People these days spend a chunk of their lives glued to their screens, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and whatever social media they can get their hands on. According to 2016’s numbers, the average global media consumption was 456 minutes, a 2% increase from 6 years prior. If you think that’s impressive, check out this year’s stats: the current count of social media users worldwide has reached 3.196 billion, a number that has been steadily growing by 13% year-on-year.

And you know what majority of these people all have in common? They’re all online to consume content. This is fantastic news for those already making use of social media to market their brands – but that said, it also poses a challenge. With your competitors playing the same game and saturating the market, how do you make sure you stand out and put out quality content?

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1. Establish Your Voice

Just as we said and just as we’re sure you’ve noticed: your brand isn’t the only one publishing content on social media. In fact, we’re almost certain that everyone is. This means that if you want your target market to listen to you (or at the very least, pay attention to what you’re saying) you have to first figure out what can make you stand out.

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Glitter and Gold is my favorite makeup trend for this Fall! @saks Beauty Book is about to be released and this is a sneak peak on one of the fun makeup trends! It brightens up your face and will have you glowing throughout the fall ✨ #SaksBeauty #SaksITList

A post shared by Kelsey Simone (@k.els.e.y) on Sep 13, 2018 at 1:51pm PDT

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Happy National Bubbly Day everyone! 🍾I am bubbly and I am a strong, creative woman. #ad 💕I love that @FreixenetUSA understands that I can share design, color and creativity with the world and be a proud, bubbly woman at the same time. #NationalBubblyDay #FXCava

A post shared by Cyn (@hotpinkpineapples) on Jun 2, 2018 at 9:47am PDT

@k.els.e.y and @hotpinkpineapples both sell products targeted to women, but a quick look around their Instagram accounts (specifically their image choices and captions) show you how different their branding and messaging is.

When it comes to content creation, constantly having something fresh to say is near impossible. So instead of focusing on finding new things to tell your market (that thousands of other brands have probably already said), try nailing how to say things your own way. Speak with your own language. Talk with your own voice.

Remember: your market may be consuming content that satisfies a need, but what will get them coming back to your page for more is your brand’s tone and personality.

2. Know Your Market Well

Learning how to become a content creator starts with learning what kind of content to put out. And all that, of course, starts with research, and loads of it, about who your target market is.

  • What do they like? What are they like?

  • What do they do for work and how do they spend their spare time?

  • Where have they been and where do they want to go?

  • What do they watch? Who do they listen to?

  • What makes them laugh, cry, smile, or scream? What makes them react?

(Right-click on the image and 'Open in New Tab' to zoom.)

Check out how Madewell and Cabin Zero craft their captions. They’re both selling products, but in a way that speaks to a specific kind of person.

Now comes the most important part: once you’ve got all those details down, digest what you know and create a singular profile. Write it and craft it as if you were narrowing your entire audience down to a single person. Not only does this make communicating with your target market easier, it makes it more effective – reasoning to, making jokes with, or simply talking to an individual is always more personal than speaking with a crowd.

3. Pay Attention to the Quality AND Quantity of Your Content

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...y’all... like... the editing...? #avreyovardpresets #coming #soon (go to my story to see a before and after)

A post shared by AVREY OVARD (@avreyovard) on Nov 16, 2018 at 7:56am PST

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tag yourself i’m the two strings on the guitar and i’m also the girl in the picture

A post shared by AVREY OVARD (@avreyovard) on Nov 10, 2018 at 10:14am PST

@avreyovard posts high quality images every 1 or 2 days, and has impressive engagement rates for comments and likes per post.

All the best content creators worth their dime know that there is a balance between quantity and quality. If you post killer content but don’t do it often enough, chances are you’ll lose the interest of your current audience, while completely losing potential followers to other more agile, social-media-savvy brands. Doing it too often isn’t helpful either; you’ll just end up wasting time and resources over posts that are unlikely to be seen as often. So in planning your content calendar, don’t forget to take frequency into consideration. (Read more about optimizing your social media.)

4. Understand Your KPIs

When it comes to being more relevant online, slapping your brand across various social media platforms and simply cross-posting content between each one isn’t enough. If you want to see improvement in your marketing or sales, you need to first set specific goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) for your brand and check them against the strengths of each social media platform. Do you want to improve brand loyalty or relevance? Try skewing your content to up your views and follower count. Want to drive more traffic to your site? Use the appropriate calls-to-action with each post you share. Want to boost sales? Invest in paid shopper posts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

The internet is a vast space with way too many possibilities – to win, you’re gonna need a solid game strategy.

5. Stay Curious

The great thing about content creation is that there really is no exact science to it. All the best content creators got to where they are because of curiosity – playing around to see what works and what doesn’t, testing each new social media update, and somehow finding new ways to share something that’s been said and done before. So after reading this, play on and keep exploring until you find what works for you, and later on, figure out how to make it work even better.