No social media marketing campaign can be effective without a proper content strategy — and when the time comes to put that together, the right tools can make a huge difference. Let’s face it: you can’t run a successful marketing campaign — and by extension, a successful business — without a solid content strategy. In today’s saturated markets, you need to maintain an authoritative voice and presence for your company.
If this isn’t convincing you, just check out the stats. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, 88% of survey respondents said that their organization currently uses content marketing, which CMI defines as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
That overwhelming majority could be even higher if it wasn’t for CMI’s strict definition of “content marketing” — in 2014’s report, when it was more broadly defined as the “creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple media formats to attract and/or retain customers,” 93% of those surveyed filed affirmative responses. The harsh reality? If you haven’t put some focus into fine-tuning your content marketing strategy, you’re going to be left in the dust of your competitors.
Fine-Tuning Your Strategy
When asked to name their biggest goals for 2016, 72% of marketers told the CMI that creating more engaging content is their absolute top priority. That’s just simple logic — better, more engaging content captures the audience for longer periods of time and more frequently, giving your brand the attention it deserves.
But how do you create more engaging content, and what do you do with it once you have it? You’ll need to answer those key questions to make an impact in such a crowded space.
And the truth is that most don’t. For all its popularity, content marketing for many companies is surprisingly less a refined strategy and more a vague imperative. Even while the bulk of respondents to the CMI report said they used content marketing, only 32% reported that they actually employed a documented strategy for their campaign, and a scant 28% said their organization had an editorial mission statement and defined target audience. It’s no shocker then when only 30% of respondents characterized their organization’s content marketing efforts as effective.
So how do these companies turn it around? It all starts with developing and implementing a real strategy. And to do so, it helps to have a fully-stocked tool belt. For help, we’re turning to Sujan Patel, VP of Marketing at When I Work. Patel has compiled an authoritative list of some of the best tools for content marketers.
Organize Your Campaign
Just publishing your content on a whim obviously isn’t an effective strategy. Contentools allows every step of production to be carefully managed, as the platform offers full customization and automated scheduling. High level data analytics and an emphasis on team collaboration make the service a must-have — especially when an estimated 30% of campaigns underperform due to communication breakdowns between creative and media teams.
Eliminate the Guessing Game in Social Media Marketing
Filament eliminates the familiar, exhausting trial-and-error process of identifying engaging content. The service tracks your social media marketing performance across a range of metrics. It also generates tips and insights to help you develop the kinds of stories your audience wants to read.
Just because a story appears once on the internet doesn’t mean it ran its course. Republishing tools like Revive Old Post allow you to automatically share older content that performed well in the past. Meanwhile, aggregators such as Quuu also do this work for you. They find relevant content published elsewhere to beef up your social media marketing calendar. Additionally, this drives meaningful traffic to your site.
Look the Part
Of course, to really build an audience, your content needs to look great. And for that to happen, you’ll need bold, appealing, and original imagery. 76% of CMI survey respondents said that using illustrations and photos was a central tactic of their content marketing — up from 69% in 2015.
To really stand out, source your own images from the largest repository of photos: social media.
Scopio uses the keywords that matter to your brand to source user-generated content from Twitter and Instagram, curate the best of the bunch, and license the photos for your use.
User-generated content is almost always superior because it’s authentic, as opposed to stock photos, which feel sterile and staged. But licensing these photos can be difficult legally. “You have to be conscious of not trying to exploit someone’s identity to sell something,” says Nancy Wolff, an attorney who specializes in copyright, trademark, and multimedia law. “Companies have to do things the smart way and not step on the wrong toes if they want to avoid getting sued.”
But with Scopio, you eliminate that risk altogether. The platform makes it easy to sift through the millions of user-generated images online. Additionally, it helps you identify and purchase the right kind of license for those images. You need user-generated content, and you don’t need to introduce any legal risk in trying to acquire it. So if you’re looking to improve your social media marketing, make sure one of your tools is Scopio.
Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the analytics on campaigns. Wondering about what we can do for your digital marketing strategies? Request a demo with the button below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Featured photo by deepakbardhan/Instagram.
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