All businesses know that social media marketing is vital to build brand recognition, develop relationships that pave the way for sales, and engage with customers to create trust.
Social media platforms are also invaluable in allowing you to define your target audience, monitor your competitors, and gain invaluable performance data.
A social media manager makes all the above more effortless than ever before. It lets you post to all your social channels from a central Dashboard, plan and schedule your content to go out automatically, search for related keyword mentions, and track public response using real-time analytics.
All of this is great, but exactly what type of content should you post? What will successfully achieve engagement and conversions? And how do you continually create fresh content that appeals to people? This article gives you the most winning content ideas that you can use again and again.
Things that make people smile or laugh are a great way to instantly make a positive impact. From memes and pictures to GIFs and YouTube clips, humour can unite people and it’s a powerful icebreaker.
But give careful thought to what you post, because humour can be very subjective, and you don’t want to offend or turn off a large part of your audience. Also remember that it’s easy to do brand damage by coming across as cheesy, fake, or uncool.
Start off with humour that everyone loves, like pets, kids, and people pulling silly faces. Aim for amusing, not hilarious, to start off with. Later if you want to get more edgy, test the water by dipping your toe in rather than going extreme right off the bat, and see how people react.
By closely monitoring the public response to your humorous posts, you’ll find a good balance of humour that appeals to your target audience. You may even strike a gold streak, and find a unique blend of humor they can’t get enough of.
An Ebay study confirmed that product listings with images have twice the conversion rates, and multiple images increased conversion by as much as 65%. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, meaning people are far more likely to instantly click on an appealing image than a written post.
The bottom line is that visuals are highly effective at boosting sales, so good quality images are worth the investment. Find out more about your image options in this article: How to Create Great Social Media Content.
It’s also key to have images of your products in human settings, so people can visualize them in their own lives. And aspirational marketing is a big part of why people buy luxury items. These days there are a variety of digital mockup services that let you superimpose your product on pre-made settings, rather than having to pay a model or find the ideal decor.
Images are also an ideal way to make your products topical and seasonal. Christmas decorations surrounding your product image is a common example.
Social proof is vital in social media marketing. So photos of your customers using your products is a powerful way to boost appeal and give you brand credibility. An idea that will encourage customers to send in photos of how they use your products is to run a competition offering a 15% discount to the Top 10 customer photos.
People love to feel they have insider information that puts them exclusively ‘in-the-know’. Plus everyone likes to see the human side of companies, it’s one of the best ways to make your audience feel connected to your brand.
Why not create a very human YouTube video of your business operations. Examples are filming your dog in the office, being petted by everyone. Or your cat sitting on your laptop and being called ‘the real CEO who runs things’. Filming with your phone would be fine (as long as it’s not shaky), because you’re aiming for a human rather than slickly professional look. But make sure it’s edited well so flows smoothly and concisely.
For image ideas, you could post pictures of you and members of your staff having fun on holiday, or the team having fun eating a meal together. For seasonal events like Christmas, you could bring in some humour with something like a picture of elves working at a conveyor belt, with you and your staff’s faces superimposed.
People can’t resist the chance to win something appealing, so this is a sure way to ramp up engagement. Competitions are also effective at gaining website subscribers.
We’ve already talked about the idea of using a contest to incentivise people to send in their photos of how they use your products. Other ideas are a chance to win a free dinner for two at a popular restaurant, product giveaways, and Customer of the Month with a video interview. Learn more about doing successful competitions.
Statistics, when done right, are far from boring. They can create great click through and demonstrate that your business has it’s ‘finger on the pulse’. As an example, if you sell phone covers, your social post could be: “90% of people drop their phone at least once a month — learn more.”
With a statistic like that, you’ll have created much more incentive to buy a phone cover than a promotion saying “Buy”. And it would easily get people clicking into your blog article, where you’d have the perfect opening to explain how phone covers prevent costly damage.
It doesn’t take copywriting flair to ask a simple but interesting question that engages people. The key to this is making your questions topical. That’s where buyer personas and social listening are important — they give you a clear idea of what type of people you’re speaking to and how they’re currently feeling. To learn more about these two topics, read: Best Ways to Find Your Social Media Audience and Build Loyalty.
But sometimes you don’t even need to know what the latest thing causing buzz on social media is, because it’s obvious. For example, during Christmas, you could ask: “What do you most want for Christmas this year?”. Or in the runup to Valentines, your question could be: “Where would you love to go for a Valentine’s date”?
Social media hypersensitivity is all too prevalent these days, so best to steer clear of politics and other polarizing topics, or you risk stirring things up in a bad way. Keeping things positive is the best tactic to ensure everyone feels positive about your brand.
Also be sure to construct questions that only need short answers, because most people won’t want to spend time writing lengthy responses on social media. If you want to get more in-depth, you could start with a provocative question and have people click through to a short survey or poll, with a discount for completing it.
Polls are a great way to gain audience insight, while showing customers that you care about their views. Customer co-creation, improving your products or services based on customer feedback, is the surest way to stay ahead of your competition.
You can never go wrong with content that tells or shows people how to solve problems or do things is a better way. On top of being helpful, it also makes your brand look like an industry leader. But every business writes this type of content, so the trick is to create heading angles that are different to the norm, making you stand out with something fresh.
For example, if you sell kitchen knives, a quick Google search will show you there are already tons of articles with the heading like: “How to Sharpen Knives” and “How to Chop Vegetables Like a Chef”. Be more unique with a social post heading like: “The Secret to Save Time When Cooking” (sharp knives), and “How to Avoid Cutting Your Fingers in the Kitchen” (chopping properly).
One of the reasons to create useful, high-quality blogs (that many businesses don’t leverage) is that you can revive them whenever you have a content calendar gap. You may have written a great How-To guide a year ago — don’t be shy to post it again, because there will be many people in your audience that didn’t read it and can benefit from it.
Also keep the idea of evergreen blogs in mind as part of your content planning. Seasonal content like ‘new year tips’ can be brought back to life with a simple date change (good for SEO too). And certain topics will be a perfect fit for specific product promotions.
Learn more about planning content: Easy Way to Create a Social Media Content Calendar.
It’s a no-brainer that B2B (business to business) audiences will want to know about the latest industry news. But since there are so many channels that will broadcast interesting news, always try to write headings that are different or more useful than the facts.
As an example, say your business is accounting for other small businesses. News breaks that the government is increasing taxes. Instead of just saying that in your heading, you’ll stand out more with something like: “How to save money so tax increases don’t hurt”. That way you’re not just repeating news, you’re offering interesting solutions.
Even with B2C (business to customer) audiences, sharing industry news gives you leadership or authority status. Just be careful not to give your competitors free press. For example, if you sell pet supplies, you won’t want to post that people are going crazy for the new Pets R Us leopard print dog warmers. But you will want to post about leopard print dog warmers being a popular trend, and that you’ll soon be selling them.
Successful social media sales conversions are the result of successful engagement and brand loyalty, which rely on regular posting — at least three times per week. Unimaginative, dull content won’t cut the mustard, it has to be appealing.
Continuously creating new social media content may seem daunting, but with the Top Ten content types we’ve listed in this article, you’ll have no problem keeping it fresh.
Added to this, what every experienced social media marketer knows is that good content (which doesn’t take all your time either) comes down to having a social media manager that lets you effectively plan content in a calendar, then schedule it to go out automatically at the times of your choosing.
What’s also vital is keeping an eye on the analytics (performance data), so that over time you can finetune your content to grow your audience.
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