Social media. Before it existed, no one needed it. Now that it does exist, everyone needs it… including your business. Fundamentally, and for better or worse, social media is literally just content. But what separates the good from the bad, the appropriate from the inappropriate, and the viral from the run-of-the-mill? More importantly, how can you apply the answers to these questions towards a more successful social media strategy for your business?
Content is king. It always has been, and always will be. But content isn’t content isn’t content isn’t content isn’t… well, you get it. There was a time when any content was good content, but those days are long gone. Now it’s all about quality content that is also findable.
Quality content is something that your audience will want to see, read, watch, or experience; even better if it’s something they’d want to share with their friends or network.
Findable content is something that can be located easily-enough by someone who’s either looking specifically for it, or looking for something close enough to whatever it is. Basically, we’re talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) here. This could be specifically geared for Google, or a different platform such as YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram.
Social Media And Online Content
There is a wide spectrum of content that a business would choose to publish online, for a variety of reasons, ranging from engagement to brand recognition to general marketing or promotion. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of content that exist today:
- The Written Word – This is the tried and true, old school, proven method of conveying information online. Included here would be things like white papers and blog posts, which some people even consider to now be the vinyl albums of online content.
- Still Images – The gold standard of sharing images online has become Instagram, though Pinterest could also be included here. An image is worth a thousand words, after all, but even better is when images are combined with compelling words to present multi-faceted content.
- Prerecorded Video – This includes most content uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, and even things like Instagram Stories, basically anything that isn’t streamed live. Which brings us to…
- Livestreamed Video – The newest format for sharing content online, pioneered by online gamers but now inclusive of any industry or niche, this accounts for platforms like Twitch as well as Facebook Live. Our very own cPanel LIVE certainly falls into this category.
What Type Of Online Content Is Right For Your Business?
A number of factors go into answering this question. An Oil & Gas Energy company probably isn’t going to be marketing to the same demographic as, say, an Energy Drink company. You’d likely find the former publishing white papers and the latter perhaps livestreaming. So the first step to determining the right type of content for your business is to consider your niche and target audience.
In what format would your ideal audience consume their media? If you are unsure about this, then by all means do some market research and poll your existing customer base to ask them. The only other option would consist of trial and error, however investing time and money into the various content options available over a long enough timeframe to quantify results is likely not the best use of resources.
Once you have determined what type of content is best for your business, be it Instagram or YouTube or something else entirely (while always keeping in mind that a company blog can pay dividends in SEO value alone, so you’ll likely want to utilize that format in conjunction with any others), then there’s only one thing left to do…
Be The Best At It
Not all content is created equal. Nor are all audiences. When you optimize the right content delivered via the right platform for your specific audience, you’ll then have reached the promised land where your efforts and investments deliver returns beyond what you may have thought was possible. Also, it’s totally satisfying as well, like placing the very last piece into a puzzle. Of course a few moments later you’re going to start an entirely new puzzle, but still…
As for what’s best for your business, it really comes down to your niche and your brand voice and the way in which you market your business, or want to market your business. Maybe pinboards on Pinterest make sense, or maybe that idea would be ludicrous for your particular business. Generally, you’ll need to narrow it down to whether you should be more focused on the still image side, the prerecorded side, or the live video side of things.
No matter which of the above directions you choose, having well-executed and thoughtful copy to go with your content is always paramount. If you allow for typos and bad grammar, then your audience will feel as though you don’t think they deserve your best effort, and they’ll seek out a competitor of yours they feel is more aligned with their needs.
Good copy makes good content. Building upon that foundation with what makes your brand or business unique and engaging is what makes great content. Great content that appeals to an audience within as well as beyond your target audience is what makes for viral content.
As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please let us know. We are here to help in the best ways we can. You’ll find us on Discord, the cPanel forums, and Reddit. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.