The New Integrated Marketing DNA
Copywriting, Social Media and Content Marketing They’re Now Tied Together; Why Business Needs to Pay Attention
In the past you might have gotten away with thinking social media and content marketing were two distinct disciplines. Also, with the preponderance of images on social media sites you might have guessed copywriting was an unrelated initiative. But because of our propensity to compartmentalize everything to keep strategies nice and neat, rarely do we see the forest for the trees. And so if you’ve failed to see how the two are now fundamentally tied together within your content marketing strategy let me give you a few kicks in the proverbial butt. Take a look at what’s going on.
Copywriting For the past several years Google and others would slap you silly for duplicate content. That hasn’t changed – it’s only getting more penalizing – so your content has to be unique (for search engines to like it) and appealing (for audiences to hang in there with you). Therefore:
While content curation is a good place to find out what’s on the minds of your audience you can’t just mix, stir and serve. If you aren’t unique and engaging you’re dead upon arrival.
As a copywriter, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “No one will read long copy!” Bull! If they’re interested and you’re interesting they’ll read it. But here are the bigger issues for today which call for longer copy:
Search engines now rely less on keywords and more on context. They use long copy to pick up the “intent” of your blog posts, making 2000+ word blogs now able to outrank 500 word posts.
Your audience is tired of stale website pages and regurgitated verbiage they find everywhere on the internet. Google a subject and you’ll find 10 writers who say the same thing. For business, if you can’t show that you are a thought leader, don’t even try to play in your customers’ ballpark. This often takes long copy for deep subjects.
Here is the unbreakable rule: Writing for your audience and making it interesting and original should be your first priority. Let the search engines pick up the intent and longtail keywords. Worry about length, but conversely WHEN IT’S DONE IT’S DONE! Don’t fill in with fluff just to make a word quota.
Social Media Look at your Twitter and Facebook accounts and you’ll see posts with images – lots of them. The reason is that images have higher engagement levels than simple, worded posts which easily get lost in feeds. Now add in Instagram (reportedly with the highest engagement rates of any social media site) and Pinterest, and visual seems to have taken over the world. And that’s true, but only in part. Images catch attention and define your company’s visual signature. But:
Images need to be treated like copy; unique and interesting. They also MUST tie to your written copy. If they don’t help to emphasize a point or back up your copy they’re useless.
Pretty images on social media or in blog posts mean nothing if they don’t lead to engagement with your written word. (Even the latest fashion trends don’t sell without copy to back them up.)
Visual draws – copy sells. Images may draw attention to your posts, but copy establishes you as a leader in your industry. Copy also gives readers enough info to make an informed decision.
Visual Rules to Win By:
Copy and visual social media posts must tie together. Those in charge of social media cannot ignore what’s going on with content and vice versa.
In addition, with each worded post social media should be getting a lot of mileage. Here we use a rotating schedule with rotating images and promote each blog post at least eight times over two weeks for our clients.
Finally, images must be representative of your company brand. They’re not just a bunch of pictures! Ideally it’s best if you can determine a style - white background? a single solid color? - and the use of filters and logo overlays early on, then stick to your style. Over time a style will become easily recognizable by your followers.
Within Your Content Marketing Strategy…
You can no longer afford to treat social media and copywriting as separate disciplines. Going even one step further, those in charge of UX need to know what marketing is up to in these areas. Everything today ties together. You can’t win the content marketing wars without sticking to a few guidelines:
The best performing companies have a well defined content marketing strategy and a conversation about how to incorporate social media with copy. This includes a content map, schedule and defined ways to measure success so you can always ratchet up audience engagement and ROI.
Work as a team, not as separate entities. Have weekly meetings representative of everyone who has a stake in the process; copywriters, graphic artists, UX, etc.
Don’t work like an assembly line with one group done with their tasks before the other takes over. Work together to accomplish goals more quickly and cohesively.
Use multiple stylized images and, in conjunction with links to your written copy, repost these on social media at least eight times per blog to get more mileage out of each piece of written copy. Also, remember this Golden Rule: For every ten written blogs or articles only one should be promotional. Most should be informational.