Content marketing is a core part of any marketer’s strategy today. But how do you plan your content? How do you decide what topics to cover, identify what works best for your firm and choose how frequently to share?
Using gut feel and anecdotal evidence can only take you so far. Luckily, todays marketers have a wealth of insight at their fingertips in the form of the data you get from your social media activity.
Here we look at how to harness that data to devise a successful content marketing strategy.
Content – the backbone of today’s marketing
The advent of the internet, along with a move towards more persona-led, consumer-focused marketing has led to a meteoric rise in content. Content marketing is now the go-to approach for the majority of firms, especially in B2B, where ‘thought leadership’ is often central to strategies showcasing expertise.
This handy infographic shows all the content channels and their relative effectiveness, as reported by marketers.
A good marketing strategy will employ all forms of content at different stages. Different types work best at each stage of the sales funnel, to attract, nurture and develop trusting relationships with your key contacts. Read more about how you can maximise engagement with your content marketing.
With SEO a key consideration, content must be relevant, pertinent and the best format to achieve results. Read more about why high quality content is so important in the era of SEO and how you can use storytelling to create more compelling content.
Google’s own digital content guide can also be helpful here – and of course if you work in a regulated business, your material needs to meet regulatory standards as well as Google’s ones. Find out how to write copy your Compliance team can approve first-time.
Social media data – a game-changer in content analysis
Understanding your audience and segmenting your approach is essential for a successful content marketing strategy.
Get a feel for the personas you are talking to, and your writing will mirror the way they speak and think. Getting the right message to the right people will see your email open and click-through rates soar; your downloads spike.
Pre-digital marketing, much of this analysis had to be done via a ‘finger in the air’. Outside of direct mail and adverts with source codes (remember them?!) there were few reliable ways to identify how specific pieces of content performed.
How can social data help?
Today, according to data shared by social media software firm Sysomos, 45% of marketers use data as the primary tool to shape their content strategy – a far cry from the finger in the air days of old.
So, what are the best ways to leverage social data for content success?
1. Listen to your audience. Social media is so-called for a reason – you should use it to listen, not just to broadcast. Identify the topics your target audience is
talking about on Twitter, Linkedin and other platforms. These are the subjects where there is a thirst for information – the subjects you should be covering.
2. Track your competitors. Seeing what your peers share with their own contacts has never been easier. Analyse the topics they cover; how often they post;
who posts – a corporate account, individual consultants or advisers, a mix? Are they having most success with whitepapers, survey reports, tip sheets, case
studies or other content? Who is following and interacting with them?
3. Source and curate existing content. Social media provides a unique ability to find and share others’ material. See what works for others and use this to
amplify your own views or approaches. Spot positive reviews or mentions of your firm and share them. Just make sure, if you’re regulated, that you are
following the social media rules set out by the FCA or your regulator; read our tips on minimising compliance risk in your social media strategy.
4. Measure and refine your approach. What types of content resonate best? Which posts work? What times of day are your audience most receptive? Gather
data on all of these elements and you will build a clear picture of what works for you content-wise. And if it works on social media, you can be sure it will
work elsewhere, on email for example.
Make the most of social media to enhance and refine your content strategy
Hopefully you can use some of the tips here to optimise your approach to content via social media analytics. If you plan to do more on social media – something many firms are considering, particularly in light of GDPR – you need to make sure your strategy is not only effective, but compliant.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.