Ashley Zeckman

The 12 Days of Social Media & Content Marketing

12 Days of Social Media and Content MarketingThe team at TopRank Online Marketing would like to wish our online community a very merry holiday season.  I for one get very nostalgic around the holidays and count down the days (starting in October) until I get to gather with family and friends to share a meal and make new memories.

For many families, part of the holiday tradition includes singing carols and watching Christmas movies from their childhood.  There is one song in particular that gets stuck in my head every holiday season is The Twelve Days of Christmas.  For a fun spin on a classic we bring you some of our favorite tips for the 12 Days of Social Media, Content Marketing & SEO.

On the __ day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

Days 1-6: Social Media Marketing

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Know Your Customers

The first step in creating a successful social media strategy takes some research.  Understanding who your best (and worst) customers are and what issues are most important to them will lend themselves to a successful social strategy.  Start by utilizing your existing customers to:

  • Run surveys to identify their pain points
  • Ask essential questions during regularly scheduled meetings

2 Turtle Doves: Always Be Engaging

Setting up a social media profile and expecting to immediately generate results is an unrealistic approach to social media marketing.  Identifying and reaching out to prospects, influencers, and current customers on a regular basis will begin setting the groundwork for an engaging social strategy.

3 French Hens: Offer Guidance

In addition to providing relevant and engaging content for your online community you should also offer guidance and help where appropriate.  Say for example that you are spending time on a LinkedIn group and find that someone within the group poses a question related to your area of expertise.  This presents the perfect opportunity to offer something of value without asking for something in return.

4 Calling Birds: Implement Tools

It doesn’t matter if you’re responsible for the implementation of social media for 1 client or 10 you’re going to need to use tools in order to get the maximum value out of your campaigns.  Social media tools don’t have to break the bank.  There are a number of affordable tools on the marketing including:

  • Hootsuite
  • Commun.It
  • Sprout Social

5 Gold Rings: Spend Time Where Your Customers Interact

Depending on what industry you’re in, your customers will likely use a mixture of different social media sites to interact with personal and professional contacts.  As a rule of thumb you will always want to have a presence on the “Big 5” social networks:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube

6 Geese-a-Laying : Measurement

How many golden eggs are you getting from your social strategy and how many are duds?  Many of the tools that you are using to implement your social strategy can also provide insight and reporting of how your social profiles are performing.  Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have built in insights that do not cost any additional money.

Days 7-12: Content Marketing

7 Swans-a-Swimming: Create An Editorial Plan

Now is the time (if you haven’t already) to begin planning your content for 2013.  There are a few easy steps you can take to start the New Year off right including:

  • Determining your content themes for each quarter
  • Include any upcoming events in your content calendar
  • Research topics that lead to conversions on your website or blog

8 Maids-a-Milking: Map Content to Customers

Depending on what stage of the buying cycle your customers are in, there are different types of content that will need to be used to attract, engage, and convert them to close.  The different stages of the customer buying cycle include:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Service
  • Loyalty

9 Ladies Dancing: Hub & Spoke Model

A hub and spoke content marketing model is similar to a choreographed dance.  Once you determine which of your web properties will be your centerpiece (or hub) you can begin creating and promoting content for your other sites (or spokes) that will drive traffic to your hub.

10 Lords-a-Leaping: Build Remarkable Content Regularly

Creating engaging web content on a regular basis is an essential part of content marketing best practices.  However, if you truly want to wow your customers and prospects you need to create remarkable content that will stick with them.  Examples of remarkable content include:

  • Infographics
  • Visual eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Powerpoint Presentations
  • Unique Graphics
  • Videos

11 Pipers Piping: Promote Your Content

For good content to become great it must be shared.  In order to make your content as easy to share as possible you must make sure the content is at their fingertips.  Adding social sharing buttons to your blog can make social sharing just a click away.  Remarkable content that your team creates can also be repurposed on different social networks in the form of :

  • Photo albums
  • Individual social posts
  • A series of web videos or blog posts

12 Drummers Drumming: Take Advantage of Your Network

Your online network can provide a great deal of inspiration for your content plan.  A simple yet engaging question to your Twitter or Facebook followers can provide a wealth of content that can be used for blog posts, website content, additional social posts, etc.

Which social media or content marketing tip do you think is the most essential part of a successful online marketing strategy?  Whatever your plans for the next couple weeks we would like to wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.

Image provided via Shutterstock.

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.