Why is content creation important?
Your social media strategy and social media content are among the biggest influencers you can have on your audience, their connection with you, and, ultimately, their buying decisions.
Great content marketing can be the key to your success, regardless of whether your goals are growing your audience, increasing audience engagement, building your brand and brand presence, or driving sales.
Content marketing allows you to build trust and answer your audience’s questions. With the plethora of content available today on the web, your content must consistently bring value to your audience and be high-quality, devoid of poor writing and typos. In a word, you must produce killer content.
- Social media content allows you to hone in on your customers’ needs and interests in a way that previously was not possible. Be that “fly on the wall” where they hang out, and to listen to what matters to them.
- Think of social media as a way to chat with your target people, engage with them, and then find more people like them. Engage. Listen. And, then create content that talks to their interests and problems.
- Create products that speak to their felt needs. Get the correct message out at the best possible time.
- Finally, an overarching benefit of stellar social media marketing and great original content is building brand awareness, brand voice, reinforcing your brand, and hone in on your target audience demographics.
In our guide to social media content and social media strategy below, we take you through content strategy basics, including content format, content analytics, and sharing content and some pro tips to help your social media content work for you!
What are the top benefits of excellent content marketing?
Build and retain your target audience
A steady flow of killer social content will be one of your business’ most important assets. Consistently create engaging, informative content relevant to your target audience, and they will be back again and again for more. Engage with them, make it easy for them to share your message, and you will build your tribe of fans. You are building more than a social network. You are building a community for your brand through your digital marketing.
Create content that is consistent in its messaging, that answers your audience’s needs and feels like you are speaking directly to them. Give them value without asking anything in return. You’ll soon be on the road to and audience that trusts and values you and your recommendations. That’s how a community is built.
Content marketing is an excellent opportunity to turn followers and fans into customers. If they like and trust your content, they will be likely to buy from you at some point. Create the funnel by offering free high-value opt-ins, or lead magnets in return for their email. You are now beginning to build a list of your followers. Add CTA’s in your content, on your hello bar, in pop-ups, or side panel. Be sure it is super simple for your readers to take advantage of your great extras. Lead readers to a landing page, where you can eventually upsell to an entry-level product known as a tripwire. The more relevant and powerful your content is, the easier to transition your readers to leads and customers.
The more often you produce high-quality content, the more it will help your SEO efforts. Create content that is targeted to your niche, using well-researched SEO terms, and you’ll be paving the way to becoming a trusted authority in your niche and to great Google rankings.
Content Strategy 101
Good content flows from a solid content strategy. One or two posts that get substantial organic traffic can be a fantastic source of traffic and leads to your site and will allow you to embed your site link to a lead generating opt-in that will ensure list and audience building. Knowing what and when to publish is the key to a social media strategy that will connect with your audience, solve their needs, increase your reach, and build your brand visibility.
Tips for building your content strategy
Before you start creating great content, you need a digital plan that includes a social media marketing strategy. Your strategy must be well planned out and based on your target audience, their needs, and their habits and how they will support your marketing goals and business objective. Think about the importance of evergreen content that can continue to bring your traffic, and the careful use of keywords to establish you within your niche and help your readers solve their problems.
If you already have created some sort of social media strategy, you should revisit it annually. Platforms change, the market changes, and your business goals will likely change. Competition changes, and your place in the market changes.
If you are active on social media, take the time to audit all of your channels. Which channels are active and growing and which are stagnant. If a channel is not performing well, is it because you have not been posting there, or is it the wrong channel for your target audience? Make the time to put together a solid content marketing plan to establish or maintain your relevance in your target market.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy starts with establishing a clear picture of your target audience. Who are they, what do they need, and how can I help them? This data will help determine the optimum channels to focus on and what type of content will best engage them. From that, you will build a content plan that will serve as your blueprint. Did you know that in 2016, visual content was more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content? (buffer.com)
What felt need are you solving for them?
Start here. If your target is too broad, a great first step is to survey your audience. When we try to serve everyone, we sometimes serve no one. Get clear on the problem your target audience and potential customer most needs to address. This information will help you niche it down and get very specific with your content.
Sometimes, your content will educate your audience and help identify their problems. Other times, it may help them to address and work through their problem. Your content curation must be based on your ongoing engagement with your target audience. What works? What content are they engaging with? Use your social media analytics, google search volume, sign up rates, and other metrics to inform your content strategy as you move along.
Why are you worth your readers’ time?
There are millions of blogs and information sources on the web. Your goal is to communicate with your potential customers as quickly and clearly as possible why you are worth your readers’ time. How can you help them? Will you inform, entertain, guide them through something that matters to them?
Pin down your unique selling propositions (UVP’s) and use them! You aren’t the only game in town. Tell your readers why your products or services are better than anything out there, or how you are different. Prove that you are worth the gift of your readers’ time.
What formats will you use?
A complete understanding of your audience will help you in the next decisions. There are many ways beyond a blog post to reach and engage an audience. Think about the best format for your potential audience. Will you work mostly in blog posts, can you create short videos or populate your blogs with infographics to illustrate your key points?
Facebook is excellent for text, image, video, and links, whereas Instagram is limited to images and videos. Twitter works for text, image, and video, while interest is great for image, video, and links. LinkedIn has its place with text and links. Take all of your findings into consideration as part of your plan. What’s the best way to tell your story to your particular audience? It is often a mix of media that best keeps people engaged, Experiment, and see what works for them.
Don’t overlook the competition. Where are they active? Do a search of each channel for your niche keywords and see who is active there. You may uncover some new competition. When you search on Google, don’t overlook both paid and organic. Set your Google Alerts for your keywords and review your competition’s social media presence, logging their friends, followers, posting schedule, and engagement and learning from them. Can you replicate, improve, or change their strategies?
Where do your people hang out?
Audience demographics provide great insight into the next topic. Use your analytics from your website as well as your social platforms. Confirm your convictions about who your audience is. If your audience skews slightly older, they may hang out on Facebook. A younger group may be more Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
Don’t waste time being where your target audience isn’t. There are many platforms out there. You do not have to be active on all of them. Choose the social media channels that will be most effective for your audience and your product or service. Consider the use of both channels you own, like your website, blog, and email list. And work on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube are more. Do the research and find out where your people are.
PRO Tips for Optimizing the Right Metrics
1. Ensure your content aligns with your social media metrics and goals. You need to understand the end goal before you can decide what to measure.
- Want to generate traffic? Measure the unique visitors coming from social websites as a result of your campaigns.
- Want to build a following? Your key metric is subscribers and followers on your social channels.
- Are you looking for interaction with your potential customers? You should measure the quantity and type of commentary you see, such as Facebook comments, Twitter replies, likes, and sign-ups.
- Is revenue your end game? (isn’t it always eventually?!) Measure the dollar value of every lead generated from each social post. Follow the lead of big brands and measure and analyze everything.
2. Find out where your customers talk and get in there!
Do your research and find the best place for you to engage with your people. Look at what they are commenting on and engaging with and do that, but better! Don’t overlook the importance of groups as a great place to find your avatar hanging out. Create content that your people will want to talk about and share and make it super easy for them to share.
Be “the fly on the wall” Listen in on your customers via social media and get to know them.
3. When developing your content calendar, use the data from your social media channels and data from the marketplace.
- What is the market mood right now? For example, COVID19 has changed the way we learn and the way we do just about everything. How about an online challenge or course?
- What are today’s relevant issues? Does your audience want to know about when they can next travel to your destination or create a safe staycation? Do they want to learn about homeschooling the kids or how they can find online work for themselves? Give them what they want.
- Do competitive research. Why recreate the wheel? Research your competition and see if you can improve on what is working for them.
- Where is your audience showing interest? Do you notice a topic that surfaces again and again? Does it look like videos always create more engagement, comment, and sharing? Look for the patterns and get ahead of the curve with your content and format.
4. Don’t just talk about engagement.
A great way to engage with your audience in a meaningful way is to be responsive in real-time with authentic and throughout responses. People love having a personalized reply. Be genuine and prompt in responding to comments and questions, and you’ll soon have a loyal fan. Others see it and read it too, so let your responses be your ambassador.
5. Stay informed of what is happening on platforms.
This means staying on top of Facebook changes. Set a Google Alert to be sure you know what’s happening and what it will mean to you. Get to know how to work with the New Google Analytics Social Reports. You’ll find lots of great insights into Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks. You’ll see how people are talking about your site content and what they are sharing. You’ll also see the sites that are linking to your content. Backlines rule, so try to build a relationship with others in your space, or complimentary space and be responsive to them.
6. Illustrate your content!
Harness the power of infographics! An infographic is a graphic visual representation of information or data present information quickly and clearly. A picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics are shared more on the web, Twitter, and Facebook more often than any other content. They’re easy to read and consume, and people like to share them.
7. This one can’t be said enough.
Your blog MUST be mobile-friendly. Mobile is king, so make your mobile content valuable and concise. Keep your landing pages simple, and make sure your site is designed for multiple browsers and provide a link to the full site. Focus on the mobile user experience and make speed your top priority.