9 Ingredients for a Better Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy

by Gerry Moran

Do you have the recipe to create the best social media and content marketing strategy? Something tasty and enjoyable to keep your community coming back for more?

Think of your marketing content as a delicious cake. And think of your social media channels as a means to deliver that cake. How are you serving up messaging to your clients? Is your audience coming back for seconds?

We’ve all seen the long Sunday-morning lines at our favorite bakery, donut, or pastry shop. What is it that keeps customers coming back each week? Well, whatever it is, it’s part of a fully baked and delicious strategy!

3 Steps You’ll Have to Think Through As You’re Mixing Up Your Social Media and Content Marketing Recipe

1.  You will need to activate your employees. People perceive messaging from a regular employee more trustworthy than a CEO’s — 53% vs. 47%. This statistic means you need to train your team to help serve up stackable samples of your branding and news. Source: Edelman, 2019

2.  You are going to need a lot of different content. B2B buyers consume about 13 content pieces before deciding on a vendor. This consumption is split between eight vendor-created pieces and five from third parties. Source: FocusVision, 2020. This research indicates your audience likely finds some of your content from social media. So make it great! And make sure your employees are trained to share.

3.  You are going to need to add in stories with concrete facts. 66% of B2B buyers want more data and research to support content, according to DemandGen. Source: DemandGen’s 2019 Content Preferences Study.

The Big Takeaway from This Social & Content Research

There are three questions every brand, entrepreneur, and thought leader needs to ask. “Am I thinking through my social media and content marketing strategy like it’s a recipe?” Will the final product be satisfying? Will my readers return for more? Will my servings of insights, ideas, and subject matter expertise pass the taste test? Or, will they look at the presentation and say, ‘ugh?’ I think I will try something else.

9 Ingredients to Create the Best Social Media & Content Marketing Strategy

1. Add social media and content marketing strategy at the right time

Adding social media or a content strategy at the end of a project is never the right time! You have to add sugar to your cake at the right time to make your cake taste great – otherwise, it just won’t work. Sprinkling sugar on your cake after it’s baked would taste awful. The same goes for social media. You cannot add it at the end of your marketing planning process. It has to be added at the beginning.

2. Let your stakeholders customize and adapt the foundational social media and content strategy

Don’t let them create it from scratch. You bake the cake for everyone – then give them the option to ice it. In other words, you make the strategy and let them customize it. Create the plan and let other team members adjust it for their geography or industry. This way your core plan will be executed the right way.

Think of your marketing content as a delicious cake. And think of your social media channels as a means to deliver that cake.

Gerry Moran

3. Use only the best ingredients for your content marketing

Video, graphics, concrete numbers, and storytelling copy should always be your go-to additives. The best baking ingredients provide the best results. Make sure to use only the best content elements like facts, videos, and infographics. This plan will help you cook up the best communication.

4. Create content marketing that ‘tastes good’ for a variety of readers and customers

Some people like chocolate cake, some like vanilla.  You have to figure out how to bake cakes for all dessert lovers. Your job is to develop a solution for each audience or persona. This focus will help drive your business results. You have to deliver the right message to the right audience on the right channel at the right time.

5. Create content in small and snackable formats

This way, your readers can sample and then commit. Sometimes you can only get people to eat your cake after they sample your cupcakes. So, plan to use a portion of your cake batter before using it all! You may think handing out slices of cake as samples might be a solution. But, suddenly, handing out crumby cake is not so convenient. Cupcakes would have been a much better tactic. The convenience, snackability, and ease of consumption applies to content as much as to cakes. Videos, Instagram posts, and factoid graphics are your content cupcakes.

6. Think of your social media & content strategy as a baking production line

Everyone has a role and responsibility in the content supply chain. Many great bakers and pastry chefs do not create cakes by themselves from start to finish. Instead, they treat their cake baking like a supply chain. Every point in the process is assigned to a different person. When mixing your social media strategy, think of the discrete steps needed. 

7. Use the right resources to create your social media strategy

I’ve often tried to bake a cake from my great-grandmother Michaelena’s recipe. It never tastes quite the same. You may have experienced something similar. Most cannot recreate a cake the same way as Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss. Having the recipe is one thing, but being able to execute instructions and handle the bumps in the road is another. Just because someone is a digital native does not mean they can create and execute a plan. Make sure you hire the right type of person to bake your strategy.

8. It’s all about the content marketing presentation when you need to make your point

You may have the most delicious cake in the world but if the icing is uneven and the sprinkles are falling off, the customer might move on. The same goes for planning content and social media amplification. Make sure your social media profiles are professional. Make sure your blog posts are built and formatted to engage your audience further.

9. Make it easy for audiences to find you to solidify the relationship

If people like your cake, hey will want more. Make it easy to find your kitchen, store, or bakery to become their go-to destination. Make sure your content is linked to the right blog post, white paper, video, etc. It’s a natural progression in the relationship.

Do you have a different baking tip for your social media or content strategy? If so, then please share below or email me at gerry@marketingthink.com.

With good planning, you can have your cake and eat it, too. You can serve up slices of virtual cake – or cupcakes – that keep getting consumed and passed along to others!

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.

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