Six tips on integrating social into content plans
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Six tips on integrating social into content plans

Six top tips on how to build social media into your content marketing plan. 

1. Ensure your content marketing plan fits into your overall strategic marketing or business plan.

A content marketing plan in isolation is of no use. Your content marketing plan must be an integral part of an integrated communications programme, which means knowing who you’re targeting, what their current behaviour is, and what your desired behavioural change. This involves setting clear objectives and having some insight into how you are going to change their behaviour.

Develop a task map. What do they think and do now, and what do you want them to think and do as a result of your marketing?

2. Develop content based on customer insight.

Do some customer research. What are the barriers that are stopping them changing their behaviour? Remember, some barriers are rational and others are emotional. The emotional ones are often the strongest. If you understand why a customer is behaving as they are now, you will have an idea of how to overcome the barriers, and therefore what content is needed

Build a content map. What content is needed in which formats, for which audiences and when will you create it?

3. Amplify your content.

So much content is created, used once in one channel and then never used again. Whenever you create content, think about how many different channels and formats it can be re-purposed for. That white paper could be turned into three blog posts, five tweets, one podcast, two YouTube videos, one infographic, and so on.

Attentions spans are short and reducing. Keep all content short and concise. Break a long report into small chunks and share it in your social media channels a piece at a time. I was given a maximum of 1000 words for this blog. You’ll see I have written around 600. Do I still have your attention after 330 words?

4. Optimise content for search too.

Yes, social media is crucial, but don’t neglect Google. Most of your traffic will probably still come from Google. More people are searching on their mobiles for quick and local information. Responsive mobile design is crucial now for user experience and for Google rankings. Make sure all of your content is optimised for mobile.

Google still values links and recommendations from reputable websites and social media mentions. Use your social strategy to encourage others to share and retweet your content. Don’t be shy to ask for a retweet, but remember they will only share it if it is helpful, entertaining or informative. Will it make them look good if they share it?

5. Consider social media usage amongst your target audience.

What channels does your audience use? Millennials are using Facebook less often than they used to. Twitch and Snapchat may be their channel of choice, but older audiences won’t understand them. You don’t need to post your content in every channel, just make it simple for your advocates to do so.

Use a service like AddThis to add a list of buttons after your content which enables users to quickly post your content into whichever channel they choose. My blog has buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the rest, but I have also included Baidu and vKontakte for my Chinese and Russian readers.

The key to integrating social media and content marketing is making it easy for your readers to share your content in their own channels.

You can hear more from Nick Baggott by attending our Content Marketing Planning course, where you'll learn how social media plays an important role in content marketing. 

Nick Baggott Course Director CIM
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