Social media is forever growing and changing. As such, we see brands and publishers struggle to identify which channels to invest in and which to ignore. You want to invest in content with a long shelf life, and it can be hard to tell what is here to stay versus what new trend, gadget, or in-app feature will fall flat. Facebook stories, anyone?
Paving the way in original content are the social platforms themselves. YouTube Red, a $10/month extension of YouTube, creates ad-free original content that often teams up with its partners who already have audiences in the millions. Snapchat, or Snap, Inc., uses its Discover feature to release TV-like content from networks like BBC, MTV, CNN and E! to get the attention of those moving further away from their televisions and closer to their phones. Snap is also getting attention for its Spectacles, which lets users record and upload video to their Snap story using a pair of wifi-enabled sunglasses.
As these platforms invest in producing more original content, more brands are increasing production of their own content to get in on the action. It can be tempting to jump into every new trend and in-app feature that’s announced, but your content needs a solid plan behind it in order to succeed. If you’re ready to start creating, here are three things I always like to keep in mind.
Know your audience
In order to create content that speaks to people, you first have to know who you’re speaking to. Find out what your audience is interested in and where they spend their time. To quote our Director of Social and Digital Media Ashley Butler, “The more you know about who your fans and followers are, the better you can create custom content they’ll like, comment on and share!”
It’s OK to experiment and test
One of the best things about social media is that there’s an acceptance of trial and error, much more so than in traditional media. No company or brand is getting it right on the first try. Even content giants like Buzzfeed are experimenting with content on multiple platforms, both paid and free. Test your content internally and get reactions from your team before making it live.
Creating great content isn’t as simple as it might seem, and there may be times where doubt creeps in. Don’t be afraid to step back and re-evaluate during the creative process.
Don’t force it
Audiences nowadays are more skeptical than ever, and they want content that is not only engaging, but authentic. You can create content with the intent to sell to your audience, but only if that intention is falling second to making content that engages and excites them.
It’s also important to remember that content is not one-size-fits-all, and some trends might not fit your company. If you’re creating a horizontal video, it doesn’t belong on Snapchat. If you want to be taken seriously, the most recent viral challenge might not be the best bet. Have a conversation about the voice and tone you want to speak to and roll with it.
If you’re struggling to find your place in the original content world, consider these tips or you can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.