(This post is Part 2 of 3 in my series on Content Marketing and Social Brand Strategy. Click here for Part 1.)
While exciting, the opportunity to create and curate a new brand narrative through content is a challenging one. However, the key to success is to stay focused. Form a plan and act on it with a clear head, good intentions, and enough flexibility to ebb and flow with the ever-changing, 24-7 market. The best rule of thumb is to show your best self, even when you’re showing off.
Social media is a very versatile space. It caters to the everyday needs of an individual keeping in touch with old friends, but can also allow a multi-billion dollar corporation to advertise to customers, and create touchpoints with new audiences, all within the same basic functionality and platform. With so much noise on consumers’ feeds (particularly now during a presidential race), it is important to choose what you “say” very carefully, especially while trying to grow and maintain a captive audience.
Brand elements like consistent logo usage, consistent brand voice, captivating visuals, photography style, and hashtag (yes, singular) are great ways to create evergreen and brand-true content. Create compelling visuals and copy based on well-spun ideas that encapsulate the best features of the brand, but always stay true to who you are. “Memorable” must first start with “recognizable.” Own your content, don’t just host it underneath your avatar.
But don’t get too product- or brand-granular. Leave your marketing talk and brand jargon behind. Speak to your social audience the way you’d talk to a friend. Don’t make too-lofty promises or shout savings at them. Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram photos have nestled their way into everyday communication, and it’s important to speak to your audience in a language that both captivates and comforts them. Think of your social content flow as a conversation, not a sales pitch.
Deviation is tempting. To jump on the “viral” bandwagon is tempting. To over-post is tempting. To throw out organic content for paid content is tempting. And sometimes, changing up the plan is a good thing. But don’t forget to see the content forest for the ad dollar trees. Customers buy from brands they can trust, and that trust comes from relatable, trustworthy content. And good content is all about creating brand value, not monetary value. And once you achieve the first, the second tends to follow.