Using High Quality, High Value, Social Media Native Content on any Social Media platform can greatly influence the success of your posts. This blog post explains What Native Content is, How to Create It, and Why you Need to Start Using it to attract more of your ‘ideal’ clients and drive them to your website content.
Native Content is King
The old adage, “Content is King” (or in the spirit of equality “Content is Queen”), is still as relevant today as it ever was. But perhaps it’s time to give the old adage a refresh. Because when it comes to today’s social media platforms, not all content is ‘king’.
A more relevant adage for today would be “Native Content is King” or “Queen” (whatever your bent).
Native Content Definition
Native Content is content that’s designed for, and posted directly to, a specific platform
– usually a social media platform. It can be any form of content including advertising.
Native Content is most successful when it’s created from high value, original business content.
It is used to attract ideal clients and to drive business results.
How Did we Get Native?
Content in the Early Days of Social Media
In its early days, the ‘purpose’ of social media was to send traffic to our website. We did this with aplomb, creating posts with links to our landing pages and gated content.
We also shared content created by others. Marketers told us that by doing this we would be seen as ‘authority figures’. Our link posts got quite a lot of attention and reach. For many people, sharing links to other websites soon became an easy solution to finding social media content. Link posts became (and for some, still are) their major source of content.
High Value Native Content is Rewarded
As time went on and platforms grew exponentially they introduced ads and started raking in the money. To keep audiences on their platform and viewing the ads, they began to favour content published directly to the platform. Native posts don’t require users to leave the platform, unlike external link posts. So they changed their algorithms and began rewarding these native posts by giving them greater organic (unpaid) reach. They also restricted the reach on external link posts.
How to Create Original Native Content
To begin, let’s look at the purpose of content in the context of content marketing for Professional Services. Structuring you content is important for many reasons:
Content and the Professional Services Industry
Content is the currency all businesses use to attract and retain clients. In professional services industries, content when used with intent, is necessary to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors, important for establishing a client base that supports your business. In the main, this content should be original content, unique your business.
Creating Content Pillars to Attract Your Ideal Client
(A brief introduction to organising content and content planning)
A. Content Pillars
Pillar Content is the important content on your website, the content you put in a huge effort to create. It’s the content that supports your core offering.
This is the content that establishes the all-important confidence and trust factors for your prospective clients.
It educates and informs, guides your client through your marketing funnel, and is designed to establish your expertise, your personality and your value.
Pillar content is long-form content. The most popular types being blog posts, e-books, videos, indepth guides, podcasts, book excerpts, training materials etc.
Pillar Content theme is a specific topic or theme that you want to be known for. It represents the core offering of your business.
Note: You can have more than 1 pillar theme, depending on your service offerings.
B. Subtopics (also known as cluster content)
These are shorter content pieces, derived from the Pillar Content and broken down into sub topics. They’re created from breaking down large content into smaller pieces of content.
The role of these is to cover the the core topic broadly while converting website visitors into leads.
These subtopics could be in the form of blog posts, should link back to the Pillar Content Theme as well as to each other.
It’s these subtopics that you support with social media posts.
Pillar content in the form of topic clusters provides structure to your content plan. They help you stay focused with your content creation and on what matters to your business and clients. They also help you identify any content gaps.
The idea behind topic clusters is that all the subtopics should link to each other as well as to the core topic and the core topic should link out to the subtopics. This helps with search and SEO.
Set up correctly on your website with a pillar content page, topic cluster content architecture helps Google see that you’re an authority on a particular topic. This gives weight to you showing up in search results.
Depending on your business offering, you can have several topic clusters.
Here’s what a Topic Cluster looks like
At the centre of the example above is the pillar topic theme “Workout Routines”, this is a core business offering. Surrounding the pillar topic theme are specific subtopics, all related to the core pillar theme.
For example, in the diagram above there is a pillar subtopic “workout routines to lose fat”. This could be a how-to video series based on educating clients on the different fat burning routines they can do.
This diagram is known as a topic cluster and is an important feature in content marketing.
Examples of Pillar Subtopics are: blog posts, eBooks, video, white papers, guides, podcasts, book excerpts, interviews, etc.
C. Secondary Content – for Promotion on Social Media
This is the content you use to promote and support your Pillar content and attract your ideal client.
It‘s crowd pleaser content derived from your subtopics and repurposed to suit your social media platforms.
For example an infographic on ‘How to correctly perform Oblique Crunches’, could be posted on social media to drive traffic to the subtopic (video) “Workout Routines to Get Abs”.
The idea is to take a subtopic and break it down into bite sized social media formats. Known as Content Repurposing, this ensures you can:
- Reach New Audiences. Some people prefer video or audio over text, others prefer text over video and some prefer visual aids like infographics. Reformatting your content in different ways and for different platforms ensures you appeal to more audiences and extends your reach.
- Give Birth to Old Content. Your Pillar Content is still as relevant today as it ever was (the term is ‘Evergreen’). so why not dust it off and re-promote it?
- Get a second (and third…) chance at promotion. That blog post you put a tonne of effort into creating, was posted at 7am. But lady luck was driving to work. Repurposing your content ensures that users who missed out on your blog post get a second chance to see it.
Examples of secondary, social media content are: 30-60 sec videos, infographics, instagram posts, check lists, top 10 lists, photos, status updates, guides and shared links etc.
HOW DOES ALL THIS WORK?
To get your audience to visit your website from Social Media Platforms the content you post should always have value and intent.
The First Step
Answer the question, why am I posting this?
Is it to:
- Generate awareness of your business?
- Qualify your audience and attract your ideal clients?
- Demonstrate your knowledge (aka ‘thought leadership’)?
- Get people to do something – read your latest blog post, attend an event, listen to your podcast etc?
- Deliver value for my intended audience? Will it help them move closer to solving their ‘problem’?
The Second Step
– Decide what platform you want to post your content on.
The Third Step
Making Content Native
Choosing your platform will determine the format of your content. Known as ‘content repurposing’, this is the act of taking your pillar (subtopic) content and splintering it into different formats to suit your social media platforms. Social media ‘guru’ Gary Vaynerchuk is genius at this, as he displays in this blog and slide show
How to Repurpose a Blog Post into Native Content for Social Media
- 1 or 2 infographics
- 3 quotes
- 2 memes
- 5 Facebook posts
- 5 Tweets
- 5 Images for Instagram
- 1 email
You get the idea!
Yes, there’s still some work to be done in creating these posts, but at least the heavy lifting is over.
Can I still use link posts?
Yes, definitely. As long as they don’t form the majority of your social media content mix. When you use external links you’re promoting the work of others. If your goal is to create business awareness and to attract and retain leads then you’ll need to promote your own content.
Most people need 6-8 ‘touch points’ with a business before they establish enough confidence and trust to consider buying.
Your content should aim to attract, educate and nurture your audience over this extended period so when you do include a promotional post with a Call to Action (linking to your website), they’ll happily click on it.
A good rule of thumb for posting content is:
80%-90% high quality content, valuable to your prospects
10% – 20% promotional content.
What Native Content gets the Best Reach on Social Media?
Video is currently the darling of social media. It gets the most reach, and with Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube vying to be the #1 platform for video, all 3 platforms favour native video over other content forms. When it comes to interactions, video wins hands down.
MONITOR AND RECORD RESULTS
Remember to set aside time for analysis on a regular basis (weekly or monthly). It’s important to monitor what’s working (and do more of it) or to change what’s not. Do some testing, post at different times of the day, change the text in your status update, change the image, see what gets the best results.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS
Content marketing, growing your audience and attracting leads is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency in creating and posting content is key to your success.
By creating an original content mix of all types, with a focus on video, and posting regularly (daily preferably) on your social media platforms you will see results.
I hope this helps!