Six questions to help you start producing more effective social media content
Chris Shadrick
Interim Managing Director

“Sooo… you work in advertising?” I often get a quizzical look or a vague nod at best if I explain what I do. A friend was in the same camp until 3 weeks ago, when she enthusiastically told me about Bread Ahead (who she and I love) offering IG live cooking classes. “THAT’S IT” I responded. “That’s what I do!”

According to a recent study from GWI, 95% of consumers say they’re spending more time on in-home media consumption, with almost 45% devoting more time to social media, thanks to being locked-in due to this pandemic. Especially live-streaming has surged: An Instagram spokesperson reported that FB and IG Live views doubled in the first week of March in Italy, and home workout posts in the US increased over 5 times compared to just a few days prior.

But it’s not only consumers taking to social media: To maintain and build relationships with audiences, lots of brands are upping their content investments, often using social as their go-to platform. And they should: now’s the time to build demand for when buying confidence returns.

Social media offers exactly what people are looking for right now: entertainment. Oh, and recipes for banana bread.

Does that mean your brand should start offering IG Live cooking classes? No, unless it fits your brand. But how do you find out what suits you? Here are some questions to get you started:

1. What does your audience want?

Consumers are on the frontline, ready to engage with brands that add value to their lives. But be mindful of the challenges your audience is facing: you don’t want to market expensive products to people that have been furloughed, or holidays to those that are in strict lockdown. Having difficulties figuring out what consumers want? I’ll let you in on a secret: We’re all consumers. What would you like to do? What do you want to learn? If you’re still struggling, try asking friends and family.

2. What is my objective?

“Making money” is not the right answer here, well, not for now. However, as mentioned, now is the time to lay the foundation for when buying confidence returns. Whether your objective is to inform, educate, inspire or entertain – have a single minded goal in mind. And whatever you choose – make sure it adds value for your audience.

3. What’s the product?

I’m talking about “product” in the broadest sense here. If you have a product that you can seamlessly inject in to your content, well, great. A HIIT workout class from a boxing gym or active wear brand makes sense. A yoga class from a coffee-cup brand, less so. If your product is more abstract or location-bound (like “travel” or a museum), think about the experience – how can you bring that experience to life, online?

4. Which channels do I have, and which one can I use for this?

The obvious choice is Social Media, or a dedicated place on your website if you have it. Here’s another secret: you don’t have to do everything, everywhere. It’s better to focus your efforts on one channel and use the others to drive traffic to it.

5. What format should I use?

These are tough times. People have been furloughed or hours and budgets have been cut. Do what’s within your power. Starting a FB or IG live stream when you’ve never done one might be too much but writing a blog post or designing an infographic is probably not.

6. How does it help my brand to stand out?

Try to choose the road less traveled. There’s an abundance of workout classes out there, so unless you have been doing this before, you probably want to avoid doing this. Try to find a unique angle that fits you, so even if you’re sticking to workouts, what about specific workouts for people that spend a long time behind their desk? Or 10-min stretches to do throughout the day?

Waymarker: “Good content right now is useful, not promotional.”