Articles

A Business’s Guide to Writing Branded Content For Social Media

By Marie Barnes, Last updated: 2021-10-21 (originally published on 2020-03-12)

Modern society has become social media-driven. And this has led to the fact that social networks have become the best platforms for interaction between brands and consumers. But in order for your content, voice, tone, and marketing message to become recognisable, your content must be branded, both literally and figuratively. In this article, we’ll discuss how to achieve this.

RELATED READING: Regulations On Social Media Marketing

social media

Know Who You Are Writing for

It might seem like this is extremely simple advice. But, in order for your content on social networks to become branded, it must be entirely tailored to a specific consumer.

So, you most likely know your customers very well. You have long divided them into segments and are trying to personalise their experience. But in the case of the strategy for writing branded content on social media, you need to do an even deeper analysis and correlate the segments of your target audience with the sites that each of them uses.

It’s possible that you will find out that your segments are different for Facebook and Instagram, and this means that you will have to do double work on social networks to reach both groups of users. Or, on the contrary, you may come to the conclusion that your target audience does not use Instagram at all, and then your main focus will be Facebook, for example.

How best to do it?

Very simple. Just invite your customers to take a short survey containing no more than ten questions and talk about their activity on social media. With the results, you will have your first insights for your strategy.

Start With Corporate Colours

So, your branded content should be recognisable in the first place. And secondly, it should cause the right association upon first sight. In order to achieve this, you need to choose the right corporate colours that will reflect the mission of your company. If you have already done this, now you need to come up with your own branded content – a unique social media style that will distinguish your social profiles from competitors’ ones.

The practice of social media posting shows that it is better to use no more than three colours that will look harmonious with each other. Plus, this will give you a good advantage on Instagram, where the appearance of the profile plays an important role – in this case, the first impression of the style is sometimes even more important than the content itself.  An attractive style motivates people to at least view the first few posts and expresses a continuity that contributes to branding your content.

 

social media content

Make Your Graphics Unique and Photos Attractive

We have already talked a bit about corporate style and social media style, so let’s continue this conversation. You can ask a reasonable question – why have we been talking about style and colours if this article is about how to write branded content? The fact is that the style forms the first impression, and no branded content on social media will draw readers in if your post is unattractive from the outside.

Therefore, the graphic materials with which you complement your post should be unique. This is especially important for Instagram, where an attractive visual component is already half the success.

How to do this?

Take your corporate colours, open Canva, choose a template for a social network, and create a unique picture. And remember that all the pictures that you create or post should be sustained in the same style.

The same goes for photos. Your photos should be of good quality and show something interesting in the frame. 

Come up with a Branded Hashtag

Today, a hashtag is not just a grid symbol. This is another marketing tool that enhances brand awareness. Therefore, you need your unique, inimitable and branded hashtag, which you can use for all your posts on all social networks.

Thus, you will help users better remember your brand, as well as find all your posts using only one hashtag, regardless of the social network. When developing your branded hashtag, try to combine the name of your company, the problem you are solving, and your main value.

Find Your Tone of Voice

Before you start writing directly, you need to find your tone of voice. To do this, return to your target audience and try to imagine in what manner these people communicate with each other. Your brand should resonate with their voices in real life, as all people subconsciously reach out to those who speak their language and are at their level.

In order to find your tone of voice, do the following exercise. Come up with an idea for a post and try writing the post in a variety of voices. For example, in a strict and formal tone, then a neutral one, then one with notes of humour, another in the style of teenagers, and then one in the style of millennials. Most likely, you will already understand which of the voices is right for you, but if you’re undecided, this is a good exercise to help you decide. Keep that voice in mind when posting going forward, as it will become a key characteristic of your  branded content.tone of voice

Be Brief but Own the Essence

Users of social networks do not like to read long posts. Most often they scan the post diagonally, stumbling over hashtags and emoticons. And by the way, you need to think about that too. Try to write so that some of the words in your post can become good hashtags. Plus, use emoji to visually divide the post and make it more attractive.

And of course, always strive for brevity without losing the essence. Practice shows that 150-200 words are the maximum post length for social networks – users simply will not read longer (sigh).

Have a Clear Structure

If the last time you heard about the introduction, the main part and the conclusion was back in school, then now is the time to refresh this structure in your memory. Yes, each of your posts should contain these parts and they should be intuitively separated from each other.

So, start your post with an introduction, with a so-called hook – this is the most urgent problem for users that you’re going to fix. Next, go to the main part, and show how your brand can help. Use statistics, the number of clients you have helped, their results, scientific research, quotations from specialists. End your post with a call to action, for example, offer to go to your site, place an order, or read your other posts.

Pay Attention to Your Headline

If the first impression is graphics and style, then the second is your headline. If the first two ways to attract attention do not work, then in general, your content will not suck in the users you hope.

Therefore, come up with several headings for each of your posts and test them using the Headline Analyzer.

attention to headline

Discuss Hot Topics and Show the Attitude of Your Brand

Hot topics are a good source of branded content that can attract the attention of users who do not yet know about you and expand your target audience. But for this to happen, you should definitely use a complete set of hashtags, some of which will reflect the topic you’re discussing, plus your corporate and branded hashtags.

Try to choose topics and news for your discussion posts that resonate with your company’s values. Acting in this way, it will be easier for you to attract users who are on the same wavelength with you and even better to tell your subscribers about your mission through the prism of current events.

Add Some Links to Your Posts

To make your audience even more involved, try to link your posts together. For example, you can end your post with an appeal to read your other posts on certain topics and add links directly below the post.

 If you want to increase the number of external links to your site, then it is not necessary to do this manually. For example, you can use the LinksManagement service and this process will be launched without your participation. Moreover, this will also have a direct impact on your promotion in social networks because the more people come to your site from third-party resources, the more likely they will want to continue communicating with your brand in one of the social networks.

What social media platforms are right for my company?

There are many different platforms which can contribute to your branded content. Before you begin diving in, decide on which ones are the right fit for your business. Below are three popular social media platforms that you might want to consider.

Facebook

  • What do you want to do with the platform?

Facebook is a highly flexible platform.  A business account compiles all relevant data into an easy-to-read page, with helpful information on your page views, post reach, new page likes and much more. It is also possible to collect your followers’ email addresses by conducting giveaways and contests. Facebook can also be used to post articles on recent achievements that people might share, which would in turn raise your brand awareness.

  • Who is your audience?

75% of all women and 63% of all men use this platform. As of April 2020, the majority of the 2.5 billion monthly users are from India (280 million), with the US coming in second at 190 million. Also, 32% of users are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Instagram

  • What is your product?

Instagram is highly visual – all posts consist of a square image with a small space for description beneath. You can also use the image space to post small blurbs of text, but keep in mind that people expect to see images every once in a while as well.

  • What do you want to do with this platform?

Remember that the only space for hyperlinks is in the profile description – you won’t be able to post article . If you are trying to boost brand awareness or perception, Instagram may be a good choice for you. There are also branded content tools you could use to help improve transparency between branded content and the community. All of this can help increase customer retention, or just straight out increase your number of customers.

  • Who is your target audience?

More than 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram. 120 million of these are in the US, with India coming in second at 88 million and Brazil in third with 82 million. In addition, most users access Instagram via the mobile app, and over 86% of the users are between the age of 13 and 34.

Twitter

  • What do you want to do with this platform?

Twitter is typically used for timely content such as the news and customer service. It can be used as a broadcasting platform for pushing out messages and promoting products. It can also be used to engage followers or respond to customer feedback/complaints.

  • Who is your target audience?

Twitter has a large young adult user base, with 28% being between the ages 25 and 34 and 24% being between the ages of 18 to 24. While there are certainly fewer users, capping at 330 million a month that is still no negligible number of people.

Conclusion

As you can see, writing branded content on social media is not so difficult if you follow these steps. In each of your posts, try to maintain individuality and show the true values of your brand. In most cases, truthfulness, sincerity and a desire to help people are the best marketing techniques.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

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Tags: branded content | branding | social media

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