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Creating successful social media content in 2019 and beyond

People looking at smartphones
Written by
Anne Stubbert

Anne Stubbert

Written by
Megan Shay

Megan Shay

Now that the new year is off to a start, NATIONAL’s social media experts took a moment to reflect on the state of social media in Canada in an effort to determine how new habits and trends should influence our strategies in 2019. Here’s what we found.

Canadians dedicate a lot of time to their cell phones. In fact, they spend an average of three hours a day on their mobile devices. Even though they’re spending a significant amount of time on mobile, attention spans are shorter than ever.

There is good news, however. The amount of information we can absorb in short periods of time is increasing. So, the way to win on social in 2019 is to create content that is tailored for quick, mobile consumption. This includes both owned content and collaborative content created with influencers.

But how do you do that?

Creating content for mobile browsing

We know that people browse their phones almost exclusively vertically and often without sound, so how does this impact content?

Capture attention quickly: You can’t count on people to watch an entire video, so ensure your main message appears within the first few seconds.

Design for sound off: Just like standard ad units, posts that don’t rely on sound perform better. That doesn’t mean you can’t have music or audio, just make sure your ad still makes sense if someone’s phone is on mute. Music and sound effects should enhance your story, not tell it.

Frame images vertically: Don’t create extra work for your audience by forcing them to turn their phones. Additionally, vertical formats take up more screen real estate on those jam-packed social feeds.

Creating content with influencers

So that covers your own content, but how can you set up influencer content for success?

Product upfront: This isn’t a game of eye spy. Don’t make people search for your brand within content. Make sure it’s showcased in the post.

Clear message: No reading between the lines, make sure that what the influencer is recommending and why is front and centre.

Influencer visibility: Influencers should be equally featured in the content next to your brand or product. This is who their followers came to see.

Influencer authenticity: You partnered with that influencer for a reason—maybe it was their visual style or their tone—so don’t forget to leverage it. If you strip that special element away, the content loses its appeal and is not a true collaboration.

It may take some getting used to, but creating content with these key criteria in mind will make you more appealing to the Canadian mobile content consumer.

Don’t know where to begin? Reach out to NATIONAL's social media experts to talk about how to create a social campaign that is set up for mobile success.

——— Megan Shay is a former Vice-President and Practice Lead, Technology at NATIONAL Public Relations

——— Anne Stubbert is a former Manager, Digital Strategy at NATIONAL Public Relations