Let’s assume for a second that people are not naturally curious creatures that feed on information and have the incessant need to pass that information along as their own material that “they knew first.” Forget that. People are creatures of consumption, and portion size is no longer only a concern when it comes to food. Online media is being consumed at an alarming rate, and with a plethora of distribution options and media styles.
Many businesses get bogged down trying to come up with elaborate social media marketing strategies that get amazing impact with a demographic, but for some reason forget the simplest strategy of all: content creation.
Content Method #1: The Blog
Blogging is the original social media. It is quick, simple, and effective at translating opinions and information to others. Over the years it has adapted from short bursting rants, to long opinion-laden exposes, and finally into the latest form: micro-blogging via 140 characters on Twitter. This life cycle shows that people are interested in getting information, but in its most simple, dumbed-down form. Newspapers should rejoice, as the era of the headline has, to an extent, returned.
How to take advantage of this for a business or brand, is to have a company blog, twitter account, or some form of written information medium where data, statistics, news reports, or personal accounts can be released for public consumption. If it is interesting, it can spawn news reports or be shared on a variety of sites and social networks for others to see.
Content Method #2: Photos and Graphics
LOLCats, de-motivational posters, and the rage guy internet memes all have one thing in common: they are simple graphics or photos that catch people’s attention and beg to be shared with others. Due to the sheer simplicity, others created varied versions of some of the identical content and passed it along to others for their amusement.
The goal for a brand shouldn’t be to force an internet meme, that’s merely a potential byproduct. What the goal should be is to regularly release intriguing graphic content, be it a product photo, celebratory workplace event, or promotional piece. These pieces of media, if regular enough, can be a consistent reminder of a brand’s existence and ability to be up to date with the various customers that consume this kind of content.
Content Method #3: Video
If Rick Astley can have his career revitalized, or Rebecca Black get a career, the power of video can be understood. Once the misconception that wildly extravagant production values are necessary for video content to be released, the next step is available: make it, and make it simple.
Thousands of YouTube stars are made by releasing weekly webcam videos where they are sharing news reports that they rant about, or have some sort of quick sketch they perform. These videos are only a few minutes in length, and take a few hours to produce and upload, in total.
A weekly webcast where the CEO, marketing executive, or department head talks about updates with the company, announces new products, or business advice being offered up for free will be easily consumed, easily produced, and readily shared video. Upload the video onto a free YouTube or Vimeo account, link to any website or social network, and it’s done.
Content creation is constantly overdeveloped to the point of mundane. Resources get wasted when it would be easiest to do something outrageously simple. And the biggest bonus of a simple content creation strategy is that it comes across honest to those that will consume it, prospective customers. Save the bells and whistles for when the company designates a department to market itself. Otherwise follow the tried and true Keep It Simple Stupid method.
Adam Costa is a San Francisco based business consultant who provides organizational leadership training to start-up companies.
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