Content is King When Social Media Marketing

ocial media marketing is on the top of everyone’s list when looking for ways to capture attention. Creating “buzz” or mindshare in the market when consumers are looking for what you sell is key to ranking in search results. Even more importantly, it’s key to making your solution the one that people think of when it’s time to buy. This is true whether you’re a local business or an international brand. But sometimes marketers get the ends confused with the means. The internal message then becomes “post a lot of stuff” rather than “influence people.”

The Metrics Are Not the Message

It’s all too easy to get caught up in looking at numbers. Website analytics, engagement on posts, and other numbers are easy to measure. The question is usually “Did we do better this period than the one before?”

But numbers don’t really tell the story of how people are interacting with your brand. A recent Reply All episode titled “Permanent Record” told the stories of people who became internet famous for all the wrong reasons. Some of them are now top Google results for things they don’t want to be known for. For the most part, these people were not trying to sell something in the first place. But assuming you ARE trying to sell something, does your funny post about someone’s dog in a backyard help sell your hair care products? Maybe it can if it’s part of a calculated effort, but usually “filler” posts like these are just that – filler. They may give you a “hit” of engagement numbers, but they do not help people remember you, and may even subconsciously hurt you. Do you want your shampoo to be thought of as something that could be used on a dog?

It’s Not Repetitive to Your Audience

Marketers often get bored with their message because they look at it every day. They see every post that they write, and have spent hours honing it. Don’t forget that only a small percentage of your posts get seen, even by your followers, and even fewer get more than a passing glance. For example, Mark Crumpacker writes content about hydroponic farming on Medium. If you scroll down his content page, that’s for the most part what you’re going to see. But his audience doesn’t generally consume his content in this way – they’re glancing around at a variety of articles on many topics. They tend to see his content if they’re interested in the topic, so the desired result is achieved.

Provide Value to Your Readers

If you want to be known for something positive connected to your product offering or industry, the key is to provide value. Stay on your topic. This is sometimes expressed as “stay in your lane,” or “dance close to the pole.” Don’t just write some filler around that topic, either. Make your reader a little smarter about your topic every time they interact with your content, and they’ll remember you positively when it’s time to buy.

Rather than getting caught up in the metrics at the top, like shares ands clicks, analyze your content for what it’s doing to your sales pipeline. This is the true measure of success in content marketing.