In order to be successful with social media marketing, you need to play the long game.
If you’re not publishing high quality content on a consistent basis for months (or more likely, years), then you're going to find it difficult to gain traction.
Low quality content seeks to extract value from the reader (usually by ruthlessly self-promoting), whereas high quality content delivers value selflessly.
In my opinion, educational content has the highest value. When you teach someone a skill or give them knowledge that will positively affect their life, you'll gain their trust and grow awareness for your brand.
Here are five brands that are delivering excellent educational content.
In the highly competitive hair extensions niche, most brands are driving traffic using paid advertising.
Facebook ads and Google Adwords can be very effective, but it usually takes a significant investment in time and money before you’re profitable.
Luxy Hair decided to take a radically different approach - instead of paying for traffic, the founders created a YouTube channel dedicated to educational content.
The channel is a comprehensive resource for hairstyling tutorials - whether you want to know how to do dutch braids, double twisted ponytails or double buns, you’ll find a high quality educational video on the Luxy Hair channel.
It’s worth noting that the team at Luxy Hair always aim to educate rather than sell to their audience. Sometimes the videos feature products from the Luxy Hair collection, but the priority is always to deliver value rather than self-promote.
This approach has helped Luxy Hair to gain trust, and build an extremely profitable brand which has stood the test of time.
If you’re not a fan of tough love and profanity-laced rants, you probably won’t be a fan of Alex Becker’s YouTube content.
Alex is brutally honest and pulls no punches when delivering instructional content about internet marketing.
Watching one of his videos about running a Facebook ad campaign or building your email list won’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, but if you follow the actionable steps laid out in front of you, you are likely to generate results.
While there's a lot of generalized internet marketing content out there, Alex stands out because of the high practicality of his content.
Unlike other marketers, Alex is unambiguous in stating that he wants to profit from his audience. He does this by delivering high-quality video content, then promoting free webinars to get people onto his email list.
Once you’re on his list, he'll continue delivering educational content via email, but he’ll also promote his autoresponder company, Market Hero.
Because Alex’s content is aimed at marketers, he knows that his audience will benefit from an autoresponder - so his email marketing is viewed as useful rather than spammy.
Like Alex Becker, Gary Vaynerchuk uses social media to educate his audience on marketing and entrepreneurship - however, he takes a much more philosophical approach, which he explains through the metaphors of clouds and dirt.
He describes the clouds as “the high-end philosophy of what you believe", while his definition of the dirt is “the low-down subject matter expertise that allows you to execute against it.”
You’re not going to get any posts describing the 10 steps to orchestrating a profitable Facebook ad campaign from Gary, but you will get lots of insights about the high-level thinking required to run multi-million dollar companies.
Gary is also a master at tailoring his content for specific channels.
For example, Gary’s Instagram account is full of compelling images, short videos and other pieces of micro-content that make an immediate impact. In this video, he implores artists to put out as much content as humanly possible in order to gain traction, while in another video he gets people to consider the very course of their lives.
He keeps his longer, more intimate content for his YouTube channel - which has millions of views.
Dollar Shave Club
And while this type of content is featured strongly, Dollar Shave Club also publishes lots of educational content too.
If you’ve had trouble shaving your moustache, this cool image will teach you how to do the job properly.
Tackle that annoying mustache area with these four easy steps. Goodbye, top lip fuzz! pic.twitter.com/c69Ky3YedK— Dollar Shave Club (@DollarShaveClub) October 18, 2017
Interestingly, Dollar Shave Club’s educational content doesn’t only pertain to male grooming. The brand publishes content on a range of subjects, including health and career success.
For most people, shaving is not a significant part of our lives, however when our shaving equipment supplier goes the extra mile in helping us to lose weight and advance our careers - we form a deeper connection to the brand.
After all, this is Dollar Shave Club not Dollar Shave Products. It pays to humanize your social media campaigns.
We all know that food is one of the best pleasures in life, and given the educational and visual appeal of social media, it should come as no surprise that food brands like Food Network have been able to amass gigantic social media followings by posting tasty recipes.
For foodies, short recipe videos like the below are incredibly appealing - you’re not only receiving practical tips for how to cook a meal, but you’re also experiencing neurological changes in response to the images, which ultimately makes the content more engaging.
In an article by Science Direct, it’s stated that our brains reward us for looking at food. This is an evolutionary adaption stemming from primitive civilizations where food resources were scarce.
Back then, finding food was key to survival, so our physiological response to seeing food was to prepare the body for consumption. Nowadays, food is abundant, yet we still undergo the same response when we see it.
This process is known as visual hunger and can be easily leveraged by posting visually stimulating recipe videos.
Can you think of any other brands that are winning big with educational marketing? Please let me know in the comments below