Overly Produced & Promotional Content Kills Your Social Engagement

Many businesses are struggling to engage their audience on social media because they use content that appears overly produced and promotional, rather than organic and authentic.

In today’s digital world, consumers are bombarded with advertisements and promotional content, leading to ‘ad fatigue’. When content on social media looks too much like an advertisement, users tend to scroll past without a second glance. The challenge for businesses is to create content that looks and feels organic, sparking genuine interest and engagement from their audience. 

Start by analyzing the content you currently share. If it feels overly produced, consider adopting a more authentic and informal approach. 

Sharing graphics and stock images and video? Start encouraging everyone on your client’s team to use the camera in their pocket and start filming some behind the scenes video clips and photos. 

Bonus! Give them a list of ideas to get started and inspire creativity.

 

The Problem With High-Quality

A common solution is investing in high-quality production equipment and resources to create professional-looking content.

While this approach may make your brand look polished, it often comes across as too commercial and less relatable to the average social media user. The glossy finish can act as a barrier that disconnects you from your audience, which prefers content that feels personal and authentic.

Instead of focusing on high production value, shift your attention towards the message you are communicating and the value you are providing to your audience.

This one is for you, marketing managers, focus on the value you help your clients add for their audience and how you can use creative ways to get that message across.

Identify the message with clarity, what’s unique? Then be sure you understand their audience so you can tailor the message to resonate with them. Emphasize value over production or visual quality of posts. Does the post provide value? If not, start again. Find creative ways to deliver the message and capture attention. Be sure to target the channels their audience hangs out on and then measure what you are doing – do more of the posts that work best. That means take what works and create new similar content – tweak it a bit and see if the tweaks help or hinder.

Value matters over everything else – but to stop the scroll, it has to look visually organic and less polished.

 

Where Professional Production Falls Short

The ‘professional production’ approach falls short because it fails to resonate with the audience’s desire for genuine, authentic content.

In an era where everyone carries a high-quality camera in their pocket, professionally-produced content can feel out of place on platforms designed for user-generated content. Social media users are craving real connections with the brands they follow – they want to feel like they’re seeing behind-the-scenes, not a commercial.

Listen to your audience. Engage with them directly in comments and messages, and pay attention to the content they respond best to. 

 

Encourage Company Leadership 

Instead of solely relying on professional production, encourage organic, unfiltered content creation by your team.

The company’s leadership, including the CEO, and their team members can become content creators themselves. By showing the faces of the people behind your organization’s day-to-day operations you’re showing that you stand behind your team. You’ll They can use their phones to record a quick one-topic, one-answer video post. It doesn’t even have to be more than 3 minutes. This isn’t about making it perfect, it’s about answering questions, sharing insight and industry opinions. This not only makes the content feel more personal, but it also helps the audience relate to the brand on a human level. 

Start a new initiative encouraging your team to create and share content from their perspectives. Provide guidelines but allow for creative freedom. Foster an internal culture that values and encourages authenticity.

If your social media content feels too ‘ad-like’, it’s time to take a different approach.

The key to success on social media is authenticity. 

Authenticity resonates with the audience and builds stronger connections. 

What’s authenticity really mean? Sharing real experiences rather than a polished video with intros and outros with news type captions throughout. 

It means popping the camera on – recording a quick Q&A or addressing one FAQ. 

Being transparent showing those behind the brand and how things work behind the scenes. 

Personality often doesn’t shine through in video shoots, but if you are sitting at your desk, or taking your afternoon walk and a thought pops to mind you can record, that infuses the unique personality of your team.

Also, take time to respond on social media and engage with those who took the time to stop and leave you a comment! That’s hard to get – reward that engagement. 

Most of all encourage your client’s team to embrace imperfections, acknowledge and apologize for mistakes when necessary and demonstrate a willingness to learn.

By shifting the focus from ‘perfection’ to ‘authenticity’, you will not only engage your audience more effectively but also stand out from the competition.

 

Begin with small changes. 

Record a casual, unscripted video sharing your thoughts on an industry topic. 

Encourage your team members to do the same. 

Respond to comments and messages in a genuine, human voice. 

The key is to be authentic, consistent, and valuable in your communications.

Marketers, here are a few places to start:

  1. Conducting a content audit to identify which pieces feel too ad-like and devising a plan to make future content more authentic.
  2. Check your social analytics to see the posts with the most engagement.
  3. Encourage company leaders to take an active role in content creation, providing insights, and sharing their perspectives. (If you have to show them the competition doing it well – do that).
  4. Monitoring audience engagement closely to understand what type of content resonates most with your followers as you proceed in this process. Share it with the client to encourage them along the way.
  5. Continually experimenting with different content formats and approaches, always prioritizing authenticity and relatability over high production values.

Even B2B companies can successfully create content that stands out from the sea of advertisements and captivates their viewers’ attention.

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