High-quality content gets a lot of upvotes on social media. People share the content and it goes viral. But social media’s role in content marketing is not limited to just this.
Social media affects content quality. Content developers can follow social media to get an idea of what’s trending and create content accordingly.
Social and SEO
Content marketing is now the bottomline of SEO. There’s a correlation between an increase in social activity and an increase in SEO performance. This correlation is indicative of how social media and content influence each other. The search ranking factors below are all social elements and from experience, we know they are used to judge the content quality:
High-quality content receives a huge number of Facebook and Google+ shares. The factors that connect the dots between social media and content quality are
Appreciation from users
On social media, users react to branded posts either positively or negatively. They shower appreciation when they find a post relevant, useful and well-written.
Customer appreciation is an extrapolation of user appreciation, even though there are borderline differences between the two.
How does social appreciation improve content quality?
People who appreciate branded content on social media are brand conscious, and they’re more than their IP addresses. Content marketers identify them through interacting with them, get to know their expectations and create content to appease them.
Customer appreciation is easy for marketers to interpret. If the content deals with issues faced by customers or features a rewarding payout for them, then customers will post their appreciation. The #Cookiecare campaign run by DoubleTree was appreciated by fans and consumers alike, which gave the brand a definitive guideline on what type of content consumers want.
UGC and referrals
UGC (user generated content) supercharges online shops. In my opinion, UGC is a sugarcoated version of customer referral, sans the involvement of brands. What’s more is UGC can close the gap between organic and promotional content.
See the ad image below:
Ads are losing relevance. A growing number of people all over the world use ad blocking tools. This is a fact and it prompts brands to dish out something that’s more appealing and more authentic than ads.
The Peter Manning campaign is a proof UGC, which is fully organic can be paired with paid initiatives.
What role does social media play in it?
In one of my previous posts, I have discussed how social media is popularizing UGC-based content marketing. Brands can cut down on their social media ad budgets and rely on UGC-ad combo instead.
They’d be exempted from taking responsibility for content quality. In fact, content quality would be largely irrelevant as the content would be coming from ordinary customers. Yet through referrals, the content would push social media prospects deeper into the sales funnel. Such is the power of UGC on social media.
The human era in branding is pushing brands to adopt a new approach. Unlike archaic marketing techniques, the new approach prioritizes understanding the buyer persona and invoking emotion.
Empathy marketing is a great example of this new approach. Brands make their content empathetic so it strikes a chord with the audience. Empathy marketing is a subset of the “human era” and social media is where brands show their humane avatar.
Eric Haskell beautifully explained how designing is spearheading the human era. Because social media is the seedbed of visual content, brands have to include a lot of visuals to create an emotional connection with the audience on social networks.
The changes that emotion-based marketing on social media brings into branded content include:
- Visuals that express empathy, joy, hope or similar positive emotions
- An emotional interaction alongside information sharing
- Connecting the product to the relevant emotion to increase the odds of a sale.
Irrespective of whether the brand is small or large, incorporating these changes into its content strategy may prove beneficial.
The best example of in-network purchases are Buyable Pins featured on Pinterest. Currently, Pinterest is the only network that allows users to buy from inside the network. And hopefully, other networks will soon pipe in.
Brands should interpret in-network purchase as a call-to-action. The action they need to undertake is writing content carefully around the purchase offer. They cannot write the content as sales copy.
That’s because the content would be featured on social media, not on their website. Social media users don’t like promotional stuff, they consider it similar to ads, and we’ve stated already that animosity for ads is growing.
The changes that one needs to introduce content in sync with in-network purchase offers include:
- Description of the product in catchy details
- Product photographs or 3D rotating images
- Discount offers or attractive giveaway goodies
Put simply, the content should be short (because it’s on social media) and encourage users to buy from the network. Not being able to draft this content means not harnessing the in-network purchase feature.
Curation and commentary
Content curation has become immensely popular among the marketers. Social media is the place where the majority of curation takes place. The reason behind this is the exposure that curated content receives there.
Curation builds authenticity for a brand. Audience perceives them as thought-leaders or at least sources connected to them.
What kind of change does curation bring to content?
Curated content is not original content. But marketers can and should add their own commentaries so that the level of authoritativeness increases. It can be done in the following ways:
- They can oppose the opinion shared in the original content or agree to it and add few extra info.
- While adding commentaries, they need to add their brand signature.
- The commentaries should lure the audience to the product.
If brands want to leverage curation on social media, then content generated by them must reflect these changes.
As we see in this article, social media influences content creation and quality. Content marketers need to contemplate and set new rules to follow – rules that will give them an edge in harnessing social media. The tips shared here in this article can help them.