Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the current commercial landscape. It provides you with instant access to a truly global audience. The result of this can be an active forum for ideas and interactions that can result in long-term relationships with consumers.
In recent years, social media has become a primary focus for digital content marketing. There are platforms that allow you to distribute not only blog posts but also content across a range of engaging media. Vlogs, podcasts, product reviews, and entertaining narratives are all fair game on your brand’s channels.
Nevertheless, the simple potential for creativity isn’t enough to make your content into effective marketing tools. Demonstrating both the content and your brand as authoritative sources is a key aspect of having the most positive impact. Establishing methods of building credibility while also leveraging creativity is something many companies struggle with. However, it is nonetheless achievable by maintaining some best practices.
So, let’s dive a little deeper into this subject. How can you create engaging social media content that makes the most of creativity and authority?
The social media landscape is rich and varied. One of the benefits of this to any enterprise is the significant room to explore niche interests. Indeed, trying to be overly broad in your engagement approach is unlikely to be very successful. After all, there is already a worldwide range of content creators, many of whom are focused on broad and popular topic areas. The better you can identify and define your niche, the better you’ll tend to capture your key demographics.
When it comes to social media content, one of the first niches you need to establish is your subject area. As an entrepreneur, you may feel as though your specialized subject is business or management. However, you may find it difficult to establish authority or a particularly creative approach in an area that is already oversaturated with content creators. Consider what it is your business does best and what you are an expert in. Develop your content subject niche around this. You can always broaden as you gain credibility and an audience further down the line.
It can also be important to narrow your content on creative platforms. There are a lot of options in the social media landscape, including vlogs, blogs, live streams, unboxings, and podcast interviews. However, trying to utilize all of these can be overwhelming, particularly as a small business. Not to mention that it can give your audience a sense of inconsistency, which may feel inauthentic. Consider a couple of key creative approaches that work well to communicate subject niches — videos for behind-the-scenes looks or demonstrations, blogs for long-form essays, and podcasts for more open discussions. Stick with what you choose on one or two platforms. Set expectations for your audience, and this can bolster your positive outcomes.
Authority should be one of the primary goals of your social media content. Yes, it can be entertaining and on-trend. But, if there isn’t significant authority integrated into both the content of the piece and the links you utilize within it, you might as well be producing a fluff piece.
This is especially important when utilizing your social media content as part of a search engine optimization strategy (SEO), which you should be if you aren’t already. By ensuring other websites regard your content as authoritative, you have a greater chance of them linking to you to cite ideas and opinions as a credible source of information. This, in turn, influences the algorithms of search engines when producing search results pages. This way, you can boost rankings for your page or website in general.
What many social media content creators struggle with is the definition of authority. What makes a link authoritative goes beyond the metrics third-party organizations in the SEO industry produce. Think outside of domain authority (DA) scores and citation flow (CF). At its core, your content must be relevant to the domain, website, and page that is using your link. At the same time, it must demonstrably provide value to users searching for information on the subject of your content. The genuine credibility of your content and contextual relevance to other websites should be driving factors when planning your creative endeavors. This includes utilizing links within the content to support any claims you make with citations to credible sites. It’s a virtuous cycle that impacts your SEO efficacy.
One of the best uses of social media content is in building your commercial or personal brand. Audiences start to connect your content to the brand which informs their ongoing opinions of and connections to what you do. Your consistent assertion of your brand on your content can also help reinforce the credibility of the work based on the audience’s knowledge of your expertise. Your most powerful and practical tool in representing your brand in your content is establishing your voice.
This can be taken in a very literal sense. Your voice can be a certain tone and vocabulary you’ll be utilizing throughout your content. Many companies make style guides to ensure that any content creator throughout the business can produce creative work while maintaining brand consistency in the voice. It’s worth taking the time to outline similar standards for your own social media content. It sets expectations for audiences, which tends to build trust.
However, there are a few caveats to bear in mind. Firstly, you must make sure the voice you utilize in your content is consistent with both the business and the content. If you force a colloquial and humorous tone when it doesn’t really work with your brand, this can come across as inauthentic, which can damage your authority. It’s also the case that consistent application doesn’t mean a robotic application of the vocabulary and tone. You and your staff should feel open to being creative with your content, viewing the voice guide as another creative tool rather than a set of shackles.
Trends are ignored at your peril. This doesn’t mean you should maintain a rigid commitment to producing content in line with all trends. However, they provide you with important information about what’s happening in the social media content landscape. In particular, trends show you what audiences are engaging with, which you can utilize to inform your creative choices moving forward.
There is still a somewhat delicate balancing act to be achieved here. If you only piggyback on the latest trends, audiences are likely to notice this and tend to question your company’s authenticity. Utilizing content marketing trends effectively means recognizing that your approach has to be consumer-centric. Lean into empathetic practices to help you create content that genuinely keys into your audience’s values rather than just the trending hashtags around causes. Remember, too, that social media is the democratization of content. As such, engaging with a trend tends to be most effective when you approach it as part of the online community. This helps your audience to see your efforts come from an authentic and credible place.
Furthermore, this is another area in which you need to be mindful of relevance. If you really have to stretch to connect your niche area of expertise with a trend, you may want to think again about engaging with it. There are occasions when the extreme juxtaposition between a trend and a brand can be impactful, but this can be a delicate balance to achieve. Consider carefully whether you can produce content in the context of a trend that legitimately represents your brand. If there’s a good match, you can then explore how you can push the creative boundaries of the trend in interesting and innovative ways.
At its best, the social media landscape is a vibrant community. There is certainly no shortage of creative people and brands sharing interesting content. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that all these content creators simply represent your competition. This only leads to you missing some important opportunities to boost the authority and creativity of your content. One of the most empowering and exciting aspects of this industry is the potential to engage in social media collaborations.
When you find the right collaborators, you both benefit from the content boosting your mutual authority. Your usual content is bolstered by the single expertise of you or your brand. With a collaborator, there are multiple credible sources of expertise contributing to the creative process. This approach requires you to reach out to other key figures in your industry and pitch them a proposal. Give them some good reasons why you should join forces and leverage one another’s authenticity and audiences.
An alternative target for collaboration is social media influencers. In most cases, they’ll have most of the creative input on the project, so you really need to be intentional in choosing an influencer. While many businesses choose to work with influencers for their extended reach, to maintain content authority, they still need to be relevant figures in your field to some extent.
In this regard, it’s worth considering working with micro-influencers. These are content creators with typical audiences of between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. Technically speaking, this can mean a reduced potential reach than celebrities or mega-influencers. Nevertheless, micro-influencers often operate within specialized niches and have highly engaged audiences. Indeed, their post engagement rate tends to be more than double the stats of mega-influencers across most social media platforms. Not to mention that by linking up with a micro-influencer in your niche, you can maintain authority and credibility levels while also ensuring creative content.
Engagement is one of the key tenets of any social media campaign. It’s not enough for audiences to see your posts in their feed. You want them to interact with your content. These meaningful interactions are what lead to shares, likes, and even links. All positive examples of engagement also influence the perception of authority both the content and your brand has. Therefore, boosting the potential for engagement should be a priority in your social media content strategy.
Often, this involves producing content that encourages your audience to respond. One negative example of this is clickbait. These are posts designed to entice engagement through less than honest headline descriptions. But you can positively act by inviting your audience to contribute their thoughts about a problem you’re exploring in your vlog. You can include a snippet of your blog content as a social media post and encourage your audience to critique your opinions. This type of positive engagement gets people talking about your content on their own accounts which can boost your reach. Not to mention that audiences see you’re genuinely keen to interact with them.
Another valuable approach to boosting engagement is inviting user-generated content. This could involve encouraging users on TikTok or Instagram to produce videos in response to those you’ve posted. It doesn’t matter whether they’re agreeing or disagreeing with you in these responses, what’s important is that everyone is collaborating in an authentic way. You can also invite users to submit blog posts or vlogs on a relevant subject or review your products. You’ll then host these on your website and social media channels. This has the added advantage of using independent content creators that can be considered not just authoritative but more trustworthy than corporate staff.
At the very least, you should also be active in engaging with users in the comment sections of your social media channels. If you’re just posting content and not engaging further, this can leave your brand seeming aloof and disrespectful to those that have taken the time to respond to you. Interacting with commenters also provides valuable opportunities to discuss the subject further and bolster your authority on the ideas you’ve presented. Indeed, the questions posed by your audience can spark ideas for other relevant, creative, and authoritative content you can produce. Importantly, it shows your brand as being approachable, genuine, and appreciative of the input of your demographic.
Social media content marketing is about far more than simply posting a vlog on your Twitter feed. You need to implement protocols that ensure your posts connect with audiences’ creative needs while also ensuring your content is seen as authoritative. Taking a targeted approach with a niche and consistently emphasizing your expertise tends to be effective. It’s also vital to demonstrate your authenticity through prioritizing relevance in everything from your posts to your collaborative partners. While social media is a creative platform you also need to treat it with a strategic mindset. It’s not an easy balance to achieve, but your efforts can see your brand achieve impressive growth.