Carrie Peterson, social media director at Internet Marketing Inc. (IMI), co-authored this article.
If you aren’t combining your social media, public relations and SEO strategies, your content marketing efforts will fall short. As the realm of digital marketing continues to evolve, so does the agency strategy. Gone are the days of segmented departments and specialists, as each team needs to learn the ins and outs of other team niche methodologies to create a truly integrated marketing mix. Content marketingis a strong industry buzzword which stresses the importance of creating great, compelling content that is inherently shareable — driving traffic to your site to raise the bottom line. Below are five ways your team can successfully hit content marketing out of the park.
- Set Clear Goals: What do you want to accomplish? Have an open discussion with your marketing team or client on what KPIs they want to hit for the campaign so you can gauge overall success. Whether the goal is to increase direct sales, lead captures or new sign-ups, it is important to clearly define your goals for the campaign before you get started.
- Do Your Research: Leverage the SEO team to identify specific keywords or areas of opportunity to increase traffic to the site. With due diligence and keyword research, you can better understand which word or phrase you should go after to get the best results from your content. Use the social and PR teams to assist in identifying what piece of content makes sense to promote based on the client demographic and existing social media communities, industry trends and upcoming potential PR opportunities. For instance, a technical company may prefer a whitepaper or eBook, whereas a quirky eCommerce site may prefer the visual infographic or video for its audience. Once you have set the goals and identified the piece of content to create, next comes the creative brainstorming portion.
- Create Great, Trackable Content: Use the tools at your disposal. Leverage the creative minds within your company from all departments or with your partner agency when brainstorming content ideas. Be different and innovative — don’t be afraid to rock the boat. What separates great content from good content is creativity, which is what compels people to share within their personal networks. One need that our agency found last year was a clear understanding of the “new” social channel Pinterest. We created an infographic to define the power of Pinterest and hosted the piece of content on our blog. By embedding it into the blog with proper analytics, we were able to see the results of the promotion and track its overall effectiveness to the website. To date, this infographic has accounted for 8.2 percent of all traffic to our site!
- Build Your Web Network. Perhaps even more important than the type of content you create is the “web” in which you have to push out that content once it is published. Spend time identifying your target audience. Where do they spend their time online? What do they blog, tweet or pin? Once you understand the types of people in the niche market, identify the influencers in the space. Influencers span from bloggers and journalists to Twitter-savvy users with insanely large Klout scores. Once identified, follow them, subscribe to their blog and show genuine interest. (Note: You must actually be genuine.) Re-tweet some of their tweets, and share one of their blog posts on Facebook. Show them you care. Once you’ve engaged in dialogue and proper social etiquette, they will be more inclined to share your content with their followers.
- Get the Word Out! Grab that megaphone and get ready to tell the world your unique story. Leverage your existing social media channels to get the word out. Since you have put time and effort into creating the best web possible, you now have a solid network for outreach. Craft a personal, interesting pitch to the influencers, encouraging them to share your infographic, eBook, etc. Journalists and bloggers are much more likely to respond favorably to a pitch that has been uniquely crafted for them and their readership.
What content marketing success stories have you seen? Please share in the comments section below how you integrated social media, SEO and PR into a successful campaign.