Why You Don’t Need to Pay a Dollar For Social Media Marketing
With social media, or any other type of marketing for that matter, the more money you invest, the better results you’ll generate?
Well, the most logical answer would be yes, but on second thought, you know that isn’t always the case. You can, for example, generate more clicks and conversions with a Google Adwords ad that is optimized and has a high score and that pays less per click, rather than an ad that pays a lot for each click but doesn’t have an optimized and appealing ad.
Look at this visual from Search Engine Land explaining the principle:
The idea with social media is that you need to pay lots of dollars to generate any results worthwhile. Yes, investing in social media can help boost your results, but it is absolutely not crucial because, with a strong strategy, you can generate great results without investing a dollar.
The single most important thing when looking to drive results on social media is your content. Social media is driven by content and social media success is driven by great content – content that provides your audience value. No matter what type of content you share, bad content will never generate great results. Moreover, there’s not enough money in the world to make bad content perform well.
Great content is key
You cannot get people to engage and react to your content by pouring more dollars into promoting it and getting more eyeballs on it. The reason is simple: sure, people might be forced to have ads shoved down their throat, but they have a free will to run the other way if the content they see isn’t any good.
With great content, however, people will go to your content on own initiative and will, and they’ll stay there. When you have great content, people will go to it, and most importantly, share it with their friends – thus giving you free exposure simply by the fact that you produce great content.
Something that almost never happens with ads. Think about it: how many people do you think share and promote an ad?
I don’t know about you but I sure don’t. I encourage and share high-quality content.
Quality content spark engagement
Quality content gets a lot of eyeballs on it, and eyeballs on quality content result in engagement. People will start engaging, tagging friends, commenting, and potentially even share your post with their friends. In other words, quite quickly, you’ll get a spread of your content in a way that just doesn’t happen.
The algorithms are your friends (if you give them great content)
Today, almost all social media platforms use some type of algorithm when deciding what content you are going to see in your feed and “explore pages”. And almost all of them are driven by one key thing: engagement. What does this mean for you?
It means that if you produce well-planned, high-quality content that resonates with your audience, you’ll drive engagement, and the algorithms will take note. What will happen then is that the algorithms will start promoting your content because it sees that people are actually enjoying it and engaging with it. When you engage with a post on social media, the algorithms see this as a sign that you enjoy the posts from that account, and as a result, they’ll start showing more similar content, and more content from that account.
What does this mean for you as a brand?
It means that the more the algorithm promotes your content, the less you rely on paid marketing.
If you follow the principle of always sharing high-quality and relevant content to your audience, you’ll soon notice that the algorithms will start promoting you – without demanding a single dime.
Content before coin
If there’s one thing you should take with you from this article, it is this. Produce high-quality content that brings value to your audience – whether it be a good laugh, knowledge, information, or something completely different.
Sure, if you have great content, I am not stopping you from giving it a further boost by investing some money into it. There’s nothing wrong with that! Especially if you’ve optimized and tuned your ad to perfection to reach as many people as possible and get the most bang for your buck.
I am not against paid marketing in any way. In fact, I encourage it. Social media ads allow you to target your audience with a laser-precision, but what I am not for is promoting low-quality content.
Just look at Facebook’s impressive targeting options:
Can you name one person that wants to see low-quality content? Just because you make it an add doesn’t make it more appealing. The truth is that it is the opposite.
Today, there is far more content being produced than can be consumed, and that’s also the reasons why social platforms started using algorithms in the first place. It sorts out the content (it believes) you’ll find irrelevant, and present the content you’ll enjoy in your newsfeed.
If the algorithms wouldn’t exist, you would have to scroll hour after hour to see all the content that is being put out. In fact, the average Facebook user gets served 1500 pieces of content from friends and brands they follow, every time they log in to their Facebook account. The only thing is that Facebook’s algorithm sorts the irrelevant out because consuming that much content is impossible.
If you have to, publish less but greater quality content. You’ll be far better off by doing so.
Build personal relationships
More and more brands have started to realize the power of building relationships with their audience and interacting with them. Social media is called social for a reason. Just because you’re a brand doesn’t mean that the rule doesn’t apply to you.
In fact, it’s the opposite. The rule especially applies to you. When people think about brands, they see them as something they’re distanced from. Not in the sense that they don’t like them, but more that there’s a gap between brand and individual, and it’s hard to build relationships with a brand that isn’t humanized.
However, when you focus on using social media for customer service and building strong relationships with them, they’ll become more loyal supporters of your brand, and they’ll come back for more. And as a brand, this is extremely valuable. Loyal supporters are the most valuable individuals for brands on social media because they have a very high likeliness of recommending your brand to their friends.
This is something that ads have a very hard time doing. Relationships can only be built with real, genuine interactions. Not with ads.
Create quality content and build relationships
I implore you all to focus on quality content rather than your advertising budget. First, you need to learn how to master the art of producing amazing content on social media, that sparks your audience’s interest, and that at the same time bring them value. When you’ve done this – and only then, you can start looking at investing money to boost your reach and results. But remember that money isn’t vital for generating results on social media – quality content is.
Lastly, focus on building genuine relationships with your audience on social media. With ads, it is very difficult to build any relationships. Only human interaction can do that. Get to know your audience and interact with them on a regular basis.