Debunked – Content Marketing VS Social Media Marketing

Debunked – Content Marketing VS Social Media Marketing

In my escapades in this digital landscape I have too many times heard that content marketing IS social media marketing, and that is TOTALLY untrue!

Lets debunk this myth once and for all.

Although content marketing does involve some heavy investment in social media and the two may overlap somewhat, infact better said that they work in tandem, but there are a few very distinct differences between these entities. They have completely different processes, focal points and goals. Let’s look at the 2 biggest differences that are pertinent to a good content marketing strategy.

FACT: If you publish anything online, be it social or a blog post, you are a PUBLISHER.

The Gravitational Mass:

When looking at social media we focus our marketing activity inside the social media networks themselves, IE: As we create content, we aim to inject all our content into either of the platforms, be it Facebook, Twitter, G+ or LinkedIn. The centre of gravity is the social platform.

The contrasting centre of gravity for content marketing is the brand website, be it a branded URL, or a microsite, makes no diffs, but the social media efforts are vital here and used primarily for backlinks to the actual content on the brands site. Social media here then is not the container of the content but the conduit.

The Content Types:

When talking about social media marketing, brands model their behaviour based on those using the social media; the content has to be built to fit in with the context of that channel, IE: Twitter allows 140 characters, an image etc, while things like infographics, video, and how to’s work in FB.

When looking at content marketing, brands model their behaviour based on that of a media publisher, the website offers longer forms of content and brands are not limited to what they can publish, IE: videos, blogs, eBooks, etc.

The Objectives:

Social media objectives are firstly brand awareness, by generating discussion and activity around the brand, then secondly, its best used for customer satisfaction and retention. It’s a proven fact that brands that use their social media for customer dialogue and care, are trumping the social media race.

In contrast however, having the website based center of gravitational pull, content marketing can be focused on demand generation of quality content, that way developing a relationship with prospects, as quality content brings quality prospects to one’s site, and this could lead to conversions.

The Conclusion:

As brands settle down into their new roles as publishers, the natural progression will be content marketing, but the bar is set really high, they not only have to create long form quality content that builds audiences on their own site, they have to engage more deeply with their audiences in all channels, and knowing the difference between content marketing and social marketing is just the beginning.

Content marketing strategies should include social media as they are there to not only support the audience but the long term content marketing objectives of the business or brand itself.

 

Video Micro Moments Amplify User Intent

Video Micro Moments Amplify User Intent

Video Micro Moments:

google-micro-moments

Yep, Its official now in ways we could never have imagined, mobile has obliterated desktop search, and although we saw that coming we could not have prepared for the new video trend that is set to shake the very ground on which written content depends.

This is by no means meant to jilt you, this is meant to scare you, force your mind to a dark place, If you realise like most publishers here in the southern African tip, you don’t have video content, nor do you know how to create it or monetize it let alone optimize it or market it….

Let’s be fair and take into consideration we have more cell phones than we have people in SA (59,474,500 vs 50,586,757), and knowing that mobile search outranks desktop, even Ad inventory is suffering!

What the 4,5 and 6 is a Video MICRO MOMENT… It’s a moment that happens in a … well, micro moment, there are many kinds of micro moments, they pop up in weird situations, but for relevance and in the light of giving you value and not confusion, we will look at the most important 4 for consideration when planning your video strategy, and the USER INTENT behind it. Understanding this could only benefit.

Micro Moments you can bank your strategy on:

1:

Video Micro Moments

The “I- want-to-watch-what-I-am-in-to” MOMENTS

53% of online video viewers watch to be entertained or inspired

User Intent – Feeding passion or interests

Your responsibility – KYA : Know Your Audience not their demographics

2:

MICRO MOMENTS

 

The “I-want-to-know” MOMENTS

70%  of Millennial’s WILL find a YouTube video on ANYTHING they want to learn

User Intent – Learning, researching, and exploring

Your responsibility – KYA : Know Your Audience not their demographics

3:

video-killed-the-radio-star-marketing-in-the-infinite-environment-11-638

The “I-want-to-do” MOMENTS – Seeking instruction and how to

“How to” searches on Youtube are UP 70% year on year!

User Intent – Seeking instruction and how to’s

Your responsibility – KYA : Know Your Audience not their demographics

4:

winning-with-video

 The “I-want-to-buy” MOMENTS

Best place to learn about products or services that interest 18-34yr olds.

User Intent – deciding what and how and where to buy

Your responsibility – KYA : Know Your Audience not their demographics

If you want to have a meaningful role in your audiences online consumption, you best figure out who they are, when they come, what their journey is etc… ‘

As I own a Beauty property, and nurture my social platforms, I know that YouTube experienced an unlikely trend, BEAUTY content grew by a whopping 50% between 2014 and 2015. How TO search went up 70% YOY. Knowing that, I grew my social audience without even trying hard. Winning ratio 60% Video, 40%% How To’s, 10% written content.

Key note:

If you have all these tools available to you, BE there when your audience is looking for “instant gratification” and build long-term satisfaction in the process. You need to rank in organic search first, then you need to add some paid search, use intent and context when creating video content, align your advertising natively and you have the winning formula.

The splintered users purchasing journey is now scattered in to copious micro moments, infinite supply of choices and messages, so brands best be there if they want to compete in the video revolution, or your competitor will be.

The Blurred Line between Content Marketing and SEO

The Blurred Line between Content Marketing and SEO

The fact that content marketing and SEO have been thrown in the ring as opponents is not unknown to us, however the truth is that SEO and Content Marketing work hand in hand like a well-oiled machine. SEO has always been about the content, once you get down to the nitty gritty, as terrible content won’t rank no matter how well your site is optimised. In my line of work, the 2 cannot exist without each other. In a nutshell, they do not compete with one another in any way.

My practice and belief on this matter is that SEO and Content Marketing are one output, we could also say that SEO should be termed “Content Optimisation” as if there is no content, there is no SEO. It’s that simple.

If you practiced content marketing without SEO, you would be creating “vacuum content”, this is content that is created and pushed onto multiple platforms, repurposed and redistributed, but unfortunately wasn’t optimised, therefore a total waste of resources and effort. All content that is created for distribution across any platform should be optimised.

The dilemma that agencies and businesses are faced with is where do they put their marketing spend? In content marketing or SEO? To add to this is, another  issue that we are presented with is that SEO and Content Marketing are separated across our industry. There is a disconnect. There are few digital marketers that have both skillsets in one output.

True digital marketers will know that content marketing and SEO are a pre requisite and critical for any marketing strategy online, and that they work together like your mind and your body.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any differences between the two disciplines, SEO is the technical approach to holistic content. Channelling the technical efforts into content marketing is the way to apply SEO, see the secret to content marketing success is to apply SEO techniques.

The bonuses with content marketing and SEO is the backlink opportunity, both disciplines need these to be effective. Content marketing provides the opportunity of the backlink that SEO demands. Then to add to this, content marketing demands great UX, SEO and UX are part and parcel of the SEO process. The UX is important as it helps the user find the content easier and faster, but still it all comes back to same thing… CONTENT.

An output both SEO and content marketing share. SEO requires consistent output to gain its velocity where content marketing requires this consistency to be effective, as fresh content has better chance of being quickly indexed and will register higher in SERPS.

SEO and Content Marketing are a marriage made in heaven, a true convergence, it would make sense to start thinking of the two as one output, that way you get the best out of both disciplines.