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    How market research fuels content creation at (7)

    In this blog, Emma Clark, Senior HubSpot Account Manager, explains how social media can be used to amplify the reach of content, enabling businesses to build brand awareness, reach new audiences and increase the longevity of the content they produce.

    So, you’ve got a great content strategy and brilliant, search engine optimised content ready to go, but how do you get it in front of your audience?

    Simple: with content amplification.

    But it shouldn’t be an afterthought.

    Ideally, you should spend at least twice as much time promoting your content as you do creating it. It’s not enough to simply add it to your resource page on your website (not everyone knows how your website works!) – people need to be able to find it easily.

    After all, you and your team have put a lot of effort into creating your latest eBook/market research report/whitepaper, so ensuring you get a return on investment in terms of conversions and contacts is important. As a true Inbound Marketer, this is what your goal should be!

     

    So, how can you amplify your content?

    There are several methods you can use to increase the visibility and reach of your content:

    • Promotional emails to your contacts

    • Website calls-to-action (CTAs)

    • Paid search campaigns

    • Paid social campaigns

    But these come with a number of drawbacks…

    • eShots won’t help you generate new contacts directly – you’ll need your own (clean and GDPR compliant!) email database

    • Website CTAs require someone to already be on your website

    • Paid search & social – can require substantial financial investment

     

    The other remaining option is organic social media – but this is often overlooked by busy marketers looking for quick wins and less time-intensive ways of generating leads. However, it shouldn’t be dismissed as a chore – social media really does matter.

     

    But why does social media matter?

    Social media is a completely free channel and a great way to get your content in front of potential prospects, and tap into new audiences in your industry. It's a core part of your B2B content marketing strategy and content amplification. There are a number of ways to reach audiences you may have not considered, such as:

    • Followers sharing your content

    • Using relevant hashtags (research will help you to find more)

    • Using LinkedIn groups and Twitter lists

    • Engaging with industry leaders

     

    Which social media channels are right for your audience?

    It’s important to prioritise the channels that your audience can be found on, so go back to your buyer personas and align your promotion to the channels that your key personas are using.

    If you use channels that your personas generally aren’t found on then you may still get interactions with your posts, but you may get a lower conversion rate on your landing page and/or irrelevant contacts coming through that can’t be progressed with the sales team.

     

    Which channels work best for B2B content amplification?

     

    Twitter

    For B2B companies, channels like Twitter are more conversational; it’s more about keeping up to date with and taking advantage of the latest trending stories to increase visibility and engagement with your audience. While you are unlikely to generate many leads from Twitter, you can share ideas and thoughts with your audience, get opinions from followers and run straw polls on industry issues.

     

    Instagram

    Instagram is also more about brand awareness and its metrics are similarly high level; your performance drivers are the number of likes on your posts and views of your latest story. While posts may receive comments from followers, they are unlikely to start a meaningful dialogue. Also, you can only include links in your profile bio, restricting the number of things you can promote at the same time (though tools like Linktree are a great workaround to share more links to your content).

     

    Facebook

    Facebook business pages can be useful for visibility and posting updates, however these tend to be more lucrative for B2C, helping businesses to build a presence and an online community around their products.

     

    LinkedIn

    Every social media channel has slightly different engagement approaches that you can leverage, but LinkedIn is a core channel for B2B companies. LinkedIn enables them to showcase their knowledge and provides a several ways to reach new prospects. Let’s go through some of the top features…


    Five great features of LinkedIn:

     

    1. Company pages

    Ensure your employees follow your company page and encourage them to share and interact with your company news. This will help spread the word about your content an what you’ve been up to, as well as increase the visibility of your content on the platform (every time someone shares a bit of content on LinkedIn, their followers can see it, too).  

     

    2. Personal profiles of key spokespeople

    If you have written technical content, chances are a subject matter expert in your business has had to review it and sign it off.

    Why not get them involved in the promotion of the piece?

    Prompting your subject matter experts to post from their LinkedIn profile about what they know best is a win-win: you get to promote your content to industry-specific connections, and your experts get to build their authority as an industry leader!

     

    3. LinkedIn Groups

    LinkedIn groups are one of the key drivers of leads for B2B companies because you can share your content with specific groups of people who may have similar pain points to your personas.

    If you increase the profile of your spokespeople, find relevant groups for them to join and partake in as doing so is a great way to start discussions and share your richer content with an already engaged audience.

     

    4. LinkedIn articles

    If you have written blogs to promote your downloadable assets, consider using them as LinkedIn articles. Get your spokespeople to edit and repost these articles to provide an outline of an industry issue. Make sure these articles link back to your website or landing page for a more detailed guide to the topic.

     

    5. Hashtags

    Hashtags are one of the newer features of LinkedIn and help to collate posts around a particular topic. Users can follow hashtags and, by adding specific and relevant hashtags to your posts, you can boost the impressions that your post receives and potentially get your content in front of people outside your following.  

    These are just five key methods of using LinkedIn to draw in leads and amplify your content further – there are other things you can do to get more out of LinkedIn:

     

    LinkedIn tips for maximum engagement

     

    1. Use video to increase engagement with your audience

    Video is a fantastic way to increase engagement on your social platforms, boost your following and present the expertise of your business or spokesperson. According to HubSpot, social media posts with video have 48% more views. And you don’t need a fancy editing studio or loads of time. A short one or two-minute clip explaining an issue and how your latest piece of content helps to resolve it is enough – just remember to link it to a landing page!  

    To gain the best traction, make sure you post video in platform, i.e. don’t direct people away from the website you’re posting on. LinkedIn native video, for example, is five times more likely than other content to start a conversation among its members.

     

    2. Put together a schedule

    Try to put together a schedule or social media calendar so you know what you intend to promote and when. Create a bank of social for two weeks or a month to ensure you’re keeping ahead; social media promotion can feel constant, so creating banks is a good way to give yourself breathing room to work on more strategic tasks.

    HubSpot has a great calendar and post scheduling tool in order to keep track of what is being promoted on all channels – including LinkedIn personal pages.

     

    3. Get your audience to work for you

    You can reach new audiences through sharing on your social channels and, most importantly – being part of the conversation.

    It can be tempting to think that your corporate channels are just for promoting your content, but it isn’t all about you. Spend 10 minutes a day sharing thought-provoking content, asking questions to encourage discussion, following new people, and replying and commenting on interesting news stories. Make those followers or connections interested in you and what you do, and they’ll be much more likely to share your content with their followers.

    And it’s not just you who is responsible for content amplification on social media; get everyone in the business involved and on board with the process by sharing on their profiles and continuing the discussion!  

     

    Analysing results: Looking out for patterns

    After working on your social activity and engagement, you’ll want to see the results it’s delivering – and that’s not just the number of form submissions and contacts you get.  

    The great thing about social platforms is that you can dive into the analytics to work out what kind of messaging works best and when you get the most audience engagement.

    By doing this you can start tailoring your messages to specific audiences and posting when those audiences are active, helping your content resonate and go much, much further. With this approach, you can start having conversations with the right people and increasing conversions.

    Finally, share your social media successes with the rest of your team. To really get people invested in the process, they need to see the fruits of their labour – whether that’s likes, comments, shares or new followers.

    So don’t underestimate the power and potential of social media when it comes to content amplification. It can help to spread the word about your content and maybe one day you’ll be able to tie back your latest customer to one of your LinkedIn posts.

    You never know!  

    For more tips on content strategy for B2B companies, download our eBook to discover how topic clusters can help structure your content planning.

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