Digital marketing and branding are driven by content marketing. If your content doesn’t connect with your ideal customer’s aspirations, your brand isn’t memorable and digital tools are merely a copy machine for messaging that is not working.
When I started working in the marketing industry over twenty years ago, we used research tools like surveys and focus groups to inform our messaging and content creation. In other words, we researched our customer aspirations as much as we could, but in the end, we were still left with an educated guess about what to say and/or show to reach them.
We now have an incredible tool to inform our marketing and ad content and its hidden in the ““post” or “content” analytics of any social media platform.
Meta: In the business manager account, click on the “insights” menu and then click “content” (pictured above).
Twitter: Go to the “tweet activity” section of the professional dashboard and select “tweet engagement.”
TikTok: Go to the “content” tab of your account dashboard.
LinkedIn: Go to the menu that says “Me” at the upper right. From there go to “manage” and then click “posts and activity.”
I recommend taking at least a three month longitudinal look back at your posts because then three things will become very clear:
- You will see very clearly which several posts (I recommend picking the top five) were favored the most by customers; and
- You can then look back at each of those posts and see what they have in common. For example, did you ask your audience a question in each of those high-performing posts? Did you feature a behind-the-scenes look at something in your business?
- You can use those common features to recreate stronger content in the future, especially when you create paid posts (ads). For example, if your customers like to go behind the scenes, take them there more. If they like sneak peaks, do more of that. If they like meeting employees, introduce more of them.
As exemplified here, the beauty of marketing in 2023 is that we have so much data that we rarely have to guess anymore. Instead of customers telling us what they like (older methods of marketing research), they can show us what they like if we simply watch our analytics and use social listening data to inform our next choices.
For these reasons, I always recommend that any company, regardless of industry or size, wait at least three months to run any type of ad or paid traffic online. Instead, collect organic data first so that you can make your content more effective and ultimately make your ad spend more meaningful.
If you find yourself in a position where it is a necessity to run an ad but you don’t have enough data to inform your content choices, then be sure to at least beta test a couple of different versions of ad content so that you have more data in the future. Ad platforms encourage this and ultimately put more of your spend toward the version that performs best. Because the most effective messaging will ultimately be optimized, it’s a waste of money not to beta test your content… just be sure to beta test one factor at a time. If you test different copy (words) leave the image or video the same in each ad. If you test different images or videos, leave the copy the same. That way when one ad outperforms another in the beta test, you know exactly why.
Now run, don’t walk, to that content insights tab that is sitting under the hood of your social media platforms likely feeling very lonely. It deserves a visit because it will help you make your customers feel very connected to your brand’s messaging… and that’s marketing gold.