide you more effectively.
Circleboom will help you to gain insights about your Twitter audience with its' Twitter User Analytics tool.
Step #3: Evaluate your social content
It would help if you had a clear understanding of your goals and your target audience's expectations until this point.
If you already have social media accounts, evaluate your posts' performance. This will give you a clear understanding of which posts generate more impression, engagement and conversion. You should combine these results with your specific goals. If your goal is to boost brand awareness, you need to keep an eye on new followers; if your goal is to increase your sales, you should check your conversion rates.
Step #4: Create a social content calendar
A planned social media content calendar will help you see the big picture while creating your social media content strategy. Every social media platform has a different best time to post. If your goal is to reach out to a targeted audience, you need to know when they are online and engaging with feeds.
Here are Instagram's best times to post. But don't forget that these charts differ based on various aspects like country or company sector.
Step #5: Create consistent themes for your posts
As every person has a unique personality, brands also have their own. When you think about successful companies with outstanding marketing strategies, you can tell that brand's characteristics. Red Bull, Nike, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Ikea…
When you think of these brands, their brand identity, language, tone-of-voice, motivation and characteristics pop up to your mind easily. If Red Bull were a friend of yours, he/she would be energetic, edgy, extreme and full of adrenaline.
To achieve this goal, you need to establish your tone of voice and brand identity through your content.
Step #6: Be aware of the content types available for you
The answer to which content type will be more effective depends on your brand, goals, platform, market, country, culture and many more aspects. For this reason, there is no single correct answer to this question.
You need to be aware of all your possibilities and determine which serves better for your goals.
Here we will provide a list of outstanding content marketing examples for some different content types for you to get inspired.
GoPro has been using UGC as an important part of its' content marketing strategy for years. They invite their users to submit images and videos taken with their GoPro devices via their GoPro Awards page, and they repost the most engaging ones on their Instagram account.
Videos are getting popular each day with new formats. Videos give brands more opportunities to show their creativity and stand out from hundreds of advertisements. There are different possibilities for video sharing on each social media platform. While you are creating your content marketing strategy, you should also pay attention to the specific requirements of the formats you will use.
Here is an example from the company "Calm," a meditation app. They aired their content on Instagram Stories. Their approach was very smart and cool. While an Instagram user is watching the stories, their video story shows up and reminds them to slow down and take a breath.
3. Contests and Competitions
If you want to increase your followers and your brand awareness, competition can be a good solution. But you should be careful. Don't forget that you are aiming for a targeted specific audience. You need to avoid attracting followers who would not be interested in your brand in general.
4. Contribute Social Events
There is always something in the air. Keep up with the World and what is happening. Be a part of the social events and updates. Contribution from brands is appreciated in social media. Here is an example from the brand Levis for the 2018 US elections.
These contents have a great potential to become viral. They can make a huge contribution to your social media content marketing strategy.
Creating a social media content marketing strategy can be challenging as its scope is very wide. The key is to evaluate your performance, be creative and plan engaging, informative and viral content. We suggest you to do your homework and get inspired by outstanding examples from brands. Also, keep an eye on the published social media digital reports to find out the users' changing behaviors and demands.
Every brand is unique. It is important to establish a brand identity and maintain a consistent tone of voice while constructing your content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that this process is not linear. Consider it as a loop with feedbacks and performance evaluations and re-position your contents.