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There’s no denying that content is an incredible growth engine, but entrepreneurs often invest significant time and resources in creating social media content that gets pitched for crickets. Even when your content is performing well, it can be difficult to get a clear view of how your social media strategy is helping your bottom line.
In today’s digital age, it’s important to view social media content creation as an investment rather than a quick route to monetization. As with tax investments, the payouts from content creation aren’t always instantaneous. Performance is variable and virtually impossible to predict.
While most investors are looking for a clear ROI (money in now, more money out later), Content creation can be a much slower process and it can be harder to pinpoint exactly what you’re getting in return for your efforts. Traditional benchmarks used to measure ROI don’t lend themselves well to digital marketing strategies. Instead, I encourage entrepreneurs to use it ROACwhich stands for Return on attention created.
Also see: The step-by-step guide to creating and publishing quality content
How ROAC affects your business
Attention is the currency of the social media age. When you create content, you get more than clicks or heart emojis in return for your creative efforts. The real currency is your audience’s attention. That attention is a powerful (and often overlooked) resource that will pay off for your brand in the long run. When people pay attention to your company’s content and engage with your online presence, they are more likely to buy your products and tell their friends about your company.
So how can you harness the power of attention for your brand? Follow these three simple steps to unlock the power of ROAC for yourself:
1. Invest in creativity
Rather than just prioritizing quantifiable goals, it’s important to set creative energy aside to invest in things that don’t scale—like B. Investing in consistent content creation. The best way to understand ROAC is to recognize that the value that attention generates is multifaceted. For example, when your audience engages with your content, it leads to new connections, improved market awareness, and other intangible benefits.
Content accumulates attention over time. The more you create, the more you invest in generating new opportunities. Your content will continue to attract new views that will increase over time. Your new content will create more demand for your older content and the cycle repeats itself.
Social media short films and video content can (based on social media algorithms) consistently generate traffic for up to 90 days – which means content you post today may not reach critical mass in terms of traffic until next quarter achieve views. YouTube videos and blogs get traffic from search engines for years because people find your content helpful and relevant when they are looking for answers to the questions they search on Google.
Popular YouTube creators like Mr. Beast understand the exponential power of social media. After making millions from his popular videos, he reinvests most of his earnings into content creation to create more videos. Why? He unleashes the exponential power of ROAC by investing in creativity. Each new video brings in new subscribers, increasing the creative reach of his brand. He doesn’t stop after reaching tens of millions of views, he keeps investing his money in his content because he knows attention is currency and the more he has, the more his brand makes.
Related: 3 Ways to Master Social Media Content Marketing
2. Think like a media company
The companies that have traditionally garnered the most attention are media companies with big budgets. But in the age of social media, you don’t have to become a media company to get the best return on attention. Instead, you can simply adopt the mindset of a media company.
Today’s brands need to become content companies to stay relevant. You need to be able to transform your core brand identity into a cohesive content strategy that lives across multiple platforms. In practice, a media company does not rely on individual content. They think in terms of annual content budgets. They know they have to create a lot of content to generate ROAC and that content creation takes time and money. For example, Netflix, one of the leading content creators of the streaming age, has an annual budget of just over $17 billion.
Thinking like a media company means having a diverse portfolio. Generating a positive ROAC is similar to investing in the stock market. Buying Apple stock won’t let you retire, but many entrepreneurs treat their content creation that way. The shift to a media company mentality recognizes that a blog post is not enough to get the needle moving. By diversifying your investments, you can provide enough depth not only to attract attention, but to hold it.
3. Social media growth is social currency
Online awareness can be valuable to your business in many ways – opportunities you may not have explored yet. For example, this could lead to high-profile talent wanting to be hired to work at your startup. Or it could mean strategic brand partnerships that want to align with your product offerings.
Some of my clients have been invited as guests on national television shows such as HGTV and HSN and have even formed partnerships with leading figures such as Deepak Chopra. Everyone wants an audience. If you’re proactive enough and consistent in your creative investments, the right person who can transform your life could be part of your online audience.
Related topics: How to create quality content in the social media age
If you accept this, “slow and steady wins the race” approach makes a lot of work. Some people write it off as a hobby or a nice extra, but after experiencing the benefits of a Return On Attention created for yourself, you’ll never think about social media the same way again. Social media generates a lot of attention. Isn’t it time your business learned how to use it?