It happens all the time. A client or prospect will say: “We need to do social media. Can you help us?”
I explain that I can certainly help them get started with social media after we discuss their marketing plans and their overall goals, but that they can’t just “do” social media.
Here’s the reason: What happens after you set up your Twitter account, Facebook page, Google+ page, Pinterest boards and so on? What are you going to say? What types of content are you going to share? How often? How much of it will be original and how much curated? And what’s the point of it all?
That’s when I talk to them about content marketing, which I define as consistently creating, curating and sharing useful, relevant material – the type of content your clients and prospects want and need. It’s not blather about your company. In other words, not typical marketing collateral.
It takes work, but it’s worthwhile, because content marketing can help build word-of-mouth buzz, boost your search engine optimization, make you known as a thought leader, and ultimately generate leads.
One of the best examples of effective content marketing is Marcus Sheridan and his pool company. When the economy tanked, drying up the market for pools in the U.S., Sheridan developed a powerful content marketing strategy that not only saved his business, but transformed it into a “Google magnet,” according to this article.
After you’ve defined your own content marketing strategy and ironed out the tactics, you can then use social media to amplify your efforts. So using content marketing and social media hand in hand means you’ll derive more benefit from each of them, and solve the age-old problem of “But what do I tweet about?”
For more information on this topic, here’s a link to my special report on content marketing.
And here’s a quick slideshow about content marketing that explains the concept further.
What is content marketing? A quick introduction from Trafalgar Communications
Great article, Donna. I think that strategy is missing from so many online marketing campaigns. It’s very easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing but without a goal or purpose, like you so eloquently pointed out, what’s the point?
Thanks for commenting, Jessica. This post seems to have hit a nerve, with many people telling me that clients are asking for tactics before strategy, and social media without a content plan. Clients need us! ;-)
Great read, Donna. I’ve definitely had a few clients who have asked to not do a content plan and I’ve had to explain why that’s a bad idea, but you explain it better, will definitely share with my clients!
I agree, for those who understand social media, it can be a powerful tool for both gaining and retaining clients, but at the same time, improper use can lead to dismal results and wasted money.
The best content to update your social media account are the content of your website or from other websites that are relevant to your followers.