You might have heard that video promotion by online platforms peaked in April 2020, right in line with the height of corona virus lock-downs in the first wave of the pandemic. Museums and galleries tried online digital 3-d walk-thorough platforms like those realtors add to their websites, and these garnered initial interest, but audiences tired of digital spaces. Videos dropped in total views and time watched, and social platforms followed the trend, reducing the number of times videos were promoted in people’s feed.
What does that leave us with? Well, we are back to the heart of what social platforms are all about: conversations. That doesn’t mean stopping video usage, but it does mean an increased focus on creating conversation.
Tips to increase conversational content online
Focus your content toward targeted audiences
One thing to know about digital marketing: the rule about knowing your audience is just as vital, if not more so. Because a digital platform has the potential to reach just about anyone out there, many brands make the mistake of trying to create content for everyone – and that just will not work.
Instead, stay focused on your target audience: Who are they? What do they want? How can your brand help them? These questions are at the heart of any strategy, and they are just as essential when it comes to digital marketing.
Create Valuable Content
One of the biggest problems with a lot of business created digital content is that it falls flat. Social media is tasked to an employee with many other responsibilities, so it becomes wrote, repeating the same messages. Instead product or offer driven content, move toward story driven and conversational content.
How long has it been since your social media content asked a customer a question?
To create a conversational, story driven social presence means a couple of things:
First, stop throw-everything-out-there-and-see-what-sticks approach. All that does is muddy the waters and dilute your digital presence.
Second, stop constantly “selling” with every post. If every post is an offer, a webinar, a sign up or a gated download.
Together, these two behaviors will create a guarded audience. They will look for the takeaway, the best offer and the lowest price, and that’s not what you want to create with your social presence.
What could you do instead?
Instead, post regularly, but post things people will want to do themselves, either aspirational goals, or things they can actually participate in this weekend. Do you sell hiking boots? Partner with a biologist or naturalist to lead a biodiversity identifying hike. Tell people’s stories that do things the way you envision the world. Yeah, it means a lot more outreach and a higher level of engagement in content development, but it is worth it to build the tone and spirit of your brand.
How does this look? Well, it is different for every business, but in general, it is less about showcasing your products and more about asking your audience about their thoughts, opinions and advice. It is less about posting “content” and more about sharing stories of which they want to be a part. Do not be afraid to ask for opinions, conduct polls and create surveys; things that invite the audience to engage, rather than just passively hoping they write you a letter with all their deepest thoughts on your brand.
Show Your Human Side
Many companies want their consumers to think of them as a huge, sleek machine that cranks out products and rakes in money hand over fist. That approach might have worked at one time, but these days people in general and customers in particular are looking for almost the exact opposite.
Instead of trying to be some untouchable mega-power, businesses who succeed in engaging their audience online do so by showing their human side. Let your customers know that behind all of it, your business is still run by people with thoughts, opinions and feelings of their own. They do not want to talk to a company; they want a conversation with a person.
How can you do this? By getting personal. Tell stories. Be funny. Show the human impact of your brand. Showcase the people who work there. Creating human-interest content will help your audience see your brand as one they can engage with, which will make it easier for them to do.
Of course, engaging in conversations with your target audience is a two-way street. As much as you want them to be a part of a conversation, this will only work if you respond on your end as well. Many companies fall short in this area; they post interesting and interactive content and then fail to respond. Failing to respond shows your audience that you are interested in talking, but not listening.
Instead of leaving your audience hanging, engage with them regularly and promptly – and do not just respond for the sake of having a response; post something meaningful as well. Let them know that there is a real person listening on the other end, and not just someone pasting in wrote answers, or worse, a bot pushing answers from a database.
If you are worried about the time it takes to do this right, then it is a good idea to work with a partner who can take the time to focus on your brand story. Either way, it has to get done if you want to have a successful digital presence.
The truth about social media and digital marketing is that it takes work, just like your advertising, event based marketing, sales team development and public relations. That is where we come in. If you need help transforming your digital marketing from merely being present to actively engaging your audience, call Green Vine today.