For years, the big focus in social media marketing was finding ROI. It still is, to a great degree. But as more companies bought into using social media, a new problem developed: How do we create more social media content for our business? Scratch that, how do we create more social media content that is USEFUL to our customers, that also helps our business reach its goals.
It’s tough, it’s damn tough. I was talking recently with a fellow consultant about balancing doing client work and creating a steady stream of content that helps us get more client work. It’s a struggle for us, so I know it’s probably a struggle for your company as well.
The good news about content creation is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So the first step, is to address content creation from a time standpoint. We want to make the process easier and more efficient so that you can create more content in less time.
One of the main reasons that businesses explore using social media is because they want to build awareness for who they are and what they do. Social media doesn’t excel at driving sales directly, but it can be a great channel for driving awareness. It can also be a great channel for positioning and branding. So if we attack our content strategy from the awareness/positioning/branding angle, we can accomplish multiple goals at once.
Remember the plant your flag approach to content strategy? It means you ask ‘what do we want to be known for?’ If you were to explain your business and why its relevant in 30 seconds at a cocktail party, what would you tell someone? What terms and ideas do you want to own?
Once you know who you are and why your business is relevant, you want to create and share content around those ideas. Red Bull creates and shares content focused on extreme sports and extreme sports athletes. Pedigree shares content focused on happy and healthy dogs.
So as you are keeping up to date on your industry and market, look for ways to share some of that content with your network. At first this can seem counter intuitive; Why would you promote content that’s not about your business? Because if it’s content that’s related to your business, it helps identify your business as being associated with those ideas or that industry, or that concept.
Plus there’s this: If someone isn’t aware of your business, they also aren’t aware of why they should pay attention to your business. One way to increase the chances that they will pay attention is to associate your business with content that they DO find interesting. For example, if your business is a hotel chain, sharing content that helps customers plan a road trip can increase the chances that they will pay attention to you. The content on planning a road trip is interesting and relevant to them, so if you share this content, they will pay attention to it, and by extension they will be more likely to pay attention to you.
So start by identifying sources of relevant content for your intended audience. If you want to reach single moms that need help cooking quick and healthy meals for their children, think about where they would get this information. Then you want to find these sites, and share their content. You are providing a service for them, and in the process you are giving these single moms an incentive to pay more attention to you.
So if you want to create more useful social media content, start by staying up to date on your industry and market. When you can, share relevant content from sources that your audience trusts. Just doing this can easily double the content you distribute via your social media channels. As an added bonus, it also makes those sources more likely to want to promote your content. I’ll talk about this more in Thursday’s post.