You would be familiar with the heated debate about Content Marketing vs SEO, and which one is going to lift the trophy in 2018. In the past week, I have written about how SEO and Content Marketing overlaps to create a winning marketing strategy. Now I ‘ll shed light on the changing dynamics of Social Media and Content marketing and how you should use both for local SEO in Pakistan as well as international space.
When I thought the ordeal of ego-driven wars between different online marketing strategies and strategists is now finally over and we have an agreement on the essentiality of both ingredients,
I was tossed with another question, where do content marketing and social media marketing intersect? And all the hows, whats, and whys of alike questions.
The good thing about social media and content marketing is that both of these are the products of the same era and have not grown but exploded with opportunities and attention right from their initial years. When the audience focused content was becoming a norm in the online marketing industry, it was also paralleled by the expansion of various social media channels in the online world.
The timeline of the development of both social media and content marketing overlapped. The public opening of Facebook in September 2006 and creation of Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2007 indicate the initially shared years of journey. You can say that these two digital tools were quickly adopted by enterprises.
According to CMI, 88% of the companies with headquarters in North America are employing Content Marketing and dedicate up to 30% of their budget to CM.
The figures for social media marketing show a next level penetration of social platforms and increasing budgets.
However, the content marketing and social media marketing departments in many organizations are still working in their own sphere, unknown of the fact that how much they share in common. And I blame the aloofness of these two as a hurdle in creating synergy.
Before I further delve into the relationship between Content and Social Media Marketing and its relevance to SEO (Like triplets, you cannot separate one with other), I would like to quote Lee Odden’s delicious but effective metaphor which puts everything in the context.
“Social is jelly, SEO is peanut butter, & content marketing is the bread that holds it all together.”
(I hope it will make things easy to understand for you)
So, if you are up for a tasty sandwich recipe which also gains audience traction, you are right on track by engaging both social media marketing and content marketing together in your digital marketing mix.
Let’s go through the list of FAQs of Social media marketing and content marketing to get you onboard.
Is Content Marketing better than Social Media Marketing or Vice Versa?
It depends on! In some particular cases, one strategy may lead the way while the other may not be as effective, but in most of the cases, it is about mutual success. Some business models favor social media marketing while others are more inclined towards content marketing.
For example, when I was working on a Fashion Designing Blog, I along with my team tried all of our different content marketing spices. But, nothing was working, and we hardly had 500 visitors in a month. And when we were lucky, the number went up to 1,000 visitors. So, we decided to shift the focus to social media marketing, and within 15 days, it clicked. The website had 20,000 visitors in one month, and the numbers kept going up.
Internet marketing is not a horse race and these strategies are not the thoroughbreds.
My Website’s Social Media campaign is more effective, should I stop content marketing?
It is turning into a counter question session, but let me ask you a question.
You left-handed or right-handed? Let’s assume you are a right handed person like most of the people are. You can do things better and quicker with your right hand.
So my question is, will you get your left hand chopped off? No?
If you are not ready for an amputation for the reason that one hand is better than other, why would your digital marketing strategy be? It may sound brutal, but you amputate the digital marketing strategy by stopping one of these marketing techniques. Even when one strategy is driving fewer results in comparison to the other, it plays a supportive role.
Should I invest more on content marketing or should I spend on social media marketing?
Is there a mathematical formula for this one that I am not aware of? I guess no! Both are investments which pay off. So, as explained in the first question, you have to find your best fitting budget for both. Find balance by understanding the strategy and its outcomes, and you will know how much to spend on what.
What is the NUCLEUS of Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing?
People! Or if more precisely put, Target Audience!
This question sums up the essence of this discussion. Many people understand content marketing and social media marketing as having a different nucleus.
But the truth is that ‘the converging point of social media marketing and content marketing is Target Audience.
According to CMI, content marketing is consistent creation and sharing of content to stimulate the interests of the target audience. Therefore, content in content marketing is created for the focused target audience.
And as evident from its name, social media marketing is for the ‘people.’ People are the users of social media platforms, and the campaigns target their audience through the utilization of these channels.
So when both are for the people, isn’t social media marketing just an offshoot of content marketing?
My answer to this one is also No! There are uncanny similarities between both social media and content marketing, but both have enough distinct features to call them a separate discipline.
If hamburger has beef and pizza also has beef, does it mean that hamburger is pizza? Just like this, even though social media is also about posts, pictures, and videos which are the part of content marketing, it has its independent features and operational sphere.
What is the relevance of Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing to SEO?
I believe that it is all about optimization at the end of the day. The content which is liked, shared and more talked about has a greater impact on SEO, so both the content marketing and social media come together to create the right impact. When the content is created and is spread through the fitting social media channels, it lies on the equilibrium point of mechanical vs. humane content.
Humane: Already established, a content that ignores people is not even a content.
Mechanical: Frequently discussed, a content that completely ignores the crawler is not worth it.
How to Engage Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing Together?
I think as an online marketer; you are already doing it. The content marketing and social media marketing are not mutually exclusive. More often than not, content which is written for the website is shared across the social media through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Often, the social media channels like Pinterest act as the strongest links to get the content across the right audience.
Should I know the difference between both?
The only answer to this question is yes! You should understand the difference between both marketing strategies.
In the simplest words, social media is push marketing which tells people to do a certain thing when they are not actually looking for it (I am guilty of clicking every jewelry item that comes across my newsfeed on Facebook).
But content is direct marketing in which people are actually searching for your services, products or tips and you supply to their demands.
Conclusion: What Should Be Done?
Be accepting of your diverse role. I am not asking you to become an all-rounder, I am just asking you to synchronize the marketing efforts more.
It is time to roll your integrated digital marketing strategy engaging the content marketing and social media channels.