As social media continues its rapid growth, there is confusion among marketers on how to best reach consumers and where to fit social media into the overall business strategy. The failure to create a cohesive content strategy is often at the center of a disconnect between social strategy and brand strategy.
Content on social media should not be created for content’s sake. Content should be created to support the brand by informing, engaging or inspiring its target audience.
According to the February 2019 Sprout Social Index, the top two reasons for consumers following brands on social media are to learn about new products or services (50%) and to be entertained (48%). Conversely, irrelevant content is the second leading reason (behind only poor customer service) why consumers unfollow a brand.
The goal of social media marketing is to convert consumers into customers and brand ambassadors. You want followers to positively engage with your content and share it with their friends. You want them to purchase your product.
So how do you convert those followers into customers and ambassadors? Provide value. The content you produce should remind consumers why they followed you in the first place and why you should be top-of-mind.
- Do they get the best price?
- The best product?
- The best customer service?
The problem is that many marketers don’t know how to successfully employ a social content strategy to reach their desired customers. In fact, according to Sprout, “43% of all social marketers say a major challenge is identifying and understanding their target audience.”
So how, as a social media marketer, do you create content that will resonate? Here are three things to remember:
- You don’t have to tell a story. Storytelling is enticing, and a lot of great content weaves a web of intricate, engaging details. But that may not be what your audience is looking for. You can be straightforward and factual and still provide value to the consumer. It all depends on who’s listening.
- Back up your content with data. According to a 2018 study done by the Pew Research Center, only 3% of adults put a lot of trust in info that came from social media. This drives the storytelling point home further—if you’re going to tell a story, you need to make sure it’s factual. Add supporting data points to provide a deeper level of trust to your content, and if you cite a statistic, cite sources. This adds credibility to your content.
- Repurpose your content. Did you have a blog post that performed particularly well? Consider reusing the headline in an eblast, or in a paid ad. Work smarter, not harder. Don’t create content for the sake of creating content. Use what you know performs well in a multitude of applications for the best success.
Bottom line: If you’re producing content that doesn’t provide value to your target audience, they’re unlikely to convert. A pretty Instagram page with a bunch of followers is just that. If your content isn’t relevant to them, your time will have been wasted.
In order to produce actionable insights and relevant content, do your research, keep up with trends and stay on top of reporting. According to Sprout:
- 63% of marketers are currently placing more weight on live video, something 45% of consumers say they want to see.
- 55% of marketers are placing more relevance on user-generated content, which 24% of consumers are looking for.
While not all tactics are appropriate for content marketing, it is important to understand what is going on in the social market to make the decisions that best suit your brand. Do that and your social content strategy should write itself.
Are you struggling to find the right way to use content in your social media marketing? Send our Social Media Coordinator Megan Schneider an email and let’s talk.