If your brand sells products online, congrats! You’ve secured a spot in the $4.89 billion e-commerce market, expected to grow to $6.38 billion in 2024. What we want to know is whether your brand sells products on social media platforms. If not, it’s time to start.
Why? While social commerce will account for just 4% of online retail sales in 2021, that’s about to change. Between now and 2028, social commerce is projected to skyrocket from the current market value of $584.9 billion to a staggering $3.36 trillion.
With that kind of growth, it’s safe to say that social media is where your brand needs to be in the years to come. So, what’s next?
Establishing a social media presence for your brand is only the beginning. We recommend meeting your audience where they already are, whether it’s TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and focusing your energy on those platforms. After that, you need to consistently deliver engaging, valuable content to your social media followers. The more authentic the content, the better — because consumers don’t trust ads.
That sounds like a lot of work, but don’t be scared to dive in. You deserve to claim your piece of the social commerce pie. Below you’ll find five tried and true content buckets that take the guesswork out of posting. We’ll also share strategies for filling each content bucket to the brim. Soon, you’ll have a constant flow of high-quality content!
No, we aren’t talking about skincare. Connecting your brand to hot topics is an effective, while temporary, way to establish relevance and garner some attention from people who might not otherwise be familiar with what you do.
Brainstorm topical content by browsing the latest issue of your favorite industry publication or searching your news outlet of choice for industry-related terms. Here are a few examples of topical social media posts:
- An apparel brand might check out what stars like David Rose (oops — we mean Emmy-winner Dan Levy) wore to the Met Gala. There are already hundreds of Instagram posts about Levy’s outfit alone and, while we’re writing this, the gala is just starting. You could provide insights into what goes into a red carpet look, put together your own versions of the wildest outfits or share which celeb is your dream customer.
- A supplement brand could take note of the rise in popularity of fermented foods and chime in. Is there a way to incorporate your product in a recipe along with kimchi or yogurt? Does your brand have its own tips to promote gut health? Would it make sense to collaborate with a kombucha company for a health-focused giveaway? One news item has endless potential.
The bottom line? When there’s a buzz-worthy development related to your line of work, get in on the conversation. It doesn’t have to perfectly tie into everything you do as long as you can establish your voice and prove your expertise. How do you feel about this news? What’s your opinion on it? Follow the channels where this news comes from. Then, contribute to the dialogue regularly and intelligently.
Evergreen content never goes bad. You can share it any day, any season. We recommend stocking up on evergreen content. That way, you have posts to share even during slow periods. Popular evergreen content ranges from “fun facts” about your area of expertise to employee product recommendations to inspirational quotes that will resonate with your audience. Sticking with the industries we mentioned above, here are some more specific ways to make evergreen content work for you:
- An apparel brand could collect a bunch of “behind the scenes” videos from employees on the job, featuring a range of roles and/or locations, to share over time. You could also select a popular hashtag like #OOTD or #ThrowbackThursday (or use your own!) and create branded, hashtag-themed content in advance.
- A supplement brand might create a stockpile of engaging videos about each of a product’s key ingredients, including where they come from and how they support various health goals. Another option would be to collect glowing video testimonials from brand ambassadors aka your biggest supporters. Posts like that are highly effective at building brand trust!
If you’re creative with evergreen content, you’ll have a little stream of posts that never stops.
The news changes every day, but there are things that happen seasonally or annually that you can build content around ahead of time. These can be actual seasons, holidays, anniversaries, etc. Or, they can be sillier “National Days” like Taco Day or Puppy Day that you can somehow tie into your brand. Either way, it’s content that you don’t have to think too hard to create.
- For our friends in any industry, we recommend picking some “holidays” that your competitors wouldn’t choose, and going all out creating authentic content that could only come from your brand. Perhaps your brand mascot is an animal that has a dedicated national day? Or your brand is named after the founder’s grandpa, and his birthday could become a content-creating opportunity? Do you donate a portion of your proceeds to a mission-aligned charity on the same day every year?
- If there’s a time of year that’s slower than others for your brand or industry, consider skimming a calendar for a day you can build buzz around.
- Apparel brands are perfectly set up for planned content since what we wear depends on the season.
- Supplement brands also have endless options with planned content. There are many health and fitness-themed “holidays,” and each season lends itself to different types of work-outs and different seasonal, nutritious foods.
A note for all brands: Especially if you have brand ambassadors, the traditional holiday season is a huge revenue driver. Don’t forget to prepare for that! In general, enlisting brand ambassadors to assist with planned content is a huge time saver. Learn more about their user-generated content magic below.
Repurposed content is, frankly, your best friend. And every brand has access to it because it’s already yours! Webinars, blog posts, case studies… whatever marketing content you have in your arsenal can be repurposed in multiple ways.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, so we’ll only share a few tidbits to noodle on:
- Mine your most popular blog posts for valuable insights and pop them into Reels, LinkedIn posts, Tweets and TikTok videos.
- Take case study interviews’ best quotes and share them as testimonials.
At the end of the day, every existing piece of content you have is an opportunity to save time and work smarter.
Last, but far from least, there’s user-generated content (UGC). UGC is marvelous for many reasons. In fact, it’s BrandChamp’s favorite content bucket by far! Your fans and followers — and brand ambassadors, if you have them — do the work for you. There is potential for a large quantity of content to be produced in a short period of time. If you really invest in it, it’s engaging, fun and can help you identify the magical people who are your brand evangelists. It does wonders for brand awareness by putting your products in front of all kinds of new people. It also builds brand trust because people prefer recommendations from friends and family over advertisements by far!
Here are just a couple of ways to drum up UGC:
- Run a branded hashtag campaign when you launch a new product. If you have brand ambassadors, you could offer them early access to the product as VIPs and share the hashtag campaign with them first to build hype.
- Host an Instagram giveaway (following platform guidelines, of course), requiring participants to produce UGC to enter. You’ll likely gain followers, expand your reach and acquire new customers in the process.
Brand ambassador programs make all the difference and will kick your revenue and referral sales into high gear. Skirt Sports, a longtime BrandChamp client and apparel brand, galvanized more than 1,000 brand ambassadors to create more than 70,000 pieces of UGC on Instagram, turning the social media platform into their #1 sales channel! They are a testament to the awesome power of UGC.
We hope you feel inspired and empowered to start brainstorming all kinds of creative content for your brand! We strongly feel that a well-managed brand ambassador program is the best way to build UGC, not to mention extend the reach of all your content. Incidentally, that’s exactly what BrandChamp is for.
Make sure to save this post in case you’re ever strapped for content ideas for your social commerce brand. When you invest in high-quality content, you have nothing to lose. More importantly, you’ll gain loyal customers, brand awareness and boosted sales.