What types of content perform best on social media?

by | Aug 9, 2021 | Analysis, Public Relations

With close to 4 billion monthly active users, social media is a goldmine of marketing opportunities.

But to reap the fruit of your social media marketing efforts, you must know and leverage the types of content that perform best on social media.

4 categories of content for winning social media campaigns

To create effective content on social media you must, first of all, understand the four categories of content you can create for social media.

  • Educational content—Educational social media content is designed to inform and educate your audience about your brand, product, or services.
  • Entertaining content—Entertaining content, as the name suggests, is meant to be light-hearted and fun. Its main purpose is to drive engagement.
  • Inspirational content—We all need a shot of inspiration
  • Conversion-focused content—Conversion-focused content is designed to directly drive one of your business goals like lead generation or driving sales.

What types of content perform best on social media?

A well-designed social media marketing funnel leverages assets in these four content categories. It also focuses on the best type of content for each category and platform.

Types of content that perform best on social media

Like all marketing campaigns, social media marketing serves the purpose of engaging your audience and building meaningful relationships with them. That’s why you must know the types of content your audience loves.

What are those types of content?

  • User-generated content (UGC)

UGC is one of the best performing types on social media for one reason—users find it more authentic than brand-centric content. Because it’s created by fellow users, your social media followers are more likely to relate. Posting and sharing content created by your audience shows that you care about them and value their content enough to share it on your platform.

One of the biggest benefits of UGC is that it drives engagement. It also helps you tap into your followers’ networks and increase your follower base.

UGC is particularly effective on social media platforms that focus more on visual content like photos and video. So, give your audience an opportunity to be part of your social media marketing by encouraging them to share UGC—particularly content that features your product.

  • Success stories, A.K.A case studies

Success stories are another type of content that performs exceptionally well on social media. Also known as case studies, this kind of content is very effective at grabbing attention and connecting emotionally with your audience.

Why? Because people are wired to love stories. Take advantage of this and create case studies that highlight:

  • The problem
  • Your product
  • Your customer’s success

This simple three-part act will help you showcase your product in action and help you win more customers. You may talk all you want about product features but your audience won’t be moved. However, use the storytelling format and you’ll definitely get their attention. One reason for this is that it becomes easier for them to relate to your solution when they see someone in a similar situation to theirs.

Case studies can be created in many different formats including:

  • Text
  • Video
  • Slides

Because of this, you can use them on virtually any social media platform.

  • Interactive content

Interactive content is a vital part of social media marketing. In essence, it simply means content that requires active engagement from your followers as opposed to static content that only requires reading. Examples of interactive content include:

  • Quizzes and assessments
  • Polls
  • Interactive video
  • Interactive infographics
  • Calculators and tools
  • Games
  • Contests

Interactive content is an excellent content type for lead generation. It’s also great for building your personal brand because the chances of it being shared are higher than other content types. For example, people love sharing quiz results on social media. Of course, when they share, they’re also promoting your brand.

  • Industry research

Particularly for B2B brands, industry research plays a huge role in attracting leads at the top of your sales funnel. That’s why you must share your findings on social media. Industry research makes for great performing content as most B2B buyers want to know current trends in their industry.  Sharing your research also helps you:

  • Better explain why your audience needs your product.
  • Establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
  • Build trust with your audience.

You can use many formats to share your industry research on social media. You can create images, videos, infographics, and even text-based posts. Once your audience sees that you solve real-world problems, your lead generation and sales will definitely enjoy an uptick.

  • Promotional content

Of course, the main point of your social media marketing campaigns is to achieve business goals like lead generation and driving sales. That’s why you must mix promotional content in your strategy. While it may not garner as much attention and drive as much engagement as other types of content, promotional content still performs well if executed well. To create promotional social media content that performs well:

  • Understand your audience. Understanding your target audience is essential to helping you create personalized content for each platform.
  • Add value. Don’t just sell, add value to each post by showing how your product will solve your audience’s problems.
  • Trigger emotions. Use visuals and text to trigger your target audience’s emotions. This can be anything from joy to security to greed to fear and everything in between.

Craft your promotional social media content in a way that it blends natively into the feed and it will perform just as well as your other content types.

The best performing content on social media equals the best PR

With the extensive reach it offers, social media must be an essential aspect of any business’s marketing operations. Leverage the best social media management tools and, of course, the best performing content, and you’ll be on your way to viral social media campaigns.

In short, social media is one of the best PR platforms you can leverage—if it’s done right that is.

Now that you know the types of content that perform best on social media, go ahead and power your social media marketing strategy.

Hanson Cheng
Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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