Marketers frequently emphasize the importance of creating valuable content for their followers. But what does ‘valuable’ really mean? Because we each have different ideas about what is important to us, valuable content is relative to each individual.
To find out what your followers value, you will need to post a lot of content and analyze how they interact with it. With time, you’ll be able to choose the best content types. But since this is a long-term process, what can you do in the meantime? Can you follow a universal formula for creating relevant and helpful content?
Everyone would be successful on social media if there were a bulletproof recipe that always worked. Rather, no one would succeed since we would all post the same thing. Some types of content, however, are always valuable, and you can use them to launch your content marketing campaign. And it is possible to follow formulas for these types of content.
But keep in mind that these are just templates. If you decide to use any of them, you must still tailor them to your target audience. As we have already mentioned, there is no universal recipe.
Listed below are three types of content your followers will always find interesting.
We can talk about how social media will replace Google because people are starting to use it as a search engine. We can talk about how people use social media to discover what’s happening around them. But the number one reason people scroll through their social media feeds is always the same – they want to be entertained.
Take a look at TikTok’s success over the past few years. Many people spend hours scrolling through TikTok videos looking for entertainment. TikTok’s For You Page and its algorithm is very successful at keeping people glued to their screens, serving them content tailored specifically to them based on their viewing habits.
People are attracted to funny, creative content. TikTok is proof. The awesome part is that you don’t need a big budget to be funny and creative on TikTok and Instagram. You don’t even need a unique idea because most of TikTok’s viral content is imitation-based.
Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Today, when almost everything that needs to be said has already been said somewhere, creativity means finding a special, unique way to say it.
Don’t be afraid to mimic other profiles, especially if your followers come from different demographics. Marketing is not an art where imitation or copying is frowned upon. Marketing is a business. In business, we need to understand what works and apply it to our situation. Sometimes that means imitating other brands.
An excellent example of this are the viral dance videos on TikTok. There are so many of them, but let’s take one from last year as an example—the drop-down challenge. Surely you’ve seen it everywhere:
Or this one:
It’s fun when you see a brand you like engaging in similar challenges, isn’t it? So feel free to entertain your followers. It might take a few attempts before you figure out what they find entertaining, but you will learn a great deal.
You will increase engagement rates and build brand awareness by creating entertaining content your audience will love. Entertaining content, if it fits your brand’s voice, is critical to your TOFU strategy. It establishes your brand’s first impression on new and potential customers. And everyone likes to be entertained.
When you educate someone, you create value for them. An old proverb says, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day.” Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” When you pass on knowledge, you give your followers something valuable they can use in the future.
Here at Boosterberg, for example, we want to share social media tips with our followers. As a team, we believe that sharing our knowledge and the tips and tricks we discover during our work is the most valuable type of content we can provide our followers. It’s what we know from our years of experience working in marketing, and when it comes to social media, it’s always wise to talk about what you know.
When you think about what kind of content you should create for your followers, think about what you can teach them. For example, if you own a cycling equipment store, you might want to educate your followers about what type of bicycle fits their needs based on where they live and whether they prefer to ride on the road or off-road. If you’re selling windows and doors, you might want to create educational videos on identifying when to replace your windows. Or, you might want to show them a convenient and efficient way to wash them.
Each brand has something to teach its audience in terms of educational content. As a business owner, you know your customers usually have questions. Rather than answering these questions where only you and your customers can see the answer, turn them into valuable content that proves your expertise and encourages more people to purchase from you.
Educational content keeps potential customers who are in the middle of your funnel (MOFU) going further down. At this point, they are still not convinced that your brand and product are right for them, so it’s the perfect time to provide expert but helpful information to convert them.
People respond to content that makes them think. Content that asks them questions they might not have thought of, but now that you’ve asked, they’re interested and have a lot to say. For example, take the rise of LinkedIn in the past year or so. LinkedIn is all about sharing your opinion and raising questions others might have. It’s a powerful way to engage with your audience.
Being able to create such content is like hitting the bullseye. People are often afraid to speak their minds on social media, although they aren’t as afraid as they once were. Still, it’s easier for them to react to someone else’s thoughts than to share their own.
There are many benefits to this. As a result of social media, for example, mothers worldwide can now observe that other women around the globe are facing the same issues as they are, issues that were once taboo. They can say: “Yes, that’s true, I feel the same way, and it’s a problem. I need help,” and not worry about being shunned. They can speak freely and not worry about being called out since most critics will focus on the statement’s origin – the account that created the post.
There are, however, risks associated with this as well. There are no restrictions on the expression on the Internet. It’s a democratic space, and anyone can express their opinion. Keeping an eye on what opinions endanger others and policing the online space to maintain a sense of safety is challenging. We see it every day.
Even though thought-provoking content can increase engagement and give people something to think about, be careful and ask yourself if you are adding value by posting it or just trying to raise awareness. There is a thin line between the two. And you might think crossing it is fine and will help you reach your goals. However, being sensitive to your followers’ lives and situations will benefit you more in the long run.
If you want to turn your message into thought-provoking content, consider using some of these strategies.
- Using headlines such as: “This Is Something We’ve Been Doing Wrong All Along” or “What XY Means For Your Business.”
- Give your followers some easy tips on something they can achieve, change or adjust in their life or business in a short period of time. For example, we all love quick recipes, so a post about something like “Do these three things to improve your LinkedIn engagement rate in a week” would do the trick.
- Share your favorite quote – an excellent example of this is Ryan Holiday’s profile on Instagram. A follower of Stoicism, Ryan is the author of a few books about the philosophy, and he shares his favorite quotes on Instagram, usually in the form of video. His goal is to make people think about these quotes and their life, and he’s pretty successful at that.
Creating valuable content every takes time. Finding out what your followers find valuable will also take some time. But if you’re not sharing information that is relevant to your audience, is there a point in sharing at all? With the three strategies we mentioned above, you can start working on your next post and seeing if your audience reacts to it. If they don’t try again or try another strategy. Remember, there is no universal recipe, but there are guidelines you can follow.