August 16, 2016

Social Content Lifecycle: From Cradle to Grave

Social media. Everyone uses it but few people know exactly how to get a return out of their investment.

TheIAB Singapore Deep Dive Series #1: How to optimise social content throughout its lifecycle for maximum results was held on 27 July at the LinkedIn offices in Singapore. The IAB SG gathered leading experts from across the social marketing space to explore ways brands and agencies can maximise their return from social media.

The welcome and introductions were hosted IAB Social Committee Chair Jeremy Seow, Managing Director of Zeno Singapore. Nick Pan, Regional Head of Strategy and Planning, VML kicked off the first presentation, ‘Social Content LifeCycle: from Cradle to Grave.’

Audit


At the start of any social media cycle, before creating new content, take a look at what resources you may already have. In any business, there is a wealth of content already there, waiting to be extracted, repurposed or optimised. With just a bit of research, you’ll find that you may have accumulated tons of materials that are either published in different platforms or stock photos which can be used in new ways.

Whether it be photo libraries from events, products, or company pictures, they can all come in handy depending on the theme the team wishes to publish.

Employees and customers can also be used as sources of content by featuring their quotes, inspirations, or even best practice advice for the product or service. 

There are many ways to find materials that you can publish to up the game of your social content. It’s just a matter of realising how much valuable stuff you already have and making use of them the right way.

Analyse

Now that you’ve gathered content, ask, “Is it useful?” Some content is more valuable than others.

There needs to be a process in determining if the material can help reach your business objectives.

It is also vital to check the ownership of each piece of material, find out if you have the rights to use it and if there are any other process you need to go through before utilising the content. This will save you from issues or possible legal actions in the future.

The second question is, “What’s the purpose?” Some content is  made for a specific purpose and now, you need to figure out if it’s acceptable to use the same ones for a different reason. Would it fit? Would it send the right message to the viewers or will it confuse them? Also, don’t forget the importance of timeliness. There is material  that can be linked or related to current issues but there are some that simply don’t belong anymore no matter how much you tweak them.

Strategise


Every piece of content must be in line with the existing social strategy, whether it is a marketing or a business objective. Placing content on a platform where it doesn’t belong will look odd and will not get the right attention you’re are aiming for.

For example, there are materials that look good when published in newspapers but don’t look enticing when placed in a website. So if you  reach this point, repurpose and determine the correct placement and target audience for each content.

When creating a strategy, have a content calendar. Through this, everything is timely and will reach the target at the right moment. Planning ahead of time will help with consistency.

A social playbook is also an effective tool to track if you’re  posting content according to the goals that you set.  Social experiments will also open new doors and offer  new ideas to use for the future . If it works, it’s a gain. The good thing about social media is you can fail fast and fail faster and then we learn from it and move on.

Categorise


Social content can be used for different purposes and formats. There are many options on how you could present them to the audience.

Another option is a listicle. Essentially, a listicle displays content in a bulleted form or numbering each point to make it easier to read. For example, you can list down five interesting things about our product or write down how-to-guides and objectives in this manner. When it comes to more technical matters, make them less boring by presenting with infographics or diagrams which can be easier to understand for the viewers.

Reviews, testimonials and case studies showcasing your products and services and how useful it is can also be used for content. For every content, there is a fit way of presenting them to the target market.

Production

Sometimes the content itself needs a bit more work to make it awesome. We often forget the importance of social copywriting and the need to accompany content with a punchy title and description.

Some may be surprised at how different a social copywriter is from a traditional copywriter. Traditional copywriting can be a bit longer and formal compared to social which is shorter and catchier.

Provide people with a shorter, catchier version  to easily digest.  Determine what the call for action is. If we’re going to put out a piece of content, what do you want people to do? Do you want them to share, like, comment, click through to another site or purchase products? Before publishing, make sure that for whatever reaction you get from the audience, you are ready to respond and other third party platforms are synced properly.

Review

Now that the content is everything it needs to  help the audience, is it on brand?

Check if the content meets the necessary guidelines or social playbook. How does it look and feel? Does the brand come across as real? If the answer to all of these question is yes, then the content is good to go. Oversee the forms needed to be signed by talents and staff working on the material and make sure that you have the rights to use all of the content that you’re about to publish. Lastly, remember the tracking codes. Through these codes, you can see how the traffic is going from the page and the habits of the audience.

Approve

Every organisation needs a gatekeeper to offer a pair of fresh eyes to a piece of content. Quality check is key and can prevent a huge gaffe in the future.

The RACI model must also be followed. R-A-C-I stands for “Who is Responsible?”, “Who is Accountable?”, “Who is Consulted?”, and “Who should just be informed?” This is a very simple method and metric that every company should have. In large projects, many people have such metrics when there are  multiple stakeholders.

Now, ensure that the content coming out has perfect cadence. Plan out an approval process and determine whether it should be done daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly so you don’t end up messing other people’s schedule with random queries

Publish

It’s crucial to post at the right time and platform. Publishing the same content on different platforms is not effective because audiences on different networks behave and think differently. So adjust your targeting. You should also consider the geography to know the relevant topics  in these specific areas.

Use influencers to reach people with a niche audience. Do you want to reach people you are already connected with or extend your network?

There’s also online PR where you can partner with bloggers and ask them to share content to their communities.

The goal is to target audience and gain media support. An effective way to reach this goal is to create content and zero in on the specific area where your material will sell the most and that’s where you should publish it. 

Update

Things change and evolve quickly on social, hence, keeping your audience updated ensures the integrity of your content. Especially on news feeds, keep track of what’s happening so you can easily update the audience live on what is currently happening. There are also times when facts change, that’s why you should be ready to correct our first statements so as not to confuse the viewers and provide them with accurate information. Lastly, when you commit a mistake, admit it and make it right.

Archive

It’s not just about newsfeeds. Consumers access content in different ways.

They might stumble upon old content from search or links that’s why archiving is important.

Remove really old content that is no longer relevant today and if people happen to land on our website which no longer exists, you have to redirect them to a functional and more updated one. Save old files in an album or in an offline archive and label them correctly so viewers will no longer scan through the whole pile.

Social and content in a nutshell:


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