THE BLOG

How Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Work Together

11/25/2014 12:06 pm ET | Updated Jan 24, 2015

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Content marketing, SEO, and social media should work together synergistically. Each should be its own instrument, working together to create a perfect harmony. But you're wondering just how to integrate the three to produce great business results, right? You're curious about how each compliments the other. Well, I wrote this article to show you the steps you need to be taking right away.

1. Set Goals and Objectives

Begin by outlining your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? What about with social media? Is it awareness, sales, engagement with prospects and customers? And what are your key performance indicators (KPIs). Be sure to have solid content marketing and social media strategies in place that lay out goals, budget, KPIs, how you'll measure results, the tools you'll use, your voice and tone, and more.

Time and again people don't achieve the results they're looking for and the reason is often due to the fact that they haven't set their goals before they started their work. As a result, there's a mismatch between their objectives, and the actions they took to try and get the results they wanted.

2. Produce Great Content

Once you've created your content marketing strategy you can start thinking about drafting a good content calendar. You won't be successful with content marketing if your content is all promotional in nature. The trick is to position yourself as an expert in your field by sharing valuable information with your audience.

I was recently speaking with someone who started their own business last year. She has a blog but the posts were all about her company and special offers and deals. When I suggested she write guides, checklists, and helpful resource articles, she said "If I give away all this free information, won't I prevent people from actually calling me up and using my services?" This is a common concern that a lot of people have. But the reality is, the concern is usually unwarranted. More likely, prospects will see and be impressed by the great advice and knowledge you have to offer, follow your blog, and eventually call you.

As well, the SEO and social media benefits (more about social media below) that content marketing has to offer is tremendous and will pay big dividends over time. Google rewards sites with quality content. If you're a marketing firm, you want to come up in the search results when someone searches for "social media best practices." In order to do this, you need to consistently produce great content. Old tactics to rank high on Google, like heavily focusing on keywords and link building, are not nearly as effective.

3. Share Your Content on Social Media

So you've created this great repertoire of content that consists of guides, e-books, white papers, checklists, quizzes, podcasts, videos, and infographics. Now you can just sit back and wait for the results, right? Well, not quite. Think about relevant places you can promote your content. It's usually beneficial to promote it across your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Where exactly you'll do this depends on your business, but also think about Pinterest, Reddit, and online forums and communities.

Keep in mind that the beauty of social media lies in the fact that you can have two-way dialogue with a (hopefully) engaged audience. So if you get comments and questions after sharing something, be sure to respond - the people asking are potentially hot leads.

As well, be sure people can easily share your content on their social media sites by adding share buttons. Social media is a great way to get more eyeballs on your content, increase the likelihood of it going viral, and showcase your expertise. All this in addition to the SEO benefits that social media provides.

4. Analyze and Optimize Your Content

Use Google Analytics and social media data to see which types of content performed best. Look at the number of page views from one piece of content to the next as well as comments, likes, shares, retweets, and/ or average time on site. By understanding which content performs best and worst, and then consequently producing more or less of certain types accordingly, you'll optimize your content marketing and get better results over time.

Set measurable goals, produce great content, promote it on social media, and then analyze and optimize your content. If done properly, you'll get more traffic to your site and rank higher in the SERPs. There's a natural synergy between content marketing, SEO, and social media. Understanding this synergy is key to a successful digital strategy. Good luck!