Creating an online business can be hard if the marketplace is saturated with lots of competition. However, by getting social media and content marketing right it doesn’t matter how strong the competition is, you’ll have a great chance of making a dent in the share of the marketplace. In some industries, content marketing is a requirement to compete as most businesses are taking advantage of content marketing already.
There is a lot of overlap between social media and content marketing because material used for one form of marketing can also be utilized in the other. This is smart as you’ll achieve more by doing less work thereby increasing the cost-effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
For some actionable ideas on how to use social media and content marketing to grow your business here are some ideas your competition might already be using:
Celebrate a wacky holiday
For every single day of the year, there is a funky holiday that you can feature to add a bit of humour to your content marketing. For example, your audience probably didn’t know that October the 8th is Octopus Day, or that April 9th is “Name Yourself Day”. There are plenty more that are just as amusing.
This gives you content ideas for the entire year. When your well of content ideas runs dry look at what’s being celebrated that week. This kind of content is both educational and entertaining, especially if the celebration in question fits in with the theme of your brand.
Post a photo and simply ask the audience to caption it. You could even run a competition where the top captions get a prize or a discount on an upcoming product. For best results, the caption should be in line with your industry and thought-provoking. You want the creative juices of the audience to really be flowing so that they are engaged with the task at hand.
A “Caption This” competition is not asking much of the audience, it’s perfect for those who typically like to spend just a few short moments before moving to something else online. If the prizes are worth fighting for then the competition should create a real buzz in your social media channels.
Fill in the blank
Another content marketing idea on your social media channels that allows the audience to participate is a fill in the blank post. This can include: “If I could have 1 date with a celebrity it would be _______”. This is a rather generic example, and for best results, you should make it industry specific. So let’s say you have a business related to the selling of shoes, the “fill in the blank” sentence could be about what brand to select if you were given a lifetime supply of shoes. There countless different ideas that you can come up with to get audience members to participate.
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To engage the audience as fast as possible present the task via a large graphic, with a picture that’s related to the sentence. This will catch the attention of the reader visually and the rates of participation will rise.
Highlight individuals in your business
Customers typically get to learn about a business as an entity through branding, but usually have no clue what kind of people run the day to day operations. If there are loyal followers of your business then they’ll jump at the chance to learn who was behind the last marketing campaign, or who came up with the idea for the last product.
For authenticity get the employee to contribute to the post from a first person perspective where they give an insight into what it’s like to work for the business. As a bonus, the employees will feel more empowered and appreciated to be put in the spotlight like that.
Celebrating employees could be random, or you could select the employees with the best results for a given month. In any case, it’s a good idea to rotate those in the spotlight so that the audience gets a comprehensive account of who’s working at the company.
Share industry specific resources
Being a hub of valuable information can get your audience to come back for more, and it establishes you as an authority. Consequently, making it easier to sell products and services down the line. After all, the audience is more likely to trust an individual that’s already provided plenty of great information free of charge.
The type of resource you could share could be a tool that improves the efficiency of a task such as a writing service, or an article that explains some new way of doing something. Instead of simply posting the resource add your own take on it. Explain how the audience can take advantage of the information, or what’s the best way to use that new tool – perhaps there is some function that sets the tool apart from the others.
Run a poll
A poll is another easy way of getting the audience to interact with your social media content, and it only takes a few seconds for them to do so. Polls can be fun as it allows the audience to express their opinion, and in the process learn what the general opinion is on a particular topic.
However, there is a lot of side-benefit to be had from running polls. You could, for example, ask the audience what top 3 features they enjoyed from the last product you released. This gives you insight into what must be included in the next product you’re going to launch. It’s a way of doing market research that’s highly targeted and free – it only takes a few minutes to setup a poll.
The results of the poll might be controversial and lead to fierce debate among the audience. This leads to even higher rates of engagement, which can only be a good thing for the popularity of your social media profiles.
Implementing the range of content marketing ideas presented above in your social media will only result in a larger following. Each method can be used regardless of what industry you’re operating in.
For best results mix up the type of content you post so that your content marketing doesn’t become bland. For example, posting 7 polls in a day will look like you’re running out of ideas, and it doesn’t add much value to social media followers. Plan content ideas ahead of time to give yourself a better chance of coming up with something great.