Content marketing is becoming more and more popular amongst b2bs looking to boost their engagement and drive traffic to their website. It’s also a fantastic way of positioning your brand as a thought leader, by using industry best practices and expert insights into the latest news to demonstrate authority and credibility.
Demand Metric report that 91% of b2b marketers are using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, which is hardly surprising since it’s such a cost-effective way of reaching new people and communicating with your existing audiences. It actually costs 62% less than traditional marketing, whilst generating around 3 times as many leads.
However, the downside of so many marketers using tactics like blogging to enhance their brand is that there are many more options for customers to choose from, and therefore competition is fiercer than ever. Every company wants their content to be read, and there are millions of blog posts shared per day. So how do you ensure yours is the one your target markets read?
One of the most effective ways of sharing your content is via social media. However, these platforms are often dominated by complicated algorithms that decide whether people see your posts or not, and how high up the feeds your content is. This, combined with the vast number of posts circulating the networks, means your content can very easily get lost.
When you’ve worked really hard on creating unique, captivating content, it’s worth taking the time to figure out the best ways to get it in front of the people that matter to your business. We’ve compiled a list of seven organic strategies to help you get your blog noticed on social media despite those interfering algorithms and the ever-growing numbers of rival posts.
#1 – Post to the right places.
Nowadays there are many different social networking platforms to choose from, so you need to make sure the ones you’re using are the best options for your business. If you’re not seeing enough engagement, you may need to reassess where you’re sharing your content and ask yourself whether it’s the best way to reach the right people.
Let’s face it, there would be nothing worse than finding out that the only reason that the blog posts you’d worked so hard on weren’t getting read was because of the platform, not the content.
When you’re deciding where to share to, remember that you don’t need to be everywhere at once. Just a select few places where your target decision makers spend most of their time. In order to figure out where that is, conduct market research or investigate where your successful competitors are most active.
Generally, b2b marketers are better positioned on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook than Instagram and Pinterest, because the latter are used more for recreation than professional purposes. Nevertheless, it’s worth trying out different platforms to see which ones return the most engagement, and adjusting where you post to based on the results.
#2 – Share your content at the optimum times.
Similarly to where you share your content, when you schedule your posts could be the difference between 500 Likes and none at all. It may be the case that your blog article is perfectly angled to your target market, but you’re sharing it at a time when no one is online and once they are, it’s been demoted down the news feed by more recent updates.
Luckily, there are plenty of statistics online about the best times to post on each platform to help you overcome this issue. We’ve listed Sprout Social’s research results below, which are based on posts from over 20,000 customer profiles.
As a general rule across all the platforms, it’s recommended that you avoid weekends, especially Sundays, and any time before 4am and after 8pm on any day of the week, as these are the times when users are least engaged. More specifically, here’s a breakdown of the best times to post on each platform:
While these are useful guidelines for your business to consider, bear in mind that they can vary from industry to industry. It’s definitely worth analysing your company’s posts to see what days and times are most effective for you. Social media tools like CoSend provide post statistics for each of the platforms you’ve shared to so you can compare engagement and adjust your schedule accordingly.
#3 – Get your headline right.
Now you’re posting at the right times and in the right places, it’s time to check whether your headline is hitting the spot. If the blog post is the product, the headline is the shopfront. You need to get the people to go in before they even consider buying.
It’s crucial not to underestimate the importance of your headline. It’s the first aspect of your article people will read, and it needs to do the content justice, so it’s worth spending time on to get it right.
One key thing to consider when constructing your perfect headline is balancing the SEO side with the attention-grabbing qualities. If you’re trying to improve your engagement on social media, then focusing on intriguing, eye-catching language will serve you better. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you want to engage with and try to imagine what would make them click on your article.
Sometimes, you know what you want to say, but you just can’t seem to put it together in a way that will appeal. To get inspiration and ideas for how to structure your headline, take a look at how your most successful competitors are pitching their blog posts. What are they doing differently to you?
There are many winning formulas out there; how-to guides, lists and stats-based headlines. There are loads of examples online of top performing posts that you can use to guide yours. Whatever way you go about perfecting your headline, don’t resort to clickbait. If you promote your content as one thing but it turns out to be about something completely different, you’ll lose the trust of your audience and you’ll be seen as dishonest. Whatever you promise your readers, deliver it.
#4 – Use the right caption for the right platform.
Alongside a winning headline, you need a captivating caption to convince your audience to read on. But unlike your headline which will stay the same regardless, your caption is adaptable depending on what platform you’re posting to.
Each platform has a different style that’s most effective, so here’s some recommendations for how to tailor your language for each:
The more straightforward the better is the general rule for Tweets. Users spend an average time of 3.39 minutes per session on this platform, so you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention. You also only have 280 characters available to tempt them, so keep your language concise and simple. Questions, quotes and stats often work well to grab your readers’ attention in very few words.
Compared to Twitter, Facebook users want a bit more meaning from their feed. The best way to approach these posts is to aim for an emotional connection with your audience, whether that be through surprise, amusement, curiosity, excitement, joy, anger or even sadness. This is where emojis come in handy, to help you illustrate the feelings you’re trying to convey with your language.
As the self-professed ‘platform for professionals’ it’s no surprise that your captions on LinkedIn need to uphold a certain level of respectability. Engage your audiences with useful insights, questions that prompt discussion and intriguing statistics; anything that will captivate your professional community.
As a platform created for visuals, Instagram users care less about what you write and more about the image you use. The best accompaniment to a blog post on Instagram is a relevant and eye-catching visual (more about this further down).
#5 – Use hashtags to widen your reach.
Hashtags are a great way to connect with new people and join in topical conversations on different platforms. Add 2-5 popular hashtags to the end of your caption to help your blog post reach wider audiences, but just like your headline, don’t include words and phrases that don’t apply to your post. These will just frustrate users when they’re looking for specific content and can only find mislabeled posts.
If you’re stuck for ideas, there are several free tools available online that help you find trending, relevant hashtags to include in your posts. Here are three of our favourites:
- RiteTag – search key topics and find the most popular hashtags surrounding that category for Twitter and Instagram.
- Hashtags.org – search specific hashtags and see how often they’ve be Tweeted in the last 24 hours.
- Hashtagify – find popular hashtags that relate to key words in your post.
Alternatively, try a social media scheduler like CoSend that automagically generates hashtags for your posts based on key words or phrases included in your text.
#6 – Use vibrant visuals to make your posts stand out.
Engaging visuals are a vital aspect of all types of marketing, and content creation is no exception. As readers, we like content that includes imagery to help illustrate the text. In a study of over a million articles, BuzzSumo found that those with an image once every 75-100 words received double the number of social media shares than articles with fewer images.
They’re also a great way of catching your audience’s attention as they quickly scroll through their social media feed. As feeds have become more crowded, images accompanying posts on social media platforms have become more and more common. With this in mind, you should add a visual to pretty much every post you share to your socials, whether it’s an infographic, a photo taken by your company, or a stock image.
Tools like CoSend make it easier to quickly add an engaging visual to all your posts, since you can store all your media in one tidy library and simply add them to posts as you schedule them. CoSend also lets you add your watermark to your chosen image, for a more professional touch that will make your branding more memorable.
#7 – Encourage employee advocacy.
Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organisation by its own people, most recently through social media. While the concept has been around for many years, more sophisticated employee advocacy programmes that incorporate strategies and measuring are now becoming a more common marketing method, as social media’s influence on the b2b industry grows.
According to research by Hinge, the most beneficial aspect of an employee advocacy programme, from a business perspective, is that it increases brand visibility. LinkedIn’s own research has found that an employee’s network is on average 10x larger than their company’s follower base, so just by looking within your own workforce, the potential to reach hundreds more decision makers is vast.
Ask your employees to share blog posts on their platforms to widen your reach and encourage engagement, or connect their accounts to CoSend to automatically share blog posts to their profiles.
Now that you’re equipped with all the best ways to get your blog content noticed on social media, it’s time to implement them. Just remember, social media is just a tool for people to connect with other people, so don’t over-complicate things. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and think about what would make you engage with your articles. Once you’ve pinned that down, everything else should fall into place.