Do you know or better yet use the four components of power content in your social media marketing?
If you do not, you are at a disadvantage and vulnerable to a challenger using power content to make your investments work against you. The only thing worse would be for your brand to stop using social media to grow your business.
We have been deeply invested in social media since its inception more than a dozen years ago when it was being called word of mouth marketing (WOMM). We have studied, tested, compared, joined, launched, supported, monitored, measured and reported on social media for our clients and ourselves this entire time. During the past three years, we have published our research findings of the social media practices of the Top 50 Building Products Manufacturers on Social Media. We have published similar reports on the Top 50 Builders and Top 25 Architectural Firms on Social Media. We study social media best practices across industries and have determined four power content practices that catapult brands to connecting with their customers, grow their following of prospects and create demand, sales and loyalty. Here is what we have learned.
Power to the People
Featuring people in your social media posts makes a remarkable difference in the attractiveness and commitment to the brand. This should not be surprising knowing that ultimately people buy from people. More to the point, people connect with people like themselves. Unfortunately, for the most part, building products manufacturers (BPMs) do not include people in their posts. We have written about this previously and titled it Chronic Boredom since the posts from a cabinet company looked like those of windows, appliances, lighting and paint companies.
One BPM that uses the power of people is Top 50 BPM leader, Milwaukee Tool. Each of the past three years, Milwaukee Tool is the number one social media marketer among BPMs. One of the primary reasons is their use of people in your content strategy. One of their more powerful strategies is featuring user generated content from their customers. They host a tool day each week where their customers show off their Milwaukee Tool collections. Take a look at the Milwaukee Tool posts across platforms. They look more like a home builder featuring their new buyers than a BPM. Oh yeah, your customers, the homebuilders, are another example of businesses that understand and embrace the power of the people.
Working with influencers is another way to have people featured on the editorial calendar. We have been leading the influencer marketing charge with BPMs for the past seven years and producing outstanding results. The challenge today is the aggressive monetizing by influencers that is gaining the attention of the federal regulators and the algorithm changes platforms are making to reduce the impact of influencers. Influencer marketing is powerful today, but it is changing quickly.
Join the Community
Considering the changes to influencer marketing and the impact of referrals and recommendations, social media communities present a powerful avenue to connect, engage and transact with your customers. These communities provide authentic environments to listen, learn and share for all involved. We have been working with communities across platforms, past and current, to establish the approach to enter and participate in a meaningful way. There is an absolute right and wrong way to participate in these communities. It is as much an art as it a science and it typically starts with an invitation. There is even a greater opportunity to build your own communities. Of course, this takes even greater experience. We recommend you seek a guide to work with you through this process to secure success. It is not for a tenderfoot. It is power content.
Next Gen Advertising
Most BPMs have established an organic presence on social media. They are building and support a basic level of followers, content and results. At the same time, they are not taking advantage of the incredible ability to target their preferred customers, measure their effectiveness and create efficiencies through the information these social media platform can provide. The reason is because they have yet to engage in a paid social media plan. A paid plan well executed is an absolute game changer. You can reach your audiences with your custom content and call to action in a personal and intimate way. It is not creepy or intrusive like adaptive advertising can seem.
We recently completed a 60-day paid social media campaign targeting architects, designers and business owners across multiple platforms. We compared the results of the paid campaign to the organic campaign we were running. At the end of the campaign, we also compared the cost per thousand impressions and cost per engagement to traditional print and digital advertising. The results of the paid social media outperformed all other advertising and organic efforts 2x to 10x in both impressions and engagement. The cost of the paid campaign was a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. For the record, we are talking about more than simply boosting. You will gain the benefits of this power content when you work and learn with an experienced pro.
According to research from Renderforest, video content on social media generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, and 90 percent of viewers state that a video helps them determine whether they will buy a product. We have spoken and posted to the fact that video is power content several times over the past few years. The feedback we receive is that video production is too costly. We suggest otherwise. Authenticity is more important to your customers than meeting your brand standards for commercial advertising. If you are writing a blog (if not, you should be), you have source for content ideas. Equipment for shooting, lighting and sound is affordable and easy to use. Great editing apps are free. You simply need to make the time to add this to your marketing mix. Here is a good article, Here’s How to Make Stunning Social Media Videos (Without Being a Tech Wiz), that should give you some encouragement. You can also give us a call.
Don’t Overlook the Fundamentals
There is power in executing the fundamentals for each platform like using the best posting formats, knowing the best posting days and times, posting frequency, image and video sizes and hashtag plan. Consistency in publishing (aka social media marketing) is critical to your success. Testing, listening, monitoring, measuring and reporting will give you the information and insight you need to stay connected to you audiences. Use your customers buying personas and journey maps to align your content with each customer and step along their path. Success is defined by the fabric of each of these threads being woven together. The power is gained through the strength of the collective.
You may have recognized power content makes social media personal for your customers, business and you. This is the true power content we are speaking to in this article. The use of people and their experiences as followers, friends, customers and employees is personal. Being a part of a community is personal. Being able to reach people directly and share with them through videos is personal.
Using power content takes both trust and skill. You and your business must trust that sharing pieces of yourself will be appreciated and used for good. It takes skill developed through experience to make power content meaningful to you, your business and the customers. We invite you to consider power content as the next step in your efforts to succeed.