Just as traditional advertising usually contained some kind of call to action, marketing content needs to be shareable. In order to achieve this, one must first ask: “Is this piece of content I created for my audience interesting enough to them that they’d share it with other like-minded people?”
Brands are hell-bent on making their content go viral – you know who you are – it’s not an effective content marketing strategy.
Before I explain why, let me first debunk some terminology that people often use and misuse. The term ‘socialise’ in the digital space refers to aggregating social media content and using it on your owned properties. To make something go ‘viral’ or to ‘viralise’ content is just a cheeky way of saying ‘distribution to a third party social media channel, hoping it becomes popular’.
When brands create content, they do so in the hope it goes viral. The problem is – with content marketing having been all the rage – companies fall into the trap of sharing absolutely everything they’ve created, even if it’s questionable content. As such, mobile apps and more prominently, the Interwebs, are swarming with mediocre content that users have to sift through in order to find those nuggets of gold. This really makes it tough for great branded content to stand out.
Want to know more? Jodie Sangster tells it like it is.
How do we solve this dilemma? It starts by deliberately creating engaging content and not just sharing it for the sake of sharing it. Brands can’t force the virality of content but they can ensure it’s interesting enough to share on social platforms.
Things like timeliness, authenticity, and humour in content generally make it shareable. Research is showing that people want to involve themselves with content across-platform. They don’t just want to sit there watching their favourite reality TV show. This is where content marketers need to get their heads around social integration. It’s about taking some of that TV content and transferring it to YouTube. It’s asking: How do we get viewers involved that way? How do we bring it all back into everyone’s social feed? As a content marketer, if you’re only offering one solution or distributing content to just one platform, people are less likely to see it and therefore engage with it and share it.
Australia, despite having high mobile penetration, lags in digital because brands and companies tend to be risk averse; they’re all waiting for a solution with proven return on investment. This is why brands want content to go viral. They want all those eyeballs on their product because it makes them money. But great content marketing isn’t just about making content go viral. It’s producing content that resonates with an audience in such a way that they’d be proud to share it with others.
Since content marketing is ever-popular among brands, social feeds are becoming inundated with content, so it’s harder than ever to stand out.
If you want to succeed, you need to produce better content than your competitors. It’s not easy, it’s not cheap, and it won’t happen overnight. But with an understanding of your audience and with your measurement tools in place, add a teensy bit of risk-taking to the equation and you might just find your organic reach starts to bloom.