Content Marketing for Small Business
Challenge Your Brand
The fight for recognition within the digital world is ever-increasing. Both startups and existing businesses bring their creative teams together to try to crank out ideas that will rocket their company to the top of the popularity list. To reach that first place spot, companies have to put all hands on deck and push the limits of their industries.
One way to push these limits (that is often overlooked) is using social media marketing. Social media allows you to show the casual personality of your business, the personality that your consumers will connect with and relate to. However, while your personal social media page may be all fun and games, your business page means business.
It’s a competitive world out there and if you want your business to get noticed amidst the sea of other social media pages, you have to challenge your brand, company, and employees to push their creativity. You have to get out of your comfort zone, strategize, and push out some really good content, consistently. And that isn’t easy.
Okay – even I’ll admit that was kind of a harsh, serious sounding beginning, but it’s important to recognize that promoting your brand through social media should be a serious part of any company’s marketing strategy. And the key to a great social media strategy? Amazing content! We’re obviously very passionate about this here at Meridiem, and would love to create some thumb-stopping content for your business, or just give you some suggestions! You can check out some of our client work on our website or visit our social media pages.
Who’s using social media?
With 3.8 billion active social media users worldwide, it’s no surprise that there’s a huge push for businesses to start expanding their presence to the digital world’s favorite offspring: social media networks.
Although the use of social media platforms for marketing purposes is growing more and more popular amongst businesses, some still see social media platforms as a space solely for peer-to-peer interaction. While this was the intended purpose behind the creation of our beloved Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest... (I could go on and on), these platforms, plus others, have become critical players within any digital marketing strategy.
If 3.8 billion active social media users worldwide didn’t convince you that social media marketing is important, perhaps this will: research conducted by the GlobalWebIndex just this year found that 45 - 50% of consumers that fall within Generation Y or Z use social networks to research products that they are interested in. If the consumer is able to find the product or service they’re on the hunt for through social media, then they will further analyze the business page it came from to interpret the validity of the company selling that product or service. What happens if your social media page is filled with inconsistent, randomized posts? I think you know the answer. (and it’s not a good one 🥴).
Bottom line: today, social media marketing is a necessary asset to the business success model. Your consumers are on social media, so your business should be too.
Now you need content...
Let me guess. You’re feeling ready to whip open your laptop or thumb through your mobile device and set up the most beautiful social media business account ever.
A great plan, but now it’s time to tackle the elephant in the digital room: content strategy.
The first step within this strategy is deciding which social media platforms compliment your industry best. Don’t make the mistake of marketing your business on a platform that none of your consumers are on just because it’s popular. If you want to see which social media platforms are right for your business, check out these descriptions of individual platforms, what type of users they typically have, and the benefits they provide for business use.
Often, businesses are quick to set up their social media pages and start putting out content without any real strategy in place. This is a great way to let good content go to waste. If your business is designing and creating posts without any rhyme or reason then you’re going to miss out on the opportunity to increase your organic reach, make impressions beyond your personal following, and drive traffic to your company website. Yikes!
Don’t fall to the majority by blindly posting infographics and promotional ads about your business and crossing your fingers that sales increase. Instead, move on to step two and implement the social media “Rule of Thirds” into your social media marketing strategy and stay ahead of your competitors with diverse, engaging, creative, and relevant content.
The Social Media “Rule of Thirds”
After figuring out which platform is right for your business, the next most important strategy that should always be the motivator behind the content you post is the social media “Rule of Thirds.” Following this rule will help your business keep the content you post versatile and incorporative of the things that matter most. What are the things that matter most? I’m glad you asked:
1. Personal Brand Promotion:
⅓ of the posts that you share should be intended to promote your business. This will allow you to convert readers, gain followers, and, ultimately, generate profits.
2. Curated Content:
Curated content is content that wasn’t originally designed or created within your own business, but is incredibly beneficial to share on your social media pages. It could include ideas presented by influencers within your industry or other like-minded businesses.
3. Personal Stories:
These types of stories would be found through testimonials or employee feedback. Posting this type of content gives your business credibility and shows interested followers that your company is legit and better than the competition. Additionally, personal stories help to build your brand by showing future customers that you've lived up to past customer expectations, and will continue to do so.
In summation, dispersing your content between these three categories lets your followers know where your business is positioned within your industry, assures them that you know your industry, and shows them that you value collaboration.
You’ve checked off step one and step two, now it’s time to grab your digital artboard and start designing content! To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of content that I know will take your social media platforms to the next level and make your business stand out among competitors...Illuminate your brand, if you will. 😉
1. User-generated content (Curated Content)
Definition: UGC is exactly what it sounds like. This is simply using photos that your customers have taken of your product, with your product, in your product, etc, and have either posted to their personal social media account or sent to your business.
Generates engagement and reach
Shows that you care about your audience and want to engage with them
Easily helps to build long-lasting relationships with your users - Your followers would be thrilled and honored to see something they created posted to your business’s social page.
Encourages users to share posts to their surrounding networks increasing organic reach
Example: GoPro has mastered using this type of content, but of course they have a product that makes it pretty easy. But never fear! You too can create an army of users who are desperate to have their content posted to your page!
*Important Note: When using UGC, ALWAYS remember to credit the user that posted it.
2. Client Testimonials (Personal Stories)
Definition: Showing off what your customers have to say about your business!
Ensures the validity of your business, which gives future consumers peace of mind when they’re considering choosing you over a competitor
Allows you to showcase the different types of clients you have, showing the versatility of your product or service
Builds trust between your business and consumers
Example: We love showing our followers what our clients have to say about our services! Check out the latest testimonial we posted here.
3. Live Videos / Livestreams (Personal Brand Promotion)
Definition: Videos that are happening and being streamed in real time - this feature is offered on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Digital videos drive 82% of web traffic. This means that posting videos on your social media platforms, or even better, live-streaming video content, is one of the best ways to get users to your website and circling around the marketing flywheel
In a survey done by Livestream and New York Magazine it was found that 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog (but don’t get us wrong, blogs are an amazing way to engage users as well)
Example: Since this type of content is live, I can’t really link you to an example. However, I can tell you that if you decide to start a live video, each of the platforms listed above give you the option to save the live video as a recording on your page. This allows users to visit your page and view your video, even after the livestream has ended. One of our past clients, Roni Langley, Founder and owner of RLL Designs, takes advantage of this feature. She often livestreams her mesmerizing work process so that her followers can watch her make art in real time. For those who miss the live event, Roni saves the livestreams to her “IGTV” channel on her Instagram page.
4. Articles & Blog Posts (Personal Brand Promo or Curated Content)
Definition: Promoting an article or blog post either written in-house or by a like-minded business that discusses topics your business thinks are important.
*As I said above, videos are great, but blog posts shouldn’t be discredited
Blog posts can easily be repurposed to be shared on social media and drive traffic to your website
77% of internet users read blogs
Allows your company to share your industry expertise 😉
By reposting articles or blogs written outside of the company, you show your users that you are engaged with outside communities and up-to-date with important current events or trends
Example: You’re looking at it. (This is part of our Your Brand series for all things small business digital marketing, if you want to check the rest out!)
5. Create a daily, weekly, or monthly series (Personal Brand Promotion)
Definition: Consistently posting similar types of content around the same day and time each week. Using hashtags such as #FunFactFriday or #What’sNewWednesday helps users recognize when posts are part of a larger series.
Series make your social media feeds feel more like an event rather than a repetitive list of posts
Series have the capability to get your followers excited about your social media page, further making a positive emotional impression and connection with them that will keep them coming back for more
Series help push your users through the flywheel
6. Share “behind-the-scenes” Content (Personal Brand Promotion)
Definition: Giving your users a little sneak peak of what your business looks like behind closed doors.
Show your brand’s unique personality
Behind-the-scenes content shows the authenticity of your company
Users are more likely to feel like they are part of your company if they get a glimpse of what happens beneath the surface
Example: When working on new content for our clients, we like to show our users the steps along the way by posting videos of the process on our Instagram story.
7. Poll Your Audience (Personal Brand Promotion)
Definition: Asking your users questions to receive authentic feedback.
Polling your users lets them know that their opinion matters to your business, and that what they have to say is being heard
Question boxes / polls allow your followers to engage with your business and have their voices amplified, making them feel cared for and important (which they are)
Example: There are many ways to engage with your users and receive their feedback. You can prompt them with a CTA (call-to-action) in the caption of the photos you post by saying something like “Comment your favorite below.” You could also provide your followers with a list of items to choose from, an open-ended question that they could DM you their answer to, etc. The social media world is your oyster.
There are tons of ways your business can use social media to your advantage. Users love content that they can relate to, whether that’s a playlist, trendy blog, interesting research, how-to’s, sneak peaks, etc. If you give your users what they want, they’ll keep coming back.
Are you up for the challenge?
I think you are. And with these three simple steps to social media success, you’re going to have your social pages glowin’ in no time! Still feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this? That’s okay, too. You can contact us for a free consultation or find out more about the social media management and content creation services we can provide for your business!