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Why people don’t like your brand’s content

May 30, 2019

Brands have a lot of content.

Content creation is easier thanks to the computers in our pockets connected to incredible networks like Facebook (Insta), YouTube and Twitter.

It is dead easy to start a blog, a Facebook page, a YouTube, a SnapChat, a [insert thing that is next]. People at keynotes have told us the power of these networks to “spread the word”.

So marketing or communications people start something because it is easy. The easiest thing to do on the internet is start a new thing, the hardest thing to do on the internet is build an audience. The keynote speakers usually leave that bit out.

Eventually, the people who started the thing call a digital strategist because they realize that turning on a Facebook page doesn’t build an audience.

So here are some simplified tips framed as 10 reasons why people don’t like your marketing content.

There is obviously more detail on all of these, but this is a starting point.

1. The marketing isn’t targeting the right people. This one is actually quite simple. When starting a new social channel, who do you want to reach? Also, if they catch the word you spread, what happens next? What do you want aware people to do? If you don’t ask who and what, you’re making content for no reason.

2. The right people don’t care. When spreading the word, the word has to be something worth spreading. The message needs to resonate to the right people or you’re wasting time. This is the HARDEST thing to do in marketing. It is about finding out what resonates about your brand, and then talking to the people in a way that drives a behavior. This is more than a content plan, this is a plan for behavior. This is a plan to drive people from awareness, to nurturing, to doing a behavior.

3. Someone said to post once a day or once a week or every Tuesday at noon. The keynote person who said turn on Twitter said you hd to post 3 times a day. Or something. Post when the content resonates to #1, ergo #2. Posting for the sake of it might make Google happy, but in the long run, it won’t move people to do something. The foundational goal of marketing is to own a piece of your consumer’s mind at the point of purchase. Bad content has the opposite effect.

4. If you’re posting on Facebook, the vast majority of the people who like the page don’t see it. That’s right, a post goes to about x% of your ‘likes’ — it usually around 1% but can grow based on the engagement of your last few posts. It is complicated and the algorithm might update every Thursday, but the point is, you’re not reaching people on social platforms unless you are doing ads.

5. It is even less if you’re doing it on Twitter.

6. There is better content on most networks. Back to Facebook: pretend someone does see the post – there is a good chance it is surrounded by cute pictures or personal posts from friends. It is doomed to be seen but not really seen. This is when the calendar matters the most — especially in higher ed. A post about tours in February will not break through. A Facebook Live tour in the summer, with a CTA of “sign up to see this IRL” might. Timing will help you keep your target’s attention.

7. A focus on people not SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, means creating content that can be found in search engines. It should be noted that content isn’t found by search engines, it is found by people who ask questions on search engines. Seems obvious, right? It should be called search engine optimization for the people who want to see my marketing content. SEOFTPWWTSMC is way too long. So it is SEO. Instead, think about making marketing content that answers questions you know people are asking. Nail that part and you’re doing SEO.

8. Use more pictures than words. Not because people don’t read, because images and moving images look better on mobile technologies. People love pictures. Moving pictures spread farther on social channels. Make sure when you use pictures you add alt tags, and you name the picture what it is. No picture is img23456.jpg, a picture is actually CollegeQuadinsummer.jpg. Name the picture what it is, and give it an alt tag describing what it is. Look, you’re doing SEO again.

9. You’re not the New York Times. You don’t make content. You make marketing. You’re not breaking stories, you’re making marketing. Get to the point. Use short sentences that get to the point. Marketing is simple: the hard part is keeping it simple. Work hard to keep it simple.

10. Stop trying to create new things. Stop trying to create a new Facebook page. A new Instagram account. Snapchat. Unless you’re really awesome, focus. Find marketing content that will occupy a corner of your consumer’s brain. Just because we can take the picture or write the status update, or Tweet, doesn’t mean we should.

If your marketing content doesn’t do all the above, be quiet. It is okay to not post. The platforms will be fine without your picture of the quad, or a photo of a classroom with no students. The platforms will manage. Plus, you have work to do. #2 is really hard.

Good luck.

Matt is on Twitter.


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