Now that you’ve got your goals established, it’s time to start cranking out some quality marketing content. Let’s look at some of the types of content you can create, curate, and leverage in your social marketing.
So much emphasis has been placed on visual media like photos, memes, and videos in recent years that many people have forgotten the power of good old-fashioned text. A basic textual post can accomplish a lot and, in fact, can actually stand out a lot today in people’s feeds that are often filled with non-stop cliché viral images and videos. A standard textual post can be an excellent pattern interrupt in these cases. A textual post, whether it be from your personal profile, a business page, or a group, can be about anything you want. It might be a piece of content in and of itself, like an informative blog post. It could be a link back to some other content elsewhere such as your blog or website or your Youtube channel. Other great ideas for content are questions, stories, and jokes. These can be great for boosting engagement and getting conversations started.
Also, a poll is a great way to boost engagement in your textual posts as well. Asking questions is already something that boosts engagement and people love voting on things, so naturally, when you pair the two together you’re likely to get some great social traction.
HINT: For polls, always say something like “tell us ‘why’ in the comments below” so people can talk about their opinions and get some conversations and extra engagement going.
Image Posts and Memes
It’s been almost a decade, and we’re STILL seeing images Boromir from Lord of the Rings looking at us in our newsfeeds and telling us about how “One does not simply… [insert funny variable here]”. Why? Because it gets people’s attention, gets your point across, and usually still results in a few likes, shares, or comments.
Whether it’s Sean Bean saying “One does not simply run Facebook ads without a using a tracking pixel” or the Dos Equis guy sipping on a beer and saying “I don’t usually try to lose 5 pounds in one week, but when I do, I use High-Intensity Interval Training”, the fact is memes work in almost any niche. In fact, it’s precisely their goofy and ironic application to unexpected niches that causes them to be so funny and get a rise out of people. So, it’s settled, if you can find a few minutes per week to make a funny meme for your niche, it’s definitely worth your time.
Other images can be beneficial as well. If you’re working an “authority” angle, try posting images of you on stage at events. If you’re promoting a free report or free digital offer, you can use an image of the eCover itself or even a generic stock image Adobe Stock. Make sure the images are relevant to your offer and audience. So, if you’re targeting restaurant owners, a smiling business owner standing outside of their restaurant might work. If you’re doing a weight loss product, a stock photo of a woman stretching or a man running might be the ticket.
If you’re selling physical products, use an image of the product itself or of a person using the product. And remember, these are organic posts, not paid ads, so you’re not bound by some of the usual restrictions like the “text to image” space ratio and so on (although there are still some ToS that apply to all content, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those).
Video. The uncontested king of engaging content. This still hasn’t changed. In fact, if anything, it’s becoming even more of a norm than ever. If you’re not using videos in your social marketing, you’re missing out big time. While it used to be common to use YouTube for hosting your videos and simply embed/link to them on other social platforms, many platforms like Facebook and Twitter have since then started to beef up their own video hosting functionality. For example, today, Facebook is giving YouTube a run for its money and many people are now beginning to lean toward using Facebook as their primary video sharing venue. This is beneficial not only to Facebook but also to marketers because Facebook has made its videos super engaging by making them autoplay, with no sound, while people are scrolling/swiping past them in their newsfeeds. This results in a ton of views and engagement. This same trend is being seen on other platforms as well.
So, video content is a must. But what types of videos should you incorporate into your marketing? There are several options. Regular vlogs, talking head videos, selfie videos, screen capture videos, instructions, tutorials, tips & tricks, funny videos, motivational videos, animated explainer videos, short “ad” videos, inspirational videos, slideshow videos… the list goes on and on. Anyway, you’re able to convey content or messages via videos is great. More recently, some social sites like Facebook have introduced live streaming videos. You can literally host a live video feed or a show and even invite others on for split-screen interviews/discussions from just about any device.
Curated and Repurposed Content
Not all content needs to be created by you or your team from scratch. One very popular form of content marketing is content curation. This means finding existing content from someone else and simply re-sharing it yourself. This can be done simply by using the Share button to share other interesting or entertaining posts and adding your own comment or commentary.
Another way to curate content is to manually republish it. This can mean copying excerpts from someone’s blog, a news article, a book, and so on. Just ensure you always attribute it to the author (e.g. “Here are some great tips from the folks at [blog name]”) and try to always put your own comments at the beginning or end and/or ask your audience for their thoughts on it. This is a mutually beneficial form of content marketing because you’re spreading the exposure of the other entity’s brand name (which they’ll appreciate) while also posting content with almost no work required on your part.
Another option for quick content publishing is to repurpose your existing content. Do you have ebooks, reports, or guides of your own? Why not take a chapter from one of your ebooks, tweak the beginning and end a bit, and publish it as a Facebook post? Heck, you could turn an ebook or report into a whole series of social posts covering a whole week. Have a blog on your website with interesting articles and posts? Why not post a teaser/excerpt from each blog post (old or new) and a link to the post in question? The same goes for videos, podcasts, interviews, and so on. If you’ve been online long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to repurpose a lot of content into social posts.
Planning out your marketing strategy is super important. The last thing you want is for your social presence to turn into one of those where you set up an account, post a few things, and then become lifeless for months at a time (this happens a lot). When people see this, you instantly lose credibility.
That’s why it’s important for you or your team to have a robust content posting schedule and strategy. Ideally, you should be posting almost every day at least. However, this need not always be content designed from scratch. Instead, you can set aside two days of the week that are for original created-from-scratch posts or videos, while all the days in between only require a re-shared post from elsewhere or a quick meme/image. Set aside another day of each week for a video post and maybe another day for a community poll. If you have a regularly updated blog or YouTube channel, you can also simply add a new step to your blog posting or YouTube uploading workflow in which after each post or upload, a link should to the new content should be shared/teased via social channels.
There are a number of ways to easily incorporate daily social posting into your weekly routine. It would also be a good idea to establish a daily or at least weekly routine for you or a team member to go through all your posts and reply/interact with your audience if they commented or asked questions.
Tools, Services, and Help
Maintaining a regular and active social presence can be a little difficult if your business is already busy as it is. If it becomes too overwhelming for you there are several options for lightening the load or at least making it easier to manage. Firstly, there are tools like HootSuite and OnlyWire that make social media posting, scheduling and planning much easier.
If you’d like to have your content created for you, there are a handful of paid third-party services out there that will literally create and post content for you on a daily basis. $99 Dollar Social would be one example of this. You’d simply fill out a profile of what type of content you want and what industry/niche you’re in and let them take care of the rest. Finally, it might be worth it to hire a new team member specifically to handle your social media marketing (or delegate the responsibility to an existing team member who has time available to do it). This individual would be in charge of posting, commenting, replying, moderating, and so on.
So, social marketing is clearly an incredibly valuable, and arguably critical part of any online business today. As you’ve learned in this post, it can be a lot easier to establish a social marketing strategy and routine than you may have previously thought. But none of it will count for anything if you don’t start applying what you’ve learned right away. To that end, start implementing the steps of the following battle plan below.
Step 1: Determine your social marketing goals.
Step 2: Determine what type of social platforms/presence best fits your business.
Step 3: Draft up a content plan with your team.
Step 4: (Optional) Consider using tools or services to lighten the load.