Why an organic content strategy should be your FIRST and most important step to marketing your business online.
If you have a business of any kind, chances are, you will use social media to promote your products or services. This is why you will need an organic content strategy ASAP. Yes, content (still) matters.
Whether you have a product start-up, e-commerce store, brick and mortar, or service-based business, having an organic content strategy should be your first and number 1 priority when using social media. You should have this in place BEFORE you run ads or do any promotions for your company. Why? Because it will get you headed in the right direction when it comes to launching ads, creating videos, building a community around your product or idea, conditioning your pixel, and so much more!
We already know the massive power social media has when it comes to making people aware of your business, product or service. That’s why skipping this step in the process of scaling your company will only cost you in the long run.
“But organic content has low reach”
“It’s hard to get seen on Facebook these days”
“Organic is a waste of time, shouldn’t I start with ads first”
“I really need to be on social media but have NO IDEA how to get started”
We’ve heard it all before, and I’m sure you have too. However, if you want to do paid traffic, ads, influencer marketing, build a community, educate people about your product or service (the list goes on), your content strategy will determine your direction, goals and tell you what’s important so you won’t waste precious time, money, lost effort and feelings of bewilderment when it comes to the success of social media planning for your business.
A content strategy seems like a no brainer in the age of media. Especially in 2019. However, when I started thinking about it, and thinking about all the clients I have worked with over the years, the first thing we discuss is an organic content strategy.
When it comes to social media marketing so many business owners who are new to social media don’t understand the importance of a content strategy.
“but Social Media doesn’t fit my business model”
“Who’s going to care about this aspect of my business”
“I’m not sure this is going to be effective, we need to run ads”
Sound familiar? What most business owners fail to see is that if you come onto a platform, like Facebook for example, and run ads without any content strategy behind it, have zero people following your brand, zero social proof, etc., your ads are going to fail. And I’m not just talking about do poorly, I’m talking about plummet without ever seeing the light of day. Case in point, if you are thinking about doing an ad strategy on social media, start with your content first.
This is why I have complied a short but important list of reasons why starting with an organic social media strategy first, is so important.
Facebook is the most intelligent advertising platform we have ever seen in our lifetime. Whether you are a start-up, solopreneur, product or e-commerce business, you MUST do this first.
You should have your content strategy implemented and ongoing to keep your audience that you are building aware, engaged and coming back for more – it’s called building a community. A community for small biz owners is the golden ticket to long term success.
If you are still having doubts, questions or confusion about a content strategy for your business, here are my 5 reasons you MUST have an organic social media strategy as your first step to building a social presence online for your business. Also, keep reading to the end to see how you can access my FREE Content Planning Calendar!
Let’s get started.
Social Proof is not a new concept but has gained awareness since social media came on the scene.
It can come in many forms; reviews and testimonials, pictures of people using your product, high levels of engagement on a post you created about your brand, etc. For the sake of this article however, I am focusing mostly on the idea that social proof is having a high level of engagement on a post, whether it be in the form of likes, comments or shares.
To this point, when you produce content that resonates with your audience, and prove that what you have to say, offer or sell is of value to others, the social proof will be obvious and grow your bottom line.
People will engage with you if they agree, disagree, or because others have given notice. This in and of itself will create a level of trust (or not) in the viewers mind, and lead them down the path (or away form) the purchasing process.
Technically, social proof is a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book, Influence, is also known as informational social influence. It describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.
Why is this interesting, and why does it matter for you? When people see something that is popular, gets attention or see that something is of importance to others, they immediately take it into consideration and will have a reaction.
Now, there are two types of social proof, positive and negative. Obviously more positive social proof will sway your market in your favor, like positive reviews of your products, while negative will make people question your brand and raise doubt in your customers.
So, for example, when you have content that gets a lot of traction, say in likes or shares, it creates social proof in that it matters to others, thereby having a greater impact on viewers and your audience.
Given that reach on Facebook is at an all-time record low of 2% (meaning only 2% of your audience sees what you post) the more engagement you get the more your post will be seen (based on the algorithm) and the more you know you are resonating with people.
A lack of engagement in likes, comments, shares, etc. will crush your visibility. That’s why content focused on building community and connection is of greater value for you, your business and your brand.
When you put out organic content that gets a high level of engagement, you are onto something and you have ammo to use in things like ads, marketing copy, and boosted posts to further expand your audience and presence in the world.
Build community around your brand, product or service
It would be wise to start building a community around your product or brand ASAP.
Without that strong community of backers and people that are fans of what you do, it will be harder to get the word out, create social proof and start making some headway with your content. How do you build a community?
Start with your friends, your family, anyone you think might benefit from what you do (or is within in your target market). This will not only create better engagement with your content, products or brand, but will create more social proof, legitimacy and build a reputation (aka your brand) surrounding your business and what people can come to expect when buying from or working with you.
Especially if you are still in the developmental stages.
Building community can seriously pay off in the long run for you and can increase the longevity of your business. The more you can build a community and buzz around your brand the better off you will be when it comes time to do ads, promotions, drive traffic to a landing or product sales page, and so much more.
Being genuine, interacting with your fans, being available for questions, these things are so critical when growing your community. You can’t just feed people content without being human or connecting with them as the person behind your brand.
Social media is about community and connection first. We are sold to constantly, every day, everywhere. You have to think of social media as a way to escape all of that and be vulnerable, open and available.
Especially as a business on the platform. That is where you can shine with your content and let people know who you are, what you’re about, tell your story, show the ide they would never see. This speaks to people on such a different level and helps them to connect.
Awareness and Education
This one is HUGE.
If you are not out there educating people about what you do, telling them who you are, what product you sell, what you offer, chances are no one who will ever know. All of these functions can be accomplished with a solid content strategy.
When you start building awareness with your social media assets, a page, a group, in videos, blog posts, imagery, testimonials, etc., you create an awareness and communicate value.
Education and awareness could be your first angle when developing an organic content strategy. You can implement an entire month’s worth of content just based on awareness and education of your product or service alone. In doing so you will get others excited about what you have to offer.
Show what you have to the world. Tell people about how it’s used, what others have used your product for, and how it can benefit their lives. Educational content is not only a win for your business but a win for your potential customers. It’s not salesy, it delivers value and will gain attention from people who will be interested if done in the right way.
When developing an organic content strategy, you want to think of it from a value perspective, not a sales perspective.
In marketing there are two terms to be aware of when communicating value about your product or services; features and benefits.
If you are ready to start your organic posting schedule and build out a content strategy, start by coming up with a list of features and benefits that bring value to your audience. This is the best starting place when you are drafting content for your social media platforms, when doing video tutorials, or creating any informational/sales pages on your website; i.e., sales copy.
What are feature and what are benefits? Is there a difference? Yes.
You will want to make these two things very clear and separate from the start as you draft your remarketing materials. A lot of time the two cross-over creating confusion for your audience; I see marketers make this mistake time and again where they confuse features with benefits and benefits with features. So, let’s break it down.
Features often directly address common problems experienced by users of your product in your company’s target market. Take the example of an umbrella below. The features are: easy handle for carrying, unbreakable materials, cloth cover that comes in different colors or patterns.
Benefits are the outcomes or results that users will (hopefully) experience by using your product or service – the very reason why a prospective customer becomes an actual customer. In our case of the umbrella, the benefits are that it is a portable shade and shelter device that offers you protection from the sun and rain.
A really helpful tool you can use when going through this process and to further develop content ideas, is a features and benefit matrix.
Tip: If you have content that does well that you created from any of these ideas, create an ad out of it, or re-create the content into an ad to drive traffic to a sales, informational or product page.
Build your brand (and grow your business)
By now you are starting see that the best way to get a head start on growing your business and your brand through social media, is with organic content.
If you are starting from zero and need to start building your brand via an audience or through social proof, get your friends, family, or anyone you know on board with your business assets like your business Facebook account, Twitter account, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, whatever channels you are on.
Invite them and encourage them to invite others. Encourage them to communicate, to engage and to give their opinions. Start a dialog. You will be surprised at how quickly you will get ideas about who is interested in your product or service, where to position your product, and how to keep growing your business form there.
Content generally does take longer than most strategies to gain traction, especially organic content. It’s simply a matter of working smarter. But without this fundamental building block you won’t know how best to communicate with your audience and get to know who they are.
Understanding who they are BEFORE you run ads, do further promotions or drive traffic to product, will benefit you in the long run, contribute to the longevity of your business, and gain you more success with your ads when you are ready.
Tip: Give yourself a 2-month head start with the organic content game. Develop enough content so that you start to see engagement on your posts and get a better idea of what your customers want. You will be able to run ads MUCH better and much more successfully.
Also NOTE: Having a content strategy while running ads, and as a larger part of your ongoing marketing strategy, is a crucial piece to your online marketing success.
People are watching you, even if you don’t think they are, people are considering buying from you!
If you stop being consistent, don’t have a content strategy or change your message, it will just keep spiraling downhill from there. Especially as an online based business.
If you have an eCommerce store content is even more important and making sure you are creating content in as many forms as possible (you can find more content strategies in my FREE Content Planning Calendar).
Your organic content strategy is the platform for so much. It is the thing that will launch successful ads, create content for boosted posts, give you more ideas for content based on engagement factors, the sky is the limit!
Below is a diagram to get your creativity flowing. You can see that from content, everything else is built and flows into a part of your business model. You have to first attract people with great content before you can guide them down the path of purchase, and then get them coming back for more.
On a final note, once you are familiar with who, what and where to post content, dedicate your time to the ONE THING that is doing well, and lean into that. It might be one platform, one medium, one thing that is really getting through to your client and customer base. Its about really finding that thing that works and using it to your full advantage.