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Content production, blogging and social media always find a way off the priority list. Day-to-day business reality almost always revolves around one goal: To make a sale. Each action is measured by the result objective “Does this generate income?” ”
The return on investment of content marketing and social media is not immediate. Worse yet, it usually comes with depressing results. Yet the reality of the digital age demands that building an audience is the most reliable method of building a modern business.
Social media isn’t magic, it’s just people and communication. What must happen for you to get a sale? You need to be able to communicate and you need someone who will buy. As it turns out, social media is where hundreds of millions of people hang out on a daily basis.
It’s our job as business owners to figure out how to reach them and communicate with them the way they want to be communicated, so that we have a chance to increase the bottom line.
So what happened after my company committed to publishing daily for 30 days on more than 10 platforms?
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Where did we start and why we committed to publishing
We posted daily to all major platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. We’ve also answered daily questions on platforms like Quora and Reddit, wrote weekly articles on Medium, and posted on niche platforms like Behance, Dribbble, and specialty sites.
This meant posting to a minimum of 10, sometimes even 20 platforms, in a day. On top of that, because I’m a small business owner, it meant that the burden of creating and publishing content was completely on me.
Like many business owners, I neglected to develop my social media presence. We started most platforms from scratch. Facebook? Less than 100. YouTube? Nada. Instagram and LinkedIn? Abandoned for more than three months.
Conventional logic involves focusing on one or two platforms and building from there. The problem is, there’s no way of knowing where we might be gaining momentum, and we’re already creating the content, so we might as well give ourselves the best possible chance of “going viral”.
Imagine this scenario: a blackjack dealer says your total buy-in is $ 100 (the cost of creating content), and for every hand you play (positions) it costs $ 1 (cost of extra time), but they will pay you as if each hand is a $ 100 bet. What would you do? Play only two hands or play twenty?
Your chances of winning and getting better results increase dramatically with the number of hands you play. Publishing on different platforms offers this advantage.
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How we approached content production and what types of content we created.
Most businesses think they should always be sales-oriented, so they post self-promotion or service articles about what they do. The problem is, everyone does this. From the start, we knew it wouldn’t work. Instead, we decided to go against the grain: don’t make any sales or service messages, and have no intention of selling anyone on anything.
Instead, the goal became to deliver value, build an following, and let sales take care of themselves. No funnel, no calls to action, just value. The theory? If people are interested, they will contact him on their own.
Rather than focusing on what we do, we focused on related content topics that people are having trouble with or ideas and examples of websites that have provided significant value. This meant that our content focused on things we don’t sell, like content, social media strategy, stories, conversations, and thoughts about entrepreneurship and creativity. The idea was that we would publish the content that we would like to consume as a priority.
In the beginning, most of the content was written because that’s what I’m most used to creating. However, as we got into the process, video and visuals became dominant. This was done in the form of daily live broadcasts and vertical mobile-focused videos. For visuals, we turned blogs into visual “slides” and “carousels”.
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Why we ended up focusing on video and visuals.
What we found was that vertical videos (e.g. YouTube reels and shorts) had the most views and impressions by far, while the live broadcast had the most engagement. . Our YouTube channel had a handful of videos posted over a year ago and no subscribers. Still, we got 25 hours of viewing video based on 15-60 second vertical videos.
A standard Instagram post would get around 100-200 views, but a reel would often get over 1,000. Normal videos would get a handful of comments, while a 10-30 minute live broadcast (especially with a guest) would consistently get 10 to 100 times more engagement. On a Facebook Live, we had over 190 comments with a total of subscribers at the time of around 120 and a small handful of viewers. Not bad for “Camera on, go live and talk. “
Dividing a blog post or post into single sentence slides or images (LinkedIn slide and Instagram carousels) increased the number of people actually reading the content because it was easier to digest, with the side effect that more people read written articles for longer.
It might make you think: just do reels, live streams, and graphics because they’re “ideal.” The point is, what’s “optimal” is constantly changing, and people are consuming content in different ways. So we continued to post as many varieties of content as possible through videos, live videos, vertical videos, articles, simple images, and carousels.
It comes down to the basic nature of people and what they prefer. Not everyone consumes content the same. Some like to read, others to watch or see something visual, and another medium likes to listen. Rather than responding to an algorithm or having an opinion on how people should consume content, we focused on delivering content in different ways so that there is something for everyone and multiple ways for a person to digest what they like.
Challenges and Unexpected Results
The weather was the biggest challenge. We just weren’t used to producing content and in the first week it felt like all that was being done was creating content. It’s exhausting when you’re a person creating and posting content while interacting with the community on a daily basis. There is still a business to run after all.
It’s hard to imagine achieving what we have done without at least one or two people to help manage the day-to-day business of the business. Not a single piece of content has gone “viral”. We also haven’t had life-changing follower growth. The execution was consistent and countless mistakes were made.
But we have created a positive dynamic to continue to build a solid foundation. It’s important to understand that this is a constant process and instant growth won’t happen overnight. Small wins are important and even something silly like 20 more subscribers on a platform is essential to get started. It was all expected.
So what was completely unexpected? We signed five new contracts, with five more in progress, all from people we had no idea about the month before. All of these offers came from different platforms and all felt compelled to reach out to each other without us ever dropping a single call to action or “channeling” them anywhere.
By week three, we noticed a strange trend. Our business partners, customers and people we knew all started posting a lot more. One customer followed what we were doing, took action, and ended up beating our results, going from 2,000 subscribers to 11,000 on TikTok in one week!
It’s a result you won’t see anywhere on the balance sheet, but just as meaningful and inspiring. It is a privilege of humility when you can witness the impact and influence of your leadership. Especially when you see others getting positive results from a simple message you made with no monetary exchange involved.
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