About a month ago, I ran into some friends and mentioned my attendance at the University of Washington's Certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy. They looked at me incredulously and said, "Storytelling and marketing?"
A Journey of Magic and Mayhem
- Jul 1, 2020
- 4 min read
There are so many social channels and types of content out there. You may be an avid Twitter user with that platform's short phrases and interactions or prefer creating photos and graphics for Instagram. Still, each year, the latest option and hot craze with teens and young adults, beckons with the question – should I join yet another app?
The good news is you most likely won’t need to join every single social app out there. Putting your time into a few that are strategically chosen with your audience in mind, will go a long way to improving your ROI.
As a small to medium business or as an entrepreneur, the right content strategy will make your efforts pay-off in improved brand recognition, customer relationship-building and possibly even customers. Furthermore, there are content options outside of social apps which may be good for your business-building and should be considered - white papers, blogs, the website copy itself.
Conduct a Content Audit
The first thing you want to do is to conduct a content audit for your business. Make a list of all the social channels and web pages you currently operate. From there, take a look and what kinds of things you post, how often you post and what the content looks like.
For example, if you post on Instagram – is the content specific to your business, personal or both? Are you telling any kinds of stories with your photos? Who or what are you posting? H While conducting the audit, consider if any of your content is “evergreen” as in can be used regularly, re-posted or maintained because it never grows old. You'll want to keep notes on all this.
Assess the audit and consider your strategy
From the research you conduct on your sites and social posts, begin to assess your image. Are you randomly expressing things on a range of topics or do you have a focus?
Keep your potential clients in mind – would they appreciate or engage with the content on these different platforms or can you drop some in favor of others? Your time is money, after all.
It is important to ask yourself if what you are writing or posting is speaking to your intended audience. A lot of us tend to think of marketing content as what interests us! Unfortunately, that won't draw in your audience. This is really more about them then you.
With every post consider what interests them and what their pain points might be which will engage them with your brand. Social media is rarely about direct selling, so don't get heavy handed here. You want to build a relationship, slowly over time and create a space which invites others to show up to your content - regularly.
Align with your marketing plan
If you have a marketing plan, you might want to consider how you could improve your content posts so that they align with your original vision for your business. If you were randomly posting just anything that came to mind, perhaps do some brainstorming about the types of content that may titillate, intrigue, provide answers and more. You want to keep your clientele engaged with your brand.
Plan several posts in advance that you will use on your website blog, repost on Twitter or maybe condense down into an infographic to be used on Instagram or Facebook. It is OK to repeat content in a few places or use soundbites of longer pieces on social.
If you do not have a marketing plan, it may be time to work with a professional to set one up, or at least get some main points on paper to add to your overall business plan. If you are going to think strategically about content, you want to build a framework which makes sense with your business goals and vision.
Putting it all together
Conducting a content audit, will really get you thinking strategically about what you are putting out there for your business. While being random or spontaneous may work for personal accounts, it is probably not the best strategy to take when creating content for your work.
Think deeply about the styles of posts you are most comfortable doing. If you aren’t much of a writer, it may not be the best idea to write your own blog posts, for example. You could hire that out for SEO and repostable content for your other channels. Perhaps you are better on camera or doing short how-to videos on YouTube instead.
Plan posts in advance and consider how you might use and re-purpose content on each of your channels to cut back on the time you are spending on these activities. Ask yourself what your intended audience would like to know about you, your business or even about topics that relate to whatever it is you do.
For example, a garden store owner could post blogs about plant care, the right time to plant or which fertilizers to use – you get the idea.
If you feel like you could use some help creating a marketing plan, conducting a content audit and executing a strategy for your business marketing, definitely reach out to a professional who can help you. With a little planning and research, you could have a successful content strategy created for almost any budget.
Gina Micek, MBA, MFA, is a content marketing specialist who loves to work with clients who desire to bring authenticity and purpose to their business' mission, vision and values