..the power of creating engaging content

Creating content for your social platforms is more than just taking a nice image, creating good content for you business can help to increase sales, develop brand awareness and encourage community engagement. 

Let us take a stab in the dark, your feed and website reads pretty much like this… look whats new, on sale, buy this, did you know we are doing this, going to be here, stocked here. Don’t despair, creating engaging content is all about understanding what are your end goals. To start, you can ask yourself these four questions:

– Who is the content for? (…this isn’t you) 
– What are you hoping to get out of the content?
– What are you hoping your audience will get out of the content?
– Why would your audience stop to look at and engage in your content?

These three questions can help you understand why your content isn’t getting any real traction. Effective content is about making a statement, drawing your audience in and making them want to come back again.

A common mistake that a lot of small businesses make is that the content they create is all about the sale. They miss the fact that social media platforms and their website are designed to draw them back but if all you’re giving them is a constant sales pitch, this can create boredom and ultimately disengagement. 

This tactic will work if they are part of your core audience, these are the diehard fans who want to know what’s new, what’s on sale, what is coming up but will also only count for a small part of your potential audience. It is this same core audience that will continue to buy and return meaning you don’t need to attract them – but that doesn’t mean ignore or forget about them, this is important to remember. 

So, who do you want to create content for? The scrollers… who are they, they are the ones flicking through social media that you have a split second to catch their attention and win them over.

Which is why you need to ask yourself again…
– Who is the content for? 
– What are you hoping to get out of the content?
– What are you hoping your audience will get out of the content?
– Why would your audience stop to look at and engage in your content?

Who is this content for?
This will give you the baseline of who you want to see the content. The answer will guide you on how you create your content.

What are you hoping to get out of the content?
Think beyond the direct sales pitch, think about creating and fostering a community will convert to sales as well.

What are you hoping your audience will get out of the content? 
How does the content, help get you to the sale, awarenesses, information you want them to know. 

Why would your audience stop to look at and engage in your content?
What’s going to make them stop and look and then take the next step and actually read the caption? Because let’s face it, a picture can say a thousand but it can’t say everything unfortunately. So getting your audience to want to read what you have to say is an important step in achieving your content goal.

Taking the time to work through these questions will give you the insight into how you make your content or direct your content to be made.

Ultimately great content will drive your audience to make informed decisions about your business that will develop your community. It is this community that will help your content move being a basic sales pitch to something your audience will want to keep coming back to and in turn drive sales and business goals!

..know how to collaborate effectively

Knowing who to collaborate with and when is one of the hardest areas to navigate in the social realm. There are many businesses and influencers out there who are all wanting to ‘collaborate’ but what does that really mean and what are the questions you should be asking.

Collaborating with others can be very fruitful exercise, it helps get the word out about your business, new products you have and generally gets people talking. So how do you collaborate successfully, for us, it all about the insights – measurable data that can give you tangible results that you gauge whether or not your collaboration has been successful or not. 

More often than not businesses will collaborate with another business or influencer, send them product and then that’s it. They’ll get a post and maybe a story but that’s it. What comes next? And did you really get anything out of it?

Don’t get us wrong, if you’re wanting to blanket the market and get your products and business out there this can be a very effective method but but understanding your return on investment (ROI) is critical no matter which way you go.

It is important to have clear objectives (one or two) for your collaboration/campaign, these objectives should be simple and straight forward. When considering these objectives, the easiest question to ask yourself is, what are you wanting to achieve and why?

Following this, whether you’ve approached a potential influencer/collaborator or they have approached you, you should still ask questions to make sure he parking is a good fit:

– Does their brand align with your brand?
– Who have they collaborated with before?
– What reach and engagement did they achieve on previous collaborations
– What are their exceptions, I.e. are they wanting product, payment, etc.
– What will you be getting by collaborating with them, i.e. how many posts and/or stories, will there be any back links to your website on their website, will they be writing an article on their website?

This point is important, especially if you are a new business who is looking to build internet credibility, creating links back to you (backlinks) and articles about you and your products are important for your SEO ranking.

When considering the type of content that will be created for you, you should also have an understanding of which each of them offer. There are two main types of content that collaborations will yield social posts and articles (ideally with backlinks). 

Social posts will often give you a burst of exposure but such is the nature of social media it is a flash in the pan, as quick as the post is live, is a quick as it disappears in the mix of the millions of other posts that are all being simultaneously posted.

Remember with social posts its not only up to the influencer to create the engagement, comment an interact with their community as well creating links and potential relationships that can further create ROI for you.

Articles and reviews that are posted to the users website provide for longevity and create brand history, that work together for SEO and develop brand integrity and better ranking for your business. Again engaging with their community is important as it creates further opportunities for new customers to engage with your business.

Knowing all this information should give you a better understanding of what type of collaboration to seek and the questions to ask to get the most out of your next campaign collaboration.

..why your community is important

Building a following is more than just building a database or followers on social media. Building a following is about creating community, community is what has the power to take your brand and business from humming along to drawing in new customers and converting them into sales. This is because if you change your mindset from only engaging with your audience for the sole purpose of letting them know about new products, sales and the link. You open yourself up to creating a dialogue that can generate more opportunities and drive business goals.

Communication Is A TWO Way Street

When your audience talks to you, you should always talk back. Creating a continuous dialogue is important as it creates rapport between not only you and them but the rest of your community as well. It further encourages others to join the conversation and extents your engagement network with will improve your content visibility to all.

Its Not Just About Your Pages & Websites

Commenting and liking is encouraged across your pages and platforms but you should cast a wider net. What this means is that extending your reach to others in your community can further increase your visibility and engagement to NEW WIDER networks of potential customers. i.e. if you are in the hospitality industry, consider connecting with the wider community connected to you. From your suppliers, to you regulars businesses, each gives the potential to engage a bigger community.

The Language You Use Is Important

Like your brand, the way you communicate, speak and write says volume about you as a business. The language you use directly effect how your community engages back with you. If you use one word or closed responses, it says to your community that you’re not interested a longer relationship – meaning repeat customers. But that doesn’t mean be something you’re not, you don’t have to be ‘LIT’, for your community to be strong. Rather being genuine in the way you speak and the language you use representing your brand and business will go further in strengthening and growing your community then dropping a bunch of emojis. 

So, like any good relationship, communication is key in creating solid relationships with those around you and the better you communicate the stronger the relationship can become which creates trust in the business, its products and services. And as research indicates consumers are more likely to buy from and return from a business they trust.