There are many components that make up a robust online marketing campaign today. It’s not enough to just have a website. In order for that website to be found you need to participate in numerous online marketing tactics that need to be integrated together into one strategy. Two important parts of an online strategy are content marketing and social media.

Content marketing involves creating a variety of content (blog posts, articles, guest blog posts, videos, whitepapers, e-books, guides, webinars, etc.) that will attract target audience members. It’s a form of inbound marketing. Instead of forcing your product upon a potential client or customer in a pushy, traditional format (like advertising), content is created for people to find when they want to and on their terms. Creating quality content that is informative and provides target audience members with beneficial information or helps them solve a problem will help keep your company or brand top of mind. In addition, you will be viewed as a trusted source and a thought leader in the industry.

Social media serves a similar purpose. In order for a person to receive messages from a brand in social media, they need to opt-in and choose to Follow or to Like the brand. A social media “relationship” between a consumer and a brand can be beneficial for both parties. Consumers can share their comments, questions, and concerns and businesses can treat their social community like a focus group and gain valuable insights that can help guide business and product decisions.

While content marketing and social media are valuable marketing tactics on their own, they really thrive while working together. Keeping the content marketing and social media teams separate is a mistake. Without social media integration, how will your content be found? Without content marketing integration, what will you be sharing in social media?

It takes a lot of time and effort to develop good content marketing collateral. If you’re going to be spending all of that time and effort, don’t you want that content to be seen? What’s the point of creating a great whitepaper and then hiding it away on an interior page of your website? Social media is meant for sharing, so share away! Any content that you create should be shared with your followers in social media. After all, they have already expressed that they are interested in your business.

Social media is meant to be social and is about having a conversation with your followers, but without the content marketing piece what will facilitate that conversation? If you aren’t using social media to share anything with any real substance, you risk getting lost in the shuffle and just becoming another noisy part of the social media equation.