How to maximise your reach with social media content marketing

Summary

Social media offers endless potential to build your brand and engage with your audience. If you’re currently falling short in this space, read on for some ideas and insights into how you might be able to improve your social media marketing.

For any business, content marketing is the key to attracting, engaging with and retaining your target audience.

The need for content marketing

Customers want valuable content and the demand for it has increased over the last few years, with a ReadWrite survey showing that 66 per cent of millennials admit to having higher expectations from brands on social media.

To satisfy consumers and make the most of the opportunities that come with social media, you need to create content that hits the nail on the head. That’s to say it increases conversions, revenue and brand awareness, helping to establish your business as an industry leader.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is all of the visual and written materials that you publish online with the purpose of bringing more leads into your business. From videos to infographics, there are plenty of examples to be found.

However, it’s not just about shoving content into the abyss we call the internet and hoping for the best – you need to tailor everything you publish to your target audience so they feel your business is authentic and compelling. Ultimately, you’re creating this content to boost brand awareness, engagement, conversions and customer loyalty, so it’s not something you’ll want to take lightly.

It’s essential to start with a solid plan. This is known as a content marketing strategy and it’s how you’ll turn ideas into results – but more on this later. Whether you’re just at the beginning of planning a strategy or you’re reviewing a previous one, there are plenty of ways to produce and share the content your audience wants to see.

What is social media content marketing?

According to research from Global WebIndex, more than half of the world’s population (59 per cent) uses social media. That equates to roughly 4.76 billion people, averaging a daily time of two and a half hours. Do you see what we’re getting at?

We are glued to our screens much more than many of us would care to recognise, let alone admit. Consequently, social media is one of the most effective ways to push your content, meeting your potential customers on their own terms and offering them exactly what they’re looking for.

Whilst content marketing is traditionally focused on educating your audience on your products and services, social media content marketing is all about pushing content to – you guessed it – social media and connecting with a much wider, but sometimes targeted audience.

If you think back to the rise of the internet, the first social platform came in the form of blogs, in which users would leave comments and create discourse between themselves, as well as the content creator. Fast-forward a few decades and there is a plethora of different social media channels, each with its own audience. Most importantly for businesses, this means you can use different platforms to target specific demographics, geographical locations and many other factors.

Having a comprehensive social media content marketing strategy is the key to achieving success on social media platforms. This differs from a traditional plan in that you won’t be putting your content at the centre of attention – instead, you’ll need to make sure the focus is on the persona or audience you’re trying to reach.

What is a good example of social media content marketing?

Every social media content marketing campaign is measured differently and when analysing your own, you’ll have to think carefully about the overall goals you delineated in the planning stage. Some of the key performance indicators you might consider include:

  • Reach – the number of people that saw your post
  • Engagement – how many likes, comments and shares you received 
  • Conversions – the number of actions taken as a result, such as follows or forms filled out

If your main objective was to increase brand awareness, then you’ll almost certainly be focused on statistics like reach and impressions (the number of times your content was viewed) to drive success. However, if you initially wanted to generate new leads, you’ll have to scrutinise the conversions metric.

There is a wide range of great content you could produce, which means there are lots of opportunities to build your business on social media platforms. From paid display ads to user-generated posts, the ball really is in your court. But what separates the wheat from the chaff? How are some companies making a killing on social media whilst others never get any attention? This is where the proficiencies and talents available from a specialised agency make all the difference.

What skills do you need for content marketing?

To achieve the results you want with your marketing strategy, there are particular skills you’ll need to learn and master. Content creation is the most obvious – not many people can actually create high-quality material that helps to achieve business objectives.

Marketers have to hone both writing and multimedia talents to truly connect with their audience, including post-production skills like editing to ensure every piece of content delivers the exact message it’s supposed to.

In the modern age, marketers need to have a solid understanding of the technical side of things. This means using content management systems, analytics tools and personalisation technologies. Training your employees in these areas is incredibly time-consuming, not to mention the costs involved. So, why not team up with a full-service digital marketing agency that comes equipped with all the expertise and experience you need to succeed?

For many businesses, having in-house staff to carry out marketing tasks is more of a dream than a reality. That’s why it pays to partner with a specialised agency, like Axonn. We’ll work alongside you to create exceptional social media content, from ideation to execution and reporting – we’ve got you covered.

How to use social media for content marketing

The content you decide to post on your social media accounts could turn you into a household name, or it could go completely unnoticed. Marketing is about fine margins and to stay ahead of the competition, you need an excellent strategy.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one perfect template that guarantees success every time. Things like your business, industry and audience all influence the types of content you should be producing and where you should be showcasing it, although there are a few things you can do to get a head start.

How to make social media content marketing work to your advantage

Like any form of content marketing, the first thing you should do is identify your business goals and begin setting out a plan for how you’re going to achieve them. The more specific your objectives are, the better.

Then, you can start looking at the social media content you’ve produced in the past. Identify those pieces that performed well and those that didn’t – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Business accounts allow users to export analytics directly from the platform, which means you can scrutinise your data in a simple spreadsheet.

Now you can align your current marketing goals with your previous content. For example, if you want to increase conversions, analyse how many actions were taken directly as a result of older posts – now you’ll understand what types of content cause your audience to follow a link or fill out a form.

Knowing what you need to post is only half the battle, though. There’s still the small issue of actually creating, distributing and measuring the performance of your content. The thing is, not many businesses have the resources and people on-hand to get it done. However, a full-service digital marketing agency, like Axonn, will offer all of these services in one neat and tidy package, collaborating with you to guarantee content that elevates your brand and leads directly to your goals.

What are the best social media platforms for content marketing?

Considering the fact that over 75 per cent of the world’s population aged 13 and above uses social media to some extent, we wouldn’t blame you for feeling overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right place for your content marketing efforts. The most popular – and therefore best for businesses – include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

All of the above offer solid opportunities for brand development and marketing, so how do you choose which one is best? Well, the most important thing is to identify where your target audience is based – you might even be surprised to learn this information.

If you’re creating posts to engage with a younger female audience, head straight over to TikTok, where 61 per cent of users are girls and a quarter of the entire user base is aged between 10 and 19. Conversely, Twitter is more saturated with male users (61.6 per cent) and almost half of all accounts are owned by people aged from 18 to 29. B2B brands find more success on LinkedIn, as the platform is primarily focused on helping professionals and businesses connect with each other.

What types of social media content should businesses create?

The types of content you produce for your social media channels will depend on what returns the most value and serves your business goals best. You’re going to be investing significant resources into your plan, so the final product needs to bring about success. Otherwise, there’s no point in the first place.

HubSpot’s 2023 Marketing Strategy Trends Report revealed that social media has the highest return on investment of any channel, with 42 per cent of marketers already leveraging these platforms. There are, of course, plenty of different ways to make the most of this opportunity. Some of the most common types of social media content include:

  • Video
  • Content that highlights brand values
  • Audio chat
  • Educational content
  • Live room
  • Trending content
  • Infographics
  • User-generated content

The type of content your business should produce depends on several factors but primarily hinges on your target audience. For example, audio chat rooms are particularly popular among Gen Z and 23 per cent of marketers plan to leverage them for the first time this year.

If you’re trying to gain exposure and build your reputation, infographics are tried and proven – 56 per cent of marketers that regularly use them claim it’s the most effective type of content. 

Finding the right type of content for your company isn’t necessarily straightforward and will often involve plenty of experimentation. It’s worth it, though, as once you find the perfect niche for your audience, you’ll start to reap the rewards.

What does your brand voice sound like?

Brand voice is all about what you say to your audience and how you deliver that message. Research from Sprout Social showed that one-third of consumers think a distinct personality sets a business apart from the rest, whilst 40 per cent stated they prefer memorable content.

It’s vital that all of your social media content speaks to your target audience and not past them – but hitting the nail on the head isn’t as easy as it sounds. To define the perfect voice for your business, you’ll first have to analyse your customers. According to a Salesforce study, 66 per cent of consumers said they expect companies to understand their needs, meaning without a tailored brand voice, your customers will simply head elsewhere.

Painting a clear picture of your audience and its needs will only help your marketing efforts, as all of the information you collect can be directly used to influence your social media strategy. With some consistency, you’ll find customers will start to truly understand why your product or service is better than the competition.

How to craft an effective social media strategy

Creating the perfect social media content marketing strategy isn’t a walk in the park. You need a comprehensive plan to ensure success and there are certain aspects to consider for every campaign, regardless of the specific business, industry or audience.

What are the key components of a social media strategy?

As we mentioned before, your social media content marketing strategy is the backbone of your campaign and the most valuable resource you will have on your journey to success. This will differ for every business, but these are the steps that you need to create a comprehensive plan.

Outlining goals

The first step to any strategy is to think about what you want to achieve. You’ll use these objectives as a guide throughout the duration of your marketing campaign, so make sure they’re as specific as possible. Topics you might want to centre your social media goals around include growing brand awareness, increasing engagement and boosting traffic, leads and sales.

Understand your audience

If you aren’t sure who you’re talking to, why should anyone listen? This is where the experience and resources of a specialised agency really come into play. Certain tools allow you access to insights on which demographics are interacting with your content the most. This includes factors such as age, gender, location and can even be as specific as job title and personal interests.

Choose the appropriate platforms

This stems from knowing what your audience is – B2B companies might choose to focus their efforts on LinkedIn, where a large proportion of the user base is made up of professionals and other businesses. Conversely, a B2C organisation looking to target Gen Z should be concentrating on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

Choose appropriate content formats

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – diversify the portfolio of content you’re publishing to drive significant engagement from your target audience. When a message is consistently delivered in the same format, it becomes boring and people switch off. Different demographics are inclined to engage with various types of content, so it pays to do some research.

Create a content calendar

Once you know which types of content you’ll create, members of your team need to take accountability for the production and ensure efforts remain focused on the task at hand. This is where a content calendar is essential and using one will keep everyone on the same page.

Publish content

Near the bottom of the list, we’ve finally arrived where you might have expected to begin. This is a testament to how much effort and organisation is required to produce successful social media content. Businesses that take the time to strategise and create a comprehensive plan are set for success.

Measure performance

Do you remember, all that time ago, when you set out the goals you wanted to achieve? It’s time to see how that panned out, which is exactly why it’s so important that your objectives are specific and measurable. The data you receive from your marketing efforts can be used to inform your future decisions.

What is the 80/20 rule in social media content marketing?

You might have heard of the 80/20 rule in modern marketing, but it originated more than 100 years ago when Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed roughly 80 per cent of the land in Italy belonged to just 20 per cent of the population. To cut a long story short, the Pareto Principle suggests that there is an 80 to 20 relationship between cause and effect.

What on earth does this have to do with your business? That’s a fair question. In short, the idea is that approximately 80 per cent of your revenue comes from 20 per cent of your customers, niches, channels, geographical areas or content. That’s what you need to target.

To use the 80/20 principle to your advantage, first consider some of these questions:

  • What are your best-selling products or services?
  • Who are your most valuable customers?
  • Which channels achieve the most conversions?

With answers to these, you can turn your attention to taking advantage of the 20 per cent. For example, identifying your most profitable geographic locations will allow you to make them a priority for targeting when it comes to content marketing.

Similarly, the 80/20 principle dictates that just one-fifth of your social media presence will bring in positive results. How do you make the most of this information? Use it as an opportunity to figure out where the most significant portion of your audience is and start planning how you’ll boost conversions on those channels.

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with the 80 per cent of your strategy or target audience – sometimes, picking the 20 per cent allows you to streamline your efforts and focus on the most profitable areas of your overall marketing plan.

How to find a social media content marketing agency

Partnering with a social media content marketing agency can feel daunting at first, but it’s a great way to ensure exceptional results and use your platform to drive significant growth for your business.

Here at Axonn, we have a team of experts in every aspect of social media content marketing. We can handle anything, from using data-driven insights to fuel your strategy, to distributing and promoting your content to your target audience. We’re always looking for new businesses to work with, so if you’re in need of social media content marketing, let’s have a chat.

12 Minute Read

By Iain Pemberton | Updated

Iain is a senior member of Axonn’s editorial team and is an expert in tech. He should be; he’s been writing about the topic for more than 14 years.

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