The Venn diagram of content marketing and social media marketing overlap may be more than just what meets the eye. Most digital marketing and SEO firms encourage the use of content marketing in conjunction with social media outreach to increase customer reach, customer retention, and brand recognition. Both operate under the umbrella of search engine marketing and are not mutually exclusive from one anther.
In today’s SEO landscape, it’s hard to imagine that a few years ago social media didn’t exist as a marketing strategy; content marketing wasn’t a valued SEO asset. The rise of social media marketing and content marketing may be attributed to the demand of consumers for high quality content and engagement. The results we seek to obtain from social media marketing and content marketing may be different, but choosing to prioritize one over the other is an uneffective strategy for achieving either campaign ends.
Social Media for Brand Outreach
Social media marketing involves the use of various social media websites and social channels to market your brand as a means of reaching new customers and engaging with existing ones. Social media marketing represents a medium where content, links, and other components of search engine marketing can be distributed to a large scale audience.
Advanced targeting features and audience analyses have made social media marketing an integral component of any digital marketing strategy. Through social networks, brands and businesses can discover consumer trends, behaviours, and demands that must be met through content, services, and products. Brands can also make direct contact with audience members through advanced targeting, plus social media profiles provide an avenue for customers to contact brands directly.
Social media marketing resembles push marketing where sales pitches and content is directly placed in front of the eyes of existing customers and audience members who may be interested in the products of your vertical. Social media outreach attempts to establish large scale brand awareness while generating traffic and leads to your native website. As a result, social media marketing could turn into a very expensive strategy, especially if equipped with paid promotion.
Mainly, social media marketing seeks to create desired actions through engagement. This can be accomplished through one-click sharing methods, customer-to-customer interactions, and user-generated content. Social networks provide direct channels for customer communication, such as updated company news, Q&As, contests, polls, etc.
Content Marketing for Inbound Leads
If social media is the medium for promotion, than content marketing represents the media being promoted. Content marketing is a strategy to educate, persuade, and inform customers about a particular need or service. This strategy provides solutions available to fill that need through the use of various creative forms (blogs, videos, infographics, images, etc.).
While social media helps to spread brand exposure, content serves as the intermediary in the buyer’s journey to solidify brand recognition and increase a website’s rank. In essence, distributing high quality content around a topical niche establishes brand authority over that industry, which can create thought leadership within that brand and a perceived notion of product superiority.
Content marketing represents a pull strategy and is intended to nurture leads through a sales funnel. Aside from cultivating brand authority, content marketing’s main task is to acquire inbound leads. Many marketers often use content marketing and inbound marketing interchangeably because content marketing seeks to inspire action through consumption.
Content marketing seeks to build awareness around a certain problem or phenomena within a vertical space and offer actionable solutions for them. This strategy can also be used to shape consumer attitudes and behaviors toward a desired action or awareness. Just as a newspaper can shape reader’s opinions or Edward Bernays could lead women to start smoking cigarettes, authoritative content is a puissant demand generator.
Content marketing is not focused on sales, but on retaining a business’s most valuable customers. This makes content marketing an especially cost-effective marketing strategy for customer retention and brand outreach. High-quality content adds value to a target market and helps expand industries to grow their influence.