Are you just trying to sell products? Are you trying to make people laugh, cry, feel obey-gooey inside? What do people think when they see that post you just put on Instagram or LinkedIn? Do you know?
In the social first, digitally driven world we live in, we are inundated with content every minute of every day. We learn about, and judge brands through the content that they put out, thus brands need to make sure they’re delivering the right message.
Even though consumers are fully aware that social media is where they interact with brands as if they were humans, not enough brands have realized that this is the case. Many are still using social media like it’s an advertising platform. They are using it like it’s still 2006. They’re using it like we used banner ads, like we used email marketing. Frankly, they’re using it like it’s TV, radio or magazine ads.
“Here it is, now buy my product” doesn’t work anymore.
It’s all product, product, products, product. Everywhere you look, from Instagram to LinkedIn, all you see are brands pushing their product. You see pictures of good looking models holding a bottle of nail polish, or a clothing company posting images of their clothes on models – over, and over and over.
The Best of the Best
Some of the best marketing-minded brands are not pushing their product, they are pushing the lifestyle that using their product will allow you to live. One of the best examples of this are energy drinks. If you look at Red Bull or Monster Energy, you see that they are promoting a lifestyle, not a product. They are essentially their own media company targeting young adrenaline-filled millennial’s. They don’t post pictures of their cans on a beach, or in the midst of a skateboard halfpipe.
Look through Red Bull’s Instagram feed (which has 5.3 million followers by the way) and you won’t find a single Red Bull can. They are too busy building a behemoth brand around motocross, kite boarding, snowboarding, skydiving, and plethora of other ridiculous extreme sports like cliff diving. They know you’ll buy their product because you want to live their lifestyle. They don’t have to tell you to buy it, they make you want to buy it.
This is the attitude that more brands need to adopt when developing content strategies. They need to think about the type of content that they’re putting out and make sure that it’s building equity within their community. It’s like renting an apartment versus buying a house. If you’re just posting one off, product focused content all the time, it’s like you’re renting attention for a few seconds at a time. If you create equity-driven content that people really connect with on the deepest level possible, then you’re investing in a long-term relationship with them – one that they will come back to over and over again.
Point blank, brands need to start investing their resources into an equity-driven strategy that will build value underneath their brand no matter what platforms or new apps come out in the short-term. A brand with true equity can withstand any new trend, whether it’s a Vine, Snapchat or augmented reality–because it’s fans will spend the extra effort to go find them.