In one of my previous posts featured on Business 2 Community, I made the prediction that in 2012, content marketing + social media will = success. While I also mentioned that this was more of a tip than a prediction, it has already proven to be accurate with the recent rollout of “Search Plus Your World” (SPYW). Budgets and resources being devoted to content marketing and social media were already on the up rise prior to SPYW, but Google’s recent changes make it even more important to develop and execute a strong content marketing campaign while using various social media outlets to promote your content and engage with your audiences.
Take a look at the below screenshot of a search query heavily influenced by SPYW:
Content marketing is now at the forefront of any successful digital marketing campaign.
The example above shows the growing importance of creating [great] content and sharing it via Google+. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before content marketing is at the forefront of every digital marketing campaign. Small to medium sized business will begin following in the footsteps of the larger corporations that have already deployed successful content marketing strategies.
Coca-Cola is a great example of a large corporation that has continued to successfully execute new and innovative content marketing strategies. Just take a look at one of their “Content 2020” videos and you will see what I mean. It is this type of content that is going to be the centerpiece of every digital marketing campaign in the very near future.
How can you implement a successful content marketing strategy?
When it comes to content marketing, it all starts with an idea. After that, be willing to test different variations of your idea and most importantly, brace yourself for failure. Not often will you brainstorm and execute a successful content marketing campaign on the first shot. Be willing to put time into creating great content.
In addition to testing and creating different variations of your idea(s), don’t be afraid to utilize the many forms of content. Too many times, marketers rely solely on written content and fail to utilize video content, image based content, instructional / tutorial content and presentations which are just a few of the many content delivery methods available.
This is content:
Where does social media come in to play?
The answer to this question will vary from industry to industry but one thing always remains constant – social media gives you the opportunity to share your content and engage with your audience.
For the most part, gone are the days of sitting back and letting your website do the talking. To be successful, you have to engage with your audience on a regular basis. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are just a few of the many social networks where your audience is engaging with their social circles. They are looking for recommendations, reading reviews and making decisions based off of what their friends are saying. If you don’t know what people are saying, how can you adapt?
Example: If you are Sinatra’s Restaurant in Buffalo, NY and aren’t on Twitter (which in this case they aren’t), how can you interact and respond to the following?
— Victoria Mez (@VICKY_VIKTORYA) January 16, 2012
As the owner or employee of this restaurant, this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to this individual and thank them for their praise while further encourage them to speak their mind via Google Places reviews, Yelp reviews, Urban Spoon reviews, etc. While this is just a simple example, there are much larger opportunities that will be missed if you aren’t engaging with your audience where they are talking.
In addition to the engagement possibilities, social media serves as a source for sharing and promoting your content.
Combining creative content with strategized social media efforts will lead you towards success in 2012 and beyond. Be willing to adapt to these digital marketing changes while still devoting time to the basics and you will find yourself dominating more and more real estate on the web.
Stay tuned for my follow up post on this topic: “Tools to Help Businesses with Social Media Outreach”