Content will always be king when it comes to engaging an audience. No matter where or what you are posting, you’re taking your audience on a journey. Good stories are what’s shareable, people want to feel something when they see it. This is why storytelling will always be a priority when it comes to marketing your brand effectively and resonating with your audience online. Being that we're in the Age of (too much) Information, a.k.a. the Digital Age, how does a business get their content to stand strong in the social media stampede?
In last week’s post we talked about the importance of having an engaged audience, well the crucial component to that is having engaging content. Social media is centered around the idea of a community, but first that community has to value the message you’re putting across. It doesn’t matter how you present it, bad content is bad content and customers can’t stand behind lack of substance.
Here are some ways to improve your content, have it represent your business effectively and not only capture your target audience but keep them coming back:
Love Your Local
People love local. We like supporting our communities and knowing what’s going on in our immediate surroundings because it’s connected to us. As a business, if you have local products, highlight them. If your roots are local, talk about them. Tell the story behind your products and your brand. Consumers want to know where their products come from and especially when it’s local, people are more inclined to support it as it supports their community overall. What makes you proud to be local? Share your favourite things about where your business is, whether it’s about the neighbourhood you’re in or the people that are in it. These types of stories make your online brand not only relateable but one that your customers can be proud to support.
Be a Good Neighbour
If you have local businesses in the neighbourhood, reach out! This ties in to the appreciation of supporting local, if as a business you support local yourself then it’s even more contagious. Social media is centered around community and what better way to display that then collaborating with your physical community. Whether you attend neighbourhood events, cross promote or just give a neighbourly shout out online it shows comradery and that’s appealing to your audience. Your immediate neighboring businesses are your best friends. When you team up and make them happy they’ll send followers and customers your way. People like feeling connected and when their favourite businesses are working side by side it’s commendable to see them supporting each other.
If you’re involved in the community – share it! Nothing is more heartwarming and engaging than stories of giving back. Consumers love to support companies that are philanthropic. According to Chimp.net, “90% of consumers are more likely to trust and be loyal to companies that back causes, and 82% say their purchase decisions are influenced by companies that support social causes”. So get involved (if you’re not already)! Giving back is a great way to enhance your overall brand image and in turn your bottom line.
As people’s attention spans are increasingly shortening, grabbing the attention of an audience is an uphill battle. Invest in visual content - photography, infographics and videos are a great place to start. The brain processes images a lot faster than text so having the right visuals can tell your story more effectively. In addition to grabbing their attention, consumers feel that visuals are more trustworthy than just text heavy content. When consumers trust your content, they’ll share it. Pictures do say a thousand words so ensure that you’re investing in quality visuals that will tell your brand’s story.
Just be yourself and by yourself I mean your brand. Everything you post should be mindful of your branded tone of voice and personality. Right away people don’t trust information from a brand so publishing as a brand, rather than as an individual, puts you behind the eight ball almost immediately. Social media is meant to be social and so people want to connect with a person. Developing your brand personality and posting content that successfully supports this while remaining professional is the key to capturing your audience.
Quality > Quantity
Your content should highlight your strengths, but don’t overdo it. Take the time to craft a few quality posts that enhance your brand rather a bunch of mediocre posts blasted out. Not only will social platforms see this type of content as spam, posting too frequently will naturally irritate your audience. If you’re too salesy or repetitive on Facebook for instance, their thoughtful consumer centric Algorithm updates will reward high-quality content over spammy content. Stop, think about it, plan ahead and mix it up.
Keep it Simple
Whatever content you share, your goal is always to educate your audience in some way. Whether it’s the benefits of what you have to offer, why they should trust in your business or why they should want what you have to offer. In an effort to do this it’s important to think about your audience and realize when your expertise can get in the way. Think about who you are talking to. You could be an expert in your field, great, but are you talking down to your audience by trying to relay your message? If you don’t tailor your content to appeal to the reader your message can go right over their head and ruin your efforts in helping your customers.
Think about it, if your customers were also an expert they wouldn’t need you. If your goal is to get new customers, provide them with content that can educate and intrigue them to use your services. This doesn’t take away from your competence, it just makes you approachable instead of proving something that runs the risk of turning people away. In order to get your message across efficiently and effectively you need to get to the point and that doesn’t include jargon or fancy words to prove your expertise. By ignoring this, your messaging will be lost by your target customer. Educational is inviting, arrogance is not.
Sharing is Caring
Content curation is a great way to engage your audience. Sharing relevant, current and interesting content can prove your opinion to be valuable and in turn will make your audience appreciate and listen to what you have to say. Whether it’s an interesting article, blog post, infographic or informational video, if it will enrich your audience and is relevant to your business, share it! Educating your followers will put your brand at the top of their minds and eventually into a qualified lead, loyal customer and brand advocate. By sharing content that provides value to your reader you in turn gain their trust. The more you are trusted the more your audience will listen to you.
Good content takes time, effort and strategy. All things you may not have at your disposal. Our social media team can work with you to help make your content be the best it can be for your individual business. Contact us to learn more about our social media services.
And when it comes to your content - let’s make it reign!