• Meriem Belhiba

Your Ultimate Guide to craft an effective social media content strategy [2020]

Still grappling with your social media content strategy?

You’re one of 99% of business owners and marketers, so don’t feel upset or alone.

Social media content strategy has no one-fits-all pattern. It can get tricky sometimes. Established or proven tricks can never work for you.

But, crafting a realistic and well-thought of strategy from the beginning will definitely make things easier.

To help, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you figure out your strategy and build it from scratch.


1- Create Marketing Persona.

2- Choose the channels of your communication.

3- Set your goals and metrics.

4- Analyse your market insights.

5- Build your team.

6- Set up your content guideline.

7-Produce your social media calendar.

8- Track, assess and optimize your social media content.


1- Create Marketing Persona:



Do you know that person who gets annoyed when you talk to them wearing your sunglasses?


This person can’t stand being talked to in a certain way. And, this is how your marketing persona feels and acts. Unless you talk to them the way they want, they won’t get engaged with you.


Marketing persona or audience persona is your ideal or typical target customer. You need to know him/her as a real person and fathom his/her needs, fears, interests and behaviors.


The idea is to dive deeper into your typical target customer to craft a detailed profile. This profile will be representative to one or all the groups of your customer base.


Let's have the example published by Indie Game Girl on her blog. She assigned her perfect marketing persona the name Brandi. Then, she started thorough research about her goals, interests and frustration. For a shoe brand, it's important to know why your prospects cannot buy from you. This is what Indie Game Girl did. And, at the end of her research and deep sense of empathy, she ended up with this buyer persona presentation:



Marketing Persona Example Source Alexa Blog

But wait, you know how to conduct marketing persona research?


Your research is the pillar of your successful social media marketing strategy.


For a quick start follow these steps:


  • Learn who is already interacting with your brand:

We suppose you have already established your brand and attracted some customers. Use all the resources you’ve collected throughout your business age. If you have already created social media accounts, use the demographics like age, location, interests, life stage and so on. This will help you define the major and common traits of your customer base.

  • Find out exact information about your target audience using social analytics:

For exact and insightful information about your customers, resort to social media analytics tools. These tools have a mission to make your life easier by saving you time and giving you insight.


  • See who your competitors are targeting:

Your competitors are your greatest source of inspiration. Their customers are yours, too. Knowing who they are targeting can broaden your vision for groups of customers you’ve been neglecting. How are their targets similar or different to yours? Who is the most responsive to their social media content? What can you learn from their audience? Find answer to these questions and you will figure out what to do next.


2- Choose the channels of your communication.


After identifying the “who” in your strategy, it’s time to think about where to reach this “who”.


Social media channels are proliferating drastically, adding more options for you but giving in you more headache. That said, no need to be present on every single social media channel. You should channel your energy and efforts to create a well-tailored content attuned to each social media account you decide to be present on.


Multiplying social media accounts does not consolidate your digital presence nor does make your social media content strategy more potent.


Scrutinize the purpose of each social media channel and people active there and relate your conclusions to your business goals. How does this very platform help you reach your goals? Does this platform contribute to your business development?


Depending on your target audience, pick out the suitable channels to reach it. If you’re targeting Z-generation, you should know on which social network your target spends more time. For instance:


  • Instagram has 67% of people ages 18-29

  • Facebook attracts 86% of people ages 18-29

Source


As broad as it may seem, narrow down your research using other demographics (gender, location, income, etc.).

3- Set your goals and metrics.


Never go in a path without knowing the destination. And, in digital marketing never craft a strategy without setting realistic and measurable goals.

In every stage of your business cycle, you have goals to achieve. It depends on where your business is positioned and what business model you adapt. Some common goals are:

  • Developing brand awareness

  • Generating leads

  • Driving more traffic to website

  • Increasing conversion rates

  • Pushing people to download a manual or an ebook

Whatever your goal is, you need to set the right KPIs to measure your success and optimize your results later on.

Wait, you know how to measure your KPIS, right?

If you don’t, here is everything you need to know in order to define, track and optimize your metrics.

Special Guide: KPIs to Track to Measure Success on Social Media!




4- Analyse your market insights.


Don’t rush creating social media content now! Your social media content strategy is not yet ready to be executed.


You have competitors out there. This competition is where your target audience is going to. So, you need to know what they are achieving to gain insight. You can get market insights by manually searching for each competitor and scrutinizing their numbers and content.


Some brands rely on social media analytics tools to get the work done quickly and accurately. Instead of manually doing every step, you can get tedious tasks finished in a glance by simply adding your sector and business in the dashboard of one of these tools.


Some social media analytics tools, like kpeiz, give you the best and worst posts produced by your competition. This is fertile terrain for ideas and conclusions.


These conclusions put you in front of some major decisions to take in your social media content strategy. What tone of voice should be opting for? What content is the most aligned to your goals? What content should be embraced and improved to optimize results?

Once you get this figured out, you can carry on crafting your social media content strategy.



5- Build your team.


Small businesses encounter a serious problem when it comes to human resources. At this stage, you need to make some major decisions. Do you want to recruit in-house team to craft your social media content and carry on your social media content strategy? If you have the budget to hire a whole specialized team, do it. It will make it easy for you to focus on other areas of your business while being confident about your social media content marketing strategy.


If you’re on a tight budget, opt for hiring freelancers. It may be challenging to find the great fit. But, with clear communication and contract, you can be at least sure you will get something good.


But first, identify what are the tasks you need help with.


If you’re planning to have a video-centred content marketing strategy, hire a motion maker or video maker. If you only need a few videos, you can resort to freelancers. Make sure, your inhouse team include specialized marketers and creatives you need in the long term.


6- Set up your content guideline.

Your team is set up. At this point, you have a clear idea about your brand identity and the type of content you want to produce. You have also gathered some skills to reinforce your business and ensure good quality.

Now, it’s time for creating a proper brief of your content.

Gather all the information and insights you have by this stage. And, use them to jot down a proper brief for your team. This way, you ensure good results.

  • Ask your team to come out with social media content themes

Mainly in Instagram, you should have a clear idea from the outset what theme you will be adapting. Choose the colors, the style and the layout your content will be presented in. This will be your guideline in all the upcoming content production process. It saves you time and ensures quality. Try to incorporate different type of social media content:

  • Visual: follow one of the best social media practices and produce more images. Visual content has proved attracting more engagement and shareability rate.

  • Emotional: Evoke awe, amusement and excitement in your audience. Go the extra mile and be unabashed about the statement you want to give. Digital communication is mutual. You’re not in a cave listening solely to your voice echo.

  • Entertaining: People are clutching their smartphones to entertain themselves. Produce funny and entertaining content to build a healthy relationship with your audience.

  • Useful: Create value in your content. People want to be enlightened. Find a way to offer them the value they want to get. Educate them about your brand and sector. Give them interestingly useful content to build loyalty and trust.

  • Follow the basics

When it comes to social media content strategies, there are some basics to adapt. Content should be diverse. It should be split up into minor themes. For instance, Marie Forleo uses clear types of content.



She implicitly tells her followers what to expect. There are quotes, inspirational talk, interview videos and podcast extracts. These are types produced consistently. And, this reinforces her personal branding strategy.


To know more about some of the basics, head to The Importance of Content and How to Improve it.


  • Keep an eye on trends

With those existing basics, trends are worth tracking. Trends always emerge to break the ground and increase engagement. Riding the wave when it’s attuned to your brand and strategy is never a bad idea.


Some trends were too successful to establish the basics and became an integral part.

When implemented effectively, trends can increase your online visibility and community engagement.


  • Decide your posting strategy:


Reaching your audience target when they are ready to interact and engage with you is a success key.

Market insights and benchmark help you figure out when your target is most responsive.

But recent research on sites like Hubspot or Social Media Today can enlighten you about the best times to post on social media.

After answering the “when”, you should identify your “how often”.

Frequency and consistency are primordial.

  • Frequency: Decide how often you will be posting on the platforms you’ve already picked. Frequency is important. But, be careful of seeming spammy. Don’t overload your audience with more messages than they can digest.

Stick to an average. And, watch out for negative feedback. It reveals the success or failure of your posting strategy.

  • Consistency: Keep your posting strategy consistent. You may feel excited at first and bombard your audience with more messages than you can produce later on. And, this is a big mistake. Better post 2 messages per day all along the month than posting 15 messages one day and relapse to inactiveness the rest of the month.

7-Produce your social media calendar:


Enigma solved. Put together all the puzzles and get the overall picture drawn.

By now, you have your social media content figured out. You also have your posting strategy crafted.

All you need is to assemble them all in a social media calendar where you match each type of content with time and day.

It’s impossible for you to operate without a calendar that plots all your activities.


8- Track, assess and optimize your social media content.

Your social media content is uploaded. Now, you may be feeling it’s over. You may be rushing doing other activities and taking care of other business areas.

But wait, your social media content strategy is not over. And, it won’t.

Don’t want to put efforts in a content that doesn’t help you in anything, right?

You need to track your results and see what social media content resonated with your audience.

We tackled key KPIs to track to measure your success.

Keep analyzing your performance and fine-tune your social media content strategy accordingly.

Marketers usually use native analytics tools on Facebook and Instagram, others prefer digging deeper using a game-changer digital tool.


Social media analytics tools enable you to see all your data and metrics in real time. These tools include more efficient data visualization and more insights than the native analytics tools. You will find out peak hours, most engaging content and audience behavior.



These tools also keep you updated about your sector and competition without having you too immersed in your brand bubble. Keeping an eye on competition and emerging trends give you more opportunities to seize.


Put more efforts in optimizing your content strategy and proactively make informed decisions to improve your content.

Conclusion:

Social media marketing strategy is an ongoing process. We know: this guide is too much to digest for the beginner you. But, try to split it up and fully grasp each section.

This way you will be more apt to follow the process smoothly.





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