How social-first publishing makes content marketing more effective

More than two thirds of UK marketers say they are concerned that their content marketing efforts are not effective, according to the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute, with many citing how to tackle multi-platform publishing as one of their top concerns.

With an ever increasing number of social channels available, the traditional method of creating one piece of content and distributing it across all platforms is no longer effective. A better strategy is to create a unique piece of content, tailored to a specific channel, which can be published onto your own content hub.

For inspiration on how to do this, let's look at some great case studies and 6 tips for creating great social content.

Increased engagement

Finland’s national broadcasting company YLE (the BBC equivalent) launched a new, social-first responsive design news site YLE Kioski at the beginning of 2015. Its editorial team moved away from classic style reporting and now use channel-specific experiential storytelling methods instead. And their results have been fantastic.

Back in June 2015 YLE Kioski created a film specifically for its YouTube channel, “I’m HIV Positive, do you dare touch me?” It featured Finnish HIV positive suffer Janne Antin standing in a bustling central Helsinki park next to a sign, ‘I’m HIV positive. Touch me!’ Without the spoken word the film documented the public’s reaction to Antin and his response.

The piece of content went viral. It attracted almost six million viewers (surpassing Finland’s population of 5.4m) and was syndicated on the BBC, BuzzFeed and The Independent. YLE Kioski created a unique news piece tailored to its YouTube channel that resonated with its audience.

The film’s aim was to highlight what it felt like to live with HIV-related stigma as well as raising awareness of the terminal illness. YLE Kioski could have easily have run a traditional face-to-face Q&A broadcast interview with Antin and published it on its news site, but it would have got nowhere near the national and international engagement with that format.

Fresh, relevant content

Initiative, one of London’s top media planning and buying agencies, is using social content to populate its website. The content hub has simplified the content creation process for the busy, time poor team. Now, instead of their employees having to take time out to write long, wordy blog posts, whenever one of the team members tweets or posts an image to Instagram using pre-programmed hashtags, these posts are automatically carried on their site.

This has empowered employees and increased engagement within their team. Now, because of the simple and easy method used to create effective and original content, its staff are no longer frightened of the blank blog page and most of the content created is shared to employees’ personal networks.

Empowering brand ambassadors

Travelodge, the budget hotel group, has also experimented with the social-first publishing method. Last year it launched a user generated campaign with the hashtag #getupandgo. The campaign was aimed at increasing engagement with its customers. It created a digital guestbook which aggregated tweets, photos, videos and reviews created by its customers in one place. The social content formed the backbone of the blog, keeping it fresh and relevant.

6 tips for creating social-first content

  1. Select social channels relevant to your audience. Understand your audience and how different audience segments consume content on various social channels. Select the social channels that are relevant to your audience and where you can add value.
  2. Create unique and tailored content to each channel. Understand what type of content works and how to create optimised content for each social channel. Stop broadcasting the same piece of content across all the social channels as some formats do not work on certain channels.
  3. Build a responsively designed website to support different content formats. The Flockler platform can automatically pull in content from many channels into one central content hub by using pre-programmed rules and hashtags. Users can also do this manually by clicking on images, searching for keywords and then drag & drop content into the site.
  4. Create original editorial and curate the content from your audience. Gather the social content you have created on your content hub. Plus curate the best social content from your employees, industry experts and your customers.
  5. Use social management & listening tools to engage with your audience. Spend more time on engaging with customers and converting leads to sales.
  6. Measure, iterate and repeat

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