Setting The Stage: 3 Active Ingredients For An Effective Social Content Strategy
Alright, so we should know that we must work with influential content creators and that it is so important to be in the social stream. However, how do we actually do it?
Before you start looking for content creators or create a content strategy, you will want to determine a few key things to help set the stage:
• Know Your Audience
• Set Clear Goals
• Define How You Will Measure Success
Seem simple? Social content marketing begins with the same place traditional marketing does, so you probably already know or have a good idea of what your brand needs to achieve. How can we turn it into an engaging social content strategy?
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
– Who is your target market?
– Do you have research and insights on them?
– What are they interested in?
A common mistake brands make is to decide first thing the type of influencers they would like to work with. We recommend stepping back and looking at your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Who is the target market for your brand/product?
Here’s an example: You are a brand who makes fashionable outfits and you want to start working with content creators to produce great social content to get the word out. It would be logical that you would want to work with fashion bloggers. While that is certainly a great idea, it is not casting the widest net to optimally reach your target market.
Let’s check it out. What is your target market? You say: We want to reach current shopaholics of outfits and convert them to wear our outfits.
But here’s what a lot of brands might miss initially: Not all shoppers read fashion blogs, follow fashion aficionados on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere.
Now let me ask you, the reader: Do you know anyone who enjoys shopping for clothes? If so, how many of those people do you think to follow fashion experts on social media? A-ha. There it is. In order to really reach your target audience (regular people who shop for clothes), it’s best to do so through people just like them.
In addition to the clothes, consider what else those people might be interested in. Shoes? Bags? Make sure you have a broad set of audience insights to expose all opportunities. With this approach to determining your audience, you would likely be guided to expand your content creator criteria from fashion experts to, say, lifestyle and shoes.
5 WAYS TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
1. Create a Conversation
If you are trying to start a buzz and get people talking about something, ask them to do so.
You can do this by posing a question within the content, be it a blog post, Facebook update, or tweet.
Craft your question in a way that invites your audience to not just react to the content, but join your conversation. It may be as simple as asking the same thing again or posting it in a different way.
These conversations can take place on most social media channels.
2. Promote Sharing
Getting readers and customers to share your content is a golden ticket and it takes several steps to get it right.
A. You need shareable content
B. You need to understand how and where your target audience shares and make it an easy step for them.
C. You need to distribute the content on the platforms your audience are most likely consuming content and/or sharing.
Think for a moment about your personal social sharing habits. What kind of content do you share? Where do you share it? What makes you share it?
This is how you think as a social content marketer to get content shared organically. You can craft viral-worthy messaging and memes till kingdom come, but if it doesn’t meet the consumer ‘s behavior drivers, it will fizzle.
3. Let Them Shop The Content
This is a fun, interactive way to engage with your audience. Whether your content is in the form of Pinterest boards, long-form, image-heavy posts, or videos, including links back to products for purchase is incredibly effective at moving an individual through the buyer funnel – and fast. Sometimes in a straight shot from brand awareness to purchasing the offer.
4. Drive To A Branded Destination
If the action you want your audience to take is to click on a link that brings them to a branded site, make sure the value they get from doing so is clear. What will they see, get to do, or learn?
What’s in it for them?
5. Crowd-source New Ideas
Let the audience become part of the content. Users engage by creating branded content themselves, to showcase preference and advocacy for your brand. You’ll also benefit from having a two-way conversation, and get more people talking, sharing, and connecting with your brand.
6 TYPES OF CONTENT THAT GO VIRAL
- Adds Value: It contributes to a broad audience’s needs or desires in some way
- Disruptions: Makes the consumer stop and notice
- Creative Participation: When a user can put himself in the role of a content creator, he’ll or she’ll be far more likely to share.
- News: Information they haven’t heard. be the news-breaker
- Emotional: Great stories make us feel something
- Simple Advocacy: When you directly ask that something is shared, your audience is far more likely to do so.
SET CLEAR GOALS
Common goals we see brands looking to achieve through Social Content Marketing:
– Brand Awareness
– Get people to try a new product
-Drive traffic to a brand site
– Drive to my social channels
– Get more followers
– Drive engagement with a promotion
– Capture email addresses
-Get content to feed my social channels
– Increase sales
– Build a relationship with content creators
What are the goals your brand looks to achieve through social content marketing?
Not every piece of content can achieve all of these goals. Narrow down your goals to the top 1 – 3, or better yet, create a tiered approach that allows you to activate different content creators for different goals. For example, you could build relationships with subject matter experts (SME) content creators in your vertical or industry to help feed your social channels with quality content, while you use buzz builders to help drive traffic and capture email addresses.
DEFINE HOW YOU WILL MEASURE SUCCESS
The last key ingredient is how you or the brand plan to measure success. These may come from higher-level marketing goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) you hope to achieve.
Determine this upfront and be realistic about what can be achieved. Content marketing drives the top of the decision funnel (awareness, consideration, and preference) and long term social content strategies can start to showcase purchase and loyalty.
We’ll talk about this later when we dive into analytics, but after you determine your KPIs, you translate them into results a social content play can deliver.
By setting up the right tracking methods, you can make sure you’re capturing the data that will tell (and sell) the story of your social content.
Identify through social content effort where a consumer is in the decision journey based on their actions:
- The individual sees branded content (Reach) >> Awareness
- Individual clicks to purchase something (purchase intent) or explores the brand (brand affinity)>> Purchase Consideration
- The individual is listening to (share of voice) or explores the brand (brand affinity)>> Preference
-The individual engages with the brand ( social sharing) >> Loyalty
METRICS AND METHODS TO DEFINE SUCCESS ALONG THE CONSUMER DECISION JOURNEY
Different metrics and methods for measurement can be used to define your success as it ladders up to your original goals.
Let's look across the consumer's journey
Awareness - You want eyeballs and massive reach to drive awareness. Look not only at the total impressions with reach but also at the actual views to that brand message
Purchase Consideration - Clicks show your audience wants to learn more. Meaning they've given thought to the content enough to hand over their personal information. Views are a form of consideration given they read or watch the full content.
Preference - Sharing is something most don't take lightly, and it's a great proxy for preference. Liking or Following the brand opts them into your social stream. Data Capture also opts them into hearing from your brand regularly. Social Listening can be used to determine a positive associations with your brand.
Purchase - Clicks to e-commerce are the most direct way to measure purchase. If you collect names in a lead generation effort, you can track that lead to conversion. Follow a reader from the content to your site and measure their engagement, time on site, and pages visited to track them through to purchase.
Loyalty - If they are regularly talking about you and sharing out your social content, they are loyal to your brand. Referrals are a great loyalty indicator. Look for commenters referring their friends to your brand. User-generated content shows loyalty through the creation of their own brand content.
One of the best ways to show the ROI in social content is to determine a dollar value for the content itself, the audience it reached, and the engagement it received.
So, where will you go from here?
Download this FREE cheat sheet to get started in building out your social content strategy.