Tuesday, June 20, 2017

YOUR "Innovative" Social Media Advertising?


The social media marketing field is crowded with businesses and personal brands trying to gain visibility; in fact, Jayson DeMers 2017 What Works in Online Marketing survey found that 95 percent of marketers are planning to either increase their social media marketing budgets or keep them the same..

With that many competitors in the field, your campaign needs to be innovative if it's going to survive - but what exactly makes a campaign "innovative," and how can you achieve it?


Why Innovation Is Important

First, let's take a look at why innovation is important.


Differentiation

You need to differentiate your brand from those of your competitors if you're going to stand out. Your prospective followers have dozens of businesses to choose from, and if your posts look the same as everyone else's, you're going to blend into the background as meaningless white noise. Doing something innovative instantly makes you stand out, and sometimes, that extra visibility is all it takes to win a follower's loyalty.

Novelty

When you do something innovative, you're also presenting your followers with something novel - something they've never seen before. This interests most people, and makes you more memorable at the same time.

Leadership

If you try something for the first time, even if you fail, you'll be seen as a leader in the industry for attempting it. People have a deep respect for pioneers and innovators, so any experiments you conduct will likely be met with interest and appreciation.


Key Qualities

At this point, I'd like to outline what I see as the three general qualities that define an innovative social media marketing campaign:


A Unique Voice

First, you need a unique brand voice, or at least a unique direction. Your voice should be a culmination of your values as a business, your target audience, and a juxtaposition of your business with competing businesses. Ideally, your voice will be appealing to your customers, different from those of your competitors, and representative of your brand’s personality. Sometimes, a tone is all it takes to differentiate content as belonging to one brand over another.


A Surprise

You can achieve novelty by giving your followers a surprise - and therefore triggering cognitive processes linked to memory. Surprises, by definition, deviate from the norm, making them innovative, and you can present them in a number of different ways. You might, for example, surprise your followers by giving your video a twist ending, or by shocking them with a statistic you recently found in your original research. You could also surprise them by posting something your industry doesn’t usually like to talk about.

An Unmatched Framework

Innovation in social media is also usually marked by a defiance of traditional formatting. That may include shorter or longer posts than usual, a more or less formal way of phrasing things, or the inclusion of a content type that isn't usually posted.


Driving Innovation

So how can you inspire more innovation in your own social media campaigns? It's tough, if not impossible, to force creativity to happen, but you can use these strategies to come up with more innovative thoughts and ideas:


Remove Yourself From The Game

I frequently encourage entrepreneurs and marketers to step up their social media game by studying the actions of others, taking inspiration and learning by example. Watching how your competitors post (and how their followers respond), for example, can teach you what types of content do and don't work in your industry. However, if you want to be a true innovator, it may be better to remove yourself from the game entirely. Take a social media break, or spend more time on different platforms, watching different brands than you’re used to. Get out of the routine.

Cross-Reference

You can also innovate by taking inspiration from other areas. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are all very different social media platforms, with very different ways to post and interact, but all of them have thriving fan bases. Drawing formatting or content inspiration from one platform and hybridizing it with formatting and archetypes from another may be a useful way to come up with something novel for your fans.


Break Some Rules

There are some informal "rules" for how to post and what to post on different platforms, and for the most part, they work well. However, if you want to distinguish yourself, you’re going to have to be okay with breaking some of them.

Focus On An Emotion

One of the most important factors for viral content is the ability to strike an emotional chord with readers. You can stand out as a thought leader and innovator simply by evoking the right emotion, in the right way, and at the right time. You can do this, and surprise your readers at the same time, by stirring up controversy, such as by taking a strong stance or taking issue with one of your competitors.


Avoid Committee Approaches

Finally, try to avoid the "design by committee" approach to social media management. Multiple voices tend to cancel each other out and produce a vanilla, predictable finished product. Instead, designate one person to be in charge of posting, and allow their voice to stand out through the brand.


Obviously, being weird or different isn't automatically going to make your campaign a success. Doing something truly innovative is a risk, albeit one that typically pays off over the long term. In addition to your most innovative, groundbreaking content, I encourage you to create a strong foundation with more predictably successful content, including blog posts, whitepapers, and interactions with your most loyal followers.

Over time, you'll develop a reputation as a thought leader without alienating the rest of your fan base, and your social media campaign will undoubtedly benefit.

Guest Authored By Jayson DeMers. Jayson is Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom. He "de-mystifys SEO and online marketing for business owners." Jayson graduated from the University of Washington in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration (Marketing), and immediately entered the professional online marketing world. He founded AudienceBloom in April 2010, and has since become a columnist for Forbes, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and Huffington Post. Jayson guest lectures for marketing classes at the University of Washington, and currently resides in Seattle, WA. Follow Jayson on Twitter.





"Obviously, being weird or different isn't automatically going to make your campaign a success.

Doing something truly innovative is a risk, albeit one that typically pays off over the long term.

In addition to your most innovative, groundbreaking content, I [Jayson DeMers], encourage you to create a strong foundation with more predictably successful content, including blog posts, whitepapers, and interactions with your most loyal followers.."


    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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