From solo entrepreneurs to Main Street businesses and multinational brands, marketers at all levels struggle with finding new ways to keep their followers’ attention. I often see brands fall into the habit of posting repetitive types of content. This usually leads to a sharp drop in engagement.
Your followers need variety. If you don’t mix it up a little bit, you’ll risk losing their attention permanently. To inject some diversity, start working these 10 social post structures into your daily content calendar.
1. Ask a question.
Everyone has an opinion, and social media culture empowers people to share theirs. The pros at Kissmetrics tell us that “question” posts get 100 percent more comments than standard social media posts. For example, you might get people talking by asking, “What was your biggest social media fail?”
Be mindful of the type of engagement you seek. According to data from HubSpot, these types of posts will net you more comments but tend to accumulate fewer likes and shares.
2. Invite fill-in-the-blank responses.
This is a great way to boost engagement and subtly harness feedback from your audience. You could leverage that information for future content campaigns or use the insight you gain to improve processes and delight customers.
- “The worst customer service experience I ever had was __________.”
- “If the power went out right now, I would __________ to pass the time.”
3. Offer free advice and tips.
Your audience always is on the lookout for guidance they or their connections can put to use. Providing valuable content keeps your audience engaged and encourages sharing.
Advice posts are an opportunity to repurpose and promote aging content. You also can curate content from other sources, which can position you and your brand as authorities on the subject.
4. Split fans into two camps.
Want to drive up engagement? Split your followers in a head-to-head post and encourage them to pick sides.
This is a clever way to discover customers’ product preferences and other areas of interest to improve your marketing strategies. In some cases, these can be fun posts that spark engagement and banter among fans.
- “Snapchat or Instagram: Which camp are you in?”
- “Did you know we have a Pokémon GO gym at our café? Shout out to your Pokémon team and tell ‘em who should claim this gym!”
5. Comment on trending topics.
Leave some room in your social calendar to occasionally cover trending topics as they crop up. It stands to reason that issues with the most relevance to your business also can have the most significant impact. For example, a food truck could create content around a new National [Food Item] Day.
Be sure to research and attach related hashtags so others easily can discover your content — even if they weren’t previously aware of or invested in your brand. Slick use of hashtags has been shown to increase engagement by as much as 21 percent.
6. Invite user-generated content.
Who really would pay attention to an average customer’s photos and videos on your social media channels? A lot of people, as it turns out.
The majority of consumers (more than 90 percent) trust peer reviews and user-generated content over any company-produced material. If your fans post content that features you or your products, share it!
Recreate Yourself, Australia’s largest online hair care and beauty supplier, frequently features user reviews on its Facebook page.
7. Post video.
Services such as Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and Facebook’s native and live-video options mean sharing video never has been easier. It gives fans an inside look at your business and culture. It also connects them to your brand and staff on a more personal level.
Don’t forget that consumers who view video are twice as likely to make a purchase. A study from Invodo also showed that 92 percent of mobile video users share with others the content they see.
8. Leverage nostalgia.
This longstanding tactic is a perennial favorite in traditional marketing. Sharing content with a days-gone-by feeling captures attention within audience segments. You’ll also draw subtle connections between your brand and the positive feelings your audience associates with the past. For instance, a clothing or fashion retailer could share throwback images of ripped jeans from the 1980s or JNCO jeans from the 1990s.
9. Schedule photos as content.
Did you know photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 more click-throughs on links than text-based posts? Photos enable you to tell a story visually, offer inside looks at the company, promote events or simply ask readers to caption a funny image. Share that content in right places, you you’ll get quality backlinks as well.
10. Host promotions.
Statistics show that 35 percent of fans follow brands to stay updated on promotions. Another 42 percent follow for the discounts and special offers. Work these into your calendar to keep those followers engaged, but use these messages sparingly. Focus more on value than quick deals, or your posts will turn off consumers who view your content as spam.
Content marketing is hugely preferred these days especially because of the digitalization of almost everything that a seller believes in selling. Driving the traffic to your website, increasing engagement and enhancing the brand visibility are some of the objectives for which content marketing is carried forward.
So here are several tips and tricks that shall ensure that while you execute your content marketing plan
1. Integrating social platforms – whether it is a campaign that you are preparing or a contest for one day you need to ensure that you have integrated most of the social media platforms. A user is available on more than one social networking site and integrating all the platforms or at least most of the platforms ensure better coverage towards the audiences and connection of the content.
2. Rich media – Content works absolutely well when you harmonize it with rich media such as audio, visuals, video or infographics. It becomes easier for the user to grasp the information plus the engagement rate shoots up. So always opt for the inclusiveness of rich media since the presence makes the engagement rate rise.
3. Using paid advertisements – Numerous social media platforms provide you with an opportunity to make use of paid advertisement. Yes, it does require investment but then investment leads to return on investments isn’t it? In case you are stringent on your budget, you can avail these paid advertisements only once or a month or once in two months instead of acquire it regularly.
4. Longer posts – writing a longer post of say 500 to 1000 or 1000 plus words give you more room to insert the keywords that can enhance your traffic. Hence, the experts advise you to draw the content which exceeds 1000 words as it would lead to the increment of the website traffic.
5. Guest blogging and article submissions – You can opt for guest blogging since they provide you with an opportunity to put a back link to your website. Some of the guest blogging sites are paid while some are unpaid. Another arena of blogging is article submission sites. These sites are mostly unpaid with a massive traffic on their sites. They also allow you to put a back link to your site which drives the traffic to your site. Doing this on weekly basis can be largely helpful.
6. Consistency is the key – Nothing is as disheartening as seeing a highly engaging blog kept dormant for months. Owning a blog is not less than a serious responsibility towards readers. It is often suggested that if you cannot update your blogs frequently enough you better not own one. Ideally, the frequency of blog posts should be once a week at least.
7. Alluring headlines – You need to make your headlines crispy, short and interesting. Longer headlines often tend to drive the user away. The psychic owned by internet audience is different because they are reckless and they preferring glancing over reading. Your headline must be articulated in the manner that it would make the reader click and read it.
8. Incorporating the influences – Often gaining organic likes becomes a challenge to the marketers. One of the finest routes of welcoming organic likes is through influencers. Each community consists of various influencers that belong to a variety of area. Convincing such influencers to share your content is considered to be one of the best content marketing strategies.
9. The personal touch – whichever content your plan to design and market, please make sure that it carries a human touch writing the content that is quite boring, straight seems more like a robot merely talking You need to add that personal touch if you aim at influencing and convincing people to avail your product and services.
10. Explore the plethora of platforms – a constant exploration and research are undeniably vital. Content marketing doesn’t stay construed only to blogging and most of the companies fail to realize this simple fact. Blogging is surely a part of content writing or content strategies but incorporating the other media channels is equivalently important if you expect the return on investment of your finance and time. Integrate social media, advertising, public relations and other modes together to prepare a content marketing strategy with efficacy.
Content marketing is an art that you carry out practically, logically and with thorough calculations. Being a content marketer a keen eye on latest trends, moves, and hits assists while creating content marketing strategies. Make sure that you inculcate these 10 tips and let us know how much helpful did it turned out to be.
Have you been struggling to get the traffic you feel you deserve on your content? Join the club: that is one of the most common complaints from content creators. They spend hours crafting the perfect piece to go on their site, or to promote their brand. They begin to market it on their social media profiles. Yet the results are disappointing, and nothing seems to work.
Having faced this problem myself for many years, I have learned some super-tips along the way. Most are common sense, but if you take them seriously, you should see your traffic increasing consistently.
Pushing more traffic to your site takes time and effort, but content is always your best bet. These tactics will give your content more oomph, and so make it work harder for you.
Just remember the most important rule of all: be consistent and patient; success doesn’t happen overnight.
Traffic Driving Content Tips
Keep Content Timely
This has been a staple of content providers for years, and rightly so. Posting regular, time sensitive content is a great way to boost traffic and build an audience… granted it is only half the battle (you want to make them a returning audience, which takes more work).
I generally recommend people do one timely story, such as based around an industry event or relevant piece of news, once for every five pieces of content. That way the time sensitive piece brings new traffic, and the evergreen content keeps them coming.
Go With Lists
This has been the common wisdom for ages, and it is as true today as it was five years ago. People love lists, hence why you are reading this now instead of a complicated, dry case study. It breaks down topics into manageable bites that are easy to skim, read and digest. Chances are lists will become your most popular pieces.
That doesn’t mean you should only do them. Like I suggest one out of every five should be timely, I think two out of every five should be list based. It will diversify your content, while giving people what they probably want most of the time.
Branch Out To Different Content Styles
People don’t always want to read. They want other forms of content that appeal to them in different ways. Likewise, some audiences respond better to visual or audio content, and you should try to cater to them, as well.
Podcasts, videos, infographics, charts, comics and visual quotes are some examples of ways you can venture out into other styles and net a wider audience. Since they tend to be harder and take longer, you may want to sprinkle them in here or there rather than make them a constant feature.
Alternatively, you can cycle out what kinds you do, and present one a week. So one week you release an infographic, one week a video tutorial, another a slideshow, etc.
Utilize Expert Advice With Roundup Posts
This type I like to do once a month because too many can be overwhelming.
When done well, expert interviews are so helpful, fun to put together, and attract a lot of attention. An expert roundup is when you ask various industry experts a single question, and then present them all in a single post.
What I tend to do is make a list of twenty or so experts per question, for around ten questions, and send messages to each asking them for an answer. Most will be experts I know personally, some will be those who I have never met. Most will respond, as it is a quick and easy way for them to get a link back to their blog.
By sending out so many questions I can be prepared for weeks in advance.
Invest In Some Evergreen Guides
Guides are tough, because they are so very long. They take a time and energy investment that just isn’t feasible for regular publication. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creating them every so often.
The best part about using these forms of content is that they spread like wildfire, and you can present them as an incentive for things like subscribing to emails. It counts as additional and advanced content. Consider releasing one a few times a year, and you will reap the benefits.
Make Topic-Based Master Lists
This is another one I just do every so often, usually every one to three months depending on how many categories I can put together at any given time. Master lists interlink within your site to direct users to other pieces they are likely to enjoy.
Each list takes minimal effort, and introduces new readers to articles they might have otherwise missed. So you can bring old posts back to the forefront, no matter how long it has been.
Use The Right Tools
Now that you know how to create the content, you need to know what topics to take advantage of. You can get help using the right tools, which will tell you what topics are currently popular within your industry.
I personally love Buzzsumo, which is a pretty great way to hunt through multiple sources. You can look at both common industry topics, and competitors.
Speaking of competitors, one of my favorite tools is SERPstat: It shows keyword sets your competitors are ranking high for but you are not. It’s a great source of content inspiration and nothing I have ever seen in other tools:
Google Keyword Planner is also good, if more broad. You can see patterns in popular topics by search, and set your dashboard to watch them over time. Any of their Webmaster tools can be helpful, including analytics allowing you to see what topics tend to get the most attention.
Hunt Topics On Social Media
Social media is another way to find out what people are talking about and interested in. It takes some time to filter, but with a social dashboard in place you can watch keywords and catch them as they get hot. I use Cyfe to curate and archive multiple sources including Twitter search results and any number of RSS feeds.
What I like about social relevant topics is that they are easy to talk about more in depth.
Focusing on Traffic Only Means Missing Out
Content is the foundation of a solid traffic generation strategy but it doesn’t mean traffic is all it’s good for. Robert Tadros explains how content marketing should be used to grow brand awareness, building loyalty and ultimately increasing conversions, and I am 100 percent behind this. Limiting your goals to merely traffic generation means missing out on more important goals, so make sure your content strategy is comprehensive and multi-purpose.
Traffic Light Photo via Shutterstock