For many brands, editorial calendars are often driven by buyer personas, product updates and/or a list of keywords. This approach isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t give B2B marketers a true sense of what’s resonating with their readers.
A staggering 80% of marketers agree that personalized content generates better results. Imagine yourself walking into a fashion boutique where all the salespeople know your name, your style, and favorite designer. Based on this personal service, what are the chances of you walking out with shopping bags?
Very high indeed!
Social media offers us one the best tools for personalization. When you use social data to personalize content, not only is it more engaging, it’s also far more cost-effectiveA staggering 80% of marketers agree that personalized content generates better results. Click To Tweet
But cost alone isn’t the only reason for letting social data drive your editorial calendar. Below, we dive into five more reasons why incorporating social data will drive higher engagement and conversions:
1. Social data will likely increase audience engagement with your content
If you’re like most B2B marketers, you deliver the content that matters to your company via social media – you’ll have it RT’ed on twitter, shared on Facebook and LinkedIn, etc.
Using the data from these channels shows you which content engages your users the most. This way, you can target your resources effectively, towards content that generates the most impact, and away from content that users scroll past.
In fact, many social networks are shifting their algorithm to prioritize audience engagement. For example, Facebook recently announced a change to their Newsfeed algorithm, which favors what they call “meaningful interactions”, namely active engagement with content like shares, comments, and reactions.
In other words, content that sparks conversations will ultimately get significantly higher exposure than content that leaves your audience indifferent. As such, you need to use social data to figure out which is which.
So that office party post might look nice on paper (or rather, on the screen) but if your audience isn’t curious about your company culture, you’re better off posting articles that align with their industry, pain points, and goals.
2. Social data will likely tell you which types of content employees are effective at sharing
Having a decent social media following is a “must” for nearly any content marketer, but different employees are going to attract different audiences. If you reach out to five different employees and have them share the same piece of content, you’ll get five different response rates.
Using social data, you can discover, for example, that Employee A’s audience will gladly take the time to read a full blog post, whereas Employee B’s network only has the attention span for an infographic… or maybe a meme.Social data will likely tell you which types of content employees are effective at sharing Click To Tweet
Although many marketing organizations say that long-form content is the best path to increasing page views, audiences aren’t homogenous. And social data tells you who should share what.
3. Social data will help you uncover and validate real trends in your industry (as opposed to guessing/assuming what they are)
Siloed communication is never a best practice when it comes to marketing. You may be confident that black is still the new black, but your audience could be wearing bright pink and buzzing about how black is…well, dead.
To uncover real trends in your market, you need to be proactively listening to what your prospective customers are talking about. And you can do that with social data!
The same goes for trend validation.
Video as the go-to format for high engagement has been on everyone’s lips recently. But how big of a trend is it really? Should you even bother embracing this format?
Social data is the easiest way to test these hypotheses – and make sure they’re backed up by facts. Instead of blindly going after the hype, social data will allow you to understand on which network video is big and where it isn’t – so you can use the format wisely.
4. Social data will tell you which topics are generating leads
Sometimes it’s easy to tell how well your content is performing. Your prospect will read a piece of content, follow the CTA, fill out the contact form, and get signed up for the email stream – it’s that simple.
However, this ideal sequence is increasingly an outlier as 57% of B2B buyers are following a non-traditional path down the sales funnel where they do most of their research on their own.
Social lead attribution has increasingly become the only way to track that 60%. Now, a more typical customer journey looks like a person clicking a Tweet to read an article, and eventually converting via a web-form.
Without the ability to track conversions on social, that lead will appear to have come out of an organic Google search. You might convert them, but you won’t have the insight required to repeat that particular path-to-conversion. Companies now need the tools to see which network, profile, post, and campaign their prospects clicked and converted from on social media.
5. Social data will let you optimize posting times
Not everyone uses social media at the same time.
There’s a lot of research which already shows the times for highest levels of engagement across the world. For example, the best posting times for Facebook are from 12 — 1 PM and 2—3 PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays from 2 — 5 PM on Instagram, and Fridays from 9 — 11 AM on Twitter.
That said, audiences aren’t uniform.
Instead of relying on global averages, it’s important to use social listening to dial in on individual audience engagement. Your particular enthusiasts may be night owls and do most of their media consumption at 2 AM every Monday, for example.
Social data is the crystal ball for B2B marketers
So let’s see what we know so far:
- You know the channels where your brand enthusiasts live.
- You know what kind of content they like to share.
- You know who should be sharing it with them.
- You know when to share for maximum impact.
- You know how many leads are likely to result.
In other words, the advantage that social data gives you is the next best thing to a crystal ball. Your social media team can now focus on building a data-driven editorial calendar that is sure to drive visible results across all your marketing efforts.