Imagine this scenario, you are attending a social networking event, and you’re immersed in an engrossing exchange of ideas and reviews on a topic that interests you, when all of a sudden a random stranger appears in front of you and starts talking to you about themselves. They blabber on for a while without any regard for who you are or whether you are interested in what they are saying. On top of that, they keep pushing assumptions they have about you in your face and hope to get a positive reaction from you. Wouldn’t that just irritate you immensely?

What if I told you, that you have probably been that annoying stranger more often than you have been aware of, except that the context is through your social media marketing campaigns.

Initially, you might try to deny this, but if you take a closer look, you’ve probably invested your time and energy into a massive well detailed and comprehensive social media strategy but you keep getting unsuccessful results; low engagement, low following and even lower return on investment. Now you’re starting to wonder whether you miscalculated or misunderstood the various platform algorithms that you keep hearing about. To make it worse, you’re running out of content ideas to put out. It feels like you are starting to get repetitive and your followers are starting to notice.

You have probably tried every strategy and trick that the social media gurus dish out, but have you considered deep diving into the specific content you are pushing out into the social media space?

This may sound obvious, but the internet has become a loud and crowded marketplace, and everyone is demanding your potential client’s attention. So you need something that will make them pause and look in your direction, move towards you and start to look at what you have to offer, have a desire to do more with it, and even want to come back, because you are offering what they need. So how can you do that?

The answer is really simple; provide quality value.

Value is what gives your content a unique and outstanding edge. Your potential audience needs to feel like you are adding some sort of value to either their personal or professional life. The reward they get from spending their precious time consuming content is in knowing that their pressing problem has been solved. This means essentially that you need to stop blabbering about how you are the best and how you can change their lives and actually start doing it. Don’t be that annoying assuming stranger.

So what exactly makes for wholesome and valuable content?

Think about your current niche. A perfect example is a flour company like Dola, which shares various mouth watering pastry recipes that require the use of their baking flour. Instead of making a hard sell like, “Buy our flour for all your baking needs,” they ignite a desire in you to try and see whether you can also achieve the same results. After a while, you will find that whenever you want to try out a new recipe, you will refer to their content, because they have established themselves as an authority for all your baking needs. Moreover, because the content is so useful, and exciting you end up sharing it to more and more friends as you challenge each other to create those recipes.

Another example is Adobe, the world’s leading producer of software for any kind of digital creative. Whether it is graphic design, music production, visual effects or web design. They have established a community around all their software users by providing numerous tutorials for all kinds of users from beginner to intermediary, have created several forums where creatives share their ideas, brainstorm and challenge each other and on top of that established a platform for them to share their portfolios for free.

Valuable content puts less focus on your product or service and establishes your brand instead. It helps to build a community around your brand that looks to you as a trusted and authoritative leader in the field. People are drawn to an original easy to understand and authoritative brand and value their perspective, because it coincides with their own values. In the case of Adobe, you are not just buying software, you are buying into a culture that anticipates every kind of problem you might encounter, helps you resolve it and gives you a safe space to also grow and prosper.

Consistency in providing value also builds a momentum of organic leads that helps to build credibility. Shift your focus from gaining a million random followers and focus on that one consistent follower who believes you are the solution to their problem. Chances are, their review is what could push you into getting more and more loyal followers who are fully invested in everything you have to offer.

The only setback is that it takes a while to build this momentum, it has a slower conversion rate and if you are a numbers person, you may give up prematurely. All good things take time, so practice patience and continue providing value and you will enjoy the long term results. Spend more time researching, listening, learning and participating in your industry’s forums to figure out what makes for valuable content. Review the arising issues in your related field, benchmark on your competition’s attributes, figure out what works for them and why, and most importantly, listen to your clients pain points.

And if you do not know where to start, ask. A platform like Instagram provides a feature in their stories feed where you can interact more with your audience by asking them questions and letting them ask you questions. Get the conversation running and you may even end up generating content from your own users, on top of letting them feel heard and valued. Instead of look at you as that annoying narcissistic stranger that they would much rather walk away from, be the one they cant wait to get a chance to use up their precious time listening to.