Let Us Tell You A Story: Original Content
Promotional content has flooded social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the years. Additionally, new ad products across digital channels has generated a lot of noise, reducing engagement rates, and in some cases, ad blocking by users. As a result, it’s important to recognize the importance of original content. As Valerie Jennings, CEO and founder, explained, “Original content and original stories sell an experience.” Watch her video to learn more.
What Is Original Content?
Creating content that your audience will enjoy is a hard enough endeavor, but making it engaging and relatable can seem near impossible. Original content allows you to make engaging content that also speaks to the audience on a personal level and forges a positive connection. Jennings explained, “[Original content] makes a positive connection between a brand and their audience.”
Original content is written or visual content that is unique to your brand and your brand alone. The most important forms of original content include:
- Blogs: Long-form written content that usually involves scouring information from studies or other sources to enforce the point of the article. This content is great for elevating SEO because of the possibility for backlinks, or links that connect back to the blog from other sources like social media or other blogs.
- Videos: Live visual content that can be used across almost any form of brand promotion, including websites, blogs and social media content. Videos are especially engaging and leave an impression on the audience.
- Photos: Visual media that can be used across any and all promotional platforms but are generally less engaging than videos. If you are going to use photos for promotion, they should be exceptional and eye-grabbing.
According to Edgy, original content has become so hard to curate that brands are using old ideas and taking a different stance or view to making them seem like “new” ideas. However, this does not impress consumers. Your employees are your best asset when brainstorming ideas for original content. They can provide a look into your company that would otherwise not exist. This transparency from a brand can form such a lasting impression on the audience that it can be the difference between consumers choosing your brand over another. According to Business2Community, 91 percent of consumers are willing to reward a brand for authenticity, and 35 percent note that trust in a brand is a top reason to shop at a retailer. The medium and type of content are key in building that brand-consumer relationship, Jennings noted.
According to Jennings, “Video is the best medium to capture those kinds of [authentic] stories, but behind-the-scenes photos will do the job. This provides a sense of transparency to your consumers which will instill trust in and a connection with your brand.”
Original Content Trends
Social media has proven to be a key platform to market your brand and establish a brand image through content, whether promotional or not. How you go about doing this is the crux of your brand strategy.
As Business2Community puts it, “[the audience] wants to know the people and faces behind a corporate logo.” Your brand is your people and the passions everyone shares to complete your company’s goals and help your customers. Your audience will not connect with the brand alone but with the people who are a part of that brand — and that’s where original content can help you relate to the consumer.
How To Utilize Original Content For Your Brand
Our agency experience has taught us one thing above all over the years: there is no industry that can’t benefit in some way from original content. We often hear that there are brands and industries where original content, and thus some social channels, just don’t fit. However, some organizations may feel that their products and services may be hard to capture in photos or pictures, but in that kind of company, original content is king.
For many, the biggest struggle in creating original content is considering what the subject and format should be. As Jennings said, a form of original content can be behind-the-scenes videos or photos. These are great for those in the technology industry who have passionate people creating innovative products all the time. These people are the backbone of the product, and by highlighting them, you are highlighting what makes the company and its products great. Jennings explains, “You can create an emotional connection [for any brand].” She notes that, “We have clients all across the board that are creating everything from lifesaving products to keeping their homes warm in the winter months and nice and cool in the summer months.” With these brands, our agency has been fortunate to create this personal connection through original content that explores the people behind the brand and creating an authentic brand image for them. “It is about finding the angles and creating those original stories.”
Original Content Ideas
Creating original content shouldn’t be looked at as a daunting task; it should be something that comes naturally. Here are some examples from Business2Community that we have expanded on:
- Staff Spotlight: A video interview with an employee that highlights why they love working with your company and what drives them is a great way to bring the brand to life. Jennings suggests highlighting their passions and how they feel they are making a difference in the world through their work.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to showcase an employee’s expertise in an area. In recent years, this form of audio content has grown in popularity, according to Edison Research.
- Behind-the-Scenes: This can be a range of content types, such as a story that highlights a big employee meeting or a simple video that shows everyone hard at work.
- Day in the Life: This can accomplish the same goal as the behind-the-scenes, which is aiming to show the audience your company culture. By utilizing video, you can create an even more immersive experience.
The point of all of these ideas is — you guessed it — to make a connection with the audience. Breaking down the wall of a brand to reveal what your company truly is: the people.
We aren’t saying that promotional content isn’t a good strategy. If you only produce original content, your audience is likely not going to understand what your product or service is. Combining original content that sells the story of your company and its people in combination with promotional content is a solid foundation to a marketing plan that is sure to deliver quality results.