Let’s face it, social media isn’t ALL business. It’s fun & beneficial to mix up your content with posts that simply entertain your audience, but at some point you have to put the marketing back into your social media mix. Let’s take a look at the difference between engaging branded content and direct response content so you’ll have a clear idea of how to use both to your advantage.
Direct Response content is meant to elicit its very namesake- meaning its purpose is to get a direct response from consumers. This can include coupons, discount codes, promotions, exclusive deals, early access to new inventory, and so on. A very large percentage of people “like” and follow brands on various social networks just so they can be privy to these sorts of deals, so it’s to your absolute benefit to provide your fan base with the aforementioned items. Some of the benefits of Direct Response content can be a pronounced incline in network growth, generated media “buzz” around your brand and ROI in the form of increased sales. Now, let’s break down the different ways you can present these it to people:
A simple app like this one incentivizes people to enter their information in order to receive a discount on their next purchase. All you need to do is generate a coupon code for each applicant, and voila! You now have a plethora of email addresses to add to your email marketing list. Is your goal to expand your network? Opt for an app that incentives people to “like” your page in exchange for a discount, instead.
Facebook ads & promoted posts
Facebook now allows you to create ads, no matter how small your budget is. You have the option to either pay per click or per impression, and can create an ad out of a post or simply promote your page. If you’ve published a post that counts as Direct Response content, create an ad out of it and get even more visibility!
If you’re working with a very small budget and just want to achieve a quick boost in reach, you can also promote individual posts for either $5.00 or $10.00. Facebook tells you your estimated reach depending on what you’d like to pay, so you’ll have a specific idea of how many people will see your post.
Twitter Auto Direct Messages
Twitter allows you to automatically message each one of your new followers, and because messages are private, this is a great way to give out coupon codes or access to discounts and increase traffic to your site. Another option would be to direct people to your Facebook app if you have one like Kukees’ does above, so that way you can convert Twitter followers to Facebook “likes”.
You can ask your fan base to get creative by running a Pinterest board contest. Tell them what they should title their board, and have them use a unique hashtag for every item they pin to it. Offer a prize for the best board(s), and be sure to cross promote the contest on your other social platforms, your email marketing pieces, your website, and in-store if possible. Here’s an example of a fun campaign run by Kate Spade & Vespa:
Engaging Branded Content is simply meant to engage your audience by prompting them to “like”, share, comment, retweet, repin, etcetera. The value of this sort of content comes in the form of brand awareness, building meaningful consumer relationships, building authority, brand loyalty, organic SEO & network growth. These are all results that are more difficult to “monetize” in the form of ROI, but their benefits are unmistakable. Let’s take a look at some examples of engaging branded content, shall we?
Behind the scenes sneak peeks
Traditional media allows consumers to get an in depth look at your branding, products & services. Social media is a unique opportunity in that it allows people to look at what goes on behind the scenes. Since this content is authentic and gives the impression that it’s happening in real time, it’s easy for people to feel connected to it! We snapped a photo of this 40 lb coffee delivery from Ruta Maya Organic Coffee, edited it using iPhone photo apps and posted it to our Facebook page, complete with a shout out to the company.
Company culture features
Because social media makes it so easy to share things with your audience, aligning your company culture with the rest of your branding efforts it simple. We like to boast the fact that we have a dog-friendly office, as our pooches add a lot of energy and personality to our work atmosphere.
One of the things we constantly tell people who want to generate good branded content is to use their employees! Talk about what they do at work, but don’t be afraid to highlight their hobbies and interests as well. This allows people to see the human side of your brand and limit the feeling that they are being blatantly marketed to by your page at all times.
So there you have it- examples of two different types of content to accomplish your social media goals! Using both will ensure that your marketing tactics stay on point, and that you reap both the measurable and intangible benefits of doing social the right way.