Content Marketing Sells the Story
Social media marketing is a great way to spread brand awareness but it’s only one piece of the online picture. Creating unique, valuable, and relevant content to attract and retain your audience is key in content marketing. This type of storytelling is usually educational in nature and may come in the form of infographics, podcasts, videos, and of course, blogs.
What's In It For Me?
Visual content is currently in the marketing spotlight. It grabs attention. It can answer who, what, where, when…but it cannot easily answer ‘why?’ This year, 68% of marketers surveyed surveyed expressed interest in increasing their blogging efforts, and for good reason. With a blog, comes the freedom of format, content, and length. There's no character limit or algorithm to satisfy. The long term benefits from online search are also important compared to the seemingly ephemeral nature of social media posts.
This post on Hyatt Hotel’s official blog, Keyed Into Hyatt, focuses on Hyatt doormen around the world. Dozens of doormen shared what they love about their jobs in an interactive slideshow. It would be easy to share a piece here and there on Facebook and Twitter, but the story is more impactful when it is quilted together within the blog. Hyatt’s blog shares an insider’s perspective in an interesting way. This satisfies audience curiosity, can confirm brand loyalty and add to top of mind awareness.
The Really Big Picture
This sort of storytelling not only can help reach a larger audience, but it can also create better relationships with these readers. On average, 80% of daily blog visits are new ones. Get new customers and keep them with good writing and great information. A blog can also give your brand credibility. U.S. consumers trust advice and information found on blogs, and a majority believe that a website is more credible if it has a blog.
So how does social media and content marketing work together? The first step is to share your unique content on social networks. A tweet or a post about your latest blog entry should pique interest and direct people to your website. Once there, the blog content should answer questions, offer a value-add (like tips and tricks), and build a sense of community.
If your blog offers users a comments section, encourage conversation there. Or, encourage users to discuss your blog on social media. Because blogs cover in-depth topics, they are more likely to generate in-depth discussions. A blog can be an organic way to grow your target audience. Use social media to spread the word and for follow up discussions in real-time -- hashtag your topics.
A content marketing strategy that complements your social media marketing strategy can give you the best of both worlds. Social media showcases your company’s voice while a blog showcases your company’s expertise. Together they can make your brand more visible and credible.