Content Marketing Blog
What are the best types of content for social media promotion?

What are the best types of content for social media promotion?

Social media promotion has the power to get your brand in front of potentially millions of new people. Facebook alone has over 2 billion monthly users, according to data from Statista. Two billion!

But while content amplification is inexpensive compared to traditional marketing methods, if you promote your content the wrong way you’re throwing money down the drain and missing out on great results.

So, today we’re going to talk about social media content promotion ideas. What are the best types of content for amplifying?

Best content for social media promo

1. Interactive content

Interactive content refers to any piece of content that responds to a user’s actions. This can take many forms, though the most common you will likely recognise is your traditional Buzzfeed-style quiz. We cover examples of interactive content below.

When trying to achieve a promotion goal using social media, interactive content can be highly effective because of its appeal. Users aren’t just going to a page and reading a thing, they have the opportunity to interact with it, potentially in myriad different ways. Indeed, this appeal is showing strong results – a Demand Metric study showed that interactive content can get up to two times more conversions than standard content.

Examples of interactive content

  1. Quiz: Quizzes don’t have to be silly or dripping in pop culture references. Sure, they can be a bit of fun, but what if you used a quiz more seriously? Like an education provider helping people figure out what type of learner they are, or a safety equipment company testing people’s knowledge of their industry’s code.
  2. Game: You can gamify almost anything. To use a real-world example, New Zealand online retailer Mighty Ape hosts an ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ on its website each year, where users navigate the website to find hidden eggs. Those who find all eight earn a prize.
  3. Calculator: A calculator – say, a mortgage calculator – is a piece of interactive content that your users might find useful to play around with to learn more about your service, or what they would get out of it.
  4. Assessment tool: Assessments are similar to quizzes, but here a user would answer set questions to identify their particular needs. Using our safety equipment company example again, if this was an assessment tool instead of a quiz, the final score might tell a user if they need to renew their training or not.
  5. Interactive infographic/ebook: E-books, whitepapers and infographics are all great pieces of content in their own right (more on graphics below), but they can also be interactive. E-books can be hosted on their own microsites, with navigation buttons, pop-out boxes to help clarify definitions of words, and anything else you can think of. Infographics can be animated, moving around with the click of a button.

2. User-generated content

User-generated content is what it says on the tin. This is where your brand shares content that your audience has created. Commonly this will be photo content, though some brands encourage users to make videos or write personal stories, too.

Why bother? According to AdWeek, 76 per cent of people find content posted by fellow consumers more trustworthy than content from brands. Additionally, 27 per cent of consumers turn to user-generated content rather than ads prior to making their purchase.

Examples of user-generated content

  1. GoPro: The GoPro Awards – where user-submitted photos and videos are highlighted on GoPro’s social feeds and website – are a way for the action camera company to do two things: First, it recognises great work from users (and rewards them with exposure, free equipment and even cash). Second, these spectacular images inspire other people to go on their own adventures, bringing along a GoPro to capture similarly cool pics.
  2. Adobe: Adobe’s hashtag campaigns are great example of using hashtags to source user-generated content. When Adobe users tag their work with the relevant phrase (below you’ll see it’s “#Adobe_Getaway”), the software company shares the image on their Instagram page. That way, its feed has a constant stream of new content coming in, and viewers get inspired for their own projects.
  3. Target: Here’s a video example. Target in the US asked customers to send videos of themselves opening their college acceptance letters. It then compiled the best videos into an advert showcasing its intent to donate money to education. This was a low-cost commercial for the retailer, and a high-impact campaign created by collaborating with customers.

3. Social media videos

Boy has video become important! Videos can be used in a variety of ways on social media, from short tutorials and other educational clips to behind-the-scenes looks, live streams and commercials. By choosing the right video type, companies with all sizes of budget can afford this content – and the more technology advances, the easier it gets to access video even on a tight budget (think smartphone cameras, or online video tools like Wideo).

Here’s a few stats for you: According to Depositphotos, 80 per cent of all internet traffic will travel to videos in 2019. In 2021, live streaming alone will make up 13 per cent of that. And now the real kicker – pause for dramatic effect – 90 per cent of customers say that videos help them make purchasing decisions.

OK, so if you’re promoting on social media, you need some vids.

Tips for promoting on social media with video

  1. Think about your audience: Like all things in digital marketing, your specific audience on social media will have different tastes when it comes to video. If you’re the safety equipment company we mentioned before, a snappy tutorial might perform better than a silly sketch. Whereas if comedy fits with your brand, you might find humour a great way to go viral.
  2. Keep it snappy: Whatever video you promote on social, keep it to the point. According to data from Wistia, video engagement drops off sharply when the video is longer, as opposed to shorter content where people are more likely to watch to the end.
  3. Consider a video that doesn’t need sound: Platforms like Facebook automatically play videos muted in many cases. A lot of viewers won’t bother to unmute or to plug in headphones, but will instead view the video silently or scroll away. But this doesn’t mean you have to make a silent film like it’s 1920 – captions can increase video view time by 12 per cent, according to Facebook.

4. Infographics and other visual media

Infographics, photographs and other visual types of static content are attention-grabbers and a must-have for any social amplification campaign. If you don’t have video, you must have images. Why? We’ll tell you:

  • Having at least one image in a Facebook post leads to more shares (BuzzSumo).
  • Infographics can improve web traffic up to 12 per cent (OneSpot).
  • Users pay very close attention to images that carry information (Nielsen Norman Group).

Tips for using images when promoting on social media

  1. Feel-good or purely decorative images should be avoided. Nielsen Norman Group also found that these types of images are largely ignored by users.
  2. Follow the image size guidelines for your particular social media feed, so the image is portrayed the right way. Otherwise it might get cropped or pixelated (if it’s up-sized to fit).
  3. If they work for your brand, then children and pets are excellent at stealing attention, according to Wishpond.
  4. A/B test everything. To get the best results, try a couple different images in one campaign and compare them against each other. That way you can push the more effective of the two in future.

Check out an example of the sort of infographic that can work well in social ads by clicking through to our article “Clean up your social pages with this checklist”.

5. Competitions and giveaways

Competitions and giveaways are quick ways to build engagement with your brand while acquiring fresh new leads (for example, growing your email database). Even nowadays, with so many competitions online, these freebies still work.

According to data from Kontest, a competition can increase your company’s fanbase by up to 34 per cent. One-third of entrants also agree to receive further information from brands and partners.

How to promote your next giveaway

  1. First, figure out what type of contest/giveaways to run. Types of contests to consider include: Commenting/liking in return for an entry into a contest; asking for user-submitted content (like GoPro); asking for an email address in exchange for a free item (like a whitepaper); or asking for a mix of the above. If you understand your audience and how they prefer to interact on social media (as in, do they feel comfortable commenting on content or handing over their email?), then this should be simple. However, you can always test different campaigns to see what works.
  2. Ensure your prize is worth their time: If you have a product, you can of course offer it to people for free. This is especially true for companies writing whitepapers and e-books – these work well for B2B giveaways. But don’t limit yourself to just promoting your own goods. Prizes such as travel, tickets to events, special experiences (like dining somewhere fancy) are all options that many of your users may crave, but wouldn’t buy for themselves.
  3. Build a dedicated landing page: For most contests or giveaways, you’ll want a dedicated landing page. This is a place your audience will click through to and read about your competition in greater detail, and potentially leave their details. Of course, you’ll want to capture the leads from this page, too. A landing page is also important for data analysis, as it enables you to measure if the campaign got traffic or not.
  4. Be visual: When you promote the contest, remember to keep it visual. Use videos or images, and pack them with snappy, easy-to-digest information that doesn’t require audio.

In summary

The most effective content for promoting on social media is anything visual or interactive (or, even better, both!). To get the best results from your next campaign, see if you can figure out a great way to add more imagery to your ads – remembering to keep it informative, not decorative.


Get updates from the experts - Castleford

Duncan Pacey
Duncan Pacey About the author

Duncan has hands-on experience developing and rolling out many of our bespoke search-optimised writing products, making him the perfect Castleford blogger. When he’s not writing about SEO, lead gen, and the art of entertaining people and Google simultaneously, he crafts prose for clients in hospitality, construction and building, and the software as a service field. Current clients include SAS, Altus, Epson - and of course the Castleford website.

Read more of Duncan's articles