Social Media Marketing - Course

Content Outreach

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is content seeding?

A good content seeding strategy has content creation at its heart. Content seeding is what you do with your content once you’ve created it. It can be spread around multiple online and digital platforms.

The benefits

What are the benefits of content seeding?

  • Delivers you wider reach then more traditional forms of marketing
  • Ensures you’re reaching the right audience with a highly relevant message, increasing your relevancy at that moment in time
  • Increases traffic back to your channels and site, as well as awareness of your brand
  • Increases your SEO ranking
  • Generates sales leads and conversions

Ecosystem

When we look at the ecosystem in which content can be seeded, there are three main areas.

Owned

The first of these are your owned channels. These are channels which you have full, creative, and administrative control over. Indeed, these can feature your social media platforms for your business or brand, your company website, or any collateral that you use for marketing purposes that you have full control and autonomy over.

Earned/paid

Another area to consider are the earned and paid channels. These are essentially third-party channels that you don’t have full control over but can help influence, either through paying for placement of your business or product message, or using methods like PR to generate organic coverage for your brand or business.

Collaborative

The third area to consider is the collaborative space. These are channels where online communities come together to share and create content. Weaving your content in here can benefit from user-generated content (UGC) input, making users feel part of the creation process.

The mechanics

It’s important to understand the mechanics behind content seeding. Content seeding involves:

  • Posting. This involves natively publishing something to your social media channels
  • Measurement. This involves monitoring the sentiment, engagement, and initial impact a piece of content has with an audience
  • Boosting. If a piece of content has been published to a channel and it gets great pickup organically, consider putting some paid investment behind to get it out to a wider audience
  • Amplifying. If a consumer or a third party has engaged with your brand or your business in a positive way, consider amplifying your content to its maximum potential by looping in wider audiences who may find it useful or interesting

The challenges

The following are some of the challenges to consider when content seeding:

  • Reach. Reach can be a challenge. Many social media platforms now leverage reach for paid promotion. Understand that social media is a ‘pay for play’ space.
  • Relevancy. Making sure that your brand or business message is seen at the right space, at the right time, can be challenging. News agendas and topical moments shift, so trying to keep up-to-date with them isn’t easy.
  • Transparency. To avoid misleading consumers, it’s important to ensure that all of your paid placements are clearly declared to be paid-for. They shouldn’t be disguised as organic content.
  • Content. Ensure that you have adequate resources to create your content, whether that be video, graphic design, or indeed copywriting, and that you can fulfill the content needs of your intended audience.
  • Measurement. Measurement can be a tricky area for a lot of businesses. Being able to determine the success or, indeed, the failures of a piece of content, and being able to learn from that and optimize going forward, can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to content seeding. Make sure you know what success looks like for your brand or business before you invest in the content creation aspect, and be sure to track and measure the benefits and the return on your investment.
  • Budget/Resources. Appropriate allocation of budget and resources must match your objectives.
  • Tight collaboration. Make sure that all of your marketing materials have a consistent narrative; for example, that your social media is telling the same story as your above-the-line TV ad.

Case study: Unilever, All Things Hair

A platform, All Things Hair, was set up by Unilever to help them market their haircare offering. This is a great example of content seeding that used owned, earned, and collaborative channels all together. The brands that look after haircare in Unilever, including Dove, TRESemmé, and Suave, all put together their resources to create a YouTube channel that created their own content but also employed the use of third-party content. They used beauty bloggers from across the U.K. and Ireland to help create content for that channel. Leveraging their own audience and their own influence, they were able to build a very cohesive campaign that reached over 64 million people globally. This was a masterclass in content seeding and it was a great success for the brand.

Case study: Honda, The Honda Stage

Honda decided one year to redirect their entire television advertising budget into creating a media platform around the brand. This included live gigs and product reviews, and some lifestyle pieces that weren’t very easily linked back to the brand. Ultimately, it was deemed a failure. The campaign and the product was rushed to market. Users were very confused by the consumer journey they were supposed to carry out on the site. This is an example of good content that was seeded in the wrong way.

Per platform

A person might retweet something on Twitter, but decide they’re only going to comment on it on Facebook. Audiences interact in very different ways when they’re brought to different social media platforms. Key things to consider in this area are:

  • No one size fits all. Different audiences for different businesses will interact in very different ways. It’s important for you to trial and trial again, and try to identify exactly how your audience interacts with certain elements of content on the individual channels.
  • Formats. Have a look at what content formats are available on the different channels. Being familiar with the various formats for seeding your content will help you optimize your content correctly on the individual channels.
  • Personas. Consider your personas. Different users, at different stages of the buyer’s journey, will want different types of content from you. Make sure that you’re creating content that is mapped out against an individual content persona and is based on real insights about your target audience.
  • Trial and test. Sometimes, a piece of content will exceed expectations and really perform very well. Try to emulate this again and again, and learn from your mistakes. This will help you increase engagement on your social media content.

Avoid misleading audiences

It’s important not to mislead audiences when seeding your content. Consider the following:

  • Hashtag declaration. If you’re seeding a piece of paid-for media through an influencer channel, or indeed through a third-party publisher, it is worth declaring on that piece of content that what you’re seeding is, in fact, a paid-for advertisement. Individual business verticals, such as pharmaceuticals and banking, all have their own sets of rules for declaring content that is paid for. Make sure that you’re familiar with these, if you operate in a regulated industry.
  • Truthful messaging. Make sure that you’re not misleading customers by effectively telling them lies through your content. Always be truthful in the content that you - or anybody who’s employed on your behalf – put out.
  • Clarity on involvement. Make sure that you declare exactly what your relationship is with any influencer or with any third-party channel you use, and that they declare it too. This might be as simple as saying, “A fee was paid to me for X”, or indeed “I was supplied with free products for this review“.
  • Bio declaration. Have a clearly defined bio on your platform, to let people know what content you’ll be seeding and what they can expect by engaging with your brand or business.
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Seán Earley

Creative Director at Teneo PSG Digital

  • Creative Director at Teneo PSG Digital with five years’ experience in Digital Marketing, Social, and PR Agencies
  • Founding member of Teneo PSG Digital
  • Former Director on the Board of the Irish Internet Association
  • Passionate about creating content that captures audience imaginations and delivers business objectives
Seán Earley

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Content Outreach
Seán Earley Seán Earley
Skills Expert

This module begins by introducing the concept of content seeding and provides insight into how to use content effectively over multiple social platforms. It then looks at the different ways you can promote your content on social media, covering audience profiling, blogging, influencer, and word-of-mouth marketing. It equips you with the tools and techniques needed to analyze the effectiveness of your content, and helps you form a solid content outreach strategy.

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