Branding Your Business Without Paid Ads
An essential choice brands have when creating a social media strategy is how much to invest in content vs. distribution. Executives only want to get their name in front of as many social media users as possible. Often ROI is measured by likes and views. Facebook or YouTube Ads seem like a sure fire way to get views. As a result, distribution wins this budget tug-o-war, and quality of content becomes a secondary concern.
However, this proves to be a lose-lose situation. Users are forced to watch an ad they do not want to view, creating a negative association with the brand. Companies are paying to frustrate potential customers. We often think whatever brand can master social media simply has the most capital to put into it. Last year, Nestlé proved that was certainly not the case. The biggest advantage of social media is that smaller to medium sized companies can do more with less if they know how.
Make Content, Not Ads
The solution is simple. Instead of dumping money into separating users from content, invest in becoming the content they want to view. Don't make ads; make videos that are so enjoyable to watch people share it with their friends. Your video should not feel like a commercial, but a short film. It should draw people in, have a plot, and have a payoff at the end. Don't talk at your audience, talk to them.
Trust is Key
Another advantage of creating content people want to share is trust. People have learned not to trust ads, whether they are on their television or news feed. Research shows that when friends share something online, who shared it becomes significantly more important than who created it. These findings are intuitive. If your friend recommends a movie, they genuinely think you will enjoy it. If a movie trailer tells you to see a movie, their interests are probably not aligned with yours
Use this information to your advantage. Create content worth sharing, and people will like and trust your brand more.
Putting Content to Your Advantage
Any brand must have a long term strategy that gets their message to the right people and builds trust between the company and consumers. Paid online ads can be detrimental to both of these goals. While engineering content to go viral allows your brand will fight through the noise while accomplishing both messaging and trust goals.