By now we should all know that content marketing and social media go hand in hand, especially in the age where content creators are incredibly active on social media platforms. But is there a difference between content marketing vs social media marketing? And how exactly are the two related? Here’s everything you need to know about them and how to best leverage them together for massive results.
How Are Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Related?
If you take into account the bigger picture, social media marketing is essentially a subset of content marketing which, in turn, is a subset of digital marketing. While social media marketing is quite broad itself, it does fall under the bigger label of content marketing because it primarily uses content to promote, market, and advertise a brand and its products or services to a specific audience.
When you are using social media for digital marketing, you are pretty much using content marketing. However, using content marketing doesn’t always involve using social media. There are three main reasons why using the two together can be quite successful:
- Cross-Promotion: You can promote your social media profiles through other content marketing channels such as email and vice versa. This maximizes the results of your marketing efforts and gives your brand more exposure.
- Getting Feedback: You can use multiple channels and platforms to collect feedback on the different activities and campaigns you launch on these different channels and platforms.
- Full Integration: You can fully align your social media marketing with your content marketing. This will, in turn, make planning and executing your marketing activities much easier by streamlining the entire process.
9 Steps to Integrate Social Media Into Your Content Marketing
To successfully combine social media and content marketing, you will need to create a content strategy for social media marketing as well as for your general online activities. Follow the steps below to help you smoothly and gradually integrate social media into your content marketing and start using them together for greater results.
#1 Identify Your Target Audience
First of all, you need to identify your target audience. If you understand who your target readers, listeners, and viewers are, you can more accurately create your content strategy. Moreover, all of your activities will be way more effective. If you further segment your target audience into separate groups, you can increase the level of personalization in your marketing and achieve even better results this way.
Identifying your target audience for combined social media and content marketing is the same as what you would do on any other occasion when you need to find your audience. However, you should keep in mind that the different segments of your audience might be quite different from one another depending on the platform or channel you use for marketing (e.g. Instagram vs email marketing vs iTunes for podcasting).
Further Reading: How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers
#2 Craft Your Branding Strategy
Another very important step in developing your content strategy is crafting your branding strategy. The kind of brand image you want to display to your audience will influence the types of readers, listeners, and viewers (and customers) you attract. In other words, your branding strategy should depend on your target audience, but your actual audience will directly depend on your branding strategy.
What exactly should you plan for your branding strategy? It’s a good idea to start with your brand values, vision, and mission. Take your current visual branding elements (logo, typography, color theme) and think about how these can be used in your social media and content marketing. Decide what kind of brand voice (tone, style) you want to use throughout your content and how it may vary depending on the targeted segment of your audience.
All of your branding needs to be consistent throughout all of the content you publish online in any shape or form. This is why you need to create a set of guidelines or requirements for your marketing and content creation teams to follow. This will ensure that whichever content is created (e.g. Instagram posts, emails, YouTube videos) and posted on your official brand profiles truly does reinforce the kind of brand image you want to crate.
Further Reading: A Complete Guide to Branding for YouTube Creators
#3 Cross-Promote on Different Platforms
As explained before, one of the biggest benefits of combining social media and content marketing is that this allows you to cross-promote on a variety of platforms and channels. Cross-promotion can help you get more exposure, raise brand awareness, maximize the results of your marketing, and so much more. To execute your cross-promotion activities successfully, make sure to keep in mind some important details:
- Ensure Consistent Branding: Branding across all of the channels and platforms you use for marketing needs to be consistent.
- Align Your Posting Times: Create a posting schedule to ensure that you post at the right time on every platform or channel you use (e.g. posting on your blog and then posting on your Instagram to promote that blog post).
- Use Different Platforms: Don’t be afraid to try new platforms and channels and make sure to diversify your selection of these.
- Don’t Annoy Your Audience: Don’t be too annoying when cross-promoting (i.e. keep the number of your cross-posts in check and don’t spam anyone’s feed).
#4 Utilize Linking Techniques
It goes without saying that you will need to use links throughout your social media and content marketing, but it is particularly important to utilize different linking techniques to further improve your social media and content marketing. Here are some things to try:
- Use Links in All Types of Content: From emails to blog posts to some types of social media posts, links can be used virtually anywhere, so don’t miss the opportunity to use them where you can.
- Don’t Use Too Many Links: Of course, it’s important to include links in your content. However, you should also be mindful of the number of links you use in any particular piece of content.
- Utilize Links for Cross-Promotion: Link from one platform to another. For example, link to your recent news post (on your blog) from your official social media profiles.
- Combine Internal and External Linking: Use internal links to direct your audience from one point to another point while keeping them in the same space (e.g. your website). Use external links to direct your audience to valuable resources or to give credit to the original source of the quotes, facts, etc. you used.
- Consider Guest Blogging for Backlinks: To get more backlinks, you can start guest blogging or guest posting on other relevant websites, blogs, online media outlets, etc.
#5 Start with Blogging
Now that you have done most of the preparation for your social media and content marketing, you need to start slowly integrating the two with each other. Perhaps the best type of content to start with are blog posts which is why it is a good idea to first combine social media with your blogging activities. Here are some tips to use:
- Add social sharing buttons on your blog to let readers easily share your posts on social media.
- Cross-promote your blog and your social media profiles and align your posting schedules.
- Interact with your audience in the comment section to increase engagement.
Further Reading: The Top 24 Business Blogging Statistics for 2022
#6 Take into Account Email Marketing
After integrating blogging and social media marketing, you can then move on to a different type of content – emails. Email marketing is a powerful tool in your inventory, especially if you already have a mailing list. Your email newsletter can be used to promote your social media profiles while your social media profiles can be used to further develop your mailing list. Here are some tactics to try:
- Host giveaways and contests on social media where you require participants to subscribe to your email newsletter (to grow your mailing list).
- Add links to your social media profiles at the bottom of your email newsletters to encourage your audience to check out those profiles.
- Embed your social media posts in your emails or use screenshots of your social media posts in your emails where relevant.
- Just like with blogging, align your schedules and post on social media at the right time in relation to when you send out your email newsletter.
Further Reading: 15 Amazing Benefits of Email Marketing No One Ever Taught You
#7 Integrate Video Marketing
Videos are another important medium for your content marketing which is why your next step has to involve integrating video marketing with your social media. In a way, video marketing is already a part of social media marketing, but there are still some nuances to consider:
- Create different videos on the same topic for multiple platforms (e.g. YouTube Shorts are different from Instagram’s IGTV feature, so you can create two different videos on the same topic that would be present in different formats on these two platforms).
- Experiment with different types of videos (e.g. vertical vs horizontal, short vs long-form, educational vs informational vs entertaining).
- Align your posting schedules (e.g. publish TikTok videos, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts at the same time).
Further Reading: 8 Types of Social Media Videos Your Company Should Create Right Now
#8 Transition to Podcasting
While podcasting is often overlooked by brands, it can actually be quite effective in achieving a variety of goals – and it is a part of content marketing! Among other things, podcasting can help you find and connect with your audience, expand to new marketing platforms and channels, establish yourself as an authority in your field, partner with other brands and influencers, and so much more.
Combining podcasting and social media is also relatively easy. You can use platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube among others to start your podcast and promote it on your social media profiles. Make sure to align your posting schedules, cross-promote, use linking, and so on.
For example, your podcast can be about discussing the latest news in your industry. To make it more interactive, ask your audience to submit articles for discussion (e.g. through a “submit business article” button on your website, through direct messages on social media, etc.) Once you publish a new podcast, make an announcement about it on your social media profiles. Likewise, remind people about your social media profiles during a podcast.
#9 Work with E-Books and Other Content
Last but not least, work with other types of content such as e-books, webinars, and so on. Combining social media with other types of content marketing (besides the ones mentioned above) can further increase the power of your combined marketing efforts. Here’s how you can combine each type of content with your social media:
- E-Books: Include links to your social media profiles at the end of your e-books while using social media to promote your e-books.
- Webinars: Advertise your webinars on social media to find an audience.
- Live Streams: In a way, live streams are a part of video marketing. You can host them on social media or on other platforms and channels.
- Quizzes: Post quizzes on social media to interact and engage with your audience.
Are Your Ready to Reap the Benefits of Social Media Content Marketing?
To summarize, using social media as a part of your content marketing definitely creates many opportunities that you might not have considered before. Use the tips in this article to help you get started, create a successful content strategy, and begin using social media marketing and content marketing together successfully.
Ruby Leong has experience as a blogger and writer. Now, she works as a freelance writer. She
provides essay writing services at the professional platform BestWritersOnline. Basically, Ruby cares
about topics that relate to business and education. She devotes her free time to music and singing.
Hero photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash