A lot of businesses that are active online are confused about this ‘content marketing’ thing they hear about, even if they’re effectively doing it already. So, why would they need a strategy for it?
Social media driving change
Although social media activity should be driven by an overall marketing strategy and linked to active campaigns, it also needs a constant stream of activity. Marketers should be publishing posts consistently and frequently responding to the community.
Businesses that start doing this quickly realise that, although it’s easy to share other people’s content, if they do only that, their followers quickly go elsewhere.
Keep the tap running
Social media demands a constant drip feed of original content which, of course, businesses have to create. A content strategy will drive the content creation and keep it on track.
If there’s no control over the messages and what they are trying to achieve, an organisation’s outward face will be confusing and may even contradict other marketing activity.
This is no small task, so the best way to ensure things run smoothly could be to outsource to a content agency.
That might all sound a bit frightening for businesses who are just embracing social media and wondering if and when any benefits will accrue.
It really only means that content creation and marketing needs some thought and organisation behind it to make sure the social media activity isn’t just window dressing.
Fit with other activity
Organisations should examine their marketing strategies and brand identities to define the content types and styles that will attract and engage their target market. Generate lists of messages, styles and types that fit and ones that won’t.
Document it all, including what you’re hoping to get out of your content, then test to check assumptions.
Test and evaluate
The good thing is that content can quickly and (relatively) cheaply be tested online to see what works and you get instant feedback on its effectiveness.
For example, two sponsored Facebook posts with the same message but different images will give insight as to the images that draw the right prospects. But for the tests to be successful they should be put out at similar times of the day and week, to the same audience, or it’s not possible to know what’s caused any difference in engagement figures.
Testing needs to be formal and controlled under a strategy-driven plan to get the best return on investment.
There’s a lot more to crating a content strategy but you’ll find more detail here on Content Works!