In the dynamic world of media and communications, nothing is stable – not even the definitions. Keeping up with all the terms and jargon helps you communicate more effectively with clients and partners, so we decided it is time to update the content marketing and social media glossary.
In our recent interview with Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi, he explained that before content marketing was even called content marketing, terms like “custom media”, ”customer media”, “custom publishing” and “branded content” were used. The term content marketing really became established when smart phones and social media enabled an endless flow of and access to information; this meant that consumers now had the control over information — not the publisher or the company.
The core of content marketing is that in order to get noticed, you really have to make your message valuable, relevant and compelling to your customers. Instead of just talking about yourself, talk about something that is important to your audience.
Once you have understood what content marketing is, the next step is to implement it in your own business. The best content strategies start with insight about your target audiences. In order to create content that accomplishes strategic goals but also has value to the target audience, different themes and types of content that generate interest should always first be thoroughly analysed.
A solid content strategy should answer the following questions concerning your content creation: Why you are creating content? Who are your target audiences? How and where are you going to distribute the content? What kind of content process is needed and how can the success of your content be measured? Content strategy should not be merely an abstract term — you also should document it to make it real.
Once your content strategy is defined, you can move on to creating a content plan, which is a more concrete, detailed outline to support your content creation and publishing. A content plan is the tactical description of your content ideas that covers how you will execute your content strategy: who will handle each task, what pieces of content will be created, what the key messages of each specific piece of content will be, who the target audience is and when and in which channels the content will be distributed. A content plan makes your everyday work as a marketing manager or content creator much easier.
Paid, owned and earned media
Different types of media can be categorized by their features. Most digital marketers look at social media conversion based on these three metrics:
- Paid media: The ads and promoted social media content you invest in to have them displayed to predefined audiences.
- Owned media: Organic content posted on a brand’s social channels, for example your Twitter profile or corporate LinkedIn page.
- Earned media: User generated content involving your brand. Earned media can be for example press mentions, positive reviews on discussion forums or reposts of your content. Earned media is usually the goal for carefully planned paid and owned media campaigns.
Social media strategy
Businesses use social media marketing daily in order to achieve marketing communications targets such as website traffic, engagement and brand awareness with target audiences. A social media strategy defines your objectives, target audiences and metrics in social media based on insight. Furthermore, a social media strategy helps you select the channels in which you should be present and defines the role of each channel — an important decision because not all channels reach the same audiences, nor do they necessarily support same business objectives.
Social media analytics and metrics
At its core, social media analytics are used to create insights from your database consisting of social media metrics. This data can be gathered for example from your own social media channels and blogs. Some of the most frequently used social media metrics are reach (the number of people who have received impressions of an organic or paid post), engagement (the number of reactions, such as likes and comments, to your post by users) and clicks.
However, there are hundreds of additional metrics you could be measuring. In order to decide the right metrics for your company, you need to decide on your desired goals. By measuring and analyzing your social media data, you can support your decision making and content production in the future.