Entrepreneurs

4 Ways To Use Online Content Platforms To Bring Value To Your Audience

Content platforms, like Facebook or LinkedIn, have evolved to the point where they are now one of the most effective ways companies can reach their target audience. Even so, many business leaders remain unconvinced and are not yet taking advantage of this resource.

It prompts an obvious question. Why would any business leader hesitate to jump into a medium that’s relatively inexpensive—or even free—and boasts millions of eyeballs?

Of course, no marketing strategy can truly be called “free” when it requires your organization to carve out staff time. And any successful social media campaign will require a significant amount of strategy to be effective. Lacking a data-driven plan and content guardrails, your approach to content through social media and other content platforms could easily fall flat or, worse, prove detrimental to your brand’s image.

When engaging with a worldwide audience on any content platform, ask yourself with every post how you’re benefiting your audience. Listed below are four potential categories to include in your content strategy that can help you provide value and attract followers.

1. Share Your Vision

Audiences understand that, first and foremost, companies are driven by the goal of making money. What might not be as obvious is the company vision that undergirds its products and services. For example, some entrepreneurs are looking primarily to fill a need in society and seek to raise money to turn that vision into a reality.

Content platforms provide a great opportunity for businesses to share their vision with existing and prospective customers. Visions can be a lot easier to affirm than any single product or passing trend. Positive mission statements fall neatly in line with a growing desire for customers to support brands that share similar values and interests.

One example of marketing a mission-focused service is Ecosia, an internet search engine promoting its environmental vision to acquire new users. While Ecosia’s service is to provide answers and resources to web browsers—just like any other search engine—its vision is to use profits to plant trees around the world.

The Ecosia earnings report is completely transparent. The company also uses social media to report the percentage of profits being used to support their vision. To date, Ecosia has planted over 128 million trees as they grow their market share.

2. Increase Your Accessibility

Customers appreciate brands that make themselves available to answer questions and fix problems. Those same customers spend much of their free time on social media.

In fact, the average global citizen spends nearly two and a half hours on social media and other content platforms every day. To increase accessibility, your business could start by opening up direct messaging with customers as another channel for communication. Some customers prefer these channels over phone calls and email. Many now prefer to send a quick message using social media—before they forget to reach out.

There are numerous examples of brands using social media comment sections to interact with their customers. Nowadays, user comments might receive a reply from the brand asking for some clarification or rapidly providing a solution. Consumers love it when a brand reaches out to them on specific issues, especially when they weren’t necessarily expecting a direct answer. 

3. Demonstrate Consistency

As they say in the marketing world, “Content is king.” In those two hours or more that consumers are spending on content platforms like social media, they are consuming gigabytes of content.

Most of what they see is meticulously designed to capture their attention, if only for just a moment. If your social media presence hopes to compete against a seemingly endless supply of background noise, your content strategy must be on target.

There’s no point trying to develop content that goes viral and causes your platform to blow up. Getting to the viral level is extremely difficult and unlikely—plus, the short burst of fame will only last for a few days or weeks at most. The key to bringing value to your audience is consistency.

Start by developing a regular posting schedule. This will ensure that your content is always fresh and your accounts active, encouraging followers to come back for more. After that, work to develop a coherent voice and design that’s easily associated with your brand. Top things off by providing the type of content your audience is looking for. Information on upcoming product introductions, special deals or new long-range projects are all great content platform launch pads.

4. Seek Out (and Respond to) Feedback

Getting feedback you might not receive otherwise is one of the best uses of online content platforms for businesses. Feedback coming directly from your customer base often provides the direction your company needs to bring increased value to your audience.

Resist the temptation to use social media just to browse through posts and comments. Seek instead to actively request feedback using polls, surveys and posts that utilize questions and calls to action. Whenever you do receive feedback, put it to use!

Better yet, use your online content presence to show exactly what you’re doing to turn customer feedback into actual change. That way, customers see that you’re taking their input seriously and doing your best to cater your business to their real-world needs.

Content platforms can be a lot of fun, too, so enjoy yourself crafting entertaining content alongside your team. Just make sure that every content platform decision you make has a positive tone and keeps value in mind.

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