The number of social media sites and their 24/7 access makes it easy for businesses to post whatever happens to cross their manager’s mind. However, random musings may be fun for teenagers, but they won’t earn you a loyal readership. If you want social media marketing to work for your business, you need to have something interesting to say. That’s why you need a content strategy.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is basically an editorial calendar of what you want to say and when you want to say it. Such planning takes the randomness out of your social media messages and allows you to development and deepen your marketing message over days, weeks and even months. With a good content strategy, you don’t have to approach your daily Facebook post with dread, you’ll be able to look at your plan and see what’s scheduled for the day.
A good content strategy isn’t just about what to say, it also deals with where to say it. There are currently more than 400 social media sites and more are being added every month. There are sites for book lovers, sewing enthusiasts and music fans. Chances are that there’s a site that’s targeted to your product or service. If you have a specialized product, it could get lost among the 1.2 billion registered users on Facebook. However, the 30,000 or so users on a more targeted site could be enthralled.
How to develop your content strategy
How do you go about creating your content strategy? According to the Content Marketing Institute, the first step is to think about your typical customer(s) and what type of content appeals to them (videos, how-to articles, tutorials, images.) You’ll likely arrive at a combination of several different types of content. Next, think about your business and, as briefly as possible, describe what you want people to remember about your company, product or service. You might decide you want to be the bakery that makes the best cassata cakes in town or the hardware store that’s always willing to help customers with their latest DIY project.
Once you’ve decided who you are and whom you want to talk to, you can decide what you want to say. Social media marketing is most effective in short bursts of interesting content, such as a tips of the day (or week), a daily image (of your product in use) or the daily special at your restaurant.
Why social media marketing is important
Do you have to use social media as part of your marketing plan? Of course not. However, you can be virtually certain that your competition is sharing and tweeting its way across the Internet. Creating interesting content on social media sites that readers will want to share with their friends (and their friends’ friends) offers a marketing reach that’s impossible with radio, print and television advertising. The right post (or series of posts) can instantly reach thousands of readers for pennies. It just makes good business sense to make use of this modern marketing phenomenon.
The bottom line
It’s too easy to look at social media marketing as just one more task that needs to be completed before you can get to the more important aspects of your business. However, by creating a content strategy, you’ll not only be able to see the value in your social media efforts, but you can be consistent with your message over days, weeks and even years.