Your Brand Needs More Content. Here's Why.
Content is king, but who knew the king would be so demanding? It seems like the demand for new content is never-ending. As soon as you catch up, it's inevitably back to the drawing board to generate more. Multitudes of digital channels, dwindling attention spans, and heightened competition have led to brands needing more content than they ever have before. It can feel like rolling a boulder up a hill only to be sent back down again and again.
Still, brands have been slow to adopt always-on content strategies that address the current demand for content. Unfortunately, always playing catch up makes it harder to focus on the data and generate content that results in growth.
In this article, we're uncovering how we got here, why the need is so great, and some methods for generating more content.
A Look Back
In the old days of consumer marketing, the marketer's duty was to broadcast a singular message to the masses. The message had to be general enough to cast a wide net but enticing enough to generate interest. Did those marketers have it better? We don't think so. Here's why. On paper, creating only a handful of one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns seems more manageable than the balancing act that today's marketers endure. On the other hand, those marketers of yore could not measure results accurately, target specific customers, or provide relevant content at scale. Today, companies can use data and content in unison to attract new customers more efficiently and grow the lifetime value of existing customers exponentially.
This transformation is not a new development. It's been progressing over the past two decades. But every day, the gap grows wider between the old and new ways of doing things, the dinosaurs and the visionaries. So what's separating the leaders from the laggards?
Among other things, the most ubiquitous challenge is keeping up with content demand. More specifically, the need for diverse, relatable content tailored to each digital channel and customer. A business with enough resources is always able to generate more content in-house if they need to. But is that content diverse or relatable enough to resonate with different customers at various marketing funnel stages? Usually not, and therein lies the challenge.
Consumers are seeking relevant content that speaks to them on a personal level. On top of that, they're expecting different content for each channel they spend time on. Multiply the various digital channels, content types, and customers - you're looking at a whole lot of content. Before diving into tips to keep up with content demand, let's take a look at some of the channels to consider.
Digital Channels Need More Content Than You Think
An integral part of any omnichannel marketing strategy is social media. You can repurpose some content pieces on multiple channels, but there are distinct differences in consumer expectations on each. For example, if you take a series of Instagram photos and compile them in a slideshow for TikTok, you'll be sadly disappointed with the results. That's because TikTok users are expecting authentic content that feels native to the platform. Here's a breakdown of the most popular social media channels and the types of content most commonly used for each:
Instagram: lifestyle photos and videos, user-generated content, stylized content that fits inside a brand aesthetic
Facebook: video, inspirational/funny/practical content, user-generated content
TikTok: short-form video with an emphasis on trends, authenticity, and fun
Pinterest: inspirational, educational, and behind the scenes content
Twitter: polls, memes, and other visual content that don't require long textual explanations
The above is by no means an exhaustive list, and the content types will be different for every brand. The point is that merely checking the "at least I posted something" box is a waste of time. The strategy for each channel needs to be carefully considered and executed with intention. If you want to stand out in consumers' eyes, you need the appropriate content for each channel (which adds up as you scale).
Email as a marketing channel is showing no signs of slowing down. Spam filters be darned, email marketing boasts an incredible ROI to the tune of $42 for every $1 spent. You can improve that already impressive ROI by serving only the most relevant content to each consumer. We've seen brands use content testing to improve email click-through rates by 40%. How did they do it? Well, they had a ton of content to test with. By testing heaps of content in front of your audience, you can determine which photo or video performs best with each cohort. Not to mention, emails vary in type, as well. Brands send welcome emails, newsletters, review requests, cart abandonment notices, and promotional content. The content of each kind should differ based on the customer journey.
Text messaging has the highest engagement rate of any marketing meeting. Meaning your message is more likely to be opened, read, and interacted with when compared to a paid ad, for example. The ease of use and high return of SMS marketing allows you to test countless content iterations searching for that winning strategy.
Surprise, surprise - ads require a ton of content, too. With so many ad types and channels to advertise on, generating enough content to test and optimize continuously can be a laborious undertaking. Ad fatigue occurs when a person sees an ad so many times that it becomes ineffective. On average, an ad completely wears out within 30 days at the most. Cost-effective content is the smartest option for digital ads because of their short lifespan. Consider using user-generated content within ads. It's affordable, relatable, and fits in naturally to most social channels.
Many marketers think they can populate their website with a few product photos and they're good to go for the foreseeable future. While product photos are vital, testing out other types of content can lead to more conversions. On average, videos increase landing page conversions by 86%, and user-generated content boosts conversion rates by 161%. Choosing the most effective content for your landing pages is an ongoing process that requires high volumes of testing (hint, hint: even more content).
Methods for Generating More Content
User-generated Content Platforms
Perhaps your brand already receives enough user-generated content organically to keep the coffers full indefinitely. Sadly, this is not the case for most. UGC platforms are a game-changer for brands that want more UGC but don't have access to it. UGC platforms are software tools that connect brands with thousands of content creators. In exchange for a free product or payment, creators will produce UGC featuring the brand. The brand then repurposes that content as they see fit. UGC platforms are cost-effective, as there's very little overhead compared to studio photoshoots. They also help diversify your content pool because you're able to work with people all over the world.
Chances are you've worked with influencers before (or have at least considered it). While the ROI of influencer marketing is up for debate, the actual influencers themselves serve as excellent content creators. Instead of requesting social posts, you can ask influencers only to create content. Because of their line of work, influencers have a great creative eye. You can then repurpose that content for acquisition-driven activities like paid ads and promotional emails. Many UGC platforms also have influencers, making UGC platforms a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Employees can help fuel your content generation efforts by snapping photos or videos, especially if your products surround them regularly. Starting an internal rewards program can help encourage employees to participate in content creation. Employee-generated content is similar to UGC in its authenticity and comes across as more genuine.
Agencies are usually more expensive than in-house efforts, but they'll take the work off your plate and allow you to focus on other aspects of the business. Many agencies specialize in content creation, so they'll arrive on the scene with years of experience. An agency may be the most successful route if you have no idea where to start.
Cohley and Content at Scale
Cohley specializes in helping brands generate content at scale. Our platform connects top brands to content creators, professional photographers, and customers to streamline content generation and support data-driven marketing decisions. Regardless of which channel you're looking to activate, Cohley has the tools and the creators to fit your needs. But don't take our word for it. Check out our case studies to see what's possible, or get in touch today.
Written by Parker Dietz
Parker is a staple in our marketing team - Our Marketing Manager brings with him an intimate knowledge of the platform, and is our go-to on technical topics, and user behavior. With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.