“For sustained growth, marketers and entrepreneurs need to be strategic about where, how, when and whom to communicate value.”
As a social media marketer, content strategist and curator, Motebang Senaoana fixates on that maxim when building inclusive content marketing strategies for brands.
“I’ve grown passionate about strategies,” he said during an Africa Tweet Chat. “Making your brand creates an inclusive and diversified content strategy for your audience that maximizes reach, engagement and awareness.
“People’s needs and backgrounds are becoming more visible on social media,” Senaoana said. “We can’t afford to create a binary strategy appealing to one content medium or one group of people. We need to invest more on multi-platform content, a diversified user base and customer-centric marketing strategies.”
Work hard in the spirit of diversity
Diversity, inclusion and belonging are not interchangeable
The result will reflect more diversity in a company’s content.
“We need to start decentralizing content,” Senaoana said. “Brands need to invest more on influencers and brand ambassadors to gain leads and cement connections with users, while easing the stress of content creation.”
He draws inspiration from one of his favorite tips: “Content marketing is not a campaign, but a commitment.”
“That’s such a powerful quote,” Senaoana said. “It tells us to respect the journey and process of enjoying the fruits of our content marketing journeys.”
Create a different brand
Be more specific about your brand and how it addresses the needs of your audience. Make and build on personal connections from the start.
“Content is a great way to effectively communicate your value proposition and distinguish yourself from the others,” Senaoana said. “It builds long-term connections with your followers and end users. In the awareness stage of your consumer journey, it’s a great way to generate leads.
“Don’t forget content’s impact on storytelling and making your brand more relevant with users,” he said.
Inclusive strategies are all-encompassing — not all text, not all video. Adjust to the needs and tastes of your audience on whatever platform they reside at any given time.
“We need to think more differently, and take it a step further,” Senaoana said. “Recognize areas we don’t know, and use words more carefully. Inclusive content needs to resonate with a variety of people from different cultures, backgrounds and characteristics.
“Create multi-platform content to satisfy a range of our users from all platforms,” he said. “This means video podcasts, informative images, posters and motion graphics. We need to study our users and produce more user-centric content.”
Strategies of any kind need to be flexible because of life. Circumstances change. Successful strategies are designed to allow for changes, sometimes on short notice.
“Flexibility is such a critical part of your content strategy,” Senaoana said. “It allows room for diversity, representation and inclusion. The best way for leads and cementing long-term loyalty with users is to allow room for flexibility. It also lets brands learn.
“A critical part of an effective content strategy is user centrism,” he said. “That means allowing flexibility to teach users as you engage and find out which areas could you improve in, add on and complement your entire content marketing strategy.”
Many options to engage
Senaoana favors several ways brands can create interactive and valuable content:
- Polls. Include users in the content strategy process, and ask them more questions.
- Educational Video Content. Sell your value proposition, present solutions your brand offers, make users feel inspired.
- Images and Videos. Show representation in terms of race, ethnicity, cultures, gender, family diversification and more.
- Infographics and Posters. Teach users, increase engagement and build more value.
Build awareness to rock your world
People won’t buy what you sell until they know who you are
The more you can create content that relates to your audience and addresses its pain points, the more you enhance know, like and trust. Generally, people don’t like to do business with strangers.
“Offer rewards for leads that include chances for discounts, gifts or coupons for those who share, comment or give reviews or feedback,” Senaoana said. “Use call-to-action content that encourages — not forces — us to engage and click more.
“Invest in video marketing,” he said. “Capture the hearts of your users, and sound more like a field-level expert and thought leader. Produce content with a ‘Wow!’ factor. Tell what sets you apart, what makes you distinct enough for users to invest and engage.”
He recommends creating chains with content links.
“Maintain chain links for informative content connecting videos, posters and blogs,” Senaoana said. “The result is short videos and images with a link to more detailed information at a podcast or YouTube channel.”
Uniting all the elements
He added that the most successful content strategies share common traits:
- Use of knowledgeable thought leaders and ambassadors who align with the brand and are vocal on social issues or other matters.
- Build online communities through tweet chats and subscribers.
- Use branded content collaborations with brands.
“Consistent video content shows the human side of brands, diversifies reach and connects more people,” Senaoana said. “Multi-platform content includes a blog that can be used as a live video chat or YouTube video that can be turned into a podcast. Also use stories and fleets on social media.”
Win with the right people at the right time
Well-designed marketing strategies fit snugly with your business
“Marketing and advertising is drastically changing, especially on social media,” he said. “The more ads you put out, the less chance of engagement. Nike, for instance, shifted its campaigns to be more aware of social issues, more inspiring and certainly less and less ‘selling.’”
Social media marketing leaves a trail to show its impact.
“There’s social analytics and social listening,” Senaoana said. “We first have to — in our strategy — make sure keywords and hashtags are well stated to make it easier to track performance.
“Once these are done, use social listening and analytical means to track online performance of the campaign or promotion,” he said. “These tools will trace performance looking at how frequently we use the hashtag, keyword or name of the brand. The more we talk about it, the better.”
In the coming years, Senaoana sees trends for greater investment in influencers, video marketing, multi-platform content, engaging and human-centric content, and images and videos that show representation, inclusion and diversity.
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