You might know that promoting brand awareness is one way by which you can differentiate yourself from other brands and have as many customers as possible. Having a robust social media content strategy is an important aspect of reinforcing your brand’s identity and values in the minds of your audience.
Regardless of whether you have spent years in content management or you’re just starting out, it’s best practice to reassess your strategy constantly. With this in mind, here are 7 steps that you can take to either develop or refine an effective social media content strategy.
1. Find the Right Team
Sometimes you might be able to conduct a social media content strategy by yourself. This would typically be the case when you represent a small brand, such as a freelance business. In most other cases, you’ll need to work with other people who have the right expertise—be it content creation, data analysis, or marketing.
Finding the right team isn’t necessarily an easy task, especially if you’re a beginner in your industry and you’re unsure who you need to contact and how to locate them. To find out what kind of expertise you’re lacking, think about your skills and how relevant they are for implementing your content creation strategy. Once you know who you need to get in touch with, you can go to Leadar and find their contact details. Collaborating with a team of experts will greatly enhance the effectiveness and reach of your social media content strategy.
2. Set Reachable & Relevant Goals
Your content marketing goals should be both reasonable and relevant to your business. A goal is arguably reasonable if the estimated chance of achieving it is above 50%, although in many cases you’ll want to aim for a higher probability. Relevancy is also important, as you don’t want to invest time and resources working on goals that may not have a meaningful impact on your business. Examples of social media content strategy goals include driving traffic to a website, increasing sales, or increasing brand awareness.
To determine whether a goal is reachable and relevant, you may need to assess your business objectives, conduct market research, and seek advice from members of your companies or third parties. It’s useful to sequence goals based on importance, as this allows you to prioritize the components of your strategy, distinguishing between near-future and distant-future requirements.
3. Learn Relevant Things About Your Audience
Relevancy remains an essential consideration in the third step of your social media content strategy. You need to capture the details about your current and potential customers that are the most relevant to your campaign. This may include generic information like age or location as well as their buying behaviors, brand expectations, and so on.
If you’re conducting a social media campaign, you may want to know that a Pew Research Center study found that most Americans prefer platforms such as YouTube and Facebook while many are also active users of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Important differences in social media use were also found, with younger people likely to use Instagram while older people more likely to use Facebook.
By adopting analytics and conducting surveys, you can gain additional details about your audience and make sure that your message will resonate with a specific segment within a demographic group.
4. Do What Your Competition Doesn’t
To differentiate yourself from other brands, it’s wise to know what they’re doing. In other words, you need to do a competitive analysis to learn what your competition is doing right, where they’re lacking, and how the audience is responding to their content.
Note that you are not being advised to copy and paste the content strategy of your competition, as such an approach won’t differentiate you from them. You’re being advised to see what they’re doing and assess whether you can do something even better. For example, is your competition using enough video content? If not, maybe you can. Is your competition talking to all relevant audiences? If not, maybe you should.
5. Create the Right Content
Once you have relevant information about your audience and the media ecosystem in which you’re connecting with them, you’re ready to create content that is relevant to your business goals and your audience. Knowing what you want to talk about isn’t enough—the same message can have different effects depending on how it is framed.
Sometimes text, pictures, or videos are all you need. Other times you need to combine different modalities. Sometimes you need to be formal. Other times you need to talk in slang. These decisions—and many others related to your content—will be informed by your target audience and the channel you select to connect with them. For example, X is the place where you want to make an impression with short, straight-to-the-point tweets, while LinkedIn is the place that can be used for long, insightful articles.
6. Be Consistent or Your Audience Might Forget About You
If you have followed a sophisticated social media content strategy, there’s a good chance you’ve been successful in reaching the right audience and your brand is enjoying success. When you’re on top, you might feel invincible, at least for a while. In many cases, the worst you could do is sit and expect that your content will keep producing results for many months to come.
Generally speaking, brands need to be consistent in their content creation strategies. More specifically, brands need to schedule their content creation, so that the audience is consistently reconnected with them through new messages and modalities. At this phase in your strategy, you can already gather data on what’s working and what’s not, and use it to refine it.
7. Assess and Reassess
Once your content is being published consistently, you’ll start accumulating data that you can use to determine the extent to which your media strategy is successful. The first aspect to consider when implementing this step is how to measure success.
To determine whether your campaign is achieving the established objectives, you can look at variables such as user engagement or sales. You also want to determine what aspects of your strategy are producing better results and what aspects of it should be modified.
Bottom Line: Media Content Creation Is How You Build Relationships
A few decades ago, the only way in which most brands could communicate with their audience was through short radio and TV commercials. Today you have so many tools to communicate with your audience that can make even the most sophisticated market strategist feel overwhelmed.
Having so many options also means having many opportunities. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take advantage of all the opportunities available, developing an effective social media content strategy is one of your best chances for building a strong relationship with your customers that could last more than some of today’s social media platforms.