Having a solid content strategy in place is essential for successful social media growth and marketing.
But does the term ‘content strategy’ sound a little scary?
Let’s break it down and talk about what a content strategy is, the reasons you NEED (yes, need) a content strategy for your business, and the pieces that go into building one.
What is a content strategy?
Content is the relevant information about your business or industry that you share with your audience. It might be in a visual form like a meme or gif, in written form like a blog post or white paper, or it could be a video or podcast. Content can take many different forms depending on the medium through which you share it.
Your strategy is how you use that information to attract, engage, and entice new and existing customers/clients to your business.
Feel like you’re constantly winging it? You’re not alone. But there is a better way to share information with your audience so that you actually start to build momentum and trust in your business. And all it takes is a little bit of thought and planning.
Why do I need a content strategy?
Without a well thought-out plan, putting up social posts or sending random emails willy-nilly just won’t do you any good. It’s a waste of your time. Without consistency, the social network algorithms won’t even show your posts widely. Also, your audience won’t know what to expect from you so they’ll stop looking.
On the flip side, when you do have a content strategy, messaging is consistent. You can work towards specific marketing and business goals, such as attracting new customers or clients. And you can actually save time by creating a bunch of content at once and scheduling it out over the next few weeks or months.
Developing a content strategy for your business is a no-brainer, although you will need to use a little bit of brainpower to get started. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do.
How to build your Content Strategy:
- Set some goals!
Right out of the gate, sit down and make a plan for what you want to accomplish. Do you want to…
- create an interesting page that invites repeat visits?
- inspire action within your audience?
- hear what customers/clients want more of (or less)?
- increase brand awareness?
- generate some leads?
Every post you create should be aligned with one or more of your goals, so make sure the goals you choose are well thought out and that they also align with your overall business goals.
The next step is to figure out how you are going to achieve your goals. I like to create smaller ‘action steps’ – tangible things you can do – to meet that goal. There are some great tools out there to help you.
2. Know your audience.
Question: Who is your target audience?
If you just answered, “everyone,” stop right there. You can’t possibly attract everyone to your business. So take the time to get to know who your ideal clients or customers are and what they want.
- Talk to your people (in person or over the phone)
- Send a quick survey via email
- Invite current customers/clients to leave a review
- Ask a question on social media (Instagram poll, FB post)
- Read and respond to any reviews (I know this can be terrifying, but it’s so helpful!)
Developing your ideal customer ‘buyer persona’ can help you tailor your messaging so it resonates with the reader. A good place to start is to think of your favorite customer or client, and ask yourself why they’re your favorite. Write content geared towards that one person, and you’ll already be a few steps ahead.
Without knowing whom you’re talking to, it’s impossible to create messaging that will speak to them. Remember that these are people reading your posts and messaging. They have needs, wants and opinions, and your messaging should take them into account.
Here’s a great article from Hubspot all about finding and defining your target audience.
3. Think about the BIG picture.
It can be so easy to open up a social media page and just start posting without clear goals in mind. To be honest, this is what most small businesses do!
So before you start posting (or now if you already have active accounts), think about the overarching message you want to be sending.
- What can you OFFER to your audience?
- How do you want them to FEEL when they see your posts?
- What are you asking them to DO?
Yeah, these are the hard questions. But they are the foundation of your content strategy, too.
So spend some time figuring out exactly what your brand or business has to offer. Then, create a rough plan for the year, highlighting what you have to offer seasonally and monthly to your audience.
We’re not just talking about sales here. What can you teach them? How can you pique their interest and curiosity? How will you relate to your audience and build relationships? These types of questions can help you build your content strategy and meet your goals.
4. Quality > Quantity
When the time comes to create your posts, remember your business and marketing goals. It is better to have a few high-quality posts per week than to fill your page with posts that don’t help move you forward.
Later on, when you figure out what content works and how your audience responds, increase the number of posts. Try and maximize the gains from the content you create, rather than churning out a high volume of mediocre or ineffective content.
At the end of the day, BE AUTHENTIC. Offer your audience stories, incentives, questions, behind-the-scenes looks, whatever you can think of that will help connect them to your business. This is SOCIAL media after all, so get out there and build some relationships!
With a solid content strategy, you’ll keep your audience engaged from week to week and beyond.
Thoughts? Questions? I am always here to offer some guidance! Send me an email at email@example.com and I am always happy to help.