This spring, I am traveling the country (and Canada) speaking at various conferences–from healthcare to flooring to associations–about all things marketing strategy and content. Today, I’m in the Boston area prepping for my afternoon presentation at Wellness Workdays’ 2018 Emerging Trends in Wellness Conference. My topic, “Building a smarter social media strategy to engage your community and grow your business,” is relevant to many different industries, companies and entrepreneurs. So as a teaser, I thought I’d share a few of my key points around building smarter social media strategies:
Your marketing strategy: focus on content
Content marketing is the creation of relevant content that provides value to your customers/audience by engaging them, providing answers to their pain points and, ultimately, driving action.
It’s 2-way communication that involves listening.
It is successful because it reaches your audience on their time, where they are and it lets you do what traditional marketing does not–connect and personalize while having conversations together.
Content marketing is about building relationships and trust.
It’s not that easy. It stresses people out.
Yes, I get it. Content marketing takes a whole heck of a lot of time, and that’s not something we all have much of these days. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 56% of marketers charged with content marketing don’t even have a plan. We’re all worried about things like measuring effectiveness, producing engaging content and that pesky budget (or lack thereof).
First, decide what you want to accomplish
Like any task, breaking things down into bite-sized pieces will help. First, decide what you want to accomplish by rolling out a content marketing program (or by going all in on a focus on social media strategies). Are you looking for:
- Community engagement and education?
- Increase in product sales?
- Brand awareness?
- Program recruitment?
- Employee recruitment or retention?
Your marketing goals and initiatives should directly support your company’s overall business goals. It’s not always about an increase in sales, but what you do in marketing should always support these overall goals.
Lay out your plan
Once you know what you want to achieve, put it in writing. Content marketing plans can be massive, but if it stresses you out to create one, take my one-sheet/one-page approach to get started. This will include items such as:
- Objective and goals
- Target audiences/personas
- What’s in it for them?
- Topics lists and/or channels and frequency
- Calls to action (what will you ask them to do?)
A few other things to consider
While this post is not an all-inclusive list on setting up social media or full-blown content marketing strategies, there are additional items to consider as you design your strategies:
- Understand the channels at hand (do your research on social media channels, who uses them, what they use them for, etc.)
- Understand the generations at play (there are lots of us in the mix these days and we all want something a little different in the way we receive and retain information)
- Use content you already have (don’t reinvent the wheel–a content audit is a great way to start)
- Always cross-promote across multiple channels (but make the content different and relevant for the channels on which you are posting)
- Use content calendars (they will quickly become your BFF)
- Consider how paid content will be a part of your plan (we all need some budget for paid/sponsored/boosted content)
Create a marketing plan with content that is about them–your audience. Make it sticky. Make them see you as a resource. Engage. Converse. Show your brand’s personality and listen to what your audience wants.
Like what you see? I love meeting new organizations, people and business owners and helping them develop marketing strategies to help them grow. Check out my upcoming presentations for this year online or to book a training/invite me to speak at your next event, see our speaker request form online.