One leading principle for social media for businesses is content marketing, creating engaging content that will produce response from your followers. Building relationships from this initial response will give you new clients, customers or members.
With the increasing amount of content being created, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if content marketing is really the best strategy for your social media presence. Is it even a sustainable strategy? Is there a better option? Content is king, but why settle for the king when there’s an ace in the deck?
An emerging idea is contribution marketing (feel free to replace marketing with ministry), which means practising your beliefs and showing it in your marketing. Contribution marketing. puts your ministry in a bigger context as an active part of your community. Content marketing is more isolated to presenting what you have to offer.
A ministry is much more than getting people to attend worship and activities using content marketing as one way to achieve it. Most of our Christian life–your ministry’s life–is lived outside the church building, by the members in their everyday life. Showing this is contribution marketing. Showing how your ministry is contributing to the community creates meaning for people to take an interest, and hopefully one day become a part of it.
It’s a good idea to have a blog. Let many members of your ministry participate. Have a core group of bloggers, but encourage guest posts from those not willing to be a regular contributor. Link to news in both local and worldwide media and show how your ministry is contributing to the community. Be an active voice in the local debate. Use Google Plus and for SEO. And use Google Authorship to link your blog content to your Google Account.
Let me point out that I’m not saying content marketing is wrong, but contribution marketing takes your content one step further, putting it in a context and how it applies to everyday life. It puts focus on the relations, which social media is basically all about.
You can invest in designers, in photographers, writers and others in various fields of content creation, to create high quality content. But at the end of the day it comes down to the strength of the relations between you and your members/customers. First of all invest in the relations, everything else is secondary.
- Don’t have standard replies, that you copy and paste.
- Don’t automate responses.
- Address a person by name.
- Sign comments by the company/ministry pages and accounts by name.
To get your contribution marketing going, take a look at what your ministry is doing locally and globally, how you contribute to society, and tell about that. If you have a good example, please share it in a comment.
- How brands can move beyond content marketing (Article in The Guardian)
- Content Shock Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy (Post by Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer)
- Does your website present or represent you (A previous post by me)
- How to market a blog from scratch and get massive growth (Really good post about blogging by Adam Connell @adamjayc)