Let Me Start By Asking You This…
How much time does your organization devote to social media content marketing and engaging with its audience?
Is your content informative and providing value or is your content simply transactional?
When was the last time you responded to your audience’s questions and comments?
Are you providing content that your audience is interested in or are you doing the same thing as every organization in your industry and releasing content simply to say you exist on social media?
Consider This Your Wake-Up Call.
The RIGHT content strategy and marketing campaign can do many things for an organization when used correctly. The problem is, without the right content strategy your success in 2019 and beyond will be extremely limited.
These are the facts…
- Almost half of the world’s population adopted one or more social media platforms between 2010 – 2019.
- From 2015-2017, engagement on social media dropped 50%, according to Buzzsumo. However during that same time period, ‘highly-authoritative’ websites actually had their social shares increase. The keyword here is ‘highly-authoritative’.
- According to the 2019 Sprout Index, 59% of social media users want to see posts that teach them something.
- It’s also estimated that 70% of internet users want to learn about products through content instead of traditional paid ads.
- For mid-and large-sized businesses, leads generated through content marketing cost 41% less than leads acquired through a paid search campaign, according to research done by Oracle.
- According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B organizations are trying to harness the power of content marketing–but only 9% rate their content strategies as “sophisticated.”
But The Big Question Still Remains…
Why are mid-large sized organizations choosing to ignore the full power of social media and what it can do for their brand, online sales, customer acquisition and retention? And what does this ultimately mean for you and your organization?
It means that unless your organization starts taking social media seriously and creating content that is well thought-out and catered towards informing people, providing value and including your audience in the day-to-day journey of your organization, you are going to experience very little growth and even fewer sales.
I believe a pivot needs to occur in what matters most to mid-large sized organizations right now. As it stands, all activities are more or less geared towards meeting or surpassing today’s bottom line and sales objectives. That means countless dollars spent on online advertising in hopes of an immediate return on investment.
But I believe there should be a balance in marketing efforts. Or at least a 60/40 split of online marketing budgets. 60%-70% on paid advertising and 30%-40% for organically building relationships. If you go online right now, you will see organizations are spending money hand-over-fist on paid advertising to reach their target market, but are not investing long-term in organically building relationships with their target market.
If history has shown us anything regarding business, it is that the longevity of any business rests with the activities it focuses on that builds relationships, increases trust and authority and will ultimately secure the organizations many tomorrows.
So What Should You As The Marketing Executive At A Mid-Large Sized Organization Revisit On Your Social Media Platforms?
- Bios – Your Instagram bio for example has a 150-character maximum, so your goal here is a direct, concise summary of who you are and why people should follow you. Tell your audience about your business using a hint of personality. I’ve provided an article breaking down The Importance of your Instagram Bio and you can apply it to your other social media platforms.
- Settings – Make sure you have your profile switched to a Business Account as it will make additional information and methods of contact available to your audiences. In addition, make sure all content types are viewable for everyone.
- Content – The types of content you release on all of your platforms will have a significant impact on your audience growth, the way your audience perceives your brand, and how your audience will interact with your brand overall. The second aspect to take note of here is that the content you release on Facebook, will not have the same effect on Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. Make sure you are using the appropriate types of content to best deliver the results you desire. Lastly, always provide more value than anything else. Make it so that your audience wants to participate and engage with your brand. You want your audience to want to turn to you for more information because they trust you and see you as the authority in your industry.
- Unique Tools – Know each platforms unique set of tools that are readily available for you to use. Instagram and Twitter for example allow for the use of Hashtags. When used correctly, hashtags can be an extremely powerful tool. Facebook and Instagram allow for mentions and tagging within posts, which in turn increases the reach of your content. Facebook Pixel is free to use and allows you to retarget ads to people who have visited specific types of content. And the list of tools can go on and on and on.
Here’s A Short Story:
Imagine this for a second… You think to yourself… “I’m going to go onto Instagram and Facebook to look at what the ‘big boys’ are doing online to provide value to their audiences. They must be producing some amazing content for their audience to absorb.”
I started digging around to gather some inspiration for a client of ours, but while I was searching Instagram I began noticing that a lot of these mid-to-large sized organizations are struggling to clear 10,000 – 20,000 followers on Instagram.
For some reason, that seemed really wrong. I thought to myself… “They are NATIONAL and GLOBAL brands. Their BRAND NAMES alone should have enough momentum to surpass that milestone.”
That’s when I began to take a closer look at their content and what it was they were delivering to their audiences.
In short, the organizations that were doing really well (few and far between) were focused on delivering content that had value and meaning and went above simply making a sale or putting forth an offer. They have a dedicated team (in-house or outsourced) working on delivering immediate value in exchange for the attention of their audience, which in turn increased their brand’s trust and authority and increased sales. Furthermore, they engaged with their audiences on a regular basis, treating them like people who matter, which increased brand loyalty and the amount of attention their audiences were willing to give them.
However, the majority of organizations that are suffering are doing the complete opposite. They are providing little to no value on all of their social media platforms. Every piece of content that is being released is transactional (with the hopes of making a sale) and looks like very little effort has been put into it. Lastly, they don’t engage with their audiences frequently, which inevitably turns people’s attention away from their organization.
GUIDING RULE: Organizations need to embody the idea of acting like a person versus an organization. Humanize your brand. If people are willing to give you 10-15 seconds of their time to absorb your content/material, do everything you can to keep their eyes on you. People want to be a part of your journey/process, so include them whenever it is possible.
What we chose to do was reach out to one of Canada’s National Brands (which will not be named due to confidentiality agreements) I came across and offered to provide them with some insight as to how they could leverage specific types of content to grow their audience organically (no paid ads) on Instagram alone.
When we approached them, this Canadian National Brand had an Instagram account that had been active for just over 2 years and was at roughly 1,000 followers on Instagram. They agreed to take our expertise and insight and put it to work. In less than one year their audience grew to over 20,000 followers and their audience became more engaged than ever before. Their in-house social media manager was shocked at the results.
How Can You As A Marketing Executive Improve Your Organizations Social Media Presence and Engagement?
Here Are 4 Key Things You Implement Immediately.
• Create content that is INFORMATIVE and provides REAL VALUE.
• TRANSPARENCY builds trust. Pull back the curtain every now and again to give your audience EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes access.
• Portray your organization as a single person and focus on building relationships. Talk with them, not at them. HUMANIZE your brand. Make your audience feel like you want them there and you want to share your stories, failures and successes.
• 80/20 rule: 80% Value + 20% Transactional (sales/offers).
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