In the world of content marketing, it can be overwhelming to decide where to best distribute your materials with the abundance of platforms we have available today. Not only is social media on the rise, it is flourishing.
As of 2018, 77% of the U.S. population engages with social media with over 2.62 billion social media users worldwide. Yeah, billion.
Those numbers clearly suggest that social media shouldn’t just be another part of a content marketing strategy, but the focus. Based on this, marketers need to be asking themselves how to increase both their social media presence and content distribution strategy, if wishing to seriously engage the expanding market.
Early in 2015, Facebook alone had a very strong influence on increasing conversions. Up to 52% of an impact on consumers purchasing a product, and has continued to steadily climb (NF). In fact, according to a recent study, 66% of marketers found that they experienced significant “lead generation benefits” by spending just six hours a week on social media.
Further, when implementing online distribution through these social networks, marketers have seen a vast improvement with their search engine rankings, overall brand engagement, conversion rates and ability to drive traffic. Yet, just as it is incredibly important to engage in this type of content delivery, it is equally important to do so strategically. One component of selecting the right channel involves examining the needs, wants and overall demographic of your target audience.
Before examining which channels to select, it is important to first define your goals and content distribution strategy when utilizing social media.
- Establishing Your Brand- One purpose of engaging with social media is to simply increase brand awareness. Through certain distribution channels, marketers can develop both a reputation and a relationship with their target audience. As studies show, 95% of adults ranging from ages 18-34 have stated that they closely follow select brands or content creators on social media.
It is also equally important to choose a platform that has a history of many users as new platforms with small followings tend to be more risky. In general, popular, well-known platforms are the safest choice unless your brand fits within a specific or unique niche. Another option for your distribution strategy would be researching if the channel you are selecting engages with paid promotions or ads. This option, while not free, can greatly increase engagement with your content and eventually, convert leads.
Facebook is an excellent example of a platform with high quality, user-generated content that tends to have a high return on investment with paid promotions.
- Increasing Leads - Participating in these distribution channels can greatly help marketers generate new leads. LinkedIn is a great example of a platform that can accomplish just this through having lead gen forms. These forms allow marketers to produce successful leads at scale, increase their ROI for lead gen campaigns and efficiently manage these leads.
- Examining the Channels Used By Your Target Audience - It is equally important to have a clear understanding of what social platforms are predominately used by your target audience. In addition to this, having this base knowledge of your demographic can help immensely with increasing engagement and conversions.
For example, data shows that people who are older tend to prefer Facebook over Snapchat (typically accruing a much younger audience). Another example is Pinterest which has a mostly female audience over male (44% female vs. 16% male of all internet users).
Additionally, one way to better understand your audience’s demographic as well as their wants and needs is through social listening. Further, PewResearch even offers a tool that saves a great deal of time by examining the demographic of the channel you are considering using.
- Examining the Channels of Your Competitors - Having an understanding of the predominate platforms used by your competitors and overall industry will provide you with a baseline to measure future channel choices. With such influencer marketing, having a big picture analysis is crucial to define what it is your industry needs and what resonates best with your consumers.
- Defining Your Content- As previously stated, having data driven insights concerning the needs of your audience and the platforms they use can allow marketers to create successful, high quality content. However, you can adjust the channel you use based on the materials you are trying to promote.
For example, for professional content such as white papers, blog posts or industry updates, LinkedIn or Slideshare are great options. For on-demand video content, Facebook, Instagram or Youtube are excellent channels to consider.
- Defining the Amount of Channels You Can Successfully Maintain- Marketers should be careful to not spread their content across too many channels as this may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the content. Each piece should be carefully tailored to the target audience associated with each channel. Conversely, your content strategy should also avoid ‘undersharing’ material as this will decrease your brands awareness and overall engagement.
Channel choices and the amount of content distributed should be driven by the data acquired involving the demographic of your audience (i.e.their interests, channel preferences etc.)
Beyond distribution, some companies offer products that can dramatically assist with the content strategy process by helping to determine what to post, not just when to post it.While selecting the right channel at the right time, is crucial for making you content successful, it is also important that the content is optimized to its fullest potential. Check out our recent blog posts for more information on both written and visual content optimization!