Photo Credit: Richard G.
No one in the business world in his right mind can deny the power of media, and more specifically, one of its main creations – social media, where according to studies carried out by the University of Pennsylvania, we spend an average of 1/3 of our online time. Do you want your product to reach its target customer? Tell them you exist, get a page, post some content, share your information, and hunt for those precious likes.
Seems simple right?
Yet there are many companies that invest a great deal in social media but see very limited impact. Why is that? And what do you need to know before investing in all those resources in order to get your message heard?
What is content?
Content, by definition, is useful information that one creates in order to share it with another, with the hope of bringing value to that other person’s life. Without value no-one will need that content, rendering it kind of useless.
Content can be shaped in many forms: text, pictures, videos, graphs, podcasts, blog posts, reviews, case studies etc. So, any information that is potentially useful for someone can qualify as useful content.
Why is it important to have content out there?
To this day, Facebook has about 1.5 billion users, WeChat (as of May 2016) has more than a billion accounts created, and 864 million active accounts with 70 million users outside China
Then we have YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Weibo, Sina, Youku and so on.
Plus, you know that “every voice matters”. Even though there are millions and millions of similar websites, blogs, photos and videos out there already, it’s still worth publishing some of your own content, as well as your own unique experiences, opinions, reviews, and advice. Firstly, it may touch the right people, and secondly, it will improve your SEO ranking.
Imagine if you create the right message – you may reach a very small percent of those 1.5 billion users of Facebook and turn them into customers. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Where do you need to be? Choose a platform wisely
Here you might want to think about your target market (not your personal preference) and where can you fish out your potential customers. Thus, if you are a B2B company, YouTube or Instagram probably won’t be your best pick. But on the other hand, LinkedIn is more likely to be more suitable for your audience.
Good content surely depends on your product or service, and the imagination, skills and resources you have at your disposal, but let me give you a couple of other things to consider before you start:
- Names matter. Considering the fact that people will be coming across your content via a web search, you should think carefully about choosing the most suitable and attractive name that will represent this content. The title may either attract or repulse your audience based on the information your present. Also pay attention to information presentation, technical terms and key words, optimizing the content for SEO and so on.
- Create your product information in a fun and engaging way. According to another study by the University of Pennsylvania, content that is created with a touch of emotion and humor tends to bring a higher level of engagement from potential customers. It has a higher potential of being spread virally through your user’s circle of friends. In contrast, the content that talks ONLY about product attributes and prices is unlikely to bring the same level of engagement. So, brand personality – YES, dry numbers and descriptions – NO.
- Keep in mind that the content alone is not going to bring the desired result if it doesn’t fit into the customer’s journey (pre-purchase, purchase, after-purchase). As a company, you have to find the perfect spot for the content where it will fit in naturally. In other words it has to be in the right place at the right time.
Let me illustrate with an example of a great content creation at the after-purchase stage of a customer experience: my friend Bill bought a GoPro camera and can’t wait to tell everyone about it. Now he is uploading some videos of his extreme power walk races against a Grandma club in Zhongshan park onto YouTube, but that’s not enough to fully feed his ego.
Now GoPro has picked up on this need to show off, and has created its own YouTube channel, where GoPro publishes videos created by their customers using their products. Thus, Bill is happy to be selected for the official channel and GoPro is happy that Bill will share that link to everyone he knows and probably create a new wave of envy and new customers for the company.