So you have developed a strategy for your social media marketing campaign, set goals for your campaign, identify your target audience, and choose the best platforms for your audience and goals. We will cover the next pillar of social media marketing, planning and publishing your social media posts.
Types of content on social media
For your social media marketing strategy to succeed, you need to produce effective content that generates engagement from your target audience. To do this, your social media content plan should include a variety of content types. When developing a social media post, you first need to consider what content bucket the post will fit into.
Content buckets are categories to group your marketing content. They are broad themes that are used to achieve a particular goal or to make your customers feel a certain way. These themes address different aspects of your business and target audience. The most common content buckets are:
- Entertaining – content that appeals to people who are on the platform to enjoy themselves. It can help your audience relate to your content and your company. Contents can be viral videos, jokes, comics, contests or giveaways, and memes.
- Educational – content that builds trust in your brand and positions you as an industry leader with information and wisdom to share such as video training, infographics, industry research, case studies, FAQs, tips, and how to post popular types of educational content.
- Inspirational – content that often features real people using your products or services. This content makes your brand seem more authentic and reinforces your brand’s message, values, and vision. To create inspirational content, you might build case studies, find testimonials and quotes, share amazing facts and trivia, and tell personal stories.
- Conversational – content that encourages your audience to engage with you. You can begin conversations with your audience by suggesting a topic or viewpoint, then inviting your audience to join the dialogue. You can also ask a question, invite people to complete a poll, have them fill in the blank, or even ask for advice.
- Promotional – content talks bout your product and service with the intent of marketing them to the current customers and drawing in new followers. Things like coupons, discounts, or gifts for sign-up can boost sales and encourage people to buy things that they may not have purchased before.
The key to creating effective content is choosing the format that best matches your content bucket.
How to acquire earned media
Earned media is any positive digital exposure generated through personal or public recommendations. Earned media is important to businesses because it relies on word-of-mouth promotion from friends, family, unpaid influencer posts, product reviews and so much more. If someone likes your product enough to post about it for free, not only are you not spending anything to get that positive publicity, but it also means your audience believes in you. It’s probably the most difficult marketing tactic to be successful at because you have no control over it.
Examples of earned media are:
- Customer testimonials and reviews
- Blog posts about your product
- Shares and reposts of your content
- Mentions of your product on social pages
Effective earned media strategy
Although you can’t necessarily control earned media, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for possible shares, reposts, mentions, position reviews, and more. The most important thing when it comes to earned media is to create engaging content. The more engaging your content is, the more likely your audience is to share it.
Next, nurture relationships you may have with other brands, media members, and journalists. If you do this successfully, your brand may get positive press as a result.
Next, make sure you are providing more than satisfied customer service to your customers. When your audience is enjoying their journey as followers, customers, users – or whatever their relationship may be to you – they are likely to share your brand with others.
Finally, encourage others within your organization to share, share, share. The more people you have sharing your content, the more others will see it, and the more likely they are to share it.
Case study: How Name Glo acquires earned media
Name Glo is a New-York based company that sells customized neon lights. Their business model is business-to-consumer and business-to-business. Name Glo’s mission is to light up people’s lives by creating personalized neon lights. Its customers purchase lights to celebrate milestones, decorate homes, create ambiance and branding in small businesses, and simply add some light to the world. Customers often request lights in the style of written text that spell out people’s names, business names, personal mantras, or catchy phrases.
Name Glo’s founders Lena Imamura and Sas Simon credit a portion of their company’s success to the sharing of their designs on the photo and video sharing platform, Instagram.
The challenge: Acquire earned media
Name Glo is a small business that doesn’t have the resources or time that a major corporation has to devote to digital marketing. Their founders are the ones who are in charge of the social media platform and strategic marketing plans. All of their content and growth are organic, meaning their social media activity doesn’t require any paid promotions.
The approach: Create a post-worthy product
Name Glo includes their customers in every stage of creation – from ideating, to planning, to creating. This makes its customers feel like they received an experience rather than just a beautiful product. That is because Name Glo’s customers are involved with a piece from its inception, so they feel particularly invested.
It gives resources and focuses on creating a high-quality product that its customers want to show off in the best way possible. It also saves Name Glo’s money and time on creating high-quality images or videos to post online. They can just ask their customers to share and tag them in the process. Name Glo then can repost those posts.
Name Glo’s organic social media strategy has resulted in high conversions and a steady increase in clients and sales over the few years. Lena and Sas attribute this to their clients’ happiness level with the product. Happy clients lead to referrals to friends, family, and all sizes of businesses.
Collaboration with artists and brands has proven effective for Name Glo on a few occasions. First, Name Glo partnered with the online plant store, The Sill, to create a neon light based on the tropical Monstera plant for their holiday gift shop. It originally started as a giveaway but blossomed into something much more. Every time someone received their plant and posted an image of it, Name Glo was tagged.
Another collaboration is with Bergdorf Goodman’s flagship store in New York City. Because of the experience they help created, Name Glo had an uptick in reposts of their content by 10 to 15%.
Name glow is a prime example of how to cultivate growth and success without spending money on ads. The company has had major success by relying solely on acquiring earned media.
All brands want to generate earned media because of its authenticity. Earned media is especially important to a brand that may have minimal money to spend on ads and marketing. An effective marketing strategy for every brand is to try to create a lasting impression on customers through frequent communication, collaboration, and a memorable final product. As a result, a brand’s social media following is likely to grow, and this may result in higher conversions.
Happy learning and good luck!