Anyone can put together a social profile and be online, but we all know that stories are what people connect to. While algorithms change and new ways to market may develop, stories remain as the way of connecting with people, drawing people in and keeping their interest. That’s why before you truly delve into “being social,” you need to come up with a content strategy.
There may have been a time years ago where you could try many things and hope that something stuck. We tried different marketing strategies, different ways of speaking to consumers, but we weren’t truly measuring our business goals. How well (or not) are our social media efforts working?
It may feel daunting. Do not be discouraged! A content strategy is not as hard as it sounds to map out, and helps frame all that you do online. Undoubtedly, you know what you want to achieve for your brand, and that’s precisely the basis of your strategy – your goals. Everything else builds off of those goals. When you are able to put your content strategy together into one place, you are better able to communicate that strategy to other members of your team. Having an outline helps everyone that will be involved know what is being executed, why and how.
Every brand’s content strategy will differ, but there are some items that all good strategic plans need to have.
Let’s dive in.
Set Your Goals
First, start with your goals. Find out your unique WHY. Why are you in business? Are you trying to engage with more potential consumers? Are you trying to turn casual consumers into more robust buyers? Maybe you are trying to communicate your brand to people that need it, but have not yet found it. You want your goals to be measurable. If you aren’t measuring what you are doing, you will never know if you are close to reaching your goals.
KPIs, or key performance indicators will be a part of this start point. What will success look like?
Understand Your Audience
Next, take a look at your consumers – both current and potential. I believe that it helps to have a “specific” person in mind, so you know who you are talking to. Not only will this make your engagements more personalized, but it helps you get to know what your target consumer wants on a deeper level.
What is your target consumer looking for? What are their pain points? What do they need that you can provide for them?
The most important thing you can learn about your consumers is where they are, when and how they prefer to receive information. There are many social networks out there, but if you aren’t on the right ones at the right time, you are wasting precious resources that can be better served elsewhere. Social media platforms are not all equal. There are nuances to each network. It’s important that you pay attention to each platform’s strength.
Create Valuable Content
Now it’s time to begin creating content! How can you best convey the messages that are important to your brand and its consumers? As long as you know what you want to accomplish, tying back to your goals, there are many ways to creatively get there. Some people like to read blogs. Some like videos and others prefer to receive their content through photos.
Creating the content might seem like the most important piece of a content strategy, but you can’t have a successful strategy without paying attention to the way you are distributing that information, those stories. While we used to be able to simple post at the right times organically, we are now finding that the most successful distribution includes a solid mix of both organic and paid approaches.
This framework will help guide your efforts online. It is meant to simply be a high-level guide, but the more details you can map out at the start and put them on paper, the better you will be able to starting telling your brand story.
What have you learned about creating your own content strategy? What are some things that have worked and some items that have not worked? Share your thoughts with me on social!