Of all the practices to emerge in marketing over the last 20 years, the use of social media as a promotional tool, and the rise of branded content (also known as sponsored content) have been 2 of the most game-changing.
These 2 options are also perhaps the most naturally complementary ingredients of a multi-channel strategy. You get to pair high-quality writing that inspires trust with a forum that both amplifies your message and allows for a more intimate, conversational connection with your customers.
There’s no better home for your content marketing efforts than your local news website, and spreading your article to local customers with a strong strategy of organic and paid Facebook posts will lend weight and credibility to your business.
Given that local news is probably only read by people in your area, making it a home for your content marketing whittles down your audience to those living nearby. This focuses your marketing budget on the most likely leads, making every penny spent more likely to produce a sale.
However, when you’ve got a great piece of content on your hands directed explicitly at a local audience, there’s no reason why it should only be read by the audience of the website it’s on. Indeed, an article that goes unshared is a wasted opportunity in our opinion.
You should consider using a boosted post on Facebook to share your article. Facebook’s advertising services allow you to target by location, demographics, customer interest, choice of pets, favourite Fleetwood Mac album (we’re Tusk people by the way) and more!
This way, you can always be sure that the right people are receiving your message and enjoying your content.
To discover more about the basics of incorporating content into your marketing, read this article about how essential content is to any marketing mix.
A regular online news article will generally have few means for people to do anything with it beyond reading it, emailing it to a friend, and maybe leaving a below-the-line comment.
Once you share your sponsored article on Facebook, however, readers have a huge suite of options to engage with it. They can like it (or add six other varieties of reaction), comment on it with their own take on its content, and easily share it with their own network of friends and family.
Studies have found that people share sponsored content on Facebook to help define themselves to others. If your post generates shares, not only will you magnify your message, but your content will have helped people convey their own personal message about themselves too - the ultimate endorsement for any brand!
Similarly, if people ask questions and contribute their own viewpoints on your article in the comment section of the post, you can reply directly, increasing the volume of engagement on the post, raising your visibility and developing your reputation as a conscientious, helpful and responsive company. Take care not to get too drawn in, though - getting into online spats with members of the public isn’t a good look for any business!
So, you’ve got a killer piece of content that speaks for itself. Surely that’s all the messaging you need?
Not quite. Social media gives you a whole new opportunity to frame the content you’ve already got, and layer your messaging.
Why not adapt the article headline for Facebook to make it more catchy? Or add custom imagery that will stand out in people’s newsfeeds and help build your company’s visual identity? You’ve also got the space to write a description summing up the article which you can use to reiterate and develop your core brand messaging.
This kind of auxiliary content draws attention to your article, increasing engagement, while allowing you to tell people more about your business. This is the root benefit of a multi-channel approach - the more vectors you have to carry your story, the more your marketing message will cut through.
There’s also something to be said for the prestige of appearing as native to a respected news source. Local news is officially Britain’s most trusted source of information, so being seen within a key resource for your community will lend authenticity and credibility to the other strands of your marketing.
Social media and sponsored content should really be inseparable elements of any modern marketing campaign. Social is both the vehicle for bringing a sponsored article to wider attention, and a way of building on what it communicates.
Taken together, sponsored content and social media allows you to reach more people with great writing, in a way that makes them more likely to engage with what you’re saying all the way to a sale.
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out some more from the archives?