How to build and leverage a robust content strategy

How to build and leverage a robust content strategy

Looking to add more content to your social media channels and website? We often overthink what we could be posting online and spend a lot of time bouncing from topic to topic. The truth is, your business would benefit from a robust content strategy that not only outlines your subject matter but allows you to leverage it across multiple channels.

You see, social media is just one piece of a bigger content strategy. It should align with your website, print materials, and overall brand voice to give your clients a consistent experience. I’m not just talking about the words—the photos, colours and subject matter all play an important role.

As I write this article, I am visualizing the ways I can repurpose this article for various mediums. It starts with this 800-word article and translates into a blog post, then a video, and finally I break it up into small social media-sized bites of content. That content, if written well and supported by powerful graphics, will likely provide enough content for at least eight to 10 social media posts. Doesn’t that sound great?

Streamline a list of key topic areas

It all starts with a solid understanding of your business strategy and ideal clients. Take the time to unpack their needs and wants so that you can find the best voice to speak them. This important branding exercise not only helps your business determine how to speak to your customers, but it allows you an opportunity to create a consistent brand voice. This is what builds loyalty and trust with your client base.

Find five to 10 key topic areas that you can share your expertise on. These themes are “evergreen” and can be used and repurposed as you see fit. Your key topics are likely found on your website and in other marketing materials. Of course, you want to  highlight your products and services, but you also want to look at how you can help your clients and add value.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you don’t need to sell your services within the context of every key topic. You might want to broaden your topic areas and identify ways that clients can prepare for a photoshoot, or why annual family holiday photos are so important. Thought leadership is an important strategy to employ when you’re looking to make a name for yourself online.

You can also look at other topics that your business aligns with to round out your content themes. For example, you may want to showcase your community connections, the latest industry news or behind the scenes photos and videos of your business.

You will want to take the following steps for each key topic:

  • Create an outline per article/blog post.
  • Align the content with a relevant, powerful image.
  • Develop bite-sized information—content that is easily digested and pulled as quotes.
  • Determine who you will tag, link or mention in your social media or blog post.

Develop solid social media content

With your outline now complete, you want to build out your content. I like to use my visual assets to build out my strategy—this works especially well if you use Instagram. I find it much easier to work this way as people are typically drawn to visuals first. Once you have selected your visuals, add your text.

One thing that is crucial to every business’s content strategy—investment in quality photography. Whether you need portraits, lifestyle shots, flat lays or stock-like photography, it’s important to work with a professional. Not only can they capture content unique to your business, but they have the expertise and tools to provide you with content that will have a much longer life span.

Besides creating your own content, you may want to curate a selection of accounts to repost. There are several apps to repost on social channels such as Instagram; just be sure to attribute the photo and content to the originating account. 

And finally, be sure to leverage the searchability that social media offers. Research and use hashtags regularly to expand your audience reach. As mentioned earlier, you will want to tag your location and partners, so you can extend your reach and build your network.

Share what you love

Above all else, it’s important to be authentic and passionate on social media. You want your channel to exude your brand.

Repurposing your content can provide you with a consistent vault of material to work with for months, and most importantly, it can save you valuable time. And, who doesn’t want more time in a day?

Connect with me to learn more about optimizing your business’s communications efforts.

Why your business needs to be using Instagram Stories

Why your business needs to be using Instagram Stories

You might be wondering how to make use of some of Instagram’s newer features, including IGTV and Instagram stories. Instagram reaches millions of people worldwide daily, and it’s no surprise that many businesses include this social media channel in their marketing mix. In fact, according to Business Insider, 400 million people watch IG stories every day!

By creating a marketing strategy that is almost guaranteed to reach a wider, measurable audience than more traditional methods, IG stories allow for a more approachable look into what a business has to offer. Many businesses find success using IG stories, and that includes well known brands such as Aritzia, Gymshark, HelloFresh, and many more. There is no limit to what you can advertise and these different companies prove that success can be found using IG stories across the board.

It’s never been easier to connect with customers

Instagram Stories have created an entirely new way for businesses to engage with their target audience. By introducing features such as polls, Q&As, and reactions, IG stories allow for the consumer to engage with your brand like never before. 

Gaining direct insight into what consumers want is a valuable tool to be able to keep up with trends and adjust your target course as necessary. These features are also much more approachable for the consumer and allow them to engage with businesses easily and conveniently. 

Help your audience find what they’re looking for

IG stories provide ways to monitor statistics with ease, allowing businesses to see which posts have generated more engagement than others. Connectivity is encouraged and businesses are able to have consumers click links or ‘swipe up’ on the stories to be taken directly to the a target website. By pairing a direct connection to the consumer with clear feedback and statistics, it has never been easier to know what people are looking for.

Achieve powerful brand impact

Providing consumers with simple but effective imagery is the key to instagram stories. Many stories only appear for a matter of seconds, so catching the eye of the consumer is your goal. While this can result in a quick and easy way for consumers to notice you, it’s up to you to keep their attention. 

It’s best to use high quality, styled photos and videos, cohesive and coordinating colour schemes, and modern additions such as stickers or GIFs. Some of these novelties are interactive, which provides an opportunity for you to get feedback all while staying casual and concise. The platform is set up for this exact goal, and provides businesses with all the tools necessary to achieve their desired image. Some ideas for great IG stories:

  • Behind the scenes footage
  • New product announcements
  • Special events footage
  • Reposts of other on-brand IG stories

Create a strategy to make the most of your IG stories

Marketing through Instagram allows you to stay on top of the newest trends. Your business will be surrounded by other brands, influencers, and consumers—and that will keep you on your game! To make the most of IG stories, you’ll want to create a robust content plan that will keep you posting consistently engaging clips. Knowing your audience, learning what they want, and delivering that through IG stories is a sure fire way to ensure a business will be seen.

Ultimately, IG stories are one of the biggest opportunities in a digital wave for marketing businesses and brands. Story posts generate a lot of engagement, appeal to a large audience, and allow for quick conversions as links are built in! Instagram stories offers businesses a way to stay on top of their marketing and to connect with their audience like never before. 

~ Contributed by Madelaine Gaskell

What are your thoughts on Instagram marketing? Do you have any challenges with coming up with consistent IG story ideas? Leave a message in the comments!

3 Social Media Management Tools You Need to Know About

3 Social Media Management Tools You Need to Know About

If you manage Instagram or any other photo-based social media network, you understand how important it is to plan out your content in advance.

Here are three top Instagram management tools to help you get the job done:

Planoly is a visual planning tool that allows Instagram users to create calendars to plan their content, curate the content of others, schedule posts, and analyze performance. Service plans start with a no-cost option, which makes this tool very attractive.

Iconosquare is a powerful analytics, management and scheduling platform for brands and agencies. It’s a paid monthly service, but if you primarily convert leads from Instagram, this is definitely a viable option.

Hootsuite has been around for a long time, and has integrated Instagram management into its suite of tools. It may not have the visual planning power of Planoly, but it’s a great way to stay on top of your social media strategy.

Regardless of which tool you choose – you can always pivot to meet your changing needs.

Follow our blog for more tips on the tools you need to efficiently run your business.