This should scare you. People have just watched social dilemma on Netflix are realizing why their digital consumption is “sooo good and addictive”.

And for the content creators, marketers who are trying to ensure their brands stick with customers, their job is going to become harder.

Too much competition, less time and attention from consumers. And now, people are getting educated about what they’re consuming on social media and content platforms.

How can marketers make their brand stand out in this cluttered digital chaos?

Better content? Well, not just that. There’s more.

Artist: Hugh MacLeod


Lohith Ramachandra, who makes the most memorable & viral social media campaigns at Swiggy, and heads their Social Media team, was live at HelloMeets on 27 of September. And his meetup was centered around the topic — ‘Making your content viral on social media.’

A quirky, spontaneous, witty, and a serial books purchaser are not enough to describe Lohith. His meetup’s insights and learnings in this blog prove how inclusive, aware, and humble a marketer ought to be to create content ideas that bloom into viral campaigns.

(Also, read on till the end to get some life-changing book and podcast recommendations)


A Content Marketing framework & mindset

For any brand, any piece of content you put out, follow these 4 paths. Does your content have the objective to:

  • Educate - Give user knowledge about stuff that they’d need in their daily lives and conversations.
  • Like Finshots, they educate users about finance and different facets on their social media.
  • Entertain - If your brand voice is witty, you can hijack a trend through your witty posts and give entertainment. Your content has a higher chance of taking a place in a consumer's mind that way. Brands like Morning Brew and CRED use their brand presence to entertain.
  • Inspire - Inspire users to do something, make them feel good. Like Nike, they inspire you to do your best through their ads, they don’t sell shoes in their ads, they sell an inspirational way of life.
  • Persuade - Persuade users to take an action. Do it in a way that is not too obvious, but still give the users a journey to take an action.


If your content is created with the above objectives in mind, it gives the users a reason to consume your brand. Because it’ll something more to them and their life, than just some product being pushed to them through their screen.

Once they start following your brand's content, they have entered your funnel through the awareness that your posts have created.

Figure out the value that you are giving to a consumer who wants to follow your page. Don’t talk about your product and features, people don’t care.


A content creation process startup teams can use

  1. What do I want to say (message - core communication)
  2. Who do I want to say this to (target audience) Figure out what they like, where they hangout, what they consume, etc. You'll understand what type of content will hook them
  3. How do I want to say this (type of content) Breakdown what sort of content resonates with your target audience. Try out videos, images, videos with texts, infographics, etc.
  4. Where do I want to say this (medium or platform)

Every platform needs it's own different strategy, as different stuff works on different platforms.

Your messaging, how you'll represent content, the degree of uniqueness — all that will emerge out of above 4-step process.

Tip: Instagram incentivizes brands that are able to engage users for longer times through each content piece. Like Carousal posts - lets you make 10 slides, and if people scroll till the end, and more people are doing it, Insta pushes that content piece further and you can get organic growth that way.


Types of Content posts on social media that get great traction for your Startup

If you want to really stand out as a brand, your content posts need to be:

  • Unique

Don't just compete with brands in your category, but compete for the fading attention spans of users who're consuming tons of content each minute.

You can be unique in writing, presentation, style, visual, etc.

  • True to your brand voice

Ensure the same qualities are being shown in your content pieces over time. If your brand is “diligent, down-to-earth, and funny” then show those qualities in all your posts and messaging consistently.

  • Relatable

This depends on the TG you're going cater to. Make the content more shareable. Example: 5 things startups can do right now to clean up or organize their content calendar.

  • Insightful

Time-relevant information that people can relate to. And has a great chance of giving that ‘Aha moment’ (realizing that truth and being able to connect with it).

Eg: Failing to stay in shape during COVID. Basically, can your content piece sit on top of an insight that is persisting in the collective consciousness of people.

  • Authentic

Be human as a brand. Accept that not everything will be 100% perfect in terms of content and reviews.
Eg: If some mess up happened, admit it, acknowledge it and be human.

  • Shareworthy

Have an element in the posts that make people share it with others... would people like sharing that content. You can do a litmus test for it by asking people around you about what they feel about that piece of content.

  • Relevant

Figure out, without a force-fit, if you can put out content around recent topics and burning issues. Should be time-relevant. But not to insensitive.


How to make content campaigns & strategize


You can try The Hero, Hub and hygiene model for your social strategy and organizing content campaigns. Here's a breakdown:

Hero Campaigns

  • These are intended to make a lot of noise and grab attention.
  • Has a reach of 10 million+.
  • Is high on spend, and has really researched insights poured into it.
  • Can be done once per quarter. Depends a lot on the money involved.
  • Example: Swiggy’s voice of Hunger Campaign (You can check out highlights on their Instagram handle


Hub Campaigns

  • Will give you medium noise level.
  • Usually can be topical and time-relevant stuff.
  • Talks about something that is happening right now. Like IPL.
  • Can be created once or twice a quarter, depending on events in that time.


Hygiene

  • Regular tweets, posts, etc. that you put out, for a daily remembrance for followers.


How does this help you from the marketing funnel point of view and application:

  • Hero campaigns lets you build a lot of awareness, and brings consideration about your brand into the minds of your users.
  • Once they consider you and try your brand out and make a purchase. You hit them with regular content.
  • After that, you can provide them with good engaging content on their preferred platforms.

How to structure content marketing campaigns for startups


Objective
What do you want to achieve out of a campaign Eg: Creating a buzz around a membership program.

Insight
The most important thing to crack. It should be something that people don't know about which is going to make a difference to the user.

Your offering could be saving time, or saving money, or making users healthy — they need to know “how” in an insightful manner.

Eg: Let’s say you’re coming up with a membership program. And the insight that can be used in this is "make your life simple" — make this the central message that users will get through your campaign, and see your membership program that way.

Idea - Figure out how you want to express the insight and make it look awesome. If you want to explain a concept, animations can be really helpful.

Platform
Is it going to be your own app, or instagram, or any other social media channel on which you release your posts and ads.

Rollout plan
Pre-buzz: Generate intrigue before the launch of a campaign Buzz: the actual campaign and the posting on the targeted times and channels Duration: how long are you going to carry this campaign on.

Amplification
The distribution of the concept you formulated in the campaign. Who is the right influencer that will boost your reach, and on which channel?Will an agency or a publisher help your campaign’s reach? Like ScoopWhoop or BuzzFeed.


Successful Campaign Examples


Swiggy's voice of hunger campaign

  • This campaign had 16 million+ impression.
  • Led to 40% higher followership on Insta and 24% average increase in orders.
  • It was a platform hack on Insta - using the voice note feature.


Kerala is Open

  • Launched after the massive floods that wrecked the state.
  • This was a tourism campaign.

Kerala is open - by Samsonite Whopper Detour - By Burger King


The Last Comment Campaign by Burger King

  • This was launched when Burger King was return to France after 15 years.
  • And on Burger King France Facebook page, they posted this: “We will open a restaurant in the city of the last one to comment,” And they went viral.

Operational tips to ace your startup’s social media game:

  • Look out for new trends that are going viral. - Try doing Moment Marketing for these trends.
  • Follow ShowerThoughts on Reddit for quirky stuff and learning how to present ideas.
  • If a new feature is coming out on a platform, try and see how you can use it there and then for your benefit [If it can carry a content campaign, use it that feature. Like Voice Notes on Insta - that Swiggy used for their voice of hunger campaign.
  • Don't talk about yourself, nobody cares.
  • Create content that people would love to share and learn something
  • Memes - use them wisely
  • Use pop culture
    A lot of people watch shows online, read graphic novels, fantasy, new songs, movies that people are talking about, a new dish
  • Topical Content -
    Moment marketing that you should ride on, hunt out burning topics that people are discussing and are on top of everyone's mind, will give your content traveling mileage
  • Interact on cultures online, like Reddit and Twitter cultures – you can use them based on how your audience uses memes of specific online cultures. Eg: Binod.
  • Carousel posts Helps push your content forward. Instagram incentivizes you for using such posts.
  • Trending hashtags - Figure out trending posts for relevant hashtags of different categories, gives you reach when you can comment with your 2 cents (adds value, and is authentic) on each of those trending posts for those hashtag categories.
  • New Features - When a platform releases a new feature, be the first one to use it with a campaign. You'll organically reach many people, as the platform would want that engagement

Reading recommendations & Podcasts