Every community manager knows three things about content management:
- Quality content is often the key to differentiating your brand from the rest of the competition.
- Accomplishing that means you need a lot of it to achieve it.
- But like, really though…. A LOT.
Most community managers also know that these two things together don’t necessarily go well together. In practice, making great posts in increasingly bigger numbers and substantially less time seems like a lot of contradictions mashed together for a single profession to handle.
All and all, this leads to a very important question we should ask ourselves:
How can anyone get consistent innovation when the demand for it is SO high?
How can we reconcile this contradiction? How can your marketing team improve its content output without decreasing its quality (nor overworking the marketing team in the process)? Fortunately for everyone, there is a better alternative to making ourselves this question (the purpose of this blog, if you will):
Can we systematize this process with data while implementing it consistently and creatively?
This is where Growth marketing shines the brightest when you take information related to your brand and make something meaningful out of it. And though we’ve already covered some of these techniques in previous blogs, today we want to cover this topic in a more general by covering some of the best ways we’ve found to make the job feasible and to find creativity in the reiteration.
1) Make content with scale in mind (aka the 3 to 5 rule)
Here’s a strange question: if you order a pizza just for yourself, how many meals of will it last? In our case, 3 meals are usually the case – sometimes 2 if the pizza is really good or even 1 meal if we’re also very hungry (and sometimes half a meal if we’re feeling particularly self-deprecating).
Whatever works for you, it’s pretty safe to say that a standard pizza can last at least 3 meals a day. With snacks included, a common person usually eats around 5 times a day. For the sake of the argument, let’s take this as a metaphor for how you can pipeline your content production: “one pizza, 3 to 5 meals” (btw don´t do the last one at home, pizza is great but self-care is usually better).
Let’s say you want to publish a meme, something to lessen the serious tone of the community. What if instead of choosing a popular meme format every time you choose to post a meme, you make a little series from it? Wendy’s is certainly one of the best players in the social media game, and the way they achieved this was a two-sided strategy. First, they knew the incredible reach memes have on the internet (with the added humor of it being posted by a multimillion-dollar company personified as a country girl). Second, they also knew that the “memojis” of the Apple products became something of an internet convention in regards to people posting personal/funny/ironic content. The only thing Wendy’s did was combine both things, and this was the result:
Lots of good ideas can be reiterated if the template is solid enough. So if you’re struggling to find lots of original ideas for an individual post, look for a single great one. Then, find interesting ways for you to make a good enough single post and see if you can make reiterate it at least 3 to 5 times without it feeling repetitive. If you can´t polish the original idea. If you can.… Congratulations! You just found yourself a great 3 to 5 solid pieces of content!
2) Make it about us (you and them)
Every good community manager knows that their work is to, essentially, manage a relationship. Consciously or not, the people who follow certain pages on social media do so because they see something in themselves that’s reflected in some way or another through the page; maybe it’s the values the brand endorses, or maybe it’s because their profession or tastes align with the ones the on channel, or maybe it’s because their memes are good (which is totally valid, we all need good memes in our lives).
Naturally, real-life relationships shouldn’t be this one-sided – that’s also true for any form of human-to-human interaction on the internet, but social media pages aren´t necessarily that. In some ways, they can work as displays and mirrors, showing things they might like for them and reflecting things they might want to see about themselves (more on that later). Therefore, the things that the brand shows about itself should also speak to the audience, integrating them into the conversation.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. Purple Carrot is a plant-based, prepared meals and meal kits delivery service. Its mission is to offer easy, tasty meals for people who are too busy to dedicate much time to cooking (or simply don´t have it) and are looking for healthier, meat-free alternatives to eat. At first glance, their social media channel just seems like an extension of this mission, showing different recipes and meals they offer – and yet, there is one key difference:
They don’t just show what they do, they show how to do it. They are “do it yourself” content, made specifically for people to replicate it at home. The brand knows perfectly well that people who are looking for plant-based recipes tend to get a hard time because they just aren´t that common. The videos aren’t just promotion, they’re a direct solution to their main problem, and their social media work as an extension of this solution.
Every time you want to post anything on the channel, may it be a video or a joke or whatever you are working on, ask yourself these two questions:
- What does the audience take away from this?
- Is this why they follow the brand in the first place?
If the answers are fuzzy or ambiguous, polish them. If the answers are clear, see if you can create a template out of it and scale it for other posts. Before you notice it, you’ll always have a couple of different options of content to choose from.
3) Make it friendly to share (expression and connection)
People open up social media accounts for a thousand very different, very personal reasons. However, it’s safe to assume that at least on some level, every person on these platforms looks to do two things at some point: Expression & connection.
To share something about who you are & to experience moments of connection with the people that follow you. It can be a video of an awesome recipe you just discovered, a selfie you took that makes you look awesome, or a post in which you tagged someone because it’s extremely relatable to your friendship – this is most of what makes social media so powerful a tool.
However, if you’re a brand… well, things can get performative pretty quickly. Inappropriate even. That’s because the channel represents a company, its values and its interests, but you also need to make content that attracts people in a way that’s consistent with the brand. How do you allow for expression and connection in this paradox?
Following by example, that is. Over the last decade, Buzzfeed has positioned itself as one of the most consistently relevant channels on the internet. A communications company first and foremost, Buzzfeed’s goal is to always share “viral” content designed to appeal to as many individuals as possible. Naturally, that’s not entirely feasible because, well, people are very different – however, the approach they’ve implemented to their social media comes very closely to appealing to most people in their given demographic:
Each of these posts is extremely different in theory but surprisingly similar in practice. All of it is, for a lack of a better word, relatable. Either it explicitly asks for people to express something or directly recounts it; they know their demographic well enough to share content that directly speaks to things that are consistent with their lives and interests. They don’t ask their followers to relate to the content just because – the followers are the content, and so they interact with it in a fundamentally similar way to any given post by a friend – or in other words, they express and connect through it.
Is your content about your audience, or does it “politely” include them in the conversation? Find ways in which your content can serve as input for them to share something about themselves or their relationships, see how you can them questions relevant to their lives and how can your brand say something meaningful about them. Research what you can, and once the data has shown what they’re like about your brand, find creative ways to ask those interests back at them.
In Nomad Digital, we want your company to better connect with your audience, to help them with the solutions you offer with the tools unique to our Growth Marketing strategies. So if you need an outsourcing team, whatever your budget or size of operations may be, we´ll help you grow your business – one audience member at a time.