25 April 2021|Latest Posts, Marketing, PR, Promotion
Why do you need a content strategy in the first place and why is how you plan that content an important part of that strategy?
‘Strategy is no longer optional’ says the Social Media industry, and never has this been more true and it applies to every aspect of business including content marketing. Why is it important to have a strategy for your content and what should that strategy look like?
We need a social media strategy to help keep us be consistent, on brand and on trend with our business so that we can nurture virtual relationships with the ultimate aim to convert them into customers or clients.
A content strategy will help you not only do this, but also help you to manage the expectations of producing content that now comes with being a business on social media including posting consistently, finding content to write about, producing worthy-content and having the right tools to help you do this.
I am going to take you on a journey from sourcing the right tools to help you implement a strategy that works for you and your business, to actually planning your content to reduce that overwhelm.
Sourcing your tools to plan, schedule and create your content
Having a set of tools is essential. When I started my business I was using too many tools that were costing me time and energy – not good when you are ambitious and want to expand your business. I reviewed the tools I needed to carry out my work and realised there were many I didn’t need. So here are three core tools that I use for my content strategy that you can explore for yours.
Canva for Design
With a range of affordable subscriptions (including a free one!), you have the ability to design your content whilst looking professional. It allows you to create your brand in social media form so that your brand colours, fonts, shapes, imagery are always embedded somewhere in your content design. This ultimately helps your followers become more familiar with your content when scrolling through their feeds.
Asana for Content Planning
I mentioned before that strategy is no longer optional, well this saying comes into play when it comes to actually writing content and planning your content schedule.
Asana is actually a work management desktop and mobile app that large businesses use, but I have found it extremely useful as a solo business owner for mapping out my social media strategy and content planning. I type out the caption (emojis and hashtags included) so that I can copy and paste it to Business Suite ready for scheduling or publishing! It makes it easier to proofread and see all contents of your post much clearer. It is also a great place to drop all your ideas in so that you are not mentally carrying them around with you and storing them in your minds – it can get a bit overcrowded otherwise!
Facebook’s Business Suite
Facebook has introduced ‘Business Tools’ which combines analytics with publishing tools for Instagram and Facebook, so you can check in for a quick view of how both channels are performing while scheduling future posts directly through the platform itself. I believe that if the source is offering such tools, then I would prefer to use them as I don’t believe that the platforms favour third party scheduled posts as much as those published directly through the platform itself. Hopefully that makes some sense!
You can download Business Tools to your phone and even use Facebook on your desktop to publish and schedule both Facebook and Instagram posts when you head over to ‘publishing tools’ on the left hand side – perfect!
Establishing a content strategy
We have landed at the core-part of content strategy: establishing one! What exactly should your content strategy look like or include?
Your Social Media Goals
Ask yourself and note, ‘what are my social media goals?’ such as: I want more followers, I want more website traffic from my Instagram, I want to increase brand awareness. It is really important to ask yourself what it is you want to achieve from your social media so you can mirror this in your content strategy.
Establishing a Tone of Voice
Establishing a tone of voice (TOV) is a must and begs the question, ‘how do I want to come across?’ TOV’s come in all forms and here are some common ones that you may relate to:
As we can’t portray our real vocal tones, we have to find a way to share with our virtual followers who we are, what we sound like and what we are like as a business.
I encourage my clients to have a set of reference profiles and it’s not only about looking at the aesthetics of a profile, but also the tone of voice they use or their content writing style perhaps. It’s a great idea to make a note of what inspires you.
Content pillars are a list of topics related to your business that you will post about. Examples of content pillars are things like: how to’s, educational, top tips, business highlights, behind the scenes. From your pillars, you can branch off into subcategories that will consistently feed you ideas on what to post about. Content block can be a real pain, and so having content pillars is a great way to never run out of ideas!
Now we have established these core elements to our content strategy, all we need to do is establish a content planning schedule that works for you…
Planning your content to reduce the overwhelm
A key thing to remember is that consistency is key. Consistency in the topics you post about will help audiences to understand you better, and another part of that is having a planning schedule that works for both you and that you can keep up with.
It is time to review or create your own schedule! Make sure your planning is in line with your current business strategy and more importantly, is do-able. It has to work around you otherwise you won’t commit and content will fall behind as will your brand awareness.
Here are three key things to have in mind when it comes to identifying a content schedule that works for you:
● Think about how far ahead you want to plan i.e. daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly
● Be consistent with your planning
● Plan content at a time that’s considered ‘down time’ or a time where you have mental space to be creative and really hone in on your business
Content planning can be a mind field so with a solid foundation and schedule to plan your content with, you can’t go far wrong and mentally, you’ll feel a whole lot better (trust me).
That’s content strategy in a coconut-shell
Remember that your content strategy should be strong, consistent and engaging for both you and your followers. A bonus tip before I go, would be to always make sure you have a backlog of content to work with so that your ideas and therefore your drive doesn’t run dry. Once you’ve adopted the tips in this post, you’ll be on your way to social media heaven!
Happy content planning everyone,
Yasmin @ Aloha Social Marketing
Aloha I’m Yasmin, Social Marketing Manager and Specialist at Aloha Social Marketing based along the south coast, Dorset UK. I am a solo-business owner staying up to date with the latest trends in social media straight from the industry alongside managing client profiles and coaching business owners to grow their social media.
Throughout my career working in the music industry, live events and marketing I have landed on the Island of Aloha whereby business owners sail across my shores looking for affordable, flexible social marketing solutions.
From full on management to coaching, there is nothing I love more than seeing businesses in love with their social media and more importantly, making the most of these powerful platforms. My passion lies in creating content, telling a story and translating information from even the most complex, into readable content that everyone can understand.
Working alongside startups, solo entrepreneurs and small to medium size businesses is an absolute privilege in seeing them implement social marketing strategies, in line with their business goals and more so, seeing them achieve those goals and grow their business.