Do you shrink down into your chair when you hear the word strategy?
You know it’s important to have a business strategy and a marketing strategy. But it can get so complex. Especially when run as part of annual planning and financial cycles. Everyone gets involved. All with their own agendas. Before you know it you’re drowning in a sea of Post-It notes.
Strategy needn’t be complicated. You can keep it simple.
If you’re thinking about your Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy here’s how to go about putting a simple plan together.
Your Overall Marketing Strategy
You do have an overall marketing strategy right? Again some companies get bogged down with complexity. Whilst “Visions” and “Mission Statements” are important, the process of getting to them can suck the life out of many organisations.
Your simple overall Marketing Strategy only need address these questions.
- Who is our customer?
- What problem do they have?
- Why do we solve it better than anyone else?
Once you have that nailed everything else should flow freely including those difficult visions and missions.
Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy
Traditional marketing techniques include advertising, unsolicited emails and other “interruption techniques”. You know – just when you’re getting to a good bit in Downton Abbey you’re hit by an ad break.
Content Marketing is all about the customer finding you. They find the content you produce and feel good about doing business with you as a result.
That sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s harder than it sounds but easier than many people think. Here are the components of a content marketing and social media strategy.
You know who your customer is. So you can create a profile for them. Some people call this an “Avatar” but that sounds like jargon so let’s stick with “profile”.
Keep profiles brief. Here’s one of the Customer Profiles for the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast.
- Professional financial adviser
- One man band or running a small firm of 20 or so people
- Eager to embrace digital technology
- Looking to develop their business
- Wanting to learn about marketing, social media, business development and best practice
Once you’ve defined your customer profiles you can start to think about what questions they are asking. In the above example one question could be “How can I use LinkedIn to find new customers?” Once you work out what questions they’re asking you can start to build your content.
You might hear this technique called the “They Ask. You Answer” model.
Come up with a content statement as a quick check list to keep you focussed. Again using the example of the Marketing Protection and Finance Podcast.
- Core Target Audience: The Adviser Customer Profile above.
- What Content?: Answers to the questions they have about marketing social media, business development and best practice. Giving ideas and inspiration that they can use to develop their business.
- Call to Action: Confidence in Roger Edwards Marketing Ltd as a partner to work work with more on marketing strategy, content marketing and social media. Potential clients get in touch for a quote.
- Tone of Voice: Interview style. Clear language. Chatty. No jargon. One or two take away ideas per 30 minute audio show.
Tone of voice should be appropriate to your customer, but will also probably be the overall tone of voice of your business.
Types of Content
You might want to expand the model to: “They ask. We answer. We offer a tool.” You can consider the following types of rich content.
- White papers.
- Broadcast media (Radio, Web TV).
- eBooks/white papers.
Digital technology and great resources such as WordPress (for blogs), canva.com (for design), YouTube (for video hosting) mean you can produce content for much less what it would have costed only a few years ago.
You’ll need to decide who puts it all together. Should you have dedicated people running your content and social?
Content Hub and Content Calendar
Once finished, show case your content on your website and create a content hub. Putting together a Content Calender is also a good idea so that you know when you’ll be publishing a particular blog or video.
Now you can start to use Social Media to draw attention to your content. I love a description Jay Baer uses about the relationship between content and social media.
“Content is the fire. Social Media is the Fuel”
Choose the social media platforms most appropriate for your business. Don’t try to play on all of them. For financial services firms, Twitter, LinkedIn and possible Facebook (for local engagement) will suffice.
You may already be using these platforms for engagement and pure social engagements. Weave your posts pointing to your content into this activity.
And don’t be afraid to share content more than once. For example on Twitter you’ll be luck if more that 5% of your followers are online when you tweet. Posting several times (with a slightly different message) helps carry your content to a wider audience.
And finally measure how effective your content and social activity is. High hit rates are no good unless people are engaging with you. Booking appointments. Asking for quotes.
And that’s it.
That’s a high level structure showing how you can put together a simple content marketing and social media strategy.
Now it’s your turn:
If you are interested in looking at a content marketing and social media strategy for your business please get in touch. We can go into each area in more detail and tailor make something that works for you. Click here to get in touch.