Your marketing must entertain or inform to stand any chance of breaking through the noise of social media, says expert Will Francis
The social media landscape is always changing, and it's not the same as it used to be. Is your marketing team still playing by the old rules? Here's how we need to adapt as we turn the corner into a new era of digital technology.
The internet is more crowded than ever before, its users are bombarded with hundreds of pieces of marketing every day, hundreds more pieces of organic content. The algorithms tightly curate feeds to block out all that noise, and unfortunately most marketers are still creating just that - noise.
A major rewiring of how we think about content is required for us to stand a chance of cutting through today. And it's actually very simple. Most brands are still creating content to serve their own business needs, to promote their products, to show people inside their business. But in a noisy world of infinite choice and an abundance of high-quality content this just doesn't make the grade.
Whereas, the businesses who are managing to cut through understand three things: Be useful or entertaining - all good content is one of these two things. Share your knowledge or entertain your audience.
Quality over quantity - a few great pieces of content cut through. Lots of OK ones get lost.
And thirdly, content is for the audience, not the business - this is the hardest idea for stakeholders to invest in, because it doesn't feel like marketing. And that's the whole point. Because when it's produced and published to the relevant audience, it won't look like marketing either. It will be inherently interesting, and in capturing a slice of that ever-precious consumer attention it will allow your business to communicate something about who you are and why you exist.
Once you've cracked all that, you're still left with the problem of getting eyeballs on your content. The reality of the future of social media is that to talk to a wide consumer base isn't free. It never really was, but it's only now that the cost of underinvesting is so high. Unless you already have a large and engaged audience, your next piece of content will essentially be invisible.
So now is the time to upskill in-house and get to grips with all aspects of the ad products across the platforms. Luckily, they're all very simple, and have all copied each other to a large extent, so to understand Facebook's ad tool (which includes Instagram) is to understand that of LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter. And with TikTok starting to monetise that will be available soon too.
It may sound like the digital world is saturated and harder to conquer than ever. It is. But so few businesses have adapted to how the platforms have evolved, and consumer behaviours have changed that the opportunity to rise above your competitors with valuable content put in front of the right people is greater than ever.
Will Francis is a digital and social media expert who will deliver an afternoon masterclass at the Social Media Summit on 26 March at the Soho Hotel in London
The Caterer Social Media Summit
For many more tips on creating the content that will get the all-important cut through, join The Caterer at the Social Media Summit.
Taking place on the 26 March at Soho Hotel in London, this half-day masterclass will give hospitality marketing professionals insight into the latest growth hacks and content marketing techniques that will move the needle on social media over the next decade.
Delegates will leave with plenty of practical tips and advice, while having the opportunity to develop a framework for their own unique content throughout this interactive session. You'll see how the most innovative brands are attracting and retaining customers in this ever-changing digital landscape.
The workshop will be lead by social media expert Will Francis who has trained some of the world's leading brands on digital marketing including RBS, British Airways, Marriott, Harper Collins, Ikea and Aviva.
Topics covered include:
- Latest trends and consumer behaviours in social media
- How the algorithms work today
- Creating content that gets seen and shared
- How to find your purpose and articulate it online
- Case studies of who is succeeding and how
- Producing professional content with a smartphone
- Influencer marketing in 2020
- Social advertising tips and hacks