Monday, June 2, 2014

The Importance of Social Media and Content Marketing

What’s a company’s magic formula for popular social media presence? It’s actually pretty simple: content to inform the customer, plus social connection to humanize the brand.
Of course, each business must navigate its own balance of the two but content marketing does not need to be a puzzle. Jay Baer writes in his article “11 Big Myths About Social Media and Content Marketing” that “content is fire. Social media is gasoline. Use social to drive awareness of your content more so than awareness of your company.” Awareness of your content will translate to greater popularity and brand recognition. 

So how does a company produce quality content?  According to the Content Marketing Institute the essence of content marketing is “the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.” That means engaging the customers in an ongoing conversation that does not hinge on the sell or the pitch. In the same way that conversation builds friendships, conversation with the customer builds trust and affinity. Here’s your fire.
Now for the gasoline. There is an incredible opportunity for content marketing through social media to humanize your brand and build that loyalty. Valerie Buckingham makes the point in her article “Four Tips for Authentic Online Engagement” that businesses can run into problems when they adhere too strictly to brand guidelines and rely solely on an omniscient company voice. She suggests too instead “imbue your social channels with the many unique individuals who work for the company.” By realizing the benefit of individual voices, the company’s social presence won’t become monotone.
  In his book Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement David Evans writes, “[in] business…taking [online] collaboration into the internal workings of the organization is at the heart of social business.” By including customers in collaboration through social media exchange, they become part of the brand formation. Given the fast-paced communication culture and the decreasing rate of brand loyalty, it is essential for companies to engage the customer at their level of interest. Social media and content marketing is the right way for companies to get a spark roaring.  

Additional Reading: