Often, online marketers talk about search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing as if they are entirely separate. However, online marketing is often better perceived as a complex interconnected system which is best met with a more holistic approach. SEO and social media are especially compatible bed fellows and if you get the two working together properly you’ll see incredible improvements to both sides that couldn’t be accomplished alone.
A well joined strategy can see huge benefits in numerous areas such as outreach and promotion, content creation, brand management, and goal tracking. In the end, this all means more dollars in the bank for everyone involved. Purna Virji has some tips to help get the two running together instead of apart.
1) Use Promoted Posts to Scale Outreach and Link Building
SEO professionals spend a lot of time attempting to earn high-quality links, while the social media team normally aims to reach out and interact with their audience to build their brand. These may seem like unique tasks, but in reality they are very similar.
Well earned links often require outreach to begin with. You can’t just buy links (well, you can but Google won’t like it) so one of the best ways to earn links in the current field requires creating and sharing content. Just about every online brand has their own blogs these days, but they often expect them to pull their weight on their own. Writers post to the blog, and expect people to simply find their content. At best they share them directly to Facebook and Twitter for free and leave it at that.
Marty Weintraub from aimClear suggests taking it further and making sure your best content gets out to the public with Paid Organic Distribution. Instead of leaving the blog content to languish on its own, you can use Facebook to search out the perfect demographic that will enjoy and respond to your content. You want to look for those who are likely to share, but also seem right for your content. Then, you target them with promoted posts.
This strategy allows you to reach out to possible customers who may have not interacted with your brand before while also offering them something of value. Then, with a well-placed call to action you encourage them to share, driving more organic traffic and scaling up your link building efforts all at once. Best of all, this traffic is more likely to convert once on your site, which can help improve profits.
2) Create More Effective Content
As I previously indicated, one of the most important efforts for SEO professionals these days is creating quality content. It improves how Google perceives your site while also opening up many doors for link building and audience outreach. But what exactly is quality content?
While there are some writers who can magically intuit what their audience wants to know, most of us are secretly writing for ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Instead, using a joint brainstorming session to go over analytics and create a specific content strategy can improve the quality of your content and increase its sharability all at once.
A community manager can offer a great deal of insight into their audience to SEOs, while community managers will appreciate the opportunity to grow and expand their audience with a regular flow of great content. Virji suggests preparing for such a brainstorming session by:
- Have the SEOs compile a list of which audiences and types of content have resulted in the best campaigns.
- Have the community manager pull together data on what type of content receives the most shares and audience engagement.
- Have the SEOs bring in their outreach plan for the coming three months.
This preparation allows you to understand which audiences you should be expanding to and how to better engage the highest performing demographics and cater content to them. You will better understand what gets the best responses and be able to plan ways to create more content that performs highly and less content flops. The community manager will also be able to plan audience engagement activities relevant to your content ahead of time.
3) Engage Influencers
While you can always go straight to your audience, you’ll often see great results from reaching out to those who already have a lot of influence in your field. SEOs will do well to connect with influential bloggers or website owners. Not only can they have a huge impact on your link building efforts, but one link from them can result in a high rate of qualified leads that can lead to conversions.
There are even tools for helping to identify the biggest influencers if you aren’t sure. Klout, FollowerWonk, and Traackr all create lists which will tell you who to engage.
Be careful not to just reach out with a sales pitch. You aren’t trying to gain a link, but build a real relationship between influencer and content creator. Start by sharing their content and retweeting posts, or helping out on community and audience endeavors. Create a reciprocal relationship where the influencer will be inclined to scratch your back in return.
Once you’ve built the relationship, getting them to share links to real quality content will feel natural. Those that see the links will also perceive your brand in higher terms of credibility, as you are co-signed by a trusted influencer.