In the last two years, I noticed a significant shift in the world of Social Media Marketing, maybe Marketing as a whole. Entrepreneurs, business people, marketing, PR, and Communications managers are all overly obsessed with media and the medium through which they advertise their businesses, products, and services.
If there is an over-focus on Media, what is the other thing that’s not being considered? The thing that’s not considered enough here is “The Creative.” Let me first break down the difference between the media and the creative.
The Media is the medium through which the creative resides. It’s the place where your audience is spending their time. For example, we have mediums like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, and Youtube when talking about Social Media. We have Radio, TV, and magazines in the broader marketing world. These are all media where you will put ads so people can buy your products and services or support your cause.
The creative is the message going out and the actual content your audience consumes. These include videos, graphics, written word, and audio. It’s the ad design for the magazine, the video for TV, or the display banner for google. Some people call it the fluff part of marketing. However, the creative is now becoming the variable of success, not the media.
Am I saying the Media is not necessary? Absolutely not; they are both vital. However, today, we spend a ridiculous amount of time on the media and not enough time on the creative. Therefore, we end up with a situation where we are spending money on Social Media ads, with sometimes upwards of 80% of the budget going to the media and 20% to the creative. When the ad doesn’t work, we start hearing comments like, social media doesn’t work.
Social Media works; the problem is the creative wasn’t compelling enough to capture your target audience’s attention. As we are about to enter 2023, the creative needs to become way more critical, in my opinion, and here’s my reasoning.
Algorithms govern social Media, and we must try our best to understand how these platforms operate with the algorithms. In the last 24 months, we have seen the explosion of Tiktok. Gary Vaynerchuk calls this period the “Tiktokification” of social media. One of the main reasons for this explosion is that Tiktok isn’t showing us content that our friends are posting; it shows us content we are interested in. Therefore, when I am on Tiktok, if I do not engage with a piece of content, I will not see content like it in my news feed, even if it’s posted by someone I am following.
For you to consume my content on Tiktok, I need to ensure it is content that interests you. Therefore I need to spend some more time on my messaging and delivering the right creative. Our content needs to be value-based, entertaining or educating someone on something, and that’s the first step to drawing people in and converting them to your brand. The focus should be less on sales at the beginning and more on brand-building.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, recently published an article entitled “Creator Guide To Growth: How To Get Your Content Seen On Facebook.” In there, Meta stated that there are two ways for your content to get seen on Facebook, through connected distribution and unconnected distribution. The following is their definition of both terms.
- Connected Distribution: Your posts are seen by those who follow you on Facebook. This is your core audience on the platform.
- Unconnected Distribution: Your posts are seen by those who don’t follow you, but may be interested in your content. This type of distribution can come through other users sharing and resharing your posts or from our recommendations in our “Suggested for You” sections.
According to Meta, when they started, their focus was on Connected Distribution. Because Facebook began as a way to connect families and friends, they will share content in users’ newsfeeds that the people they are connected to have shared. However, while this is still the case, they are placing particular emphasis now on unconnected distribution.
Therefore to benefit from unconnected distribution, we need to
- Make original content
- Make out content shareable
- Get recommended
Therefore, what I understand by this is we need to start placing more emphasis on our content. We need to start spending more time on the creative because that’s where social media’s future is heading. No one will want to share boring, unoriginal content. So while we pay attention to the media, it’s time we start paying way more attention than we currently do to the creative.
The days of creating shitty content are over. Today, before I take on a social media management client, I need to ensure they have a budget for creative. We all know that content is the lifeblood of social media. But now, it’s even more critical because if the content is not interesting, the creative is not compelling enough to pull people in, and the story you are telling is not creating an emotional connection with your target audience. Your social media game will fall flat.
The pushback I get generally is that the creative is expensive; it’s costly to create videos and do all that needs to be done. Therefore, people do not want to invest in it. However, not investing in it doesn’t leave much room to take advantage of all the opportunities that exist via the media. So we need to strike a balance.
So if you want to succeed on Social Media and in the world of Marketing and Branding, don’t just focus on the media. Start paying way more attention to the creative you are putting out. You know you want to be on Facebook, and that’s ok, but having a presence on Facebook will not make your business successful unless you have the creative to go with it.
I recently launched my complete social media masterclass. People can learn everything about social media, from content creation to running ads. You can find more about the social media masterclass here- Social Media Masterclass