Scenario: You’re driving around town, you have the windows down, and you’re scanning the radio for a song of your liking. As you scan, you hear quick snippets of multiple songs – waiting for your mind to quickly recognize a familiar melody. While this experience may no longer be applicable (due to Spotify and Pandora), it is something that we still do every day. The only difference is, we do it in the form of visual recognition – as opposed to audio.
I’m talking about the never ending, overpopulated content stream that is the social newsfeed. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, your thumb swipes vigorously as you search for something that speaks to you. Like scanning the radio for a great song, you’re looking for something that resonates with you quickly and encourages you to engage – liking, clicking, sharing with friends, or commenting.
With so many marketers using paid social, it can be hard for them to cut through the noise and effectively deliver messaging. Whether it’s a video, link post or static image – you have only seconds to intrigue a user just enough for them to stop scrolling and take the time to absorb your content. Let your content shine by applying the following tactics and best practices:
- Make Your Creative Count. Do your research and identify what type of creative will resonate with your target audience. Think about the subjects in your video/imagery, the aesthetics and color schemes, and the on-image copy. What is the offer you are broadcasting, and how can your creative relate it to the interests and behaviors of your audience?
- Leverage the Latest Ad Units. Paid social is always evolving, and new ad units come out every year. Utilizing new ad formats to drive awareness and engagement can make your posts unique and have your brand appear as a social pioneer – i.e., Facebook Canvas, Twitter Conversational Ads, etc.
- Get to the Point. When it comes to copy – the shorter the better. Have it be an aid to your post, but let your creative steal the show. Keep it brief, let it demonstrate your brand voice and include a call to action.
- Be Trendy. Leverage social listening tools (Crimson Hexagon, Netbase, etc.) to identify what users are talking about and ride the wave by putting together unique content on the subject(s).
- Provide Value. Users take to social seeking ideas, entertainment, news and general knowledge. Let your content enhance the social experience of your users by providing an incentive for them to engage – i.e., downloadable e-books, limited time offers, discount codes, etc.
The social landscape is only going to grow, and brands will continue to increase the amount of content they are contributing to social feeds. My advice? Put on your thinking cap and do your homework.