Content Marketing

Finding Marketing’s Pot of Gold in Search & Social

klariviere1As the myth goes, if you follow a leprechaun to the end of the rainbow, you’ll discover his pot of gold. This isn’t unlike the marketer’s quest to understand the elusive customer journey. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, here are some recommendations for achieving the most effective digital marketing campaign results.

Guinness or Bailey’s – Go beyond the basics to understand your audience 

Regardless of what you’re selling, knowing the personal preferences of your target audience beyond basic demographics is key to conversion. Whether they prefer Guinness, Bailey’s or a shot of Jameson is just one dimension ­– yet one dimension can lead you down an entirely different path when it comes to better understanding the customer journey.

Corned Beef and Content – Serving up the right material for your audience.

You wouldn’t serve corned beef to a vegetarian, and the same principle applies to creating targeted content.

To match content with the appropriate target audience, research activity and engagement on various social media channels over an extended period of time to get a more accurate and complete picture of your audience and their behavior on each network.

Once you have a thorough understanding of where your target audience is most active online and which social channels they prefer, be sure to catch up on the latest trends on those networks. This way you can tailor your content accordingly.

In addition to understanding the broader trends on the top social networks where your audience is most active, take a closer look at how your brand is performing on social media. By understanding the overall level of customer engagement online, and then seeing how that maps against your performance, you’ll get a more comprehensive picture of where you’ve been and where you need to go to achieve campaign goals. Armed with this insight, you can now build a content-first strategy that leads with creating quality content and then adapting it to the interests of your audience and the nuances of the online channel.

An important reminder – not every social media channel is a fit for every company and not every company has the time and resources to be immersed in every social network. It’s best to invest your time, money and energy in the top two or three places where your target audience is most active. Two of the biggest missteps a company can take in content marketing are to create content simply for the sake of getting something posted and attempting to be everything to everybody.

Top of the Mornin’ to Your Audience – Choosing when and where to share.

As you finalize your strategy, also consider the timing, destination and target audience of your content. Start by determining when your target audience goes online. Is it in the morning with a cup of Irish coffee, or in the evening via their mobile device while out at a pub? You’ll want to get specifics here so you can execute your campaigns when your target audience is most likely to engage. This may also mean staggering how and where you launch certain campaign elements, but it also ensures your results will inspire a jig. By using aggregated insights, you can determine the best time of day and frequency for executing successful campaigns.

Your Pot of Gold may have a Hole in it – The key to keywords

Keyword research is often overlooked in understanding your customer’s journey. Content marketing without keyword research will result in gaps in the conversion funnel and holes in your content marketing pot of gold.

The most effective digital marketing campaign results stem from a data-driven approach to decision making: answering the questions where, when, what and why. Optimize your content for keywords that will get it discovered in search and social. This will help increase conversion and the potential of your digital marketing team discovering that four-leaf clover.

Now you’re ready to grab your lucky shillelagh and follow that rainbow. And you won’t be disappointed when you come to its end, because your social content creation and distribution strategy ensures that your positive results will be driven by more than just the luck, tinging every campaign with green.

Krista LaRiviere is co-founder and CEO of gShift, a company that offers a web presence analytics platform and collects millions of data points every single day for more than 10,000 brands. With more than 15 years of experience in content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), Krista is passionate about the digital space and bringing automation and innovation to the marketing tactics of SEO, social media and content marketing.