Category Archives: Social Media Strategy

Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

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Content is an integral part of social media marketing (SMM), but it turns out that most of the businesses are still unfamiliar with the term content marketing. Indeed, content marketing heavily involves social media and social media marketers use content to get their messages across. Barring these similarities the two are distinct entities which focus on different needs and goals. Let’s look at the major ways in which they differ:

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Focus of Marketing

The main focus of social media marketing is concentrated within the social media platforms. When marketers operate social media campaigns, they operate inside Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.  The content is placed inside these networks.

In contrast, the focus of content marketing is to publish content to the business website and then publicize it through various social media platforms. Social media is used extensively to share the links of content published. The content can be blog posts, infographics, videos etc.

Types of Content

Social media content is created for the specific social platform intended to publish the same. Twitter uses short tweets with 140 characters, Facebook uses media like videos and images along with short texts, Instagram uses images and tiny videos etc. Brands model their behaviour based on the users of the social platforms.

In content marketing the context of website allows longer forms of content. Brands can publish blog posts, release a case study, videos, infographics and ebooks. Brands model their behaviour based on the media publishers.

Objectives

Although the two are different forms of marketing a brand/service both differ in their objectives. Social media is primarily used for brand building, awareness, consumer interaction, feedbacks, promotions and lead generation. Social media is an open house where consumers can start a discussion on the brand and services. Hence, SMM is very important to build customer loyalty.

Content marketing on the other hand focus on demand generation. Quality content brings a prospect to the website. Content marketing focuses to develop on that relationship to convert the leads to purchase. Good content marketing focuses on the entirety of the brand’s site. A company with poor content strategy will struggle to force a positive purchase decision. Brands go online and with such competition purchase decisions are vastly influenced by content.

Online Marketing Scenario

Social media marketing is a relatively old term and is practiced by most of the companies. Content marketing on the other hand is a new practice for many. The importance of content marketing rose after the smart device explosion. A brand with no website (but only with all social media accounts) will find it hard to gain consumer trust. A web domain generates trust in the consumer and strategically formed content strengthens the trust in their mind.

Social media marketing is the first step of the process which involves brand building as it accesses the users directly. As the brand becomes more familiar the natural progression will be to move toward content marketing. Brands can engage deep with their customers through content marketing efforts, and the results are more powerful as it drives consumers to its website as the brand has a greater opportunity to gain leads and move them down the conversion funnel.

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The Impact of Social Media on B2B Marketing

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Social media is considered one of the major components of B2B marketing. For some reason most of the B2B companies have lagged behind B2Cs in the adoption and effective use of social media. It remains a surprise to see that a lot of the companies still underestimate this important marketing component. Social media marketing is more than adding Twitter and Facebook buttons to your website, but a planned comprehensive social media marketing strategy can boost your business better than any other marketing technique.

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How Can B2Bs Benefit From Social Media?

Social media marketing may not exactly be for converting leads into sales or to demonstrate the ROI per post. Rather, it focuses on how B2Bs can utilise the social media platform to inform the content it creates, and deliver content that is relevant to its market needs, and the latest trends. Also to utilise its own employees to boost its media exposure, and the way it is perceived by the market at a more personal level.

Here are some ways social media presence benefit a B2B brand:

Brand Awareness and Loyalty

Social media is an effective way to get your brand name out in front of people who are your potential target. Companies that are not using social media to popularize their brands are missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with the mass. Social media strategies for B2Bs are slightly different from that for a B2C. Hence content sharing and interactions should be catered based on the targeted business industry you are serving.

Search Engine Traffic

Search Engine Optimization is the best way you could drive more traffic to your website, but social media sure plays its role. SEO requirements always change and it needs more than regular update of blogs, optimizing title tags and meta-descriptions. Google and other search engines also take into account the social presence of a brand. The rankings are influenced by strong social media presence as most of the top brands use social media. A good brand identity in the social media will give your brand a legitimate and trustworthy face among the target, also bringing good traffic to your website.

Social media help in better conversion of leads. It is mainly because of the humanisation effect. Brands are more humanized by social media interactions, which make other users to interact with the company and share their thoughts, suggestions, complaints and business proposals. Social media also has higher lead-to-close ratio than outbound marketing. A high number of social media followers improve your brand value and trust.

Social media also has other benefits. Social media is a far cost effective marketing method. It also enriches customer experiences and insight. The Power of Social Media is evident from the recent news ‘How Elon Musk’s Tweet Made Panasonic $800 mn. Richer’. A simple tweet from the Tesla CEO has earned share values of Panasonic Corp to rise by 6.4% making it richer by $800 million and a subsequent loss of $580 million to rivals Samsung.

 

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Role of #Hashtags in Social Media and Search

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Hashtags are a new way of search and find in social media platforms. It’s become so popular that most of us use it in our personal profiles to generate more visibility to our content. Etymologically it is the combination of two words hash (the symbol #) and tag, and does nothing more than tagging your content to a word or word combination preceded by a ‘#’ symbol. Hashtags makes it easier to find and follow discussions about people, topics, events, locations, promotions and more.

How it Works?

Hashtags are used in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Vine etc. Hashtags act just like an index to your content or post. Whenever someone searches for a hashtag, the posts which are tagged with the same will get popped up, resulting better visibility and search. Social media marketers use hashtags to make their content go viral. Some of the notable ever-trending hashtags are #fashion, #follow, #love etc. Hashtags are widely used in branding, event promotions and even in political sarcasms.

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How to Use Hashtags for Social Media Marketing

Be Specific With Your Hashtag

Choosing a specific hashtag will help you connect with your targeted audience. The more specific your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be, leading to better engagement. If you target espresso coffee drinkers, hashtaging with espresso will earn more specific audience than hashtaging with coffee.

Cater Hashtags to the Social Media it is Used

Do your research before tagging in different social media. Although hashtags serve the same purpose in various social media, usage differs slightly in all. Twitter uses hashtags based on a conversation or an event currently trending. Instagram uses a specific hashtag that describes the picture you have posted.

Come Up with Unbranded Hashtags

Your business hashtag do not have to mention your brand name, but should clearly tell about the service provided. If yours is a recognized brand you could even create your own hashtag and ask supporters to use it. One example is the hashtag by Nescafe – #itallstarts – which reminds people of their famous brand quote, It all starts with a Nescafe.

Avoid Long Hashtags

Use hashtags that are short and easier to remember. Your hashtag should be searchable and should be easier to type in. A very long hashtag like #ChocolateLoversInBangalore may not be typed in by many people; instead you can use #ChocoLoversBLR or an even simpler one. The whole purpose of a hashtag is to make things easier to find and engage rather than complicating.

Avoid Overusing Hashtags

Hashtags should be used according to the engagement required which is based on your targeted audience. Hashtaging all words are not advisable as it may generate false audience who may not actually need your service.

It is also to be remembered that hashtags can also backfire. Your consumers can easily use your hashtags to complaint against your service faults or to write a bad review. Hence choosing a hashtag should always comply with your service and should be done wisely.

Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?

If you need any help with content creation, we have tons of free resources to get you over the hump. Please subscribe to this blog to ensure that you never miss an article.

Visit our website www.medialabs.in to know more about us. Follow and like us on Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn and Google+ to get regular updates from us.

Have questions or comments? Please use the comment form down below. We read and reply to every comment.

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