Let me start with some stats. Stats, as you know, speak louder than narratives. And they are easy to digest. We are going to see some interesting figures about content marketing and its use of social media. Here we go.
The Content Marketing Institute or CMI in its 2014 study for North America finds that 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing as against 91% in the previous year. The corresponding figure for B2C marketers is a robust 86% as per this infographic.
In the 2014 Search Marketer Survey by BrightEdge it is found that 78% of respondents said that connecting content efforts to ROI in 2014 versus in 2013 will be “more important” (35%) or “much more important” (43%).
Based on the survey inputs, the same CMI report referred above concludes that writing and design are the two functions most likely to be outsourced (read Global Workforce Is Here Knocking Your Door). While 64% of all outsourced work will be writing, design comes a close second with 54% outsourcing possibility.
The CMI survey also points out to increasing use of social media by the B2B marketers to distribute content online. In terms of usage popularity LinkedIn takes the top spot (91%), followed by Twitter (85%), Facebook (81%), Google+ (55%) among others. See the image at right.
It is evident that content marketing aided by social media will be the harbinger of business growth on the web in the foreseeable future. Both big and small businesses will be looking for ways to create contents that help the viewers and prospective customers.
As a content marketer I use the Buffer app to post my articles in the various social media sites. And I find it amazingly convenient and helpful for the work. Since I started using the tool my Twitter account has rejuvenated like never before.
There is a great advantage to avail when you use Buffer with WordPress. It is simple to do, and I am going to explain that shortly. Before that let me quickly go through how Buffer works for you, and then some of its unique unbeatable features.
How Does Buffer Help?
Buffer is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to schedule your posts in advance throughout the day or week for your different social media accounts. It then automatically sends them at the times you have chosen without any other action on your part (even when you are asleep).
What’s more, going further, Buffer provides you analytics for your posts, like for example which posts have been clicked and how many times. In other words, it is the perfect all-in-one solution for you as it takes care of all your social media needs at once. Did I say Buffer’s customer service is simply awesome?
The free Buffer account or the Individual Plan, which I think is good enough for most users, provides the following:
- One profile for each social media account – my friend for example has one account each from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ linked with Buffer
- Store up to 10 posts for each profile at any time (send the 10, store another ten)
- Same time scheduling on each day
- Only one login to the account
The Awesome Plan is liberal – 12 social profiles, 200 posts in Buffer, varied schedules, and 2 team members. This plan costs $10 a month or $102/year.
Buffer’s Unique Impressiveness
Buffer App rocks. And there are good reasons to think so. Let’s go through them one by one.
The fun begins when you find you can add content from right inside your browser. To be able to do this you must have the Buffer add-on or extension installed on your browser. Get it for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera depending on which one you use.
Go to any webpage (the one below is my Twitter page) and right-click on an image in the page. From the menu that comes, select Buffer This Image. Buffer immediately opens the share window with the short URL of the image. Add some message, choose the social media profile (where you want to post the image) and click on the green button Add to Queue (this button has 3 more options… shown later below). That’s it. The post goes to your Buffer account for release as per the schedule decided by you.
Similar to the image here is another trick for texts. Simply highlight the texts you want to tweet (or mention in Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and right-click on it. From the options choose Buffer Selected Text (see image below). The Buffer share box now opens (second image below) where you can adjust the content, and then post it.
What I immensely like about Buffer is that you’ll never be short of contents to post. Of course you’ll post your website content, but more often than not you have to post interesting contents from other websites. And this Buffer makes very easy to do.
Buffer helps in 2 ways. One, it gives Suggestions on your account’s dashboard page. Two, the moment there is no queue of posts in your account, it automatically sends email giving you content suggestions for posting. I have always found Buffer’s suggestions to my liking which leads me to believe that it must be having some kind of algorithm to check what type of contents I post.
Buffer has many other nifty features, but let me explain how I use it with WordPress in this HubSkills blog.
Buffer + WordPress
For a long time I was looking for an easy way to automate the posting of my new blog articles to my social media accounts. This ought to happen within minutes of my new article becoming live here in HubSkills.
After much looking around I zeroed on the simple WP to Buffer plugin for my need.
To start with, install and activate the plugin on to your WordPress website. You have to now connect it with your Buffer account from the plugin settings. For this you need your Buffer Client ID and Client Secret which are sent in emails to you on request. Connect to Buffet API next, and you’re almost done.
Among other options the plugin settings allow you to send updates to Buffer for Posts, Pages and/or any Custom Post Types… when any of them are published, updated, or both, or neither.
I use the plugin only to auto-send my posts, so it appears as a separate (meta) section on the Add New Post page to the right (see image below). The steps I follow are as under:
- After a post is ready for publishing, I do NOT publish it immediately. Instead I schedule it (step 1) to publish at around 8-10 pm India time because that is when most of my blog readers in other countries are awake.
- In the Add to Buffer section (step 2) I have all my social media profiles selected. If I wish I can deselect any of the four here itself.
- My plugin setting is such that after the post is published, there will be a gap of 15 minutes, after which it is auto-sent to my Buffer account.
- The post now joins the queues for different social media profiles in my Buffer account. They are posted automatically by Buffer going by the respective schedules.
I find Buffer a really useful tool for content marketing on social media. In fact at this point in time it is my main conduit for hassle-free social media marketing.
Do you use Buffer for content marketing campaign? Is there any other notable use of Buffer that I’ve missed in this article? Share your take in the comments below.