There’s something thrilling about pushing that “Post” button and sending a piece of content out to the world, isn’t it? For marketers, it used to be a lot more thrilling, as publishing content was immediately followed by a waiting game of “how will this go over?”
Today, brands can (and should) push “Post” with a bit more confidence. For nearly five years, we’ve been experimenting on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms – testing out new approaches and altering our strategies as the platforms themselves mature. Social engagement is no longer a gamble; it’s a game for which marketers can prepare.
Now that content marketing has evolved for the social space, there’s simply no excuse for brands to publish content in the absence of a clear content strategy. Given the wealth of community insights and data on-hand, marketers can plan content in a way that delivers value for their community, encourages engagement/sharing and supports broader objectives.
What is a “content strategy?”
With the evolution of social media has come a better understanding of “content strategy,” yet there still exists some confusion around the term. Put simply, a content strategy is an insights-driven framework to guide which types of media and messaging you share with your social communities in order to reach your marketing goals.
Content strategies need not be complicated, but of course, the deeper you can go, the more strategic you will be and the better results you’ll achieve. That said, the gap between not having a content strategy and employing a basic strategic approach is wide. Even in its simplest form, a content strategy will work wonders for your brand and your team; your brand will see results and your team will see efficiencies.
Creating a content strategy
Creating a basic content strategy will give your brand, your team and your social media audience a greater sense of purpose. To start, answer these three basic questions to help you approach content with a more strategic lens.
1. Which posts received the most engagement in the past six months? This information is easiest to collect from Facebook: simply pull post-level insights and look for the lifetime post stories. Sort posts based on that column to view your top posts over time. Analyze your top posts to extrapolate trends: for example, maybe your top posts were about “family,” or maybe they were posted outside of business hours.
2. What were the topics of those posts receiving the most engagement? Divide your top posts into buckets by theme. The topics that bubble up most represent the things your current audience wants to talk about. Not all of these topics might be within your brand’s objectives, but knowing what your current audience likes to engage with is the first step to ensuring your social media presence is worthwhile.
3. What is the message you are trying to send? Look at your overall marketing strategy for this year. What is your key message point? Seek ways to build your content around your brand’s overall objectives. A great example of this is HBO’s “What Should We Call Girls” content series which connects with Millennial viewers over their love affair for GIFs and stays true to the brand’s personality and objectives.
Answer these key questions and you will be on your way to a smarter social content strategy. Remember, the content you publish should please your audience while also delivering on your brand message. Balancing these two sides – and creating content that is both on-brand and within an established social tone of voice – will lead to greater engagement and a more real-time publishing schedule that makes the most of emerging opportunities.
To learn more, read 360i’s Report on Content Marketing.
Cover image via Flickr