Content Links Plenty of brand publishers produce rock star content and trendy social media messages, but it’s less common to see the two forces joined together in a one-two marketing punch. A recent http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/09/17/the-top-7-online-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/Forbes article predicts content marketing and social media will … "/>

How To Link Content And Social Media Strategies

Content Links

Plenty of brand publishers produce rock star content and trendy social media messages, but it’s less common to see the two forces joined together in a one-two marketing punch.

A recent Forbes article predicts content marketing and social media will dominate the marketing world in 2014, so it’s time to figure out ways to combine the two.

Online office supply retailer, Shoplet, is willing to share a few moves from its marketing playbook on this topic.

Without any brick-and-mortar stores, the virtual company doesn’t have a traditional, face-to-face relationship with its customers, which forces the company to leverage every marketing tool it can.

Diana Regal

Diana Regal of Shoplet.com

“Our content marketing strategy includes social media. It has to, if we want to successfully reach customers,” says Diana Regal, who does marketing and business development for the firm. “Our secret is to cross-promote like mad.”

It’s best to learn through example, so here are three specific ways that Shoplet combines content marketing with social media to maximize its reach.

 

Have Bloggers Write Product Reviews

This is basic blocking and tackling but it bears reviewing since so many marketers find it tricky to get right. Shoplet has created a pool of 275+ bloggers who are willing to test products and write reviews. Once a post is up, Shoplet blasts out a link on its social media channels.

For example, a UK “mummy blogger” said Shoplet’s stationary was helping her get organized. Once the product review was published, the e-tailer sent a tweet out to its followers. The tweet includes a link to the post and the blogger’s handle to capitalize on the biggest audience possible. Regal says both Shoplet and the blogger see a boost in search engine optimization, which is a win-win.

“There are so many benefits to this program,” Regal says. “For starters, both Shoplet and the blogger have a great SEO exchange. Plus, a blogger’s review is the equivalent of a friend referring a customer, which is invaluable as an online retailer.”

 

Do A Giveaway

A lot of companies do giveaways or online contests to spark social media chatter, but Shoplet connects its giveaways to several marketing vehicles.

“When we host a giveaway, which we do weekly to establish a friendly relationship with our customers, we market the promotion on every channel we can,” Regal says. “We tweak the message so it’s not repetitive, but again, it’s all about cross-promoting.”

For example, a recent $200 gift card giveaway was mentioned in a newsletter and on Twitter and Pinterest. When a customer clicks on the giveaway, they’re taken to the company’s blog to sign up. That means the promotion touches four Shoplet marketing platforms.

 

Create Some Eye Candy

Regal says Shoplet’s marketing team knows that content marketing is more than a well-crafted email.

“You can’t underestimate the power of visuals,” she says. “People are bombarded by information on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise that so many people are attracted to simple, easy-to-read graphics.”

Shoplet creates original graphics for its marketing content, which are also used on social media sites, Regal says. For example, when an interior designer wrote a blog post on how to spruce up an office cubicle, the team created a graphic to promote it. The graphic was used everywhere the post was mentioned.

Through its 14-year history, Shoplet has realized the power of content marketing, but Regal says their efforts wouldn’t be nearly as successful if they didn’t spread the word on social media. The company’s content marketing is “married” to its social media, Regal says. Alone each marketing tool is beneficial, but together, they’re powerful.

 

About the Author: Lisa Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content.

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