Why Social Media & Content Marketing Are So Important For Business

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media,

the choice is how WELL we do it.”

- Erik Qualman

That’s a pretty big statement.

But it’s in answer to a pretty big question: Where are today’s customers spending their time?

And the answer is that they’re spending their time on social media. They’re spending A LOT of time on social media.

With that statement on current consumers still lingering in the air, the question then becomes, if they are on social media, why aren’t you?

“93% of shopper’s buying decisions’ are influenced by social media.”

The bottom line is that if you want people talking about your brand, a social media presence is a necessity. It is where so many of our social interactions are happening these days. Not to mention, it’s likely your competition is already utilizing social media to promote their own brand and/or trample their competitors’ brands.

A recent statistic quoted that people who arrive at a website via Pinterest spend 70% more. So what does that mean? It basically means they’re doing their shopping on social media platforms. And if you’re not on social media, you’re automatically removing yourself as an option to all of those people.

                  “90% of consumers trust peer recommendations.”

When it comes to choosing where to spend money, above all else people love a “social proof” recommendation. This means that if an individual’s friends are using a service or product and talking about it online, that individual is much more likely to check it out themselves.

Makes sense doesn’t it? It’s good old word of mouth, dressed up by technology. And everyone knows that positive and personal word of mouth is the best salesman you can have working for you.

One might see something like that Pinterest statistic and say, “great, that’s what I want, get me on there!” Yet others will focus solely on more obvious social platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, saying, “I post on Facebook/Tweet X times a week, isn’t that enough?”

But the majority of the time, multiple platforms are going to provide the most effective social media presence, and that presence will still need to be combined with some of the more conventional marketing strategies.

Ok, so maybe now the need for a solid social media presence is becoming clearer….but what exactly needs to be done with this social media presence to have the greatest effect?

Why, you share your content of course!

Content? What does that mean? And why do I need it?

Did you know that Google has changed how they rank web pages in their searches? Indeed, the key to higher rankings on Google now is constant and updated content.

Oh, and don’t forget about unique. Specifically, they’re looking for “authentic, original, and relevant.”

That means that in order to catch web traffic with your site, you - the business - needs to be providing some seriously high-quality content.

This might seem somewhat overwhelming at first. But in reality, this opens so many doors. It means that content with even the most tangentially related (to your business) subject matter can drive traffic. So when a potential customer takes interest and clicks the link, Voila!, they will arrive at your site.

Blogging is also the number one practice to establish not only your brand but expertise in your field of business. And when you’re creating interesting content, it gives people a reason to keep visiting your site, therefore keeping you from being “forgotten.”

Today everyone is constantly online consuming information and likewise, it’s become a prominent purpose for social media browsing.

The supreme art of strategy!

The internet itself is becoming more and more centered around the buyer. Forget the gimmicks and bait-and-switch tactics of the past, marketing is becoming about the customer and the ability to see the consumer landscape through their eyes.

Now before you jump to hire someone to manage your social media & content (yes, you can hire someone to do that), there’s some important questions need to be asking about your business.

- What is your content marketing strategy? (If you have one at all…)
- What are your goals for content marketing?
- How much of your marketing budget will be applied to content?

As with any advertising campaign, you should know what’s going to fill the space before you purchase it!

First and foremost, there needs to be a strategy when stepping into the world of social media and content marketing…today’s consumers are specifically looking for interesting, informative, and helpful content. They want something that drives their engagement, something that they can’t help but click on.

And when it comes to determining your strategy, the most important consideration is simply this: What does your audience desire?

However, a close second is to be clear on what your own goals are for content marketing. Clearly a primary goal is to have content and social media that drives traffic to your site, traffic that ultimately converts into paying customers. But ask yourself what else your business would like to gain from this form of marketing?

Inevitably, quality content marketing is an investment that’s either going to cost you time or money. But remember, that investment will ultimately manifest in increased value for your consumers (which, by default, always benefits business as well).

In today’s marketing landscape, social media & content marketing represent a hell of a piece of the sales pie. Is that a piece of the pie that you can really afford to be overlooking?

As always, I invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

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