How You can put together a Simple Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy

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.

How You can put together a Simple Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy

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.

Customer Profiles

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.

Phil Calvert’s interview in the lastest MPAF Podcast is great example of content addressing the LinkedIn question above. Click here to listen to the Podcast.

Content Statement

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.

How You can put together a Simple Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy

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.

  • Blogs.
  • Videos.
  • White papers.
  • Audio/Podcast.
  • Broadcast media (Radio, Web TV).
  • eBooks/white papers.
  • Webinars.

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”

Social Media

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.

Measurement

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.

Phil Calvert on IFA Life and Using LinkedIn to Find Clients – MPAF31

LinkedIn is more than just an on online CV.

Offering a publishing platform, research tools and discussion groups, LinkedIn is effectively a global virtual networking event.

And yet many people still treat it just as a showcase for a brief summary of their career rather than using it as a research tool to find clients and to attract new customers to their businesses.

My guest today has become successful and well-known training financial professionals about the benefits of LinkedIn.

He’s also set up his own online financial services community called IFA Life and is a passionate champion of social media and business development ideas.

Hear how you can fine tune your LinkedIn profile to boost your position in search so that potential clients can find you. Listen to Phil’s tips on how to use LinkedIn to identify potential customers and approach them for a positive response.

Phil Calvert on IFA Life and Using LinkedIn to Find Clients - MPAF31

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Who is Phil Calvert:

Phil is a professional speaker and founder of an award-winning business social networking site IFALife.com.

He speaks at conferences and trains leaders on:

  • best practice in using Social Media to increase sales
  • how to manage professional identities with LinkedIn and Social Media
  • building Community around online brands

The story of how he created his social networking site reveals behind-the-scenes insights into how to make Social Media really work – one that prompts organisations to radically rethink their approach to using LinkedIn and online networking.

Phil specialises in working with leaders, visible experts, sales teams, regulated industries and companies that struggle to get meaningful results from Social Media. Many are shocked when he reveals how many sales opportunities they’ve missed by ‘tinkering around the edges’ with LinkedIn.

In his spare time Phil shares one of my passions. He is a keen Yoga practitioner.

Things Phil and I discussed:

Phil’s Favourite App:

Phil’s Contact links:

Phil’s favourite books:

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

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If you enjoyed this episode – Phil Calvert on IFA Life and Using LinkedIn to Find Clients – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes. And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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Neil Stanley on Natter and Lessons from Technology Start Ups – MPAF30

Looking closely at other industries can give you great insights and ideas you can steal for your own business.

Although my guest today has a financial services background he’s enjoyed his most recent successes in the online digital world.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk to Neil and hear the story of how he created new social media platform Natter.com. And learn from his experiences building digital products.

Listen to how Neil came up with the concept of Natter and how its simplicity could change your thinking style. Hear about useful concepts like MVPs – that’s Minimum Viable Products and how we could apply these to the financial services industry.

Neil Stanley on Natter and Lessons from Technology Start Ups

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Who is Neil Stanley?

Neil is and entrepreneur and is currently CEO of Natter.com the latest venture to come out of his internet incubator company Alamex Ltd. Alamex has produced a number of spin outs already including most notably the UK’s best school guide website SchoolGuide.co.uk

Prior to being an entrepreneur Neil had a financial services background working for over a decade at Goldman Sachs and also at the Swiss private bank Lombard Odier. Neil also spent five years as a board director helping to grow a financial services social enterprise called Fair Finance.

A little known fact about Neil is that he spends Sunday mornings ringing Church Bells.

Things Neil and I discussed:

Neil’s favourite Apps:

Neil’s Contact links:

  • Follow Neil on Natter: @Neil
  • Connect with Neil on LinkedIn: Neil J Stanley
  • Follow Neil on Twitter: @NStanley
  • Email Neil Here: neil@natter.com

Neil’s favourite books:

Stealing MySpace by Julia Angwin

Don’t miss an episode of the MPAF Podcast – subscribe now.

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Now it’s your turn:

If you enjoyed this episode – Neil Stanley on Natter and Lessons from Technology Start Ups – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes. And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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