According to Statista, in the U.S. alone, social media advertising totaled more than $40 billion in 2020. That figure will reach $48 billion in 2021 and $56 billion by 2022. Facebook accounts for some 80% of that spend, while LinkedIn takes in just 4%. Interestingly though, in a separate 2021 SEMRush survey, LinkedIn and Facebook tied as the most effective social media channels for content distribution among surveyed marketing professionals.
At face value, you might look at that $40 billion figure and assume that Facebook is the best and only place to focus your own ad spend. That’s where 80% of all ad dollars are going, after all; it must be the best. But if that were true, why would the SEMRush survey participants rank LinkedIn as effective as Facebook?
What this really shows us is that the nuances of social media content matter a great deal. Even though only 4% of advertising dollars are being spent on LinkedIn, there are still plenty of marketers who are gaining a great deal of value for that spend. How? Excellent creative content.
Taking the nuances of channel dynamics into consideration while developing creative can help ensure you consistently deliver engaging, relevant content. Here are a few key questions every good content strategy should answer.
What Does Success Look Like?
This sounds rather obvious but is still a commonly missed step. Every creative contributor should be informed from the outset what goals you are trying to achieve. Are you driving website traffic? Building brand awareness? Acquiring e-commerce purchases? Decide this from the beginning, and ladder up your content to this objective. Knowing what you want the audience to do influences your copy, your calls to action, and your design aesthetic (“look and feel”). This is a critical piece of information for any and every piece of content.
Is This Content Platform-Appropriate?
Every social media platform is a little different from the next. This is something we can all likely recognize within our own feeds. The demographics are different. The collective sentiment and what some might call “values” are different. Even the features and user experience are different. So, too, should be the content.
An ad for business software on LinkedIn will simply not perform the same way on TikTok. A Gen Z clothing label would probably struggle to engage customers on Facebook. The point is, creative content should be tailored for the environment in which it will be encountered, and all content should be developed with this audience experience in mind.
Is the Placement Maximized?
Creative specialists like designers and copywriters don’t typically place ads or post content, but knowing where their content will live, and how, is a critical piece of the puzzle. If your content is showing how a product works, video is likely an optimal format. Trying to promote a variety of products or a collection? Stories or carousel photos are a good choice. Understanding the final format in context of the placement creates a more seamless visual experience.
The Instagram grid layout is a great example of how consistency in copy and style for individual posts can be used as part and parcel for the overall brand experience. In a strategic grid layout, for example, each post serves as a piece of the whole — just like every piece of content you produce should serve its role in a larger marketing strategy.
What Is the Target Distribution Strategy?
Reaching the most people isn’t necessarily the objective. Reaching the right people is. You can have the biggest budgets, best talent and boldest messaging, but if the right audience doesn’t see it, none of it matters. Sometimes creative needs to appeal to everyone, but in many cases, it needs to appeal to niche audiences. Either way, understanding this dynamic is a huge help to the creative team, who will tailor messaging and design to this audience.
Answering these questions will inform your creative and help you build a robust, higher functioning marketing strategy. Creative teams should work hand in hand with performance teams, ensuring that creative efforts are laddering up to the same goals across the organization.
If your brand could use some help creating a comprehensive content strategy, let’s talk.
Featured image by davisuko on Unsplash.