Should you care about branded content? If you care about brand awareness, customer engagement, and relationships, the answer is yes. Branded content has proven value. A study by IPG Media Lab showed that brand recall increased by 59% when customers viewed branded content when compared to recall from traditional advertising.
Of course, not all branded content performs that well. The key is producing content that is relevant, engaging, and informative, then sharing that across your social media feeds. The 12 tips below will help you write content that has the impact you want.
If there’s one piece of advice that applies to branded content for any company in any industry, it’s this: Use visuals to make your content more interesting to your audience. Charts, graphs, pictures, embedded video, memes, or gifs catch the reader’s eye. Visuals drive people to spend more time consuming your content and make it more likely that they will comment and share.
Focus on Your Audience, not Your Products
This is the key difference between traditional advertising and branded content. It’s not that you can never mention your products or services. It’s just that your focus should be on informing, educating, and entertaining your target audience. What questions are they asking? Where are they struggling? What problems are they trying to solve? What will make them stop and think, ‘Hey, this is exactly what I need!’?
To do so, you can rely on UGC user generated content and select a Saas solution that emphasizes them, like Social Walls. Social walls aggregate content from social media and allow you to curate and moderate them in order to display the very best of your users’ content and give them a voice!
Vary Your Content
Yes, the title suggests that this is about written content, but the truth is there are so many forms of content that you can create and share across your social media platforms. These include:
- Videos: Tutorials, Q&A, Explainers, Product Demos, Interviews
- Blog Posts
- UGC, testimonials collected through a social wall solution
Your audience is varied, and likely has a wide range of preferences when it comes to content format. Offer them a variety to keep them interested.
Write About What is Relevant Today
Pay close attention to industry trends and current events. It’s almost always a safe bet to base your content around these topics. After all, these reflect what your target audience is searching for, reading, and sharing.
Set up Google Alerts for keywords that are relevant to your industry. Subscribe to industry publications. Search for industry hashtags on social media so you can see what’s new and trending. Use what you find to influence the topics you cover in your content.
Tailor Your Content to the Social Media Platform
Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat, and Instagram all target a slightly different audience. Each has its own set of written and unwritten rules for participation. There are also certain types of content that tend to perform better on each platform.
Before you dive in, take some time to check out the content being shared on each platform. What are your competitors sharing? What’s getting lots of engagement? The idea isn’t to copy anyone but to get an idea of the tone and aesthetic that works best.
And try to publish all your social content also on your web site, not only on social media ; your website is your best and 1st window for your audience, before social media, bring trafic on your web site thanks to social media, not trafic to social media !
Lead Off with a Great Headline
Your headline goes a long way in determining whether or not your target audience will read further. Write headlines that are inviting. Use numbers in your headlines. Keep them relatively short. Add power words to create interest. Use your headline to share your value proposition. Readers should be convinced that they are missing out on something important if they don’t stop to read your post. Use a headline analyzer tool or a copywriting service like Trust my Paper to ensure that your headlines and content that follows is compelling.
Use a Writing Style that Reflects Your Brand
It’s called branded content for a reason. It should reflect the brand identity that you’ve created. Think of your brand as a persona just like you do your customers. Your social media writing should have the same tone of voice, worldview, and attitude that you reflect in your branding elsewhere.
Pay attention to some of your favorite brands on social media. You’ll notice that there’s a consistency in the content they create. Audiences simply respond better to content they perceive as being genuine. Never try to force a tone or style that doesn’t fit just to pander. It comes off as being inauthentic.
Know What Works and Stick with It
Use analytics to track the performance of your content. When you receive likes, shares, and backlink, you know you’re doing something right. Look for common elements in your most popular content. Is it the format, the topic, the length, or something else? This is the best way to learn more about your audience’s preferences.
Share Values that Your Audience Cares About
Social media content is a great vehicle for sharing your company’s values with your audience. If your values and your audience’s values match, that’s even better. Learn about the causes that your audience cares about. Then, use your content to show that you have the same values.
Write about charitable causes you support. Share photographs of your team doing their part at local events. Highlight stories that you know will resonate with your target audience.
Make Data Interesting
Data makes content more credible. It helps you to prove your claims. It builds trust with your audience. Unfortunately, it can be dry, boring, and the opposite of engaging. Combine data with compelling, brand stories to inform and entertain your target audience.
Write to All of Your Audience Members at Every Stage
At any given time, you have target customers at various stages of the sales funnel. You also have audience members with varying interests and priorities. Create a variety of content that is tailored to each of these stages. For example, low funnel customers are likely to be interested in product demonstrations and how to content. Early stage customers want content that introduces them to your brand.
Make it Shareable
Making content shareable involves more than adding social share buttons. Your content should always contain a hook. That’s the ‘wow’ element that makes your target audience read what you’ve written, and feel compelled to share it with their friends.
SaaS social wall solutions are made to help you sharing easily your brand content & UGC.
When you build up a great repository of content, there’s so much you can do with that. You can share it across your social media platforms. You can also aggregate it to your feeds, website, in shop screens, and elsewhere.