By nature, content marketing and social media marketing are closely intertwined when it comes to overall digital presence. As such, the two need to work together, ensuring that you’re maintaining consistent messaging, while also staying on trend and making sure your outflow of content matches your social sharing needs.
However, it can be hard to coordinate the two, especially if you don’t have a consistent content calendar that keeps them aligned. If you’re struggling to bring content marketing and social media together, use these five methods to align your efforts and create a cohesive plan.
Get your strategy in order: 5 Non-Traditional Pillars of Social Media Strategy for Small Business
1. Clearly Define Your Brand
A well-defined brand ensures that whether readers are on your social media pages or your blog, they recognize you and know what to expect. If you don’t have a consistent brand yet, this is the first step in bringing content marketing and social media marketing together. When doing so, focus on defining and aligning two main pillars: voice and aesthetic.
The style of your writing, the tone of your social media posts, and even the specific words you use all come together to create a unified brand voice. To ensure your brand is uniform in both content and social media marketing, you need to create guidelines hone in on your brand voice and stick with it consistently. For example, the tone and voice of Jessica Thiefels Consulting is informal but informational. We often take a conversational tone while also providing actionable tips and practical advice for our readers and followers.
For other brands, the voice might be feminine and empowering or formal and academic. To define your tone and voice, consider how you present yourself and your content to the world. Better yet, ask friends or other bloggers within your network to tell you what your tone and voice sound like to them. Finally, you can use this brand voice exercise from Contently to nail down this important detail.
To align your content and social marketing efforts, it’s critical to create a cohesive aesthetic across all digital channels. This allows users to see that your brand looks and feels the same at every digital touchpoint, which drives brand recognition.
A recent Adobe survey found that most consumers, particularly GenX, Millennials, and GenZ, multiscreen constantly. This means someone could be on your social profile on their smartphone and your website on their laptop. This is why it’s critical that the experience is the same on every platform.
SEMrush has a very specific brand aesthetic. Note the imagery used on their blog—it’s bold and busy, with a bright background. When you scroll through their Twitter profile, their content is instantly recognizable and matches that of their site:
Focus in on branding with our resources:
Branding in the Age of Social Media: How to Get it Right
Why Brand Loyalty is Important for New Businesses
How to Establish a Consistent Instagram Theme for Your Business
2. Cross-Promote Your Website and Social Channels
It may seem like a no-brainer, but to ensure coherence between your content and social media marketing, make it easy for readers and followers to find links to one or the other, no matter where they are. Meaning: promote links to your site on your social channels and include social navigation on your website.
To find the right balance between promoting your content and that of others, follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your content should be useful (I.E. informative, entertaining, awe-inspiring, etc.) and 20 percent should be promotional. Your blog content may be useful, so that fits within the 80 percent, but be sure to feature other brands’ content as well.
Don’t forget to include links to your social profiles clearly on your website or blog along with social sharing buttons on blog posts. I use SwiftyBar on my site, which is a sticky navbar that includes social sharing options.
3. Repurpose Your Content
I hate to break it to you, but most people won’t read your entire blog post. Buzzsumo recently found that the average visitor only reads 25 percent of an article. You spend a lot of time strategizing, planning, and creating that content, so don’t let it go to waste!
Instead, keep your content marketing and social media marketing aligned, while also making the most of your work using repurposing. The idea is simple: develop multiple bite-sized social media posts from one blog post.
Here are a few strategies for repurposing content.
Text-based social posts: Turn actionable content and graphs from blog posts into social media posts. I do this all the time.
Branded images: Use a particularly powerful statistic or quote from a blog post and make it into a branded graphic to share on social media. This as an opportunity to bring your words to life with branded imagery that matches your website’s branding.
Memes: If appropriate with your brand voice and audience, create a meme to post on social media that relates to your content and links back to your site.
Infographics: This highly-shareable and consumed media is a great way to visually outline a blog post. Also, most graphic design programs have fun templates that you can start with, making it easy to create a well-branded infographic.
Freebies: Repurpose a blog post that offers actionable advice into a branded digital freebie that’s valuable to your audience. Make the freebie a gated download so you can collect email addresses, and promote on your social media with a link to your site. For example, one of my freebie downloads is an SEO checklist for content, repurposed from this blog post.
Videos, stories, or live features: If you have a blog post that’s performing well, turn it into a video series that you post on your feed or stories, or share via live video.
Get better at repurposing for just $9.99 with our Udemy Course: How to Increase Marketing ROI With Content Marketing
4. Use Tools to Make Your Life Easier
You don’t have to do extra work to bring your content marketing and social media marketing together. Your goal is to work smarter, not harder. Along with repurposing, there are many free and easy tools you can use to align your content and social media marketing.
Integrate both your content and social media calendar into one, so that you can ensure you have similar themes, and coordinate your posts. Content calendars also make sure you stay on-brand and don’t go off-topic with your messaging.
Download our Quarterly Content Calendar Bundle to get access to a Google spreadsheet that you can use to plan content and social media side by side.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
Once you plan your content and social media for the week, month, or quarter, use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule in batches. Not only does this save you time on the low-level tasks, like social posting, but it also ensures that your voice and aesthetic is consistent because you can see and read all your posts in once place before they go live.
Graphic Design Platforms (like Canva)
Freemium graphic design platforms help you create branded media that consistent across all your platforms. Simply create one image, like your blog header, and then change the sizing to fit your social platforms. Tools like Canva also provide attractive templates that you can start with—all you have to do is add in your brand colors and styling.
5. Measure KPIs to Optimize Efforts
Last, but certainly not least, use data from both your website and social media analytics to measure your effectiveness and optimize future content. For the creative, non-data heads out there, don’t worry, you can monitor a few simple KPIs to get valuable insights. At the end of each month, compile the following data in a spreadsheet:
- Website data: Website domain authority, total sessions, average session duration, page views, and organic views.
- Social media: Follower count, total engagements, leads earned
This is especially valuable when focusing on aligning your efforts because not all of your content will be engaging on every platform. For example, your audience on Twitter may be interested in topics that your Facebook audience doesn’t engage with as much. Use these metrics to determine how your brand is consumed on each platform. Then optimize to make sure you’re giving your followers what they want, which in turn drives more clicks to your site and more engagement on social media.
Get more from your data: Stop Counting Your Followers: Social Media Analytics Made Easy
Align Your Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing
When your content marketing and social media marketing is aligned, you increase brand awareness and engagement. When your audience likes your brand, and is able to recognize it in their crowded social media feed, they’re more likely to engage with your posts. This means your voice, tone and aesthetic needs to be the same, no matter where you’re sharing and these simple tips will help you make that happen.