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Whether it’s news media or social media, citizens worldwide definitely have less-than-positive beliefs about the media in general. Only 29% of people around the world believe that the news covers topics that are relevant to them, and around 40% believe the media is more negative than it needs to be.
As far as social media, users experience a range of emotions when they log on to these channels. When Pew Research Center surveyed social media users about how they feel, they got a wide spectrum of responses. In order of popularity, these were: amused, angry, inspired, connected, depressed, and lonely.
As a marketer, when someone describes your content marketing, you probably want to hear some of those words, but certainly not all of them. Emotions like anger, depression, and loneliness are the opposite of what most brands want to be putting out in the world. So how can a marketer enter into this complicated environment with confidence, and avoid the pitfalls of trust that can compromise a brand position? Let’s talk about content marketing, media, and social media, and provide some information that can help you develop your unique strategy to be a positive force on social media.
Does it surprise you to learn that “media” is the plural form of “medium?” This doesn’t refer to clothes of a specific size, but instead the different methods, or mediums, by which information is shared.
Whether it’s news, entertainment, education, promotional messages, or other data, there have never been more forms of media than there are today. Newspapers, radio, faxes, and billboards are supported (and in some cases replaced) by email, television, phones, mobile devices, and the Internet. Pretty much every part of the Internet has become a medium for communicating information—making it media.
Content is the information that makes media relevant. If the content isn’t good, the media isn’t good. No one wants to open a newspaper or web page and see an empty page, or filler text with no meaning. These errors are only one step removed from repetitive content, that doesn’t tell the reader or viewer anything new. While information might be new to a consumer at first, if you keep telling them the same thing over and over with no new additions, they won’t keep paying attention. A third pitfall for content is inaccuracy, which tells consumers the wrong information or misrepresents a situation. Over time, this means a source will be less-trusted and marketing won’t achieve its goals. These expectations for media are why fresh, entertaining, and accurate content is the cornerstone of a successful media channel or online marketing presence.
For an example of how important content is to media, consider a traditional medium: broadcast news. Major national news networks often run the same stories 24/7 in a cycle. Eventually, viewers become aware that they are listening to the same facts over and over and often change the channel. PEW Research reports that social media and news websites, followed by radio, have all become more popular news sources than broadcast news. This is because when the facts change in a relevant way, people can get real-time updates faster from other sources.
But at the same time, for local news, television broadcasts are still a preferred and trusted source. Local news differs because it only airs at certain times during the day. Also, viewers know when they tune in, they will be likely to hear updates and information that are specifically relevant to their area and community.
Content in media is all about information, but it can take a variety of forms. Here are some of the forms of media content we are all familiar with and experience regularly:
In all these forms of media, the goal is to transfer information, share understanding, and inspire emotion among the readers, listeners, viewers, or attendees. Whoever your audience is, stay focused on what you want them to walk away with.
With all this understanding of the media now behind us, it becomes easier to understand a social media marketing definition. Social media is itself a channel just like broadcast news or the radio. But what makes it unique from all the other channels is that the users and audiences are the ones determining what is shared on the channel. Each user has their own presence, with your unique Facebook profile or Twitter handle putting you in the same position as a radio DJ or news anchor.
Content marketing on social media is then about creating and posting content from your channel that others will share on their channels. Useful, appropriate, and trustworthy content will attract a following and ideally motivate your audiences to do business with your brand.
One element that is especially important on social media is creating visual content for social media, or video content. Posts with images perform better on average than those without, to the extent that posts with images are now preferred in a lot of social media algorithms.
All social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest, have algorithms that determine what content each individual user will see. As you try to have your marketing content compete for visibility on a social feed, it’s important to use every advantage you can deduce about these systems to get your content to the top by proving it has value. Common metrics that show content is valuable on social media include:
Engagement using reactions such as the like, love, or wow face.
Shares as your audiences repost your content on their own channels.
Comments and replies to comments, showing the post has inspired discussion.
Ultimately, content on social media represents the means for the socialization, or community, to occur. Whatever content you are choosing to put on social, it’s important that it inspires a reaction or conversation and has value to your audiences. That could be educational value, entertainment, or both!
Getting on any social media channel reveals just how competitive the online content environment really is. This leads many marketers to wonder how to do social media marketing the best. The truth is that every type of content can be good for social media, depending on the content itself, and the channel you choose to promote it. Let’s examine how each type of content performs on social media, and some of the specific traits that make each popular social media channel better or worse for specific kinds of content.
These data points can certainly help marketers identify which social media channels are the homes to your target audiences, and will be most friendly to the different types of content you can create.
An effective social media content strategy succeeds through a combination of planning and adaptability. Here are some of the steps to go through as you plan how to distribute your content marketing on social media:
DemandJump created our platform with the goal to make both the beginning and ends of a social media strategy easier. As you start out trying to decide what content audiences are looking for, our customer insights reveal the questions and keywords you need to prioritize to get the attention of social media users. We even integrate competitor insights to let you know what pages are currently winning traffic so you can decide on unique formats or content positioning to make your marketing stand out.
Then, our cross-channel analytics functionality draws in performance data from all your social media platforms, to reveal which channels are performing best and what content is driving engagement. This allows for real-time decision making about advertising spending, as well as where you might want to jump into the conversation and build community with your audiences.
Lots of target audiences have a complicated emotional relationship with the media and marketing. But the strategic thinking that helps your marketing break through those barriers and make your message heard doesn’t have to be as complex. Sign up for a free trial of DemandJump and experience the insights that will help you form better and more authentic relationships with existing and potential customers.
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