Content marketing is an approach that’s focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your target audience, and to drive customer action. This includes blog posts, infographics, podcasts, videos, and e-books. Essentially, instead of simply selling products and services, you’re providing content to people who need help solving their issues.
Social media marketing is about creating and distributing content fit for each social network to drive user engagement and sharing. It’s how you connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive traffic to your website.
Hand-in-hand, these two are powerful in helping you achieve your business goals.
A Big Mistake Brands Make With Social Media and Blogging
Your various marketing efforts should all somehow be aligned. However, many brands still make a big mistake of treating social media and blogging as two separate entities. Most often, companies even have different teams handling these initiatives. If you’re tackling these processes separately and they’re not in sync, you’re not maximizing the potential for your business.
What You Should Be Doing Instead
In reality, your social media and blogging should work parallel to each other.
Content creation and marketing allows you to reach the right audience and position your business as an industry leader through content, all while potentially converting clicks into sales. It’s how you can educate and engage your audience about your products and services.
On the other hand, social media is a distribution channel for the content that you make. It’s where you interact with customers to get valuable feedback and to establish relationships. It’s also more immediate and urgent, playing to people’s need for instant gratification.
Together, social media and blogging help improve your site traffic, increase conversions, and build a solid community of followers. When they work together, these two aspects of your digital marketing campaigns help promote your products and services, generate qualified leads, and boost your conversions. Because they complement and support each other well, content and social media should always work in tandem.
In fact, to make the most out of your marketing strategies, it’s essential that your blogging and social media presence are effectively aligned.
How to Align Your Blogging and Social Media
1. Define Your Goals, Competitors, and Target Audience
Begin by identifying the role of content and social media in your business.
Do you want to increase your brand awareness and authority? Do you intend to drive more traffic to your site and improve your page’s search ranking? Do you want to gain more leads and conversions? Or do you intend to communicate better with your customers? Once you know what you want to achieve, you get a better picture of how to integrate together your blog posts and social media into your marketing efforts.
Next, research what your competitors are doing online. Determine what’s working and adjust what’s not. From keyword analysis to social media audits, knowing what the competition does allows you to focus on what you need to in order to set your business apart from the rest.
More importantly, get clear about who your customers and potential audiences are. This will help you understand what type of content they eagerly consume and engage with, and what social channels they frequently use.
All of this is research that you’d need to do for both your blog and your social media channels anyway. But in this case, you’re doing it so that you can align the two into one cohesive digital marketing approach.
2. Make Sure Your Blog’s Branding and Social Media Graphics Match
Whether they’re on your social pages or your blog, your readers should be able to recognize your brand just the same. To be a well-defined business, it’s essential that you have a cohesive and consistent branding that will help bring your content and social media marketing together.
Have a unified brand voice — which includes your style of writing, tone, and even the specific words you use. It helps to create guidelines on the dos and don’ts of your brand voice, to keep you and your team on the same page at all times (otherwise known as a style guide). Remember, it’s when people can easily identify and connect with your business that you will be able to build customer loyalty.
Also, drive brand recognition and recall by having the same look and feel across all digital platforms you’re on. When aligning your content and social media efforts, it’s vital to keep a unified, flowing aesthetic that includes color scheme, images and videos, and other branding elements.
Essentially, your brand voice and aesthetic is your identity online, so consistency is key across all forms of communication.
3. Always Focus on Quality Before Quantity
Once you have your initial strategy in place, it’s time to create relevant and valuable content that suits multiple channels.
Start by getting people on your blog. Since your page is where followers can learn about your brand and potentially make a purchase, the chances are higher for you to turn your readers into paying customers. First focus your efforts on your page, as this will help you easily create social media content from the original blog posts and conveniently maintain your brand voice across different platforms.
At the same time, social media is a vital partner of your blog. For example, if you’re running a sale or campaign on social, there should be blog content that supports it to give people more details and entice them to participate. When you craft quality social posts with concise CTAs, you’ll be able to encourage your audience to move to your blog. Likewise, social platforms are where you can provide excellent customer service by connecting and engaging with your audience.
Are you starting to see the trend now? Essentially, your blog and social media efforts are meant to work together, not one without the other.
4. Blogs Should Be Posted on Social
On top of planning and publishing quality posts, you have to find ways to distribute your content so people will actually see it.
That’s where the power of social media comes in. If you actively blog, be sure that you share and promote your posts on your social channels. Always include share buttons on your posts, so readers can distribute your content to their respective followers or community quickly and easily. Also, add the link of your website on all your social media accounts to increase brand awareness and visibility.
5. Embed Social Media Posts in Your Blogs
Just as blog posts should be shared on your social media channels, your social posts should also be part of your blog. Depending on what kind of content management system (CMS) you have, you can typically do this either with the embed code for the post or with the URL itself.
Similarly, don’t forget to include links to your social profiles clearly on your website or blog posts, along with the social sharing buttons.
Doing this will help add visual elements and drive more traffic to your pages. It will also make it easier for customers to find information about your products and services. Not only will this help build your social media presence, but you’ll be able to get more leads with less effort invested.
To ensure coherence between your content and social media efforts, you have to make it convenient for your followers to find links to your posts – regardless of if they’re on your blog or your social channels.
6. Use Tools That Will Simplify Things
You might be thinking that all of these things seem to require too much effort and work. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds. With the help of certain tools, you can easily align your content and social media efforts.
One tool you should have is a content and social media calendar that will help ensure that your posts are well-coordinated and that you stay on-brand with your messaging. This should include what topics you want to focus on, what format and keywords you’ll use, and when and where you’ll post these.
It’s helpful to also use publishing and scheduling tools that will allow you to plan ahead and plot out your posts. By reviewing your posts before they go live, you can ensure that your branding remains consistent across all channels. Above all, it helps you save time, get organized, and focus on your core business.
Another essential tool to have is a photo editor like Canva. It helps you design and publish materials with its customizable templates. Plus, it’s free, easy to use, and easily integrates with e-clincher, allowing you to simplify content creation and publishing.
Keeping your content and social media efforts well-organized will make it easier for you to maintain a consistent brand voice and style across all platforms.
7. Monitor, Analyze, Adjust
This is one of the most important steps of all – measuring and optimizing your efforts. Your strategies, from planning to publishing, will require regular checking to ensure that you’re still aligned with your overall goals.
From average session duration, page views, and click-through rates, to leads earned, total engagement, and conversion rate, be sure to keep track of your performance metrics.
Knowing these will help determine how your brand is doing on each platform. These will also measure your effectiveness, so you can optimize and make adjustments where needed. In turn, giving your readers and followers what they want will help drive more site visits, clicks, engagement, and conversions – and ultimately, business growth.
Content and social media marketing may seem like two different strategies on the surface, but if you look closely, these two work best when effectively executed together. And when you combine and leverage the power of both simultaneously, they’re unstoppable. They help expand brand exposure, improve customer engagement, and increase inbound leads and conversions.
If you want to make the most out of your marketing efforts, make sure that your social media and content marketing strategies are aligned at all times. With the seven steps we’ve shared, we hope that you can begin to transition toward a well-synced marketing plan for your business.
What other ways do you integrate your social media and content marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!