Digital Communications Manager Catie outlines the importance of investing in strategy and content for the most effective social media marketing activity.
What I have I learned through working in social media? The medium is social by name and social by necessity in, and of, itself. Most marketing tactics rely on each other to be successful, and social media is no different. You wouldn’t send an empty envelope in the post as part of a direct mail campaign, or link people to a web page with nothing on it as part of an email campaign – social media needs to be an integral and interconnected aspect of your marketing activity, informed by strategy and sustained with content.
Regardless of your industry or brand, it’s essential to invest in strategy to:
1. Identify your overall business objectives,
2. Understand how social media will help you to achieve them,
3. Define what that entails – audiences, channels, key messages, tactics, KPIs, etc.
This might sound like a lot of work, but we can involve all relevant stakeholders to ask the right questions and develop a strategy that can transform your social media marketing activity into success. What we need from you is trust in the strategy process to discover relevant opportunities, and it’s then that we can bring it to life with creative ideas and campaigns.
Once a strategy is in place, investing in content will sustain your social media presence.
I’ve heard many references to social media being a bottomless pit, or a living beast with an appetite that can’t be satisfied. For brands who don’t have the time, resource or knowledge to sustain social media marketing activity, it might appear that way – but it’s better to feed your social media a few nutritionally balanced meals (i.e. engaging posts with clear calls to action) than a constant supply of crisps, biscuits and junk food (i.e. empty messages with no clear purpose). They fill a gap, but do they serve any lasting benefit?
Now I, of all people, am not shaming anyone for eating biscuits, but I see the same issue with many brands in that social content doesn’t appear planned in advance and/or has little substance. I’ll try not to use that tired old phrase about content being king, but it’s the oxygen that keeps social media alive and goes much further than those 280 characters in a tweet. A bit of reactivity and community engagement is of course encouraged, but that needs to pepper your content plan rather than make up the bulk of it.
What am I talking about when I say ‘content’?
It varies from brand to brand, depending on what you offer, but I’m referring to things both on and off social media – product and/or brand photography, creative assets (images, animations etc.), videos and a content-rich and regularly updated website to pool content from, e.g. blogs, case studies and news articles.
It’s these things that tie your marketing efforts together, creating a consistent look and feel across different touchpoints, maximising your marketing efforts and moving customers through that clichéd funnel: from reaching and engaging them with meaningful content, to retargeting them and ultimately converting them to website traffic, to white paper downloads, to event sign-ups, to enquiries, to sales, or whatever your social media marketing objectives might be.
If you’re thinking of appointing a social media agency, be prepared to invest in strategy and content creation as part of that process too. We have a team of creatives, strategists and social media experts who will work closely to create and share content that ultimately delivers on your business objectives.