Stop clogging up lingerie or sex toy social media timelines by pushing irrelevant content. It’s not big, it’s not clever and does nothing to help your business.
How about providing blog posts that actually reinforce what you’re about instead?
There’s a plethora of instantly forgettable, and completely irrelevant topics being posted by #sexySME brands on social media. All sectors are afflicted: lingerie, sex toys, latex, fetishwear, the whole shebang. You’ll have probably seen them for yourself:-
- Instagram video segments featuring mundane activities that add nothing to the brand’s story or propositions but succeed in boring and/or annoying followers.
- Blog posts that have nothing to do with the products being sold, purely to add content in the hope of remaining on the radar of prospects and customers.
Listen, I know the pressures that a small business owner faces. You’re constantly juggling myriad tasks. And let’s not pull any punches here: creating and producing good content and then spreading it out on social media and your own blog is a full-time job in itself. Don’t kid yourself otherwise. And when everyone else and their dog is relentlessly churning out stuff you’ll naturally feel pressured to follow suit and tweet or post anything and everything in a vain effort to maintain visibility. The problem is that this more often than not comes at the expense of relevance.
Let’s take the example of lingerie (or whatever) sellers who are pushing out blog posts on travel destinations or yoga or nightclubs. Yes, I know, some of you are immediately thinking ‘What the hell does this directly have to do with skimpies?’ Quite. But let’s deconstruct this in a bit more detail for the rest who don’t quite see what the fuss is about.
Tell me: if you’re interested in travel, is there more than a slight chance you’re going to follow dedicated travel journalists, travel media publications, travel bloggers and the like? Of course! Secondly, whose knowledge and opinion are you going to value more – the actual travel specialist, or the skimpie-seller or sex toy retailer? Exactly. And just how on earth is blogging about travel destinations helping you achieve your marketing objectives? I’m waiting…
Truth be told, if you regularly have to resort to filler material like this the harsh reality is either:
- your brand is boring
- your products are boring
- your company is boring
- maybe even you’re boring too (in which case you’ve got much bigger problems: ‘boring’ isn’t really a sought after attribute in the business of love and lust)
- you’re lazy
Let’s step out of the business of love and lust for a moment. I visited the Ford website. Yep, cars. Lots and lots of nice shiny automobiles. Did it by any chance contain articles about supermarkets, travel, gardening, or yoga? No. Why do you think that is?
But wait…..won’t there be Ford owners around the world that use their car to drive to their local supermarkets, or do some gardening, or drive to their yoga class? Absolutely. But that’s not a compelling reason per se to highlight these things in their web content.
I know what you’re thinking though. Perhaps if you’re thinking about just a fleeting mention of your brand in amongst talking about your top 5 travel destinations to be sexy in, or the best restaurants in town, then it will be permissible, or there will be some rub-off, associated, connection.
Don’t be daft.
Or perhaps you’re thinking that you’re “providing value” to your customers. Yes, you are. You’ve now got them thinking about travel – and NOT your wares. Wave them goodbye as instead of browsing around your site, they’ve now hot-footed it to flight comparison websites, or Airbnb or TripAdvisor. That’s pretty moronic, n’est-ce pas?
By now you’ll know my appreciation of content marketing and in particular the book Content Inc. I recommend it thoroughly. Its author (and Founder of the Content Marketing Institute), Joe Pulizzi cites the case of US company River Pools & Spas, who were in a bit of a pickle. The only way the owner thought he could turn things around was by stealing market share from his rivals. Within two years the company had done so and was doing fabulously well as a result. How was this achieved?
He thought about all the possible questions that his customers might or could ask. He then proceeded to answer each one on the company website. Great for customer support, great for content marketing, and great for SEO. Great all round, really.
So what’s stopping you from doing exactly the same? Absolutely nothing. And no disrespect intended to River Pools & Spas, but lingerie, sex toys or fetishwear seem a heck of a lot more interesting than fibreglass pools.
Let’s say you’re a lingerie designer or seller. Grab a sheet of A4 and scribble down all the questions your customers could conceivably ask. Some of them will be obvious, others less so. But that’s the joy of all this. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So there’s plenty of opportunity for you to look at things from all sorts of angles and produce a steady stream of content that’s not going to run out anytime soon. Get your friends, colleagues onboard too. The more heads and perspectives the merrier. The only common denominator to be enforced is that it must be directly related to your brand or your products or your organisation.
Fancy a quick win? Look up the interviews I’ve conducted with other brands. There’s enough questions there for you to swipe and then elaborate accordingly as it applies to your own brand, products or company.
Need more ammo? Be sneaky. Go to another brand’s website. What do you see? What do you like? What do you dislike? What piques your curiosity? What do you wish you could ask the owner, and why? Now redirect those questions back to yourself. Boom: another clutch of easy questions identified.
Also, think about your photo shoots. Whether you’ve got just one or a dozen photo shoots under your belt showcasing your collections, these lend themselves perfectly.
- What look were you trying to achieve?
- What moods were you wanting to convey?
- What influenced your choice of model?
- Why did you choose that particular location to shoot?
- What was most memorable about the day and why?
- What were the challenges faced and how did you overcome them?
There: another half-dozen questions you can wax lyrical on and inform, educate, and perhaps entertain your customers, prospects and peers with. You could do worse than check out Latvian lingerie brand Flash You and Me whose blog posts include some great background notes with some stunning imagery (many of them taken by founder Liva, interviewed here). At the bottom of the site there are handy links to all the items featured. And why not?
Don’t forget some frameworks – why not use your marketing mix? Price, Product, Promotion, Place for starters. There’s a plethora of topics and questions you can identify in each one.
Let’s face it, it’s got to be better than tenuously linked travel blog posts.
A final word about length. How long should your blog posts be? The slightly glib immediate answer is ‘as long as it should be to cover the topic in the required detail and to put the required points across.’ That probably doesn’t help much. It turns out that when you try to find out what the pros think, they don’t have a slam-dunk answer either – there are too many variables.
In general, I aim for 1000 words, around two sides of typed A4. And if it’s a bit more, all the better.
That’s it for now. And yes, the eagle-eyed among you will have seen that this is only part 1. There’s more social media stupidity to be thwarted!