Creating a content marketing strategy can be a lot of work and it takes a lot of planning and research to come up with a strategy. If you are a Social Media Manager it can take a lot of time just to create a content marketing strategy for every client and for every new client it makes it more difficult to create and implement a strategy.
What if there could be a framework that can work for every client in every niche? Below is a content marketing framework that can be implemented for every client. But that’s not it, this framework can help you build a strong social media presence and foundation for your clients and can help you with research, competitive study, content creation, and everything that can come along the way of planning a Social media Strategy.
How to create a content marketing strategy?
1. Set S.M.A.R.T goals
When starting with content planning it is necessary to set goals that you want to achieve. But, so many people make a huge mistake in the initial step. Goalscan be Increasing brand awareness, generating leads & sales, growing your brand’s audience, boosting community engagement, Driving traffic to the site, and increasing customer retention. Understand that, this is the most important step of all and to achieve these goals successfully you need to set SMART goals SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
E.g.: “We will use Social Media Platforms for customer support and lower our average response rate.”
E.g.: “We will use Twitter for customer support and lower our average response rate to under two hours by the end of the quarter.”
2. Focus on Engagement, Click-through & Conversion
You must be wondering why to focus on engagement just after setting the goals. It is important to track different goals for different social media networks just to understand how the goals are aligned with different platforms. Also, this is the right time to create to do a competitive study using platforms such as similar web, keyword surfer (Keyword research in your niche), google trends, etc. Learn more about how your competition’s content is performing on various social media platforms, what is the tone of a brand, what customers are sharing more, and how there are engaging with different pieces of content.
You can use “Similar web” to get in-depth insights about your competition and how their website is performing.
1. Check out Overall Insights of any website
2. Check out Engagement in previous months
3. Learn about their Audience’s Interests
4. Also, check Insights about your other competitors
By collecting all the insights about your competition you can gather a lot of knowledge about your audience’s demographics and Interests. This can help you in building an effective content marketing strategy that will surely work for your brand.
3. Do Audience Segmentation and create Audience Personas
When it comes to your target customer, you should know things like Age, Location, average income, Typical job title or industry, and Interests. To create various audience personas it is important to collect audience demographics and do a thorough study of various types of audiences that communicate with your brand.
BTW, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 B2B Content Marketing Report, 44% of marketers don’t use marketing personas to influence their content. Doing this can immediately give you a leg up on your competition. One thing that many marketers are still doing wrong is they only think about the target audience but there is a huge difference between audience personas and target audience. The target audience is the audience that can be interested in the products and services a brand is offering, these audiences are created by physical traits, such as gender, age, location, interests, and annual income but the buyer persona is audience segmentation that is not just done on the basis of demographics. Still, creating an ideal audience is done by giving your ideal customers a face, names, occupations, challenges, and likes or dislikes, even though it is fictional. In short, the Target audience is the set of all types of audiences and the Audience personas are the different types of ideal audiences that are subset of the target audience. Before you dive in further, download our free marketing personas template.
4. Make Mission Statements
Mission statements are statements that define the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of your brand. The problem marketers do currently is they think that it is important to have a presence on all social media platforms and mostly they are using the same tonality and content piece on different social media platforms. The biggest problem with this approach is that “It doesn’t work anymore” and instead of becoming customer-oriented the brand becomes self-oriented and ultimately the audience and customers start drifting away.
So, to overcome these issues Mission Statements are created, various benefits of creating a Mission Statement are:
- Mission statements define what social media platforms to use and why to use them
- What is the main purpose of a brand’s existence on a platform
- What should be the tone of a brand and what type of content is to be circulated over these social media platforms
- They also help in defining what the audience should expect from the brand on various social platforms
Mission Statements should be created and modified on a regular basis as the algorithms of various social media platforms keeps changing frequently and at the same time, it gives you an edge over your competition. Examples of creating a Mission Statement for different social media platforms.
For e.g., “we will use Twitter for customer support to keep email and call volumes down.”,
“We will use LinkedIn for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee advocacy.”
5. Determine the right content mix
Once you are done with setting SMART goals and creating Mission Statements you should now start creating the content mix for your brand. So there are many rules that are followed by various brands to create a content mix. What specifically is a content mix, in a content mix a brand defines how and what type of content can be circulated among their audience should it be curated, advertisements, website redirects, or in-house created content. Every brand can define the consistency and type of content they can create but given are some examples that are mostly followed to create content
- 50% website redirect, 25% curated, 20% lead generation goals, 5% company culture
- 80-20 rule: 80% inform, educate or entertain & 20% promote brand
- Rule of thirds: ⅓ promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit, ⅓ shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses, and ⅓ personal interactions with your audience
You can define any rule that works for your brand and you can even use any one of the above rules for starting the content journey of your brand.
6. Make a Social Media Calendar
Now we are ready to distribute content over various social media platforms. Now you have all the answers to what are the goals for your brand, what social media platforms to use, what should be the tone of your brand, why the content is distributed to a specific channel, and what your audience can expect from you on various social media platforms.
It is the right time now to start creating a social media calendar. What is a social media calendar? Social media calendar helps in defining the frequency of posting the created content. The use of doing so is to give your audience a clear idea about what to expect from your brand and what is your frequency of posting on various social media platforms so that your audience doesn’t miss anything that your posting for your audience.
For creating a social media calendar, put down all the platforms that you will be using to post your content and what days of the week you will be communicating with your audience to be more specific you can even define the type of content that you are posting on a specific day of a week.
For eg, The steps we followed while creating a social media calendar for Cloud 9,
- What platforms to use – Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin
- What is the posting frequency for each platform – 6 days a week for all platform
- What type of content is to be posted on these platforms – For Instagram & Facebook – Tips and Tricks on SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Management, Paid Advertising, Marketing Quotes, and Case Studies. For LinkedIn – Tips and Tricks on SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Management, Paid Advertising, and Polls
- Defining the format of content like PDFs, Posts, Carousel posts, Reels, Videos, Blogs, etc.
7. Publish and Manage your content
When you are done with all the planning, now it is time for execution. Once you have everything ready, you can start publishing your content now on every platform. It can be very hectic to manage and publish content everyday on all social media platforms for your brand. The frequency can be more than once, twice, or even thrice in a day, and for the whole week creating and posting content on all the platforms can be very hectic and mishaps can happen easily. Also, if you are consumed with posting and creating content you might now be able to communicate with your audience regularly and in the end, even after planning the perfect strategy and content, you might still lose your audience.
To stop this from happening, there are many content management software that you can use to manage and schedule your content like Hootsuite, Buffer, Contenive, Meta Business Suite (formerly Postoplan), etc. they can help you manage various social media platforms directly from the software without redirecting to the platform, you can perform tasks such as post, comment, like, schedule and get insights to see how your content is performing. Every Content Management Software offers different features and you can choose the one that fits best for your brand. There are literally thousands of software available to choose from and you can the one that works best for you.
Here’s how you can use “Meta Business Suite” to manage content and scheduling
1. Publish & Schedule Posts, Stories, etc.
2. Plan your content ahead & check previously posted content
3. Check Insights directly from the platform
4. Reply directly from the platform to the comments on posts
- Define SMART goals i.e goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
- Define target audience and create various audience persons
- Run a content audit and do a competitive study in your niche
- Create Mission Statements and keep updating them regularly
- Determine the right content mix for your brand
- Define which type of content you want to create & which platforms to use
- Create a social media Calendar
- Brainstorm content ideas
- Publish and manage your content with the use of a Content scheduling and management system
- Use insights & metrics to see how your content is performing and if you have met the specific goals that you set for every platform or not.