Content creation is a vital part of any strategic marketing plan. Whether you are using social media to attract new customers or build on existing relationships, you need to create content that is useful as well as visually appealing. While nearly 90% of all companies engage in content marketing on some level, few manage to produce “share-worthy” content. The reason is simple. Most people who post on social media do so without thinking or having a plan.
Fortunately, there are many ways to create “shareable” social media content if you put your mind to it. The most effective way is to use the “right” images. Studies show that 93% of all human communication is visual. This means that consumers first look at the visual elements of a post before deciding to read it.
What Motivates Users to Share Content?
According to research, there are several psychological factors to why people engage in online activities. Among the top reasons are: They desire social approval; they want to show their support, and they want to be entertained. While it is extremely challenging to achieve a high level of engagements on every post, the following tips should help increase your social media followers, engagements, and create more shareable posts.
1. Write Useful Content.
Internet users have an appetite for useful information and are more likely to share a post if it offers new information or a fresh perspective. Creating this type of content may require research and some extra time, but the dividends are worth it.
If you decide that writing your own social media content is too time consuming, consider outsourcing it to a social media expert.
2. Make Posts Easy To Read.
You have only a second or two to grab an internet user’s attention. Be sure to format your content in such a way that the information is easy to read quickly. Write succinctly. Use numbered lists or bullet points when appropriate, and bold type or color to highlight key points.
3. Know Your Audience
Before creating or sharing content, ask yourself if it's something that your audience would like to see and share with their friends. If you are not sure about the demographics of your audience, use your social media posts to gain that information simply survey your followers. When you ask people about themselves, this not only creates engagement but gives you special insight into what they want.
4. Pull at Heartstrings
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns went viral because they sparked strong emotional reactions among followers. If you can make someone feel happiness, anger, or sorrow, they are more likely to comment or share a post.
5. Get Nostalgic
Depending on the age of your audience, everyone loves to recall old memories. If you know the average age of your audience, you can easily find images and subject matters to appeal to them. Similar to the emotional strategy, consumers generally comment on memories.
6. Share Your Blog
Social media is a great place to let your followers know when you have posted a new blog. Remember, internet users are looking for information, so if your blog is worth writing, it’s worth sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
7. Offer Incentives
Everyone loves free stuff. Think about posting a drawing for a free gift. If you do this, make sure your prize is something that either brings someone to your business or they can easily associate with your brand.
8. Find Your Funny Bone
When it comes to social media, you don’t always have to take your business so seriously. Infact, funny posts, images, and videos attract attention and increase the shareability of posts.
9. Post Videos
Video marketing remains the best performing digital content type, driving more views, more engagement and more response than any other social posting option. That’s what social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn have added the ability for users to post videos.
10. Use Hashtags
Hashtags (#) are specific and unique keywords that make your content more discoverable on social media platforms and help you to engage with other social media users based on a common theme or interest.
Final Thought: The best way to create social media content is to build a complete campaign. Often times, businesses struggle to keep up with their social posting schedule because they are being reactive versus proactive. This makes it difficult to reap the benefits of social media. Plus, it’s tough to always be writing posts on the fly without much thought ahead of time.
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In today’s digital world, the challenge for brand awareness, customer acquisition, and maintaining profitability is at an all time high. While consumers still desire high quality products and low cost, they prefer to do business with social responsible companies.
According to the Cone Cause Evolution Survey, the number of consumers who say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand associated with a good cause is just under 90 percent.
Also known as social responsibility, cause marketing began in the late 1970s by brands such as Nike, Marriott Corporation and American Express. In contrast to traditional forms of marketing, these companies connected their brands and products to social causes and were rewarded with an unprecedented growth and consumer loyalty.
There are many benefits to cause marketing. You don’t have to be a giant corporation to take advantage of it. Practically anyone can take advantage of this form of marketing, regardless of whether you are a brick and mortar business, online retailer, or in the service industry. Cause marketing can boost sales while improving the public’s impression of your brand. Thus, if you want to stay competitive in today's world, “cause marketing” should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.
How To Start A Cause-Marketing Campaign
Cause-marketing campaigns often start with selecting the right affiliation. The most successful campaigns demonstrate an obvious relationship between the cause and the business. For example: in 1980, I created the “Safe Ride Home” for my personal injury law firm client. The program promoted free rides home on New Year’s Eve to prevent drinking and driving. In addition to gaining thousands of dollars in free publicity, the campaigned transformed the law firm’s image from “ambulance chasers” to "caring neighbors." Another example: When Procter & Gamble's Olay brand skin-care line partnered with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, its campaign goal was to inspire women to protect their skin from the sun. This campaign was a winner in more ways than one for P & G.
Recently, companies from General Motors and Facebook to Lowe’s and Crocs have made the news for stepping up to help frontline workers, small business owners and other Americans during the pandemic. Have you thought about what your business could do to help others on a local, regional, or national basis?
It’s important to note that social responsibility marketing probably won’t work if your company chooses an obscure cause or one that does not make sense with your brand.
How To Choose A Cause
It is best to choose a cause that you and your employees feel passionate about; nothing diminishes the good feelings of associating with a cause if the attempt to make a difference is half-hearted. The general public can see through a marketing strategy that is primarily for profit versus one that is truly philanthropic.
Promoting Cause Marketing
Now that you have chosen your cause, it is time to think about the best way to spread the word. While advertising on TV, radio, print and online may seem like the obvious answer, don’t overlook a solid public relations (PR) campaign. In the case of the above Procter & Gamble’s Olay Brand campaign, the PR yielded widespread media recognition on TV, radio, print and online, helping the program attract more than 9,000 individuals for free skin-cancer screenings.
While millennials make over half of their purchases online, only 6% of them think that online advertising is credible. Another reason why adding PR to your marketing mix just makes sense. Additionally, a well-targeted social media campaign that explains how your business is helping a cause can get a lot of positive awareness, quickly and inexpensively.
Finally, as with any marketing strategy, you need to communicate trust and transparency among your audience. Now more than ever, many consumers have less money in their pockets and as a result are more mindful about how they spend it. Thus, before you start your cause marketing campaign, may sure the cause is something your consumers truly care about. Remember, it shouldn’t be about creating a cause simply to sell products; cause marketing should really be about authentically spreading the word about the initiatives that are important to your company’s mission and its customers.
As always, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and comment on this post. If you have a marketing question, please drop me an email me.
A Blog is an excellent way to leverage your online presence while sharing your passion and industry expertise. While it takes time to establish your blog, the results are measurable. Studies have shown that businesses that blog regularly are more than two times as likely to generate sales compared to those who don’t.
Before you start a blog, you should know your audience demographics in order to write relevant content for them. People who read blogs want to learn something new, be inspired, or simply be entertained. Whatever you write about should be meaningful to your readers. Think of your blog as a news story. You want the topic to be current, informative, accurate, and easy to read.
Now that you know the essentials of blogging, here are 6 tips to help you start, stay motivated, and increase your blog followers.
1. Create a content calendar.
Whether you are blogging once a month, once a week, or bimonthly, you should be consistent. Plan your content ahead and jot down some topics in your a calendar for the next couple of months. You might also ask your peers or customers for what they’d like to read about in your posts to generate content ideas. The more choices you have for potential topics the better.
2. Categorize content.
Within your calendar, define what each piece of content will be. Is it a “how-to” or a new product release? Will it be a customer interview? Listing each blog post as a genre with a reason for posting it will help you vary the content you’re posting and help you craft posts with different calls to action.
3. Start crafting your posts in advance.
Be proactive when it comes to writing your blog. Start thinking about your topic and do research at least a week before you plan to post your blog live. Remember, your content should be relevant and with the most current info. I typically write two or three blogs at a time so that I always one in my pipeline to post. It’s always quicker and easier to update a blog than to start one from scratch.
4. Think about links and mentions.
An important part of any blogging initiative is linking to relevant content (both on the website and in outside sources). This will aid with search engine optimization and your readers can delve deeper into the subject of your post, if they so desire.
You may also want to mention relevant brands or individuals by name, too. If people have set up a Google or social-media alert to tracking their name, they will pick up that you’ve been writing about them and perhaps drop by your blog to see what you’ve been saying, good or bad.
5. Set aside time to write.
A couple of days before your post is due to go live, set a time when you can write without distractions. Since you’ve already selected your topic and done the research, writing your blog should be much easier. Remember, most consumers have short attention spans so you want to avoid overwriting, use bullet points, and include a visual element to help your readers scan your blog content. If your blog is too long, they may decide to skip it all together. Ideally, your blog should be between 500 and 700 words.
6. Include a visual element.
The process of blogging is not limited to the written word. Be sure to feature a photo, screenshot, or infographic to help draw the reader in.
If you keep these tips in mind, blogging on a consistent basis can be a piece of cake.. If you truly don’t have the time or hate to write, hire an experienced blogger. A great blog can make the difference between growing your business or closing your doors.
As always, I welcome your comments and encourage you to contact me for a free marketing consultation.