Content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing — business owners of all kinds are always trying to digest these terms, but what do they really mean and should you be paying attention to all of them?
Fortunately, these terms are relatable to each other. If you follow a proper flow of operations, it will be easy to fit them all in your strategy.
Think of Content Marketing as your foundation. It pertains to any type of advertising opportunity that includes the creation and sharing of online material.
Content is an umbrella term, so it can be written, visuals or videos. Different materials could be blogs, social posts, automated emails, etc.
If you’re promoting your brand, service, products or whatever else, content marketing will be an integral part of the process.
Social Media Marketing ties into content marketing as you need content to promote on social media. The act of social media marketing is broadcasting your brand/product/service/whatever else on a social media platform.
The most common platforms to advertise on are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIN. Although, they are not technically the most used by the public. The top three most used platforms are Facebook, Youtube, and Whatsapp.
Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIN are still top contenders - but other platforms like SnapChat, Quora, and TikTok are heavily used by consumers.
Why not advertise on all of them? Most business owners choose to opt out because the content is harder to create.
Constructing quality videos can be especially difficult for inexperienced creators. Videos should be clean, catchy, have transitions, and music with a viral component to them. It’s a lot to maintain if you’re still adjusting to hashtags.
Another umbrella term is Digital Marketing.
There are several methods that fall under digital advertisements, such as, SEO, inbound/outbound marketing, even influencer marketing and email campaigns are considered to be digital marketing.
If you have alluring content that’s promoted on social media as well as other platforms (lets say, an advertising space on Kijiji) you’re hitting all 3 marketing streams in one go.
The only unfortunate part of this process? Your content has to be stunning, captivating and most importantly unique to see a return on your advertising efforts.
How do you accomplish top-notch content while running your business and managing costs? You use digital automated tools.
1. Brand Archetype
Choosing and staying true to a brand archetype is often overlooked when developing a marketing strategy. This technically isn’t a ‘digital tool’, but it’s a necessary technique.
Ultimately, your content as a whole will be more memorable since it’s cohesive and has a distinctive voice that directly relates to your business.
Before you skim over this recommendation because you’re thinking “Oh, my brand is neon colours, geometrical shapes, and being fun” — really consider how your brand is presented aside from visuals.
The development of a Brand Archetype doesn’t conclude at colours, logo designs, or a theme. An archetype’s connection is deeper.
It’s essentially the personality and figure behind your brand’s voice. To utilize their persona, you must use relatable word choices, promotional ideas, imagery and most importantly, be consistent.
There are 12 different archetypes, ranging from Innocent to Hero to Ruler. Each one has an individual voice. In most cases, you will have a primary and secondary archetype.
Once you know your archetype (or top archetypes), it’s time to understand their meaning. This cheatsheet breaks down the top qualities of each archetype. For relative phrases, coordinating colour choices, and other brands who fall into that archetype — take a look at this resource.
Having a persona can narrow down your target audience which ultimately saves money on ad spending as well as time needed for test campaigns.
The content creation process will speed up as well. If you know the tone/general feel that you’re trying to convey, there will be less time spent on word choices, phrases, colours, vibes, etc.
Let’s take a look at Disney. Disney is associated with the Magician archetype (big surprise there, hey?). The Magician is known as a dreamer, innovator, visionary or healer. This archetype’s core value is to make dreams come true.
When you look at their social media, even when they’re promoting movies/tv shows, they use positive terms such as “celebrate the magic” and “they get the job done”.
Other industries that might use this archetype are beauty or entertainment.
Another example is Google and the archetype Sage. This archetype is known for being a researcher, mentor, or expert. So again, big surprise there.
Their social media presence revolves around informative posts. They use terms like “meet the new”, “preview this product”, etc.
Grab all of the pointers you can, store a list of key terms and traits then start applying them to your content. The true value of an archetype won’t be understood until you start utilizing it.
2. Free Stock Images
If your budget allows you to hire a professional photographer to shoot branded photos of your promotion, don’t pass up that opportunity.
Personable photos that relate directly to your business (not just your industry) will always generate more buzz.
People genuinely care more: it’s not just about your offering, they want to know WHO the brand is, also, IF they’re authentic to their online presence.
You can create a sense of trust with written content and stock images, but nothing beats a sneak peak of your operations.
A good photographer isn’t inexpensive. If you get a wicked deal, you’re still setting aside time and energy for brainstorming, coordination, editing, revisments, etc.
As much as it’s recommended, it’s not necessary for all of your posts.
That's where stock photos come in, but stay clear of cheesiness and low-quality.
Pexels is an ideal site for stock photos. The platform is 100% free, but you have the option to provide a monetary donation or shoutout with the photographer's personal link.
It’s as easy as searching keywords then browsing their professional, striking gallery.
There is an account option if you want to save photos for future reference/ones you’ve already used, but it’s not mandatory.
Their massive, always expanding, gallery has everything you can think of:
Another popular option for stock photos is Unsplash. With 3,019,548 free, high-resolution images, you will find what you’re looking for:
The only major difference between the sites is Pexels offers a donation option, whereas Unsplash only offers a social shoutout.
Either way, you can’t go wrong, and your content will have a much needed flare.
3. Automate Captions with Caption Crusher
Stop lying to yourself, no one is reading your essay of a caption. It’s the harsh reality everyone needs to hear.
If you’re posting about a recipe, no one is digesting the three paragraph explanation of why one should let their cookies cool for 5 minutes before eating them.
The person reading your post is already burning their mouth while their hot out of the oven cookie melts all over their hand.
It’s a sweet notion, but your time could be spent better elsewhere.
Furthermore, you’re not generating a lot of interaction that way. The amount of people who have the attention span to read your caption vs the amount that will skim it and forget about it in 1 minute, varies greatly.
Yes, all of the stats say long captions = engagement. What the stats don’t say? Those captions are being grazed, plus the people engaging are already committed supporters.
Ask yourself, who do you personally know that would read a 4 paragraph caption by a brand or business they don't know. Can you think of 1 person?
Now ask yourself, as a busy business owner — how much time do you have to write a caption? Out of all of your expenses, how much do you want to spend on content writing?
Now say, you have a caption like “Simple and flavourful explains this dessert well. Sweet Treat Desserts is sharing their go-to recipe for brownies. What questions do you have about this vegan dish? Feel free to include questions for the owner, we’ll be doing a follow up video later. Comment below!”
You have an in-depth, specific, easy to read caption that not only encourages feedback, but motivates your readers to check back on your platform for an update.
Since nobody enjoys creating captions and most people copy captions, why wouldn’t you automate the service?
The only social media tool for caption writing is Caption Crusher.
Caption Crusher’s AI completely destroys the content writing game.
Their database has millions of captions. They’re personalized to your brand, but you still have customization options.
There are no cheesy “made with caption crusher” taglines either.
It’s so user-friendly, you could hire your 7 year old daughter for the job. Even though they wouldn’t need an explainer, the developers still included tutorial videos to reference.
Essentially, you pick an affordable monthly or annual subscription, fill out the brand survey, and boom. You never have to consider a caption again.
4. Video Editors
Watching teenagers create Instagram reels, TikTok videos, and promotional clips, got you thinking - “I can do that!”. But, can you really?
Video editing is no walk in the park. Teenagers were raised on creation. The rest of us were raised on outdoor activities like hopscotch.
One awkward transition can ruin the whole flow of your video. Not to mention there are filters, stickers, choreographed dancing, and music to consider.
Can you, an accounting genius, really be trusted with this?
Follow the same protocol as photography, if your budget allows custom, branded, and professional videos — do it.
If not, introduce yourself to GoDaddy Studio - formerly Over Graphic Design App.
Choose a modern template, input your clips, and let the magic happen. Customize as little or as much as you want.
This app offers templates/features for photos, videos, stories — basically all types of marketing material. No design experience needed. No creative input needed. Just add visual content.
By using the free or paid version, you’re saving yourself hours of time, a whack of frustration, and the embarrassment of posting a very cringy video.
Ignoring video content is a huge mistake for generating engagement.
Later’s blog on video engagement explains it best, but the key takeaway is:
Videos typically perform best in most algorithms.
It’s growing in popularity with a 59% increase from 2016 to 2019.
93% of marketers said they landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media.
Honestly, enough said. Get on the video creation train — and leave it to an automated social tool app if you’re not 100% confident with video editing.
5. Schedule Posts
The last tool to make your digital marketing efforts a success is to schedule your social media posts.
Reading through post recommendations can be intimidating. It’s suggested to post on Instagram 3-7 times per week, on Facebook 1-2 times a day, on Twitter 1-5 times a day and on LinkedIn between 1-5 times a day (not to mention all of the other platforms).
Hiring a social media manager might not be in your budget, but most scheduling apps offer a free version or are cost effective.
Later is a leading social media scheduler: they have a feature rich app with several free options.
You can upload content, schedule posts for multiple platforms, input captions and hashtags.
Later even offers a visual planner on their free plan. After scheduling your posts on Instagram you can preview your profile’s scheme and swap around the photos for the best visual layout.
Their paid plans are alluring. You gain access to analytics, the capability to post on more platforms, plus you have the option to schedule stories (can we all take a moment to appreciate the ability to schedule stories because it’s super cool and efficient).
The gist is, content/social media/digital marketing doesn’t have to be time constraining. Start planning the task around your schedule instead of vice versa.
Schedule posts at 2:08am, 8:35am, 3:47pm or whenever you finally have time to catch a breath. You’ll never miss a day and you will always hit the most active time.
Complete Control Over Digital Marketing
If advertising and digital marketing was simple, there wouldn't be intense competition among industries or a multi-billion dollar marketing industry.
Luckily, more and more developers are building affordable tools to help beginners ease into the digital marketing world and for experts to reduce their marketing costs.
Implementing social media tools into your digital marketing strategy is a no brainer for entrepreneurs, influencers as well as small/medium businesses.
Advertising agencies and corporations with a marketing division are already using them. What are you waiting for?
Take a step into the right direction and bookmark the top 5 content marketing tools for effortless digital marketing.