- What is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a development plan for creating content that fits with your business's larger goals, including bigger sales, brand awareness, audience growth, audience engagement, and product promotion.
- Build Your Buyer Journey
Looking at your content plan as part of your wider marketing activity will outline your content creation themes and contribute to your business marketing campaigns, whether it’s elsewhere on your website or email marketing. Is your content TOF, MOF or BOF? In other words, is it Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel or Bottom of the Funnel?
Are you scheduling your content to appeal to your audience at the varying stages of their buying journey? Consider your content strategy as putting value in the content you deliver, where your audience is in their buyer journey.
For audiences at the awareness stage (TOF), content should be informative and tell your business's story. Use content to direct to blog posts or podcasts, provide updates on your business, use infographics to give an overview of services or products. At the awareness stage, video content is a great way to increase your chances of new target audiences finding your business organically.
As your audience moves through into the consideration stage (MOF), content can become more targeted to a particular need and direct users to your mailing list through data capture, video testimonials, product reviews, tutorials or case studies. The consideration stage is a great opportunity to use content in paid retargeting ads on Facebook and Instagram. Look back to your target personas: what pain points or challenges can you address in your content to gain your audience’s trust?
When your audience is in the action stage, they are engaged users of your social media platforms. Not only have you sustained their interest – a great sign your content strategy is working – but your content is doing its job of nurturing your potential customer. This is a time to fine-tune your content to provide call-to-actions specifically for your audience's needs in the BOF stage. Content can offer promotional codes or discounts for first-time buyers, customer stories, consultations, competitive comparisons or testimonials to nudge your buyer closer to a purchase.
During the BOF phase, a social media management tool, like Zym’s Social Media Marketing, can help track your analytics so you can view engagement per channel and continue to nurture your customer’s interests.
3. Who Is Your Target Audience?
Before you start creating content, you need to research your audiences by building your Target Personas.
A Target Persona is a fictional character that outlines your audiences' goals, needs, and challenges – both current and potential. Each Target Persona is built to reflect your audience segments' characteristics, including identifying their buying behaviours and the best marketing channels to use.
Each of your Target Personas should be built using existing content insights, sales team feedback, additional market research and digital analytics.
Through your Target Personas, you can learn when and when your audiences are active on social media and understand their needs and wants, including what style of content they’re likely to engage with. The differences between each of your audience segments will define the style of content you will produce for them and their unique set of needs.
4. Batch Create & Repurpose Your Content
Batch creating your content will save you time, money and energy, and it works hand-in-hand with your content strategy. Once you know what your content will be, you can set aside time to create it in blocks. Once you have your content ready, you can schedule it to go out when your audience is active.
During your batch creation, use a social media marketing platform to schedule a faster, seamless process. When you have a social media calendar, you’re able to do a content audit of where you can repurpose past content in different content formats and where the gaps are in your planning.
For example: If you’ve created an infographic offering a step-by-step for your product use, you can repurpose the same message as an image with a copy or as a video. Get the best out of your content by extending its shelf life.
5. Measure Effectiveness
Reviewing what works in the holy grail of social media content planning. The first place to start is putting the vanity metrics aside – particularly any fixation on the size of your following! Following size plays no contribution towards your engagement or your reach. Your content plan is what dictates visibility and audience interest.
Consider the algorithm changes being made to each social media platform. If your business targets a millennial audience, Instagram has shifted what engagement metric it values highest. It will prioritise showing similar content to what a user has “saved” instead of “liked”. Keep on top of algorithm changes so you can adjust the focus of your reports and use these changes to refine your content strategy.
Set KPIs for your content before you post it. What is it you want to achieve? Your KPIs extend beyond the metrics displayed on each post, such as comments, shares or views, and go into the nitty-gritty backend of your performance indicators, such as mailing list sign-ups, click-through rates or growth in following after your audience shares organic content.