Social media marketing depends on content as a type of fuel to drive interactions and increase follower counts. While social-exclusive, text-based updates can be effective, especially when made regularly, the true anchors to your social media campaign are the heavy-hitting pieces of content that you circulate on your chosen platforms.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply post random bits of content and hope for the best. Your content must be high-quality, it must be developed specifically for your target audience, and it must be appropriate for your chosen medium. Some types of content simply fare better than others in the social world, and these seven types of content tend to fare the best:
And, by extension, how-to or instructional types of posts. Listicles are powerful for a reason; they are always concise and typically short, and they offer practical information in a familiar and easily scannable format. The result is a piece that any reader can quickly peruse for as much or as little information as they want—and because the headline usually contains a number or another indication of its formatting, it’s an attention grabbing title in the sea of social updates. While listicles are sometimes frowned upon as an “inferior” type of content compared to a longer article or whitepaper, they’re essential fodder for growing a social following from the ground up.
This type of content is typically written, but is much more involved than the typical listicle. Rather than consolidating lots of general information into a digestible, easy-to-read format, this content is all about breaking new ground with new data, new metrics, or new insights. For most companies, this means digging deep with some original research and publishing the results. You’ll spend more time and more money developing these types of pieces and you won’t generate as much attention as you will with a listicle, but the attention you do generate will be far stronger, and you’ll earn a much greater reputation for it in the long run. Use both in balance throughout your campaign.
Infographics have long been a favorite in the SEO community, and for good reason. Infographics take original research and insights and condense them into an aesthetically pleasing, easily navigable graphic image. Infographics are shared more than almost any other type of content, giving your brand extra visibility. In addition, infographics tend to attract a ton of inbound links as other external sources cite your information, so your domain authority—and your search ranks—will increase as a result. The one downside to infographics is the amount of time and/or money they take to produce, so use them sparingly.
For many companies, videos seem like an intimidating challenge that require a dedicated expert or technical equipment. In actuality, videos don’t have to be professionally produced in order to have a great impact. Something simple, like a video recording of a speaking event your CEO attended, can carry just as much weight as something more complicated you spent weeks trying to film and produce. Share these videos when you can, but try to keep them on the short side—people tend to watch and share shorter videos more often than those longer than five minutes or so.
Interviews are great pieces of content for a number of reasons, but there’s one quality that makes them perfect for social sharing: the fact that there are two authorities involved. As the interviewer, you’ll be seen as an authority and you’ll be able to share the material with your own followers. The great advantage here is that your interviewee will also be seen as an authority, and they will be highly likely to share the interview with their own network of followers, greatly increasing the cumulative impact of the share. Audio and video formats work best, but make sure to include a written transcript on your site.
News events tend to attract a lot of attention, as your followers are always hungry for new information. Industry news is a perfect opportunity for this—simply share an article (yours or someone else’s) and include your own commentary on it. Start a discussion and get the community involved. You can also do the same with any company news you might have to offer, such as the launch of a new product or the hire of a new employee.
Social media platforms serve as a gateway into other people’s realities, and real-time event updates make great use of this functionality. While you’re attending a local event, tradeshow, or conference, post regular images and updates as the event rolls on—and include the event’s hashtag if you can. Your followers will love the first-person perspective, and if they happen to be attending the event, you’ll earn extra attention and credibility.
Incorporate all seven of these types of content updates into your social media marketing campaign, no matter which platforms you use or which industry you belong to. Of course, the actual content you choose to create within these broad categories must be based on what your target audience actually wants to read or view. Performing some initial market and competitive research should help you start with a solid direction, but remember to adjust your strategy over time as you learn more about how your content impacts your social strategy.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.