As our daily lives grind to an abrupt halt, many marketers and entrepreneurs are scratching their head wondering how to keep up the buzz around their brand.
Meanwhile, experienced digital marketers of all breeds know that content is still king. So if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs in self-isolation, our recommendation is to embrace the social media mantra and get creating!
If you’re still content sceptic, then firstly we’ll say “Get with the times you dinosaur!”. However, if you prefer a reasoned argument to a hurled insult here are a few reasons why investing a little in content creation is a good idea.
Great content delivers traffic to your website. Simple but true. You’re blog posts, Instagram posts, stories and videos expose your brand to new audiences helping to acquire some new customers along the way.
Social media content can provide viral reach faster than search engine traffic. SEO traffic can take three to six months to rise up the rankings.
Digital marketing content is measurable using tools such as Facebook/Instagram Insights or Google Analytics. This means you get more than traffic for your investment. You also get data.
Content can often be created from home on a shoestring budget! Choose your platforms and content types carefully and you’ll be counting the clicks without spending a dollar.
To help you on your way, we’re sharing five pieces of content that you can make in lock down for your brand.
1. Get organic reach through live video
Live video can be a scary prospect. Despite the abundance of influencers making it look easy, getting in front of the camera for a nice relaxing monologue doesn’t appeal to most of us.
Even if you are a little camera shy, just remember that video is the Facebook algorithm’s favourite post type. Especially live video. That means going live will give you more organic reach and engagement than posting most other content.
For brands this is the perfect time to put your fears aside. With everyone in lockdown, production standards are more or less on an equal footing. Your audience will expect a video pulled together with limited access to equipment anyway, so what better time to pop your live stream cherry.
Luxury olive oil brand Brightland have fully embraced the live stream, and programmed a series of spirit lifting online workshops, including recipe walkthroughs, music performances and live watercolour painting.
Event businesses, as well as digital products and services, are adapting to take their offering online. Both Adobe Summit and Google Cloud are running their conferences online, with live streams and on-demand streaming of key speakers and workshops available on their site.
After the shutdown of nightlife across the world, Resident Advisor created a Berlin centric virtual club experience with a 3D model of a club space that “party goers” could explore while they listen to live streams of their favourite DJs.
The goal of the site was to raise charitable donations, which were made at the “bar” instead of ordering a “drink”, and merchandise was sold at the “cloakroom”. Plus there was even an aggressive door policy as a nod to Berlin’s favourite institutions.
2. Create blog content to feed your marketing channels
Blog writing is often deemed too time consuming for entrepreneurs or well paid marketers. This is a shame, as blogging about your business and industry benefits both your brand and your own professional development. Thankfully now we should all have plentiful access to a solitary place from which to put pen to paper.
See your blog articles as an opportunity to share your expertise in the industry. Don’t be afraid of giving away your secrets, as sharing something genuinely valuable will attract attention and project confidence.
Your articles should be in-depth explorations of the hottest topics in your industry. Once you have written them you will be armed with hundreds of insights, which can be sliced up into bite size chunks and redistributed on other channels.
We decided to commit to investing in content for the Hello Social blog. After just two years of creating weekly articles, we won the SEM Rush Award for the best marketing blog in Australia.
While we do receive some enquiries through our content, the real value is that our blog showcases our team as industry thought leaders. Plus our research gives us new insights to share with our audience each week, so we always have something to say.
So start off your content journey with a bit of old school graft, and write an article, and see how it feeds your strategy.
3. Use stories content to connect with fans every day
Facebook and Instagram Stories content is fast, disposable and informal. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s worth less than other content formats though.
A format with low production value, that can be created with nothing more than a phone, is a godsend when you don’t have access to your local studio.
Google shows how even the big guys can keep it simple on stories with their “Field Trip” series to promote the Google Arts & Culture platform. They take bitesize chunks of interesting information from their content, combined with screen captures of their app, and compile it into a short journey through a topic.
Why not do exactly the same thing with your own blog content? Explore a topic in depth, then tease the content in stories over a few days. If you have written and researched the article already you should have all of the information at your disposal to create this from the comfort of your living room.
4. Brush up on your photography skills with a DIY lifestyle shoot
Product photography doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. Influencers of all shapes and sizes have been producing content for brands with limited equipment and a shoestring budget for years now.
Melbourne based photographer @designbyaikonik specialises in lifestyle product photography, and produces nearly all of her images at home. Despite being a one woman show, with limited equipment and space, she creates flat lay shots for huge beauty brands including YSL and Clinique.
“I generally use a Canon 5D Mark II which I have used for many years and it has never failed me. Along with an EF 24-105mm F4 or an EF 50mm F1.4 lens depending on the type of shot I am after or low light situations.
In terms of software I do a lot of retouching and minimal manipulation using Photoshop just to clean up the image and then take it over to Lightroom to colour correct, brighten, clarity etc.
On the rare occasion I don’t have my camera on me I will occasionally use my iPhone and Snapseed to edit directly on my phone.”
5. Keep the laughs flowing with your own meme
Observational comedy has taken on a new shape online with the ubiquitous popularity of the meme.
These little LOL inducing nuggets of digestible wit are much more than frivolous fun. Memes are just about the most shared format of content out there, and can have explosive viral reach.
At Hello Social we started our own series of weekly memes which has grown into one of the most recognised and relatable industry running jokes among Australian digital marketers.
Of course this content is created for our own pleasure, as much as for commercial reasons. We won’t deny that it’s a joy to vent some frustrations on everything from clients’ unrealistic expectations to the latest politics.
However, we’re often approached by new clients or talented career candidates who’s first contact with the agency was through our memes.
A bit of fun yes, but also a great way to raise your profile in the industry, attracting some fringe benefits along the way.
6. Challenge your fans to create user generated content
If you have built up an audience and nurtured a little bit of engagement, it could be the perfect time to harvest some user generated content (UGC).
Online clothing retailer ASOS have mastered the art of UGC. Their hashtag has generated almost 4 million pieces of content on Instagram alone.
With most of the world confined to their homes, they have just launched a new #ASOSathome UGC campaign, asking their followers to share fashion selfies from home. It’s a simple but highly effective way to drum up a lot of shareable images for their stories content, and to identify new influencers who create the best and most engaging content.
Nike challenged their audience to be a part of their yoga at home campaign, coincidentally releasing a new range of clothing for yoga at the same time. Their training channel uses UGC to encourage fans to share motivational content, often promoting their products along the way.
Nasa are taking a simpler approach to UGC, providing something simple, fun and interactive for kids and grown-ups to do while we are all stuck in this Mars exploration confinement experiment!
Their cute template is easy to fill out, and the best entries are shared on their Instagram stories. This gentle approach is carefully thought out as the space agency can feel like an institution far removed from our daily lives. By connecting with the average Joe and their family, Nasa can connect with the next generation of scientists and astronauts, helping to create a more approachable image.
Get more tips about running a successful UGC campaign here.
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