Never heard of Dessert Content? 🍩
Well Dessert Content is a key ingredient in your #contentmarketing recipe... its the indulgent sweet stuff. It targets your wider desired audience and is eye catching.
Some 10 years ago, thanks to Ann Handley in her co-written book; Content Rules, with CC Chapman, the world was first introduced to the concept of Content Food Groups. Since coming across this approach to content marketing, I added some Caribbean flair, dug deep into the concept and added insights based on my own experience over the years creating content marketing strategy for clients of all sizes.
What you will see here are a few tips to help you create your own Dessert Content; based on my adapted take on Handley's "Chocolate Cake" Content Food Group.
Top of Funnel: Awareness
Stakeholders of brands have always tried to be as cost effective as possible in seeking maximum ROI for minimum expenditure. With the digital space, finally being respected and utilized appropriately (the way many marketers like myself have been yelling about for years - sorry I couldn’t help it) strategic methods to increase visibility, like Influencer Marketing, will continue to be key elements of a fulsome Marketing Strategy.
The problem is - NUFF IDIOT OUT THERE WILLING FI RUN WHE WID YUH MONEY!
Having developed and executed numerous Influencer Marketing Campaigns over the years, for brands the likes of Baileys, Heineken, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Red Stripe (yes I have a thing for Alcohol brands) I’ve experienced the gamut of ‘ Digital Influencers’; their ways of working and in particular, their perceived added value to a successful marketing campaign. The following are a few basic tips I have put together, to help guide you as a business owner or your marketing team, to ensure you get maximum ROI the next time around.
By: Anika Repole Wilson - @businesschicceo
I know the title of this article may have made you clutch your pearls a bit. Perhaps, there was slight panic, maybe I offended you or made you worry? If you felt anything close to these emotions, that's a concern for me - I mean that. It also means I wrote this article for you. So read on to see how you can (if necessary) take your Brand-Follower relationship status from 'its complicated' to 'committed'.
As Digital Marketing evolves; Social Media platforms continue to place emphasis more heavily on Engagement. Engagement on Instagram (which this article is primarily focusing on) includes everything from; likes, views, comments, shares (to stories, DMs, external links like WhatsApp) and saves.
It has always been crucial to be able to wade through the BS (and there is a lot of it) on what works on social media. However, in the advent of the number of likes on IG posts being phased out globally, its become even more important. These other metrics for measuring engagement, must now increase in importance not just to professional Digital Marketers and Influencers, but to entrepreneurs making their own content, as well as, middle managers and CEOs who have others managing their content. Until you understand what words like: Engagement, Reach and Impressions actually mean and how to manipulate them, you really are just shooting in the dark and could be taken for a ride by any of the many so called Social Media 'Experts'.
Content Marketing isn't just about the pretty pics (sure that's a part of it), there is a balance, skill and rhythm that combine to create great content. Some folks hit it out of the park immediately (lucky *$#%), others struggle for years to get it, while some have the money to pay others to make it happen for them. If you aren't one of the lucky ones, or have a rich uncle ready to bequeath you a hefty inheritance to fund your content marketing aspirations, here are a few tips to make the 'struggle' a little easier.
#1: MAKE A COMMITMENT TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Yes the look of your Content, plays a huge role in engagement. It is a very real part of it; particularly on Instagram where your content needs to look the part. It needs to compete with the, motivational quotes, #instafit celebs, Instagram models, professionally managed big brands, Instagram couples and travel bloggers. Not to mention the #foodporn and #foodie posts and if you're like me the #nailart posts too.
Ahead of choosing a theme and look, you need to also identify what your brand is about and who you're connecting with. As an example, looking on my content, for the coaching arm of the business @businesschicceo you should be able to see that I'm trying to target professionals and entrepreneurs with a primary focus on women. My content is designed with an aesthetic that I like BUT its designed specifically FOR my target audience. Think about who you are trying to speak to and what they like. Take it a step further and think about the conversations not only that they want to have, but need to have, and see how your brand can start a dialogue with them.
#2: IDENTIFY AN OBJECTIVE
Next, it's not just about the pretty pictures. Each post/piece of content must have an objective. Are you trying to raise awareness of your brand? Are you trying to get folks to consider your product or service? How about getting them to call you or visit your site? Creating / Posting content without a clearly defined objective is a waste of time.
Sure Social Media Content is great for increasing Brand Awareness, but it is also about building a tribe, a cult following as it were for your brand. It's not about what you're selling, its about how you make your followers feel. Do you make them feel smarter, more confident? Are you helping them make a major decision? Are you helping them through a phase in life, or solve an everyday problem? Your brand, no matter what size it is, must answer these questions for your target audience. It's not about the sale, its about the solution. Creating content that will have an objective of long term success is an investment, and just like any relationship, you must nurture it. Sure a one-night-stand is fun from time to time, but generally speaking, people want to feel passion, trust, comfort and safety. If your content isn't doing that, you're nothing more than a booty call.
#3: DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF
Content is dynamic and while choosing content you should also consider what your particular audience likes to engage with. Are they readers or viewers? Do they have time to listen to your podcast or watch a live video? Can they download your workbook or attend an online summit? These are all types of content - between having a clear objective and knowing what your audience wants and needs, you can then better identify content types to employ.
Wish to know more about content development? Check out another article HERE or schedule coaching time with the author below.
Meet the Author:
Anika Repole Wilson
Anika is our Managing Director but we prefer to call her the Strategy Maverick. Well known for her out-of-the-box thinking and personal approach, she is a hub of knowledge and experience having worked with over 40 brands in the last 15 years.
Anika is think-tank of BIG ideas - with the execution plan built in.
Schedule a chat with Anika
For many small business owners, Instagram may seem intimidating or maybe even "irrelevant" for your brand. According to Instagram, 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product and service through the platform. Chances are if you are trying to appeal to a younger demographic, it's essential to make your mark in the "IG" World. Instagram can be a powerful tool for marketing your business while giving your potential customers a bit more personal insight into your brand. This tool can also be used to gather information on your target audience. Here I'll lay out 7 go-to tips to get your Instagram for Business journey off to a strong start and get you on the way to securing Checkmate. Read through till the end, I have a little bonus for you !
Converting to an Instagram business account has several benefits for your brand. As with most aspects of your company, measuring stats and numbers might be high on your priority list to ensure you’re delivering quality products and services to your clients. Online content should be the same. With Instagram for Business you get access to analytics about your followers and posts, the ability to promote Instagram posts as ads and a more professional looking profile.
Know your Audience
Before getting into the swing of producing awesome content, it’s first super important to know who it is you’re creating this content for. This premise not only applies to Instagram but to any other platform and marketing venture. Knowing your target audience makes it way easier to create and curate content that is tailored to their needs, as well as, to increase the likelihood of you “making that sale”. Creating a brand persona, coupled with paying close attention to those awesome insights Instagram provides you with, can really help to keep you on the right track.
Gone are the days when Instagram was just a platform for scrolling through a bunch of images. Users of instagram are constantly looking to be engaged with. Providing them with ways to do so with your brand is a great asset to your business! Engaging with your audience not only boosts your chance of being seen in user timelines, it also gives your business a more human feel.
Your engagement can start with a simple comment, reply or post like from a follower, which you can then leverage and begin to interact with that fan. You’ll never know where that interaction could lead you, they could become your next client or best referrer! DMs, mentions, shout outs and replies are a few ways to engage with your audience but when engaging be mindful not to come off as too “robotic” or dry. Invest time in engagement, add a little wit and warmth to it, that’s how you build relationships with persons who are likely to invest in your brand.
There are several methods to creating engagement opportunities! I'll talk a bit more about that in a future blog!
Instagram is all about the visuals, so investing time to capture or curate quality imagery is a definite win for your business. Having the perfect picture doesn’t necessarily mean hiring the most pricey photographer to get images or spending thousand of dollars on stock photography (unless you’re a photographer or stock photo provider).
While visually appealing images are a must for effective Instagram marketing, keeping those images true to your brand while appealing to your intended audience is equally as important. That’s where the perfect comes in. When posting think about the who, what, why and when. Even when reposting, be sure to be mindful of the effect it might have on your “grid appeal”. Will it add value to your overall page aesthetics? If so, go for it! You also want to make sure your images are simple and not too wordy (copy heavy).
Here are a few pages with awesome grid appeal.
Captions are Key!
Your caption is where your potential customers get a bit more context about the product you’re introducing or just your overall tone of voice. Wording is key here. Just like your images/video, you want to ensure you’re speaking to the right persons in a way they’ll understand, while encouraging them to talk back or take an action.
Make your captions more appealing with emojis! There's no doubt that Instagram is a visual platform, this includes your captions! Adding an emoji only adds to your visual appeal as well and makes users feel a bit more connected to your message. According to Engadget, nearly 50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji so go for it, but don't over do it!
#Hashtags are your Friends
Instagram allows you to list 30 hashtags…. Use them! While 30 hashtags might seem a bit much, it’s a great way for your content to get seen through a wider cross section of timelines organically. When done right, hashtags can even garner more engagement than a poorly boosted post. But before you go attaching all the words you can think of to your posts, you have to be strategic here as well.
Time it right
As a general observation across most social media platforms, engagement is typically higher first thing in the morning and after 6pm with a slight spike between 12pm to 2pm daily EST. This can be a bit difficult for businesses working 9 to 5 as there’s a smaller window for them to get messages out in time for peak viewership.
The new algorithm Instagram has implemented can actually help you to get over that hump. You might have noticed in your own personal feed, that sometimes you’re fed content as far back as 4 days ago (or more in some instances). If you time your posts for peak engagement times, use the relevant hashtags and garner enough engagement during those key moments; you have a better chance of your content being fed through timelines for a longer time! Mind blowing right? It's all about timing and strategy.
NB. A great way to keep on track with posting is with third party Instagram scheduling tools. It always helps to plan and schedule in advance. I'll list my faves in an upcoming blog!
Get creative with Instagram Stories
A great way to get people to see your content is through Instagram Stories. The Stories feature can give even more insight into your brand through creative “storytelling” while allowing you to get insight into the behaviour of your audience through features like Instagram Polls. Stories are also a great way to bypass the timeline and avoid over posting or spamming users.
According to Instagram, Instagram Stories has helped to increase the amount of time people spend on the network. Users under 25 years old spend more than 32 minutes a day on the platform, while those over 25 spend more than 24 minutes a day. Here are a few simple ways to make your stories interesting.
Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users. This is definitely a market you want to tap into if you are looking to engage a wide network. With several useful and regular updates there's always an opportunity to find a method that works for engaging your target audience and to make it work for your business!
Meet The Author
Chauntae is our Digital Content Queen. Her alter ego is Nefertiti, she loves kids and binge watching Netflix series. If purple were a planet she would rule it. As a Chic Chick, she's constantly searching for new ways to represent @be.business.chic .
Yep, she's on Instagram! @chauniebu
Here are the rules we follow when developing content for ourselves and our clients. They aren't in any particular order and ought to be practiced with fluidity. Just go with the flow man. :)
Rule #1: Tell a Story
It's important to really figure out what the story is that you're trying to tell. In doing so, you have to also understand who you are speaking to. Your target audience can be one particular type of person or several types of people. In telling your story, imagine what that person not only wants to hear, but needs to hear.
Rule #2: Be Consistent
Consistency is key! In developing and scheduling your content, you want to ensure you are not only consistent in look and feel, but in substance and also in the time in which you post. In developing your network, you want your fans to develop a KNOW, LIKE and TRUST for you. Being consistent on all levels helps this to happen, that much faster.
Rule #3: Be Strategic
Every piece of content must have an objective. Your objectives can be anything from getting engagement, to visits to your website, to building your email list, to developing influence. This makes your development of content much more intentional, think before you post and always know what the end game is.
Rule #4: Be Relevant
Relevancy isn't only just about being current, it speaks also to remember who your audience is and what they want to hear. Being relevant to them, can be something as simple as a motivational post on a Monday to start the week to something more detailed and complex like a cheat sheet or work book to help them beat the Monday Blues.
Rule #5: Have an underlying Theme
A theme helps to keep your story on track, but it also helps your audience to identify you from a far. Developing a theme can follow things like your brand colours, to themes that fall within your brand's story. For example, for us we like to focus on Digital Marketing, but we also have a theme geared towards female empowerment.