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Content marketing and social media marketing are like a puzzle that complete each other. Without content, there’s no ‘food’ for social media. And without social media, there’s limited reach for brand awareness.

Social platforms are the best space for brands and influencers to promote their values while building strong relationships with their audience. On the other hand, good content directs users to the brand’s website or social platform, encouraging them to take action, most likely through a call to action.

In this article, we have analyzed the role of social media in content marketing in more depth, illustrated with real-life examples of brands that have successfully benefited from its power.


The Relationship Between Social Media and Content Marketing

Content marketing creates valuable content to attract an audience that resonates with it. Social media, on the other hand, provides the channels through which this content can be shared and promoted.

The connection between the two lies in the ability of social media to:


1. Increase Reach and Visibility

Social media platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn have millions of active users.

Brands and individuals share content on these platforms all the time to reach their marketing purposes. Very often, they even reshare the same type of content across multiple platforms. (Also known as repurposing content.)

For example, a lot of reels posted on Instagram by creators can also be found on their TikTok accounts. A blog post you may see on a writer’s story is most likely shared on their LinkedIn profile as well.

Resharing and repurposing content increases visibility and the possibility of gaining new customers or clients.


2. Engage with the Audience

Social media allows for real-time interaction with the audience.

Brands engage with their followers through comments, likes, shares, and direct messages. Also, through live streaming, giveaways, interactive content and other marketing tactics.

For example, a common strategy we notice among LinkedIn users is commenting “CFBR” on a job seeker’s post, which stands for “commenting for better reach.” This usually works great when reaching out to other platform users, including recruiters, who are the target audience in this case.


3. Drive Traffic to Websites

One of the benefits of social media is that it increases website traffic.

This can be achieved by sharing links to blog posts and articles on posts or stories. It can also be achieved by promoting the website directly, for example, on LinkedIn or by adding the website link in the platform bio.


4. Gather Feedback and Insights

Social media provides valuable insights into audience preferences and behavior. Feedback is a powerful tool brands use to upgrade their content strategy and improve engagement. Knowing what users like and dislike is an indicator that leads to content that performs well.


9 Real-Life Examples of Successful Social Media Content Marketing

We’ve analyzed some of the best real-life examples of successful social media campaigns that we’d like to share with you.


1. Nike’s “Play New” Campaign

Nike has already set its brand name on the market a long time ago. Users don’t have to scroll on Instagram or Facebook to see if Nike sells their favorite pair of sneakers, nor do they have to worry about their quality.

In other words, customers know what they’re getting when purchasing from Nike.

However, Nike continues to dominate social media with its well-thought-out marketing strategies that share motivational messages and great visuals.

Such was the “Play New” campaign, launched in 2021 and designed to encourage people to try new sports and activities, something they hadn’t tried before. This not only helped people stay more physically active, but it also targeted more users, which resulted in increased engagement.


2. Apple’s “Shot on iPhone”

Remember the famous “Shot on iPhone” campaign released by Apple in 2015? The whole purpose of this campaign was to promote the iPhone’s quality, and what better way to do so than through real-life examples?

Users shared stunning photos and videos they captured. They shared content using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone, which created a big online community of like-minded individuals. 

The message was clear: iPhone users can achieve professional-level photography with their devices. Apple then curated and featured some of the best submissions on its official social media channels and in advertising materials.


3. Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful”

Dove has promoted natural beauty in many creative ways through campaigns that have stolen millions of hearts. But today, we want to specifically highlight the “Courage is Beautiful” campaign, one of their best, which paid tribute to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To create an emotional and impactful story that would inspire the audience, Dove shared powerful images of healthcare workers marked by protective gear. This campaign was widely shared on social media platforms and gained millions of views, hearts, and engagement.


4. Netflix’s “Stranger Things” Marketing Blitz

Before the new season of Stranger Things, Netflix launched an extensive strategy on social media platforms. It used interactive posts, AR filters, and behind-the-scenes content to engage fans.

The hashtag #StrangerThings4 trended globally, and fan theories and user-generated content expanded the campaign’s reach and engagement.


5. Adidas’ “Run for the Oceans”

When Adidas and Parley for the Oceans get together…they create “Run for the Oceans.”

This inspiring campaign, which resulted from the brand’s partnership with the environmental organization, encouraged people to log their running miles through the Runtastic app. Adidas donated to clean ocean initiatives for every kilometer run.

As you might imagine, the campaign was very successful, especially after being shared on social platforms and partnering with influencers.


6. Starbucks’ “Share the Love” Campaign

Limited-edition drinks, anyone?

Starbucks’ “Share the Love” Valentine’s Day campaign promotes limited-edition drinks (like Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Créme Frappuccino) customized to fit the Valentine’s theme.

Such strategies usually perform well, as users are very likely to create and promote content from their personal experiences. Following tradition, Starbucks also encouraged users to share the hashtag #ShareTheLove, to increase user interaction and brand awareness.


7. Zoom’s Virtual Background Contest

Everyone was using online platforms during the pandemic, especially those who were working from their laptops. To benefit from this, Zoom launched a virtual background contest where users were invited to submit their most creative virtual backgrounds and share them on social media.

They used the hashtag #ZoomBackgrounds.

The contest had two main incomes: increased user engagement and better promotion of Zoom’s functionality.

And it was a super smart move.

It kept the brand “on top of attention” during a critical period, and at the same time, it promoted Zoom’s adaptability and user-friendly features.


8. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign

One of the most successful marketing campaigns social media has ever seen has been Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke.”

The iconic Coca-Cola logo was replaced by popular names on the bottles, something that intrigued customers to find a bottle with their name on it and, most likely, share a photo on social media using the hashtag “ShareaCoke.

This automatically increased awareness for the brand, with millions of photos shared across platforms by thousands of users. It personalized the Coca-Cola brand and resulted in a significant boost in sales.


9. Airbnb’s Community Stories

Hosts and guests share their unique travel experiences and the connections they make through Airbnb. In a kind of way, the brand uses the power of storytelling to increase its presence online.

These stories are shared on social media platforms, accompanied by beautiful visuals, and read by thousands.

Airbnb builds trust and emotional connections with its audience. It humanizes the brand and underscores the unique value proposition of staying in an Airbnb property rather than a traditional hotel.


5 Great Social Media Marketing Tips to Consider

These five highly effective social media marketing tips can transform your social media efforts into a lead-generating, sales-boosting powerhouse.


1. Design a Good Marketing Plan

Any successful social media marketing strategy is based on a well-thought-out plan. The main focus of this plan is to target the right users at the right time and the right platform. Here’s how:


1.1 Set Clear Messages

Start by clarifying your brand’s purpose. What are you selling/promoting, and how does it align with your business’s core values and profitability? Focus on a single but high-valuable goal instead of promoting everything at once and confusing users.

Remember, a confused customer is a non-buying customer.


1.2 Identify Your Ideal Customer

Next, identify your ideal customer avatar. Who are they? What are their demographics and geographic details? Being specific will help your marketing message be transparent and personalized.


1.3 Create Your Value Proposition

Your message should bridge the gap between your offer and your market.

Why should your audience care about your product or service? What problem does it solve that, for example, competitors’ products don’t?

Understand your customers’ “advantages” (their desires) and “miseries” (their pain points) to create a message that resonates deeply.


2. Choose the Right Media

Where and when should you engage your audience? Where is your target audience most active?

This is all about experimenting to see where your content fits best. Let’s say for example, if your audience is older, TikTok might not be the best platform. But Facebook can.

Similarly, if creating long-form videos isn’t doable for you, you might want to focus on blogs or podcasts instead.


3. Build Your Marketing Funnel

Have you heard how powerful a marketing funnel can be?

Basically, a marketing funnel refers to the cycle customers follow, from getting to know your brand to purchasing your product or service. A well-structured marketing funnel will guide your audience from awareness to conversion. 

Here’s an effective idea on how to achieve that:


3.1 Generate Interest and Build Traffic

One way to drive traffic is through social media posts, blogs, podcasts, or ads. The goal is to attract potential customers who are unaware of your brand.


3.2 Opt-In Page to Capture Leads

Offer something valuable in exchange for contact information. This could be a free guide, checklist, or training video. The opt-in page’s sole purpose is to collect leads. HubSpot is a great example of a brand that offers free, valuable materials in exchange for your email subscription.


3.3 Establish Authority and Encourage Credibility

Provide a short training video that addresses a specific problem your audience faces. This not only offers value but also establishes your authority in the field. 

For example, many software brands create informative videos that guide users in using the products effectively. 

One of them is Ahrefs. The brand team creates super valuable content on their YouTube channel, sharing helpful videos on how to rank high on Google. It is informative but also a way to market the software and inspire users to purchase it.


3.4 Pre-Qualify Leads Through Application Forms

An application form helps gather more information about potential clients and sets the tone that you are selective about who you work with. This step will assist in maintaining high-quality leads.


3.5 Schedule Calls Through Calendar Booking

Finally, allow potential customers to schedule a call with you to discuss their goals and see if there’s a mutual fit. There are a lot of tools online that can help you with that.


4. Understand Social Media Algorithms

Algorithms determine what content gets seen. They aim to match users with content they’ll enjoy, keeping them on the platform longer. To make the algorithms work for you, create content that clearly targets your audience’s interests and needs.


5. Share Valuable Content

You can find all types of content online, but not all of them are considered valuable. Good content is supreme in social media marketing. It offers a great way to engage your audience and build trust.


5.1 Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content

The dilemma between short-form and long-form content can be real. But to avoid being confused, let’s think of it in a simpler way.

Short-form content (under three minutes) is great for quick engagement. Long-form content (five minutes or more) gets more into the topic and provides more value.

Which one do you believe your audience prefers? If your target audience uses platforms where short-form content thrives, then probably you should focus on producing what your potential customers want to see.

The same philosophy applies to long-form content. Both have their place, but long-form content often yields better results in terms of SEO and audience retention.


5.2. Quality vs. Quantity

While high-quality content is important, consistency is equally important.

It’s better to alternate content but produce it regularly than posting once per week or even forgetting you have to post at all. Over time, you’ll improve your skills and the quality of your content. Aim to increase your posting frequency without sacrificing your sanity.


On a Final Note

Social media is a powerful tool that supports your content marketing efforts. With the right strategies, you can easily transform your online presence into a way of generating leads, clients, and sales. As you take these important steps, do not forget to always focus on providing value. 

Remember, content without value will take you a step back from your marketing goals.

Well-known brands have shown us that the connection between content and social media marketing exists; it’s more powerful than ever, and it will continue to grow over time. As a result, the faster you implement new creative strategies, the more you’ll help your content gain the reach it deserves.