Content takes on many forms; from infographics and printable guides to GIFs and inspiring images. For the purposes of this edition, we’ll focus on optimizing shareable content for the most popular social media channels with the goal of maximizing reach, engagement and clicks back to your site. One of the biggest concerns we hear from marketers is keeping up with the demand for content with limited resources. If you’re in this boat, the next two tips may change your life (now that’s a hyperbolic headline you can’t help but scroll on, right?).
Curate, Crowd-Source & Co-Create
Some of the most compelling content is created by your fans – we call this User-Generated Content (UGC) – or inspired by influencers.
Here are a few “thought starters” to gather UGC:
- Tweet a question to specific influencers about your content topic. Then, embed their replies in your blog post, or turn them into quote images for social media (with their permission and proper attribution, of course).
- Share a round-up of new ways to use your product with photos you find from your audience on Instagram (don’t forget to ask them for permission to use their photo).
- Share reviews from bloggers and consumers in a post about your product (third party perspective goes a long way).
Slice, Dice & Share
One of the biggest missed opportunities for brands is repurposing and multiplying content. Whether it is a year-old blog post or new video, from one piece comes many.
Where & How to Post your Content:
Facebook is one of the most debated channels right now, the one everyone (brands and consumers, alike) loves to hate, yet keeps coming back for more. With over one billion users across the globe, it isn’t a channel to be ignored or haphazardly employed by brands.
Do’s for Facebook Content:
- Keep copy to a minimum. The shorter, the better!
- Look for trends in times of the day that receive the most reach and engagement.
- On link posts, make sure the URL generates a large image (vs. a thumbnail). If it doesn’t, opt for a photo post with the URL in the post copy
- Post 3-7 times per week, consistently.
- Upload video files directly to Facebook (vs. linking to YouTube or another source) for maximum reach and video views.
- Ask simple, direct questions. Then, use the answers to inspire additional content.
- Use limited copy on images.
Twitter is the darling of breaking news and real-time marketing. Twitter is also on a roll
this year, releasing new features and products. Content is incredibly easy to search within Twitter, through hashtags and within mobile Google Search results. Twitter elevates trending topics to a designated section, allowing users to easily browse related tweets. Brands that cleverly participate in relevant trending conversations, by sharing related content or developing content in real- time (in a way that aligns with their brand) often see increases in followers and engagement.
- Live tweet updates from an event or conference.
- Host Twitter chats to gain audience insights.
- Share relevant influencer content.
- Livestream an event or behind-the-scenes footage (try Twitter’s Periscope!)
Even if Facebook users revolt and leave their accounts, the company still has a stand-alone gem in Instagram. Brands with beautiful products, environments, experiences or offices can leverage the tool to share visual content of an aspirational or identifiable lifestyle. It is also a goldmine of UGC to discover and share.
- Image from a blog post with link to post in profile.
- Share quality UGC.
- Inspirational imagery (beautiful photography).
- A day in the life of the CEO, an ambassador or employee.
- Videos that are under 15 seconds, show the brand in the first frame, and make sense without sound.
If you are targeting women over 25, you should consider your Pinterest strategy if you haven’t already, including Pin it buttons on your content and website, and optimizing your products and content for Rich Pins using simple mark-up. The appeal of the platform for users is part nostalgia (magazine collages) and part functional (easy way to save and categorize information).
To generate more clicks on your owned pins, keep the following in mind:
- Vertical pins perform best because Pinterest’s layout is optimized for mobile scrolling.
- Optimal width is 736px for pins.
- Include a keyword-rich description of the pin so it will show up in more search results.
- Positive, inspirational messages resonate well.
- Include the correct source-link for your content and link owned images back to your site.
Video is an important component of Content Marketing, as many consumers view YouTube as their search engine of choice. The best videos align with the content strategy and either entertain, educate, inspire or wow viewers. The best YouTube accounts publish videos at least once a week, so while production quality is important, it isn’t the piece determining total views.
- A how-to series related to the lifestyle of your audience.
- Product launch videos that feature interviews with stake holders and influencers.
- Event recaps with exciting, exclusive footage.
- Fun employee interviews.
- Quick tips from the pros.
- Animated infographics.
A blog should be the hub of compelling content that resonates with your target audience and brings the heart of the brand to life. It serves as a source to link to from social media, native advertising and email, and also boosts search engine rankings. Blog posts should be developed and published based on the editorial calendar (remember part one of this series?). Formats and word count may vary depending on the goal, topic and audience.
Here are some general recommendations for your company blog:
- Headlines matter: If nobody is compelled to read a post, then they will never link to it.
- Keep body copy scannable: break content into sections, including lists with bullet points or numbers.
- Embed URLs to other relevant pages on your site to drive incremental traffic and views.
- Always include a shareable piece of content in the post, such as an infographic, a video, a playlist, a whitepaper, etc.
- End with a strong call to action that encourages a response, subscribing, browsing related products, etc.
- Optimize for SEO! Check (at least) your meta-data, hashtags, image descriptions and image URLS.
Miss Part 1? Find it here and stay tuned for Part 3 of this series to learn more about amplifying your content!