It isn’t really a secret that your success on social media entirely depends on the success of the content you post. However, producing effective, high-performing content can present a number of challenges for small businesses. It can be time consuming and competitive.
To try and help overcome these hurdles, good content strategies usually include a varied mix of content types. By including a rich assortment of these different styles in your marketing strategy, you will end up creating a more engaging experience for your audience.
So today we’re going to talk about some of the advantages (and disadvantages) of each style used by social media and content marketers. Let’s dive in! Without further ado…
The Top 10 Types of Social Media Content to Create
Written Content – Blogs, Articles, and Guides – Oh My!
Advantages: This kind of content will showcase your company’s knowledge and expertise, which can ultimately help build your credibility and reputation.
Disadvantages: There is an issue of oversaturation. There’s a lot of blog content out there, and the competition is tight. A lot of the time you need some major creativity to create new content ideas. The problem is, writing takes a lot of time to generate topics- especially if you’re explaining concepts that are a bit more complicated than others.
How to do it: In order to think of compelling content, you should look at trending searches. This will help to give you insight into the questions people want answers to. From there, you’ll hopefully become inspired and full of ideas to write about.
Social platforms like Twitter are a great way to seek out the current trending news and topics to write about. Additionally, a source like www.answerthepublic.com is a keyword tool that visualizes search questions and suggests autocomplete searches that are commonly asked by the public.
The Benefits of writing Electronic Books (eBooks) Advantages: An eBook is somewhere in between a blog and an actual book-book. It’s a bit longer and more detailed than blog posts, which ultimately helps showcase your industry expertise. Additionally, not many businesses take the time to produce an eBook compared to blogs, too- so you’re already going above and beyond the competition.
Disadvantages: Unfortunately, we’re in the era of short attention spans, and not everyone wants to read a whole eBook. This is a bit of a bummer, considering that eBooks take a lot of time to produce and find content that will appeal to your target audience. While they can certainly help generate leads, people don’t always actually end up reading them.
In short, an eBook is basically several blog posts that you’ve compiled together as chapters from the same category. You should choose your best content or even hire a professional writer with experience writing and putting together eBooks.
Oftentimes businesses will offer eBooks as an incentive to encourage sign ups. The eBook will often be given out in exchange for collecting email addresses and information.
Linking to External Content
Advantages: If you don’t have the bandwidth to finish a blog post or your writing team is away, you can always link to relevant third-party articles, resources, and websites that you trust.
Disadvantages: One major factor to consider is when you link to content that you haven’t created, you are essentially opening a door to another business’s social media experience. Worst case scenario, readers may find the other source more informative than what’s on your page.
The other downside is that while content curation is a good digital marketing strategy to use on social networks, it also can be time consuming. To avoid wasting time, use social analytics to be sure that curated content is engaging and effective- and make sure to not stop your own content creation process.
A good way to source content is to research different blogs using keywords similar to those on your website. You’ll want to make sure to read every post and click around on the website, too. You’ll want to do your due diligence to ensure you don’t share an article on social media accounts from a site that could in turn negatively represent your businesses or brand’s views.
Video Content is King
Everyone loves video. We mean everyone. Especially the social media world. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes it. If you’re not focusing on video content in your marketing efforts, you could be missing out.
Advantages: Capturing videos is incredibly easy and convenient—and they’re actually far more engaging than pictures. You can create video content that showcases how-to guides, video tours, and even product updates and demonstrations. These all make for amazing video content that can both drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
Disadvantages: While it’s inexpensive to make quick videos, it does cost more if you want to escalate to a higher production level.
Much similar to images, video production has a certain range of difficulty. This is where you may decide to land on that spectrum which will dictate whether you need specialized skills and equipment.
And Video Stories
Advantages: You know the stories. You love the stories. Stories are images and short and sweet videos that last 24 hours before disappearing for good. They’re available specifically on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. They are a great way to keep users updated about offers, events, or other announcements. or give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your brand or business. In this instance, the possibilities are truly endless!
Disadvantages: FOMO (fear of missing out) can be a powerful motivator, but the short life expectancy of these little videos also means that some users might miss them and not engage with them.
The option to create image or video stories is in each social media network’s app, and the even better news is that high-quality production is not needed. This makes it way easier to create these on a weekly (even daily) basis.
And Live Videos, Too!
Advantages: Since 2020, we’ve realized that live videos are a great medium to bring events to audiences that aren’t physically able to attend. Unlike stories, which as we just mentioned are gone after 24 hours, you can still watch live streams later.
Disadvantages: In order to pull this off, first you need something to stream, such as an event. From there you need someone who can operate the smartphone or other device and talk. A solid WIFI connection is also important. If your connection is bad, the video may need to repeatedly stop and buffer, and this will result in poor quality and frustrated viewers.
Much like stories, social media platforms that support live content make the option readily accessible and convenient to your users. They’ll actually show a preview of what your audience will see, which gives you the opportunity to make sure everything looks grand before you go live.
Pro tip – If you’ve worked hard to create great images or videos for your social media presentations, you have to make sure they look good on mobile devices. Almost 3/4 of the global population uses their cell phones, and nearly 80% of time on social media is spent on a mobile device.
Just make sure that you stay inspired. You should keep a list of brands or organizations whose social media imagery you love, and also check in with them from time to time for even more content ideas.
Advantages: Infographics can be used as visuals to support explanations, statistics, and even other written concepts. They are especially an impactful tool for conveying complex ideas.
Disadvantages: Creating infographics takes some work. It requires both copy and graphics, which means you may need a team of people to create them. They also require a fair amount of creativity and research if you want to do it correctly.
First, you will need to create an outline for your infographic. Once the outline is done, your writer and the graphic designer you’re working with can begin creating the individual parts and piecing them together.
Testimonials and Reviews
Advantages: It’s a simple fact that people trust the opinions and experiences of others more than what a business says. This is why testimonials and reviews are so absolutely valuable.
Disadvantages: It isn’t always easy to encourage customers to offer their testimonials. Also, this content type isn’t really in your control. With reviews, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be so positive- even if your product is amazing.
If you’d like to pursue this, you should contact past customers and ask if they’d be willing to offer up a testimonial. Don’t try to bribe them in exchange for a review. In fact, it’s bad practice to incentivize people to review your business. This can come across as dishonest, and review sites like Yelp may punish or ban you for it.
Advantages: This is great if you’re wanting to get the word out about new products, events, livestreams, and other noteworthy tidbits. This can help build hype and alert people about what’s happening with your business. Remember that audiences love having the inside scoop on their favorite stores and brands!
Disadvantages: If you do this, you should carefully plan out the length of time that’s appropriate to begin building buzz. If the announcement is too early, you might not gain any traction.
It’s often best to trickle out information nice and slowly. You should think of announcements as a bunch of little teases leading up to the big news.
Advantages: You like to win, we like to win, and we all love a chance to do so. That said, social media contests can be really engaging and fun to host.
Disadvantages: Well, you need a prize, and that costs money. Additionally, if the process to enter the contest is too demanding, participation may be low.
Make sure to think of a prize that your audience will be interested in winning. Ideally, this will be related to your business, but it isn’t necessary. From there you should create a schedule for how long the contest will run, as well as rules for entering.