At SES Chicago, experts spoke about the value of heavily targeting content to meet the interests of niche social users.

Businesses investing in content marketing know that distribution is one (important) piece of their overall content strategies: Brafton has reported that social media marketing is a top outlet, with 57.3 percent of B2B marketers using Facebook to promote content and 54.8 relying on Twitter. At SES Chicago, experts spoke about the value of effectively sharing content with social audiences to encourage online conversions.

Johnathan Allan, director of Search Engine Watch, started the session by reminding marketers that optimizing content for social requires targeted sharing based on users conversations and specified interests. “Search uses keywords, social must use ‘categories of interest’ to optimize for audiences,” he said.

This idea was supported by Allan’s fellow presenter Charles Black, president and chief strategy officer of Technorati Media. Black said that connections based on common interests and ideas prove to be some of the most powerful across the web: Positioning relevant content on message boards, communities, social networks and the blogosphere is a good way to connect with highly specific consumers.

Black pointed to Tehnorati as an example of a content aggregator and social forum that works to carefully to find niche topics (and niche publishers) to spread content marketing messages. He explained that his site has quality and credibility requirements, which means businesses must invest in their content production if they hope to achieve inclusion. While it takes niche focuses and quality editorial to get visibility in Technorati and other social forums, Black suggests the reach is invaluable.

Allan spoke about the potential benefits of automating content according to category to reach different social audiences. He reminded marketers that this should be approached with caution, and it’s more important to create or find the right pieces of content to deliver to fans and followers than to overload users with information in a “content for content’s sake” manner. “Don’t try to be everything to all people. Quality over quantity,” he said.

Indeed, quality is key – and Black seemed to suggest that creating your own content to be shared in the form of blogs and articles is key to winning customers through social engagement. He shared a number of valuable stats, including:

  • 65 percent of readers access blogs to get an opinion
  • Consumers trust blogs more than twice as much as other forms of social media
  • 52 percent of blog readers say blog marketing factored into the moment they decided to buy
The final stat provided draws on a similar presentation Technorati gave at SES San Francisco last summer. As Brafton reported, Black shared insight that blogs are second only to consumers’ friends as trusted shopping resources.
Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.