As marketers and businesses, we are posed with the task of creating useful and valuable content for our audiences, but often we forget to connect the dots between the content we put out there and the measurable impact it can have on our bottom line. Yes, we tweet promo codes and share our latest products on Pinterest, but do we map a path of how these pieces of content will turn into real results for us?
Creating a comprehensive content plan for all of your social channels is one way to start being more strategic about your efforts. By taking into account your goals for social media, website traffic, and, of course, conversions, you can generate a plan that accomplishes business objectives while simultaneously building a thriving online community that can be leveraged to your advantage.
To get started, ask yourself these three questions:
1. What are my goals?
As with all online marketing endeavors, knowing what success looks like will help you get there. If you have clear and measurable objectives to achieve, you can more easily lay out a content strategy that aligns with your goals. If, for example, your goal is to reach 1 million people per week on Facebook, you’ll know to post engaging and highly shareable content, likely in the form of eye-catching visuals, that will encourage people to like, comment, & share. Alternatively, if your goal is to generate a 50% increase in web traffic to your blog, you’ll need to plan status updates that promote your content with copy that is designed to encourage qualified clicks.
2. What are my assets?
Laying out what you have to offer from a content standpoint makes it easier to connect each piece of content to one of your overarching goals. Assets to list here may include engaging visuals, blog content, discount codes, exclusive access to company experts, quotes, testimonials, insider info, etc. Also important to consider here are third party assets that will provide value to your audience. Only sharing content that is promoting your company is not received well by social media users, and a bad practice in social media community building (see question #3). Therefore your assets should also include visuals and links from outside sources that aren’t a direct competitor to your brand.
3. What are my rules?
This is where you establish a general set of guidelines for when you will post about your brand, in an effort to avoid spamming your audience with messages of “Buy, buy, buy!” Post only about yourself and your products, and you’ll find that your community is unengaged. Mix it up enough – and do it right – and you’ll experience an audience that is excited about your updates and responsive to your occasional self-promotion. For example, you might establish an internal rule that only one post per day can be about your company, while the others must be useful resources not from your brand. You could also establish a percentage rule – for example, decide to keep 70% of your content resourceful and/or shareable, 20% of your content related to your company or brand but not directly promoting it, and 10% of your content designed to sell (promo codes, sales, contests, etc.).
The next step is establishing a plan to measure the impact of each piece of content as it relates to your overall objectives. But we’ll leave that for another post… 😉