Social Media Tip: Content is Still King

Snackable Social Media Tips: Content is Still King

By Staff Writer
In June 30, 2014

Content marketing is the latest buzzword to storm the industry. But, it is not just a saying anymore; it’s a way of life for marketers. A few years ago the phrase “Content is King” was showing up in every marketing blog and publication headline from here to Australia. But does that motto still hold true today? In my opinion, yes, content is still king!

In our quickly evolving digital world, the power of SEO, marketing automation and big data have positioned content as the epicenter of the marketing universe. Content is now the lifeline between brands and their consumers. It now comes in many shapes and sizes, but content all boils down to what Jim Lecinski of Google refers to as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT):

“It’s a new decision-making moment that takes place a hundred million times a day on mobile phones, laptops and wired devices of all kinds. It’s a moment where marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world.”

What type of story is your online content telling, and what is it compelling your audience to do? Whether or not you are creating content about your company, industry or products, your consumers are online every day via social media, forum questions and reviews. Google yourself or your product niche. Do you like what you see? If you answered no, it’s time to start taking content more seriously.

Here are some top-level content marketing tips and best practices to put this new way of life into perspective:

  1. Don’t Silo Your Content Creation
  2. Relevant content does not, and should not, just come from your marketing department. In fact, some of the best content comes from the people who carry out the everyday tasks that keep your business or brand running. Your fabrication people, your sales reps, your CEO, your engineers, your customer service representatives…the list is endless. Don’t be afraid to even tap people outside of your organization such as partners, independent bloggers, media and even your customers. These people are on the frontlines of all aspects of your business and they each have a unique perspective that can propel your content marketing efforts to new heights. Base One refers to this method as “Content Fracking.” They have a great infographic that outlines 12 rules for tapping into these new content resources. You can see it here: The Illustrated Guide to Content Fracking.

    Once you have tapped into new content resources, you should carve out time to take an audit of all of the assets that your various contributors may already have available. You never know what kind of hidden gems may await you! Stellar content marketing takes a village. Don’t be afraid to tap into it.

  3. Start Thinking Like a Publisher
  4. Content does not just magically appear, believe me. Great content requires a great plan. Publishers like Ad Age and Forbes don’t simply wait for content to happen, they plan ahead and make it happen. Sit down with your content team even if it’s just you and your cat, Fred, and make a plan. Marketers call these plans content calendars. Content calendars should outline your content ideas and topics, production timelines, promotional tactics, social media posts, publishing dates and more. Try to outline your next quarter or even just the upcoming month. Spontaneous content is fine and dandy, but a plan allows you to execute content that matters.

    An important component of creating great content is listening. Your customers are telling you what they like each day by hitting the “Like,” “Share,” or “Retweet” button. The ability to stop and listen to what content your customers want will help you decide on what content to create. Not all content is created equal. Content is not just a blog, link, status update or even photo anymore. It’s now a snap, a 6-second Vine, a tweet or even a Yo. Don’t just post content to post it. Make it special and tailored for your audience based on how they like to consume content, even if it needs to come in the form of a Vine. Planning ahead allows you to take all of these things into consideration. Now, start making a plan. Ready, set, go!

  5. Tidy-Up Your Content
  6. Don’t you hate it when you show up to a party and no one sent you the memo on the dress code? Well the same applies to your content. Each platform, whether it is your blog, Facebook or Vine, has a unique set of rules and best practices. Because of clear differences, your content needs to be tailored to fit each one of them. Don’t be the guy or gal who shows up to a black and white party in neon green.

    Size does matter. Each platform has its own guidelines for image sharing, specs and upload sizes. Get to know these.

    Images win. In general, images tend to gain the most engagement on both Facebook and Twitter.

    • Images win. In general, images tend to gain the most engagement on both Facebook and Twitter.
    • Know the lingo. Don’t tell your Facebook fans to “retweet” your last post, or your Twitter followers to “repin” your tweet. Understand the lingo on each platform and utilize it properly.
    • Optimize it. Without the right keywords, no one will find you. Creativity matters, but SEO is key
    • White space is okay. You don’t have to cram every call-to-action possible into your graphic or write a novel for your latest blog. Take a breath and accept that white space is fine. People actually prefer it. With so much to look at on the internet, simplicity and to-the-point content can oftentimes be a breath of fresh air.
  7. If Content is King, Engagement and/or Distribution is Queen
    • I have heard it said that engagement and/or distribution is queen, and I could not agree more. You can create content until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t distribute it properly, you might as well just send it into a black hole. Here are some important things to consider when engaging or distributing content:
      Write with SEO in mind – it is so important that I am referencing it twice. Make sure your future customers can find you when they search for your product or a common topic r elated to your product on the internet. Optimization allows you to be present when your customers enter the ZMOT. Will you be there?
    • Share it more than once. If you have a brand that is sold all over the U.S. or even internationally, you will have a community that lives in many different time zones. So when you tweet or post that great new eBook at 8:00 A.M, EST as people are heading into work and checking Twitter but your friends over on the West Coast are just waking up for their 5 A.M. pre-work boot camp on the beach.
    • Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Follow the 80/20 rule to create and share content in a way that does not scream “me, me, me.” Your community is made up of real people, people who have lives, personalities and interests beyond your latest 10% off coupon. Focus on building relationships, not just self-promotion.
    • From a marketer’s point of view, social media has never been free when you calculate your time, but reach has been, to a certain degree. However, as we have seen with Facebook over that past few months, the days of “free” social media reach are coming to an end. If you have a stellar piece of content that is worthy of some paid media dollars, invest in it. Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter have ramped up their advertising platforms. They now have some great targeting options that can put your content in front of the right people, at the right time. Stop overlooking social media as a paid media channel. TV and radio may be the norm, but social media can be just as effective, if not more.

Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the content marketing iceberg. Content is still king and it plays a big role in how consumers make their purchasing decisions today. Creating the right content and having it available for your customers at the right time is vital in order to play a role in their ZMOT. As my inner-child would say, “Be there or be square.”

If you missed my previous snackable social media tips, you can check them out here:

Staff Writer

So who is this mysterious staff writer? Could be anyone really, as long as they meet our very strict criteria. 1) Worked with us in one capacity or another. 2) Have something pretty interesting to say. 3) Want to use our blog to say it. See? Told ya they were strict!