My plea for 2018 is for brands to re-think how they do social.

And part of this plea is to stop those unwieldy content plans. Why? Because no-one can develop good content at this rate and you end up with heaps of cliched content or crappy stock photos. Or they attempt uninspiring quotes, overly promotional Instagram stories and overused memes.

None of which builds brands. Your purpose builds your brand.

Brands must create fewer things and do it better – and create content that is motivating with purpose or focused on special moments. You do not need to create a week of posts reaching a few when one stretches just as far. Create just one thing a week and see how it goes. Trust me the results will be better.

And despite your content reaching fewer than a hundred people, there’s no questioning of the strategy going on. Brands have been sold these ideas by people with a limited understanding of how digital actually works.

See our Firefly360 promo pieces – 15″ of short bite-size inspiration, leaving people wanting more.

 

Less is more, more or less.

Brands have forgotten to invest building brand stories first, helping people with great how to content second and building reach third. Not only should you be producing great stories, you should be distributing this content far and wide (aim for 50%+ reach of your target audience).

Make something to stop people cold. Focus most of your time, effort and budget on distributing your brand pieces wide. Things like content pillars and even calendars become redundant – instead align target audiences and messages with your marketing plan.

We must return to a model where the investment in content is matched with media investment. Focus on engaging consumers first and build saliency and distinctiveness.

So here’s a few tips from my time working at big international brands:

Create thumb-stopping content

Create something that has gravity. Invest in impactful formats like 15″ video. Or build shoppable formats or gifs into content programs targeting only those who have been exposed to your ads previously, allowing them to explore.

Think more about behaviour not age

Targeting isn’t about demographics and age. You should even move beyond retargeting your website or email database. Instead supplement your own data with media/consumer data to reach more segments to achieve mass market reach. Or serve only sales messages only to those who watched 50-75% of your video content. Use the ability to nudge people down a marketing funnel over time.

Measure true business impact

Start being smarter and more commercial in how you determine success. Run studies to understand lifts on brand recall or test the difference between exposed versus unexposed audiences. Or integrate with your physical store POS data to measure purchase intent, or actual shopper data to understand the effect of spend.

Let’s talk about getting your social on the right track.