Originally appeared in Search Engine Journal on March 4th, 2020
Do you want to drive more engagement and traffic via the social channels you are distributing your content to?
Of course, you do.
However, developing and managing effective modern content marketing and social media campaigns are easier said than done.
With the dawn of a new decade, marketers continue to experience challenges executing strategic and thoughtful digital marketing strategies – in particular, bringing together content marketing and social media.
It never has been, nor will it ever be, enough to just publish a bunch of content and haphazardly share it out via the standard social channels.
In fact, as more organizations create more and more content, it only becomes more important to take time to ensure a solid structure and process is in place.
Below are five ways you may be sabotaging your content marketing and social media efforts.
These are typical pitfalls marketing departments fall into when rolling out multi-channel organic or paid content campaigns.
1. Sharing Your Quality Content with No One
With all the recent and ongoing hype around the importance of content marketing, it can be easy to assume the way to win is to just start creating and sharing as much rich, quality content as possible.
However, there is little point creating content of any level of quality if adequate time has not been spent identifying who will consume the content and where this audience can be found.
The first mandatory step in the planning and development of any successful content campaign must focus on developing comprehensive audience personas.
Identify who you expect to read, like, and share your content.
- What are their likes, dislikes, and emotional triggers?
- What questions are they looking to answer?
- Where and when are you most likely to find these people consuming content online?
Once you’ve identified who and where your audience is, a significant amount of time needs to be spent gaining their trust.
If the stated goal is to have members of your audience like, share, and otherwise endorse your content (and by extension, your brand), you need to convince them you are indeed the authority you’re aiming to become.
One strategy for building an audience is to:
- Identify/follow influencers in your space.
- Engage with them.
- Share their content with an eye toward future reciprocation.
Any trusting relationship will naturally require ample time to develop.
In time, if others feel your content has value or is otherwise entertaining, they will provide the validation you seek via a like, comment, share, or click.
2. Making Sharing Difficult
As a consumer and liker/sharer of content myself, one of my pet peeves is not being able to easily share something I’ve read, which I feel would benefit some of my followers.
Highly visible share buttons within blog posts or other content templates are simply a given and yet, they are often nowhere to be seen.
There are also several plugins available which will enable readers to share quotes or other highlighted snippets of text directly from within a post.
While I applaud the existence of share buttons within the content, I cringe at the absence of the post title, the author’s social handle and/or the brand account’s handle in the message being shared socially.
This is typically a simple plugin configuration issue.
Why would a brand or author not want to include their contact info with their shared content if one of their primary goals is building their audience?
Why publish content if it’s effectively being shared anonymously?
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On a related note, if you believe in the value of your content and would like it to be shared, why not ask?
Don’t be shy about including a call to action in your posts.
If you’ve indeed established a trusting relationship and you’ve produced content others can benefit from, go ahead and urge your readers to “pass it on.”
3. Sending Messages Which Lack Consistency
This may be common sense, but all too often, particularly when content teams are siloed (e.g., social team, blog content team) the consistency of messaging from social to primary content can get garbled.
Specifically, prior to publishing, one person or group should review social posts and the content they link to for consistency in terms of tone, keywords, hashtags, and calls to action.
If any of these are noticeably out of sync, they can leave a consumer confused or annoyed at having wasted their time clicking on one message and then seeing something different, or not what they expected.
If this happens too many times, the brand will begin to lose the trust and the authority you’ve worked so hard to develop.
4. Using the Same Messaging on All Channels
Several social media distribution tools are available to help marketers save time sharing links to the same content across multiple channels.
While this efficiency is undoubtedly welcomed and financially justified, it should not come at the expense of producing the right messages for the right audiences.
And please, please do not cut and paste the exact same message in every channel.
Every brand has some consumers who follow them everywhere and this is simply not a good look.
Each social network delivers content in its own way and, as such, attracts different consumers who consume content differently.
For example, Twitter’s format and history lends itself to short, concise messaging, while Facebook posts can be much longer and more in-depth.
Instagram and YouTube are both naturally image and video-driven, but they also offer text, hashtag, link and call to action opportunities, which should not be overlooked.