Content was, is and always will be king. For anyone within the marketing realm, this may well be the widest and most well-known online marketing saying of all. However, we now live in the age of social media where ‘content’ is simply swallowed at an alarming rate. How does a developing business keep up?
Blogs, videos, infographics and podcasts all serve to drive traffic from the richly diverse collection of social media platforms, over to your website. Content also has the ability to build firm fan bases, as well as secure affinity with your brand.
Your sales funnel serves as your company’s lifeblood: think of it as a continual content creation and social media marketing process – where leads are nurtured from cold to super-hot, where individuals begin as unknowns and end up as repeat purchasers: think of it, as feeding the beast that is your business.
Time and resource rich? We thought not.
A content strategy is as far removed from writing about your products and services as it possibly could be. It takes considerable time to craft a message that consumers care about – and even longer to affect a strategy that will see your content featured in the right places, in front of the right eyes.
According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 51% of companies lack the time to create content. Unfortunately, all too many equestrian related businesses lack the time, resources, or both, to create content that matters and put in place a social media strategy that pays any form of dividends; and the result? A lacklustre performance where your time, effort and marketing budget is often wasted.
So, just how much time and resources do you need?
Let’s get to grips with exactly how much time and resources content creation and social media marketing commands – at least when it’s done in an effective way.
Research from the Social Media Examiner has recently found that 81% of marketers could achieve increased traffic with 6+ hours per week spent on social media marketing. Yet this is for the social media side alone – the actual creation of content commands a whole new level of resources which must be managed, potentially including a mix of experts, such as a copywriter, a social media marketer, an SEO expert and a content specialist for media focussed pieces (such as a graphic designer for an infographic or a videographer for video content).
Quick tips on satisfying the appetite
Content: It’s (mostly) about getting into the mind of your target consumer
Now you may be thinking that, as a PR company, we would say that content creation and social media is time-consuming – after all, wouldn’t we prefer that we win your business?
However, there are ways in which businesses can, at the least, begin to feed the appetite of the beast; and here are three tips that represent the most fundamental of all content creation concepts.
1. Content creation: it’s not about you – it’s about them
Further research by LinkedIn Technology Marketing has found that the top three elements of effective content are: Audience Relevance (58%); Engaging and Compelling Storytelling (57%); Triggers a Response/Action (54%). This order creates some semblance of focus for your content creation efforts and underlines that, first and foremost, your content must be relevant to your audience.
Content that helps address your target market’s pain points is the most valuable of all – yet in order to do this you need to understand who your target customer is, and what issue, or issues, it is that they face and you solve. Content that sits neatly between your product or service, and their pain point, is exactly where you need to be.
You should also consider how your competitors are mastering the art of valuable content – do they give away guides or exclusive access to certain blogs in exchange for an email address? Are they experiencing much engagement on their social pages from followers who can’t help but ask for more information?
This must run alongside promotional content – such as press releases and news features, which serve to attract both attention and build knowledge around your commercial activities.
2. Be a clever curator
Original content is a must in this day and age. Not only does it signal to the mighty search engines that yours is a website worthy of a respectable position, but it also illustrates you as a thought leader, industry expert and a brand with a voice worth listening to.
That all said, the most effective of content strategies will have an element of content curation, which is harnessing the works of others to add value to your message. This could be as simple as re-publishing another company’s infographic, or re-blogging an expert’s recent post. When doing this you must ensure that the source you seek from isn’t in direct completion with you (and don’t forget to request permission and credit the original author!).
3. Content quality control
Last but not least you must create quality content – and this goes beyond merely ensuring your copy is free from spelling errors.
When we talk of quality, we mean elements such as tone and language – both essential for connecting with your audience. Too informal and your brand may come across as far too relaxed to be entrusted, too formal and you may appear wooden, stiff and insincere – neither of which will do much for your business.
Your copy must also be easy to scan, with an engaging first summary paragraph; short, snappy sentences and concise yet engaging subheadings. This is all completed by there being some form of call-to-action – be it influencing the reader to leave an email address for further updates, or encouraging the reader to place an order there and then.
Social media is the Ying to content’s Yang – without each you simply can’t strike the balance that attracts eyes and wins hearts
Your target market – where in the world are they?
Think that you need to be on every social media network going in order to reap the full results from all of your hard work? Think again. Not only can this be time-consuming, it can also be damaging to your follower numbers, as those who take the time to follow on more than one platform are served up with the same messages on both. When you do this – you’re considered only as a business who clogs their feed – a spammer. Ultimately – this can lead to unfollows and unlikes unilaterally.
To this end, you first need to know where your target market are and then you need to know what content should go where in order to nurture those clicks over and away from their original, social media source.
Don’t neglect the message that accompanies your content links – nor the images that are displayed alongside them
Once you’ve given blood, sweat and tears to your latest piece of content, you shouldn’t do away with all of your hard work by posting in haste. Take time to craft the status update that is responsible for grabbing your users’ attention, and carefully select an eye-catching (and relevant) image that could contend against the best of cat memes any day of the week.
Track, track, track
Above all else it’s vital that you track your social media efforts and the successes (and fails) that you’ve achieved. This is the only way in which you can improve what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
Key metrics to track may include: shares, likes, re-tweets, follower numbers and comments; whilst off-site metrics include: average page visit duration, blog comments and search engine position.
We speak your language, we know your customer
The world of equestrian and countryside focussed businesses are often faced with one rather mammoth problem when it comes to PR services: the many glittering PR and marketing firms out there simply don’t ‘get’ you.
We speak your language, and we know your target customer – inside out, and back to front. For 30 years we’ve been working alongside companies such as yours in crafting strategies that make people care – with content that compels and social media plans that boost bottom lines.
Unless you find yourself in the enviable position of being both time rich and resource rich – there are our services; and it is these services that free businesses such as yours from the demanding requirements of feeding the beast, day in, day out. It’s also what allows companies exactly like yours to focus on the stuff that they’re really good at: such as running their business, and delivering products or services that delight.
If you need some help with Content Generation and Social Media Marketing, Presspoint is only a call or an email away. Tel: 01953 851513. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org