Content strategy is a marketing buzzword that’s been thrown around a lot lately. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Content is King.”
Well, if you’re sick of that phrase, don’t worry–so am I–it won’t be uttered again. But, since 52% of enterprise marketers still find it difficult to build a content strategy, and 49% of small businesses have reported that they don’t have the resources to effectively follow their strategy, I feel the subject should be covered.
Keep those figures in mind as we go through improving your content marketing on social media and online in general.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing for digital work refers to the planning, creation, distribution and management of content created by your company, through any online channel.
It is by no means simple. It requires a strategy, which is an in-depth document, detailing the steps above, from content creation to content distribution. A content strategy will answer the details you need to know in order to talk directly to a segmented target.
Often, however, the content strategy gets lost in the end goal: Increase sales leads. What’s forgotten is perhaps more important. The previous steps in your funnel, e.g. Facebook, your website, organic search. These aren’t considered objectives, but are aspects that make you capable of achieving said objective.
Pay attention to these and you may see sales leads skyrocket.
Creating Content Strategy
Remember those numbers at the start of the blog? Let’s start with the big idea: building a content strategy.
Crafting your content may take time, but in the end, you’ll reach a much deeper drill down of what your content is trying to achieve. If you’re doing this for your own company, proceed to the below questions, but if you’re working for a client, make sure to get all the necessary input from them before continuing.
These are the questions you need to answer when crafting your content strategy:
- Who is your target audience?
- What content subjects will capture target interest?
- How will ideas generated be transformed into compelling copy?
- Where will content be shared, organized and accessed?
- Who will make decisions about creation, distribution, reuse and extinction?
Finally, you need to answer this question: What will your content accomplish for your business or client?
The best way to go about this is to use these questions in a brainstorm, hopefully with a team, but individually is okay as well. Spew out as many thoughts as you can, and chisel away something useful from there. Within an hour or so, you should be able to hone in on some great ideas for your content strategy.
Type it up into a legible paragraph for your boss or client to read at the top, leave the brainstorm at the bottom. Boom. You’re done.
Social Media Content Strategy
Your social media content strategy shouldn’t stray far from what you’ve created above and should relate back to that paragraph you just typed up. With social media, however, you need to realize that your audience is different, and the way they interact with their Facebook and Twitter differs from how they use your website as well.
On sites where users are scrolling down a newsfeed, the text kind of runs together. Utilizing photos and videos on your social channels will help in the fight for consumers attention.
Here’s where the second figure from above – 49% – comes into play.
If you’re finding that you just simply don’t have the resources for social media content, there’s a solution. With the convergence of media, it’s extremely easy nowadays to utilize and package different items of content in different ways. And, what a convenience that people pay attention to video and photo on social more than text!
If you create any type of written content, there are almost an infinite amount of ways you can re-utilize it for other channels. Check out the process of Formal Stacking.
Repackage Content with Formal Stacking
Formal Stacking is the process of taking a serious piece of content and transforming it into relevant media for the correct (most often less serious) channel.
Let’s say that you are a independent coffee shop. Your target online is coffee enthusiasts.
Your content should be useful to them. It should give them information pertaining to their lifestyle, and support them in their enthusiasm for coffee.
Knowing this, you create a white paper about coffee beans and the regions they come from for an audience of professional baristas. Your white paper is very informative, and does a little for brand visibility for an extremely segmented audience. But, it’s just not enough.
So you need to repurpose your content. This is where the tactic of Formal Stacking comes into play:
All of which can is best used for different channels and audiences, expanding your reach exponentially.
As you can see, as you move down the list, the content decreases in “formal value,” and allows you to repurpose your current content into anything that you see fit. Which is a pretty easy task.
Improve Funnel Steps, Reach Your Goal
As you’re building your content strategy, whether for social media or other channels, you need to pay attention to the singular steps in your funnel, rather than the end goal. What are your weak areas? If you aren’t receiving traffic from outlets other than your site, then you know that your strategy as a whole won’t accomplish the most it’s capable of.
If you shift your focus to your social media profiles, website and SEO, you’ll be ready to craft next quarter’s content strategy that will send online sales leads through the roof.