Today’s consumers don’t like to be told what they should think, what they should feel and definitely not what they should be spending their hard-earned money on. Social media has handed the control over to the consumer who now decides which brands are deserving of their love, attention, and ultimately, their evangelism. Successful brands now understand that it is imperative to develop a content marketing strategy to guide their production of branded visual content to share on their social media business pages. This content must be well-produced brand storytelling if they want to maintain the attention of their social media community.
What is in a Content Marketing Strategy for Social Media?
Brands need video marketing, photography and graphics that strategically communicate their brand essence, brand personality and brand message. That is the beauty of a content marketing strategy and the essence of social media for business. It’s a non-intrusive form of marketing that, with the right content providing value, will generate a gravitational pull that drives consumers to you. Every brand has a story. Tell that story right and tell it often and your brand will eventually reap the rewards of differentiation from others in your respective marketplace.
Visual storytelling on social media requires expertise in using high-end photography and professional-grade video production equipment. Coming up with content ideas day-in and day-out can be extremely challenging. Coming up with content that is fresh and innovative can be downright impossible for brands not equipped with a video marketing strategy, the right creative talent and the right physical tools to help conceive, develop and execute its content.
When a brand doesn’t have the physical infrastructure or these core competencies, content creation for social media can become their Achilles’ heel. So what is a brand to do?
A Content Marketing Strategy Needs Content Creation Talent
Brand storytelling and content creation are at the center of any credible content marketing strategy. When speaking to leadership at companies around the country, we hear similar stories of brands, regardless of size, that found themselves overwhelmed by the content demands that social media presents. For example, many of these brands were once excited about marketing initiatives to develop their Facebook and Instagram accounts but eventually faced an all too common content creation dilemma. Creating social media content is not easy.
Most established brands have a talented PR and marketing team. They understand how to manage traditional media buying and ad campaigns, produce marketing presentations, create internal and external marketing collateral, coordinate trade shows and other events, set-up email campaigns, write press releases and company blogs, and keep up with a brand’s internal and external corporate communications. These departments are extremely busy doing what they do best to keep the wheels of the brand moving forward. However, even if these departments had spare time in their daily schedule, most do not have a social media content strategist or a slew of professional content creators. They might have an in-house graphic designer, but this person’s expertise rarely extends into photography and video creation.
Therefore, what is a brand to do? In general, there are four common choices:
- Build an in-house creative team
- Hire some freelance creatives
- Retain a production company
- Partner with a social media agency
Content creation, especially video production, requires a great deal of moving parts that the average company may struggle to produce in-house unless there already exists an experienced creative manager at the company to direct talent. Hiring a slew of freelance creatives is a viable option if you have the ability to screen portfolios for talent and can manage varying levels of creative execution. Retaining the services of a legitimate production company for social media content can become extremely expensive. They are used to commercial production work with a mindset for pricing one project at a time. What happens when your brand is looking to produce weekly videos? Trust us, most production companies will provide fairly outrageous bids for developing, shooting and editing your projects. The other issue with production companies is that they are content creators, not marketers. They’re especially not social media marketers. Their recommendations for video production may not be what is best for your social media streams.
Yes, we are a social media agency. How convenient that we are recommending ourselves as the best solution for a brand’s content marketing strategy. Well, hold on. Creative social media agencies exist today because there was a huge need in the market for brands needing both social media management and content creation solutions. That’s why your brand and thousands of others are researching this type of solution.
A Content Marketing Strategy Requires Continual Optimization
There doesn’t exist one type of content which will work for every brand. In other words, what works well for one brand and their social media community doesn’t mean much for another brand, even if they exist in the same industry. Audiences on social media have become well-trained content marketers and storytellers in their own right. The average person has been armed for a long time with a smartphone and a personal social media community their own to keep engaged. They can sniff out a brand copycat or a lack of authenticity from a new entrant. Simply buying the same wardrobe doesn’t entitle any new kid on the block to sit at the “cool kid” lunch table. It takes continual effort over a period of time until the secret formula for acceptance is uncovered.
Therefore, every brand must have the capabilities to continually measure and optimize its content marketing strategy with the following process:
- Create content based on strategic positioning that will provide your brand clear differentiation in your industry.
- Publish and promote the content, closely monitoring consumer reaction to the content.
- Measure which content resonated with which audience within your social media community.
- Create your next round of content, optimized from the feedback received from your audience of consumers.
Content marketing requires this level of commitment to building credibility, trust, and acceptance within your targeted community. Rarely can a brand succeed by simply posting random content on their social streams and expect people to care and follow.
Reach New Heights with A Content Marketing Strategy!
The foundation of ImagiBrand arose from decades of working behind the scenes in Hollywood’s feature-film development and production world and MBA-educated marketers that were early adopters of social media. As a result of this unique background, we have developed expertise in crafting a strategic brand image and brand stories which reach targeted audiences on social media. We provide brands a solution to the “Big Content Dilemma” by working closely with them on developing a customized content marketing strategy which supports their brand image, communicates their brand message and makes them into engaging brands worthy of a social share.