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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

How to Improve Social Sharing - Content Marketing



Content marketing and social media are two different thing. Neither content marketing nor social media can be done well without the other.

Social media is only a slice of your content marketing strategy pie. Social media should always be included when you devise a content marketing plan, while website, partnership sites and search engines should also be considered.

There are various ways to distribute your content marketing. With that being said, social sharing should be placed as the top priority. Every piece of content you post online should be promoted, linked, or reposted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. Social media is a direct path to brand loyalty and engagement with your target audience. Content marketing’s objective is consumption, while social media revolves around participation.

Social media comes with other benefits as well. For instance, social media is a fantastic tool to obtain valuable audience insights. Most of the social networking sites offer some sort of analytics. One of the few notable ones include Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, which rivals even the king of analytics, Google Analytics with their audience nuggets.

Social media postings allow instant feedback. For websites, it might take days or even weeks to analyse and evaluate how well the new content is resonating. Social media allows you to know within hours. Social shares can get you these valuable insights. When people share your content, it’s a signal that you’re doing things right. In fact, sharing is even better than commenting because sharing allows you to reach even more people while commenting doesn’t, and it isn’t always a good thing because it might be a bad comment directed towards your company.

Although results vary according to the social media platform you chose, there are still many ways that can increase sharing.

Go Wild With Visual Content

‘Visual content is the new black.’ This phrase has been thrown around since 2012 to depict the effectivity and efficiency of compelling visuals.

Visual content is extremely shareable. Try to think for a moment, do you see a witty meme and cute puppy photos shared on your Facebook news feed often? Most probably, the answer is yes. Why? Because they are hilarious, fun, and something out of the box that they can relate to. Your objective as a content marketer is to be the source of a photo that people share.

  • Think twice before using a stock photo. At times, stock photos lack a source of life and personality. It’s good to have a little fun sometimes with humorous photos that you might find ridiculous. It’s good to incorporate comedic elements to entertain your audience and show that you’re not a one-dimensional cardboard.
  • Release the designer within you. Don't give yourself excuse to use plain and boring visuals. Let your creativity go wild and be open to out-of-the-box ideas. Incorporate interesting design with compelling texts in your visuals.

Regardless of the nature of your campaign, it is always good to include one or several visual elements/content that are light, fun, and entertaining. After all, everyone likes a little laughter to loosen up from time to time.

The Power of Videos

Producing a video is extremely difficult and hectic, but they are worth the time, money and effort. Research has proven that digital video content that are interesting and compelling enough has a much higher chance to go viral. Another suggestion to incorporate videos into your content marketing strategy is to plan a series instead of a one-off video. This gets your audience hooked and tuned in to you from time to time.

These videos can be as simple as vlogs or even silent videos, meaning videos that insert text to convey their message instead of having people speaking or voice overs. If there is a slightly higher budget you can even conduct an interview based video, where you collect opinions from the public that revolves around the central theme/topic that fits your mission statement. Organisations with a relatively higher budget will choose to produce PSA (Public Service Announcement) themed videos that incorporates emotional elements that are capable of touching and evoking the public’s emotions. These videos lay a huge impact to the public because it touches on their fragile and sensitive inner emotions. It shows that the organisation has a sense of humanity and actually cares about things happening around us, making the audience feel that they care about them. Ultimately, portraying the organisation in a positive and likeable way.

List-based Articles

Research has proven that in recent years, list-based articles have gotten very popular. This is due to the fact that users prefer digestible content on social media. List-based articles’ content are broken down into bits that are direct and easy to consume. It also adds the ‘share’ factor that drives users to repost/reblog/retweet.

Make sure the subject of your articles are of your audience’s interests. When writing these articles, make sure your content either addresses their needs, or is captivating enough to make them read and share. A few great examples is, “Twitter Goes Public: 21 Things You Should Know”, “6 Types of Employees - Which Are You?”, “6 Ways To Nail An Interview”.

These subject (and their headlines) are intelligently crafted and it prompts people to click in out of curiosity and interest.

Baiting

What is baiting on social media? Baiting is the act of selecting a hot topic or trend that fits your brand and ask a question informally on your network. For instance, if you’re an alcohol company, bait your readers several times a week:

“A research done recently shows that 62% of whiskey drinkers like to mix their whiskey with apple juice. How do you like your whiskey to be mixed?”

“Herbal tea-flavored whiskey?! What do you think about this Oriental whiskey flavor?”

“They say night time is the best time to enjoy whiskey. Which part of the day is your favorite time to enjoy a cup of whiskey?”

The key to this is to be moderate and encourage participation among your audience. If people start making an interesting or insightful point, thank them because they are giving you alot of attention. This will also drive them to invite their like-minded comrades into the conversation.

All in all, these tips will no doubt increase your social sharing, but your work doesn’t stop here. You must set a goal in mind, either to convert your followers into legit customers or garner more followers and promote brand loyalty.
Keep your objective in mind everytime you post and be thankful for all the participation you get in social media because it shows your audience’s loyalty towards your brand. After all, the ultimate goal of social media is to turn customers into a voluntary marketing army.

 
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