The 2 Main Components of a Social-First Content Strategy
So what exactly is a social-first content strategy? Should you be concentrating on social media content above all else in your business? Not quite. When developing a social-first content strategy you want to first think about how that content will be received on social media and how your audience will react to it. Dozens of white papers could be written, and have been written on social-first content. For the sake of this post we’ll discuss the two most important things to keep in mind when developing a social-first content strategy for your business and why they matter. To learn how to most efficiently distribute your content once you’ve created it check out our post 5 Steps to Creating a Content Pipeline (and Why You Need One).
In the digital age small shops can compete with super bowl budgets. It’s all about creating content designed for an intended platform that will resonate with your target demographic garnering likes, comments & shares. So many brands will take content shot for traditional media – newspapers, television, billboards etc. – and use it on their social channels. This is where they’re getting it wrong.
One simple example just about everyone doesn’t know they’re guilty of:
When you’re driving down the street what catches your attention more – the beautiful mega mansion you couldn’t miss if you tried, or a small trailer home? The mansion, of course. The same principle applies on social media platforms. Nearly 80% of social media is viewed on mobile. Think of your iPhone screen as a plot of real estate, only in this equation the price of that trailer is the same as the mega mansion.
Traditional media is shot and printed in a landscape orientation to fit nicely on our television sets. Mobile phones are held and viewed in a portrait orientation, which is contrary to everything we know visually. If you create content for social media with this fact in mind you’re already one step ahead of the game. Take a look at the example below.
Pictured above is the official Instagram feed of the South African Tourism department. They have a following of over 80,000 users. Now, take a look at a recent post to the right. This image probably looks fantastic on a computer or television screen, but it is the wrong kind of content for Instagram. With 1354 likes and handful of comments, this photo received less than 2% engagement.
Alternatively, here is the How To Get There Instagram feed. As you’ll notice we have far less of a following than the South African Tourism department. To the right of our feed is a photo we took while shooting a campaign on Easter Island, with Instagram as the intended platform in mind. The post is so large you have to scroll down to even show the number of likes it has. It received just under 1,900 likes making for an engagement rate of approximately 10%. A taller photo takes up more of that screen real estate, has more of a wow factor, and comes at no extra cost.
As a business owner or head of marketing at a tourism department you have direction over your social channels. If you make sure the content is suited to perform on its intended platform you’re on your way to constructing your social-first content strategy.
Experiential Video Content
People like to see before they buy and now that everyone with an iPhone is a self proclaimed photographer, video is the new expectation. Travelers don’t just want to see a video of a destination, though. They want to imagine themselves experiencing that destination.
If you’re an adventure tour operator that means creating inspiring videos of your excursions. If you’re a hotel or resort you need to have video of your target demographic enjoying that destination. People don’t book hotels to stay in the hotel. Show your audience what they can experience outside of the hotel once they’re there.
People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou, Poet & Philosopher
There’s a reason why certain ads stick with us, and why people always anticipate the new Budweiser commercial at the Super Bowl. Brands that can tap into the emotions of their audience are remembered. Find out what your audience cares about, why they travel, and what they want to experience when in a new place. Only then can you start to create content that will inspire enough to book that flight or make that drive.
We can’t stress enough the importance of creating platform-specific content and experiential video content for your brand. If you found this post helpful or have any questions let us know in the comments. Check back soon as we’ll be diving deeper in what it means to have a social-first content approach and how it will better convert for your business.