The only things worse then creating boring content is having great content that gets lost online. Jordan Kretchmer, ceo and founder of real-time social engagement and curation service Livefyre, takes a look at the key strategies for ensuring your content gets to the right people.
Creating quality content that will be shared on a viral scale should be at the top of every marketer’s wish-list. However, it’s not always easy. With the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms that make your organic reach tumble, it’s becoming more and more challenging for your content to be seen and shared.
Here are some strategies to help your brand combat this issue:
People trust other people
User generated content (UGC) may be the largest untapped medium in the marketing world. According to global market research company Ispsos, not only do millennials trust UGC 50% more than other media, but it is 20% more influential than branded content on customers purchasing decisions.
UGC is media that is created and distributed by Internet users, as opposed to an organisation. For example, a blog post from an electronics company is content directly from the company. A review of a camera that the company sells, posted to their website by a consumer, is UGC. It can also encompass status updates, comments, videos and images. According to AOL, consumers are creating a massive 27 million pieces of it every day.
So how can marketers take advantage of this content, which is largely amassed on third-party social networks? The fantastic part is, half the work is already done! Your customers are already creating a stream of content significant to or about your brand without prompt.
Through new technologies, brands are investing to build entirely new UGC experiences for their fans. This can include onsite photo submission contents, campaign microsites, reviewing platforms, and forums. Unlike UGC on social networks, brands have complete control over the content that is created on their own properties.
In order to engage your customers going forward, UGC is going to be a core element of establishing trust and building your online community.
Tag, you’re it!
Intrinsically linked to the concept of UGC is the hashtag – the marketer’s way of inviting people to participate in conversations. When used alongside tagging, you’re doing more than simply extending the invitation; you’re also offering people a reason to participate. A sense of community and action is a powerful entity.
The ALS ice bucket challenge of 2014 captured this ‘call to action’ ethos perfectly – by uploading a video with #icebucketchallenge, then nominating your friends to do the same, more and more people became involved.
Australian television is utilising hashtags well at the moment – what better reward could a user ask for than the chance to see their name (or Twitter alias) up in lights on the TV, just by using a hashtag? ABC’s political roundtable Q&A encourages users to tweet comments and questions. This results in an average tens of thousands of #QandA tweets during the program.
While hashtags are key to these campaigns, if not done correctly they become ineffective – make it too long, or too divergent with what you’re trying to achieve, and the impact is lost, as this makes people less likely to engage. Just as importantly, I would encourage marketers not to try too hard incorporating their brand name in the hashtag.
One of the best practice examples of combining non-overt brand linkage with instant recognition was 2013’s #SFBatKid, an initiative organised by the Make-A-Wish foundation. The charity organised a day of fighting supervillains for a five year-old cancer patient in San Francisco. The question I ask is: would hashtag have made 1.7 billion social impressions, including a tweet from President Obama, had it been #MakeAWishBatKid? I think not.
Snacking on mobile
This last tip is short and sweet, and totally essential to ensuring your content doesn’t become lost online. Content will not spread if it isn’t both viewable and shareable on mobile. Basic mobile-friendly layouts and functionality is only the first step to this process.
Additionally, brands now have to think of easily consumed content that people will want to look at as they juggle their phone on the packed commute to work, or in between meetings. Think of it as ‘snack’ content – people want to consume a few bites, and then have easy ways of sharing it with their friends. They’re only going to give you a small screen and a few moments to convince them to do that. So make their snack time worthwhile!