Your content is more important than ever. But why is this the case?
As the situation across the globe evolves each day due to COVID-19, our marketing strategies need to evolve too. In a time of such uncertainty, it can be difficult to know what to do, when to do it and what is coming next.
However, one thing we know for sure is that there has never been a better time to be digitally effective as a business, so the content you create is more important than ever. With everyone at home, spending more time on their devices, your business needs to be providing relevant, high-quality, value-adding content to your current and prospective clients.
Not sure how to do this?
Here are our tips for developing a hard-hitting and effective content strategy during this period.
What does a good content plan look like?
The first step is to ensure that your business is being promoted the best way possible, and also providing value through the right communication channels.
Here are some considerations:
Instagram - over 1 billion active users, Instagram is a great channel to reach younger generations with high-quality images and videos, as well as live Q&A’s
LinkedIn - The professional social media platform, 43% of LinkedIn users have a decision-making role. This is a great page for companies to enhance B2B networks and find clients.
Facebook - Nearly 1.5 billion active users with a wider age range compared to Instagram. Great for businesses with highly visual content.
Youtube - Youtube is perfect for longer value-adding videos - only applicable for some businesses and industries.
Email Marketing - simple, cost-effective and allows you to nurture your extended network.
Once you have confirmed the channels which you will prioritise, you need to decide the type of content you want to post. We suggest a combination of written content, videos and images. Make sure for your written content that it is highly engaging, punchy and uses relevant keywords to your industry, ensure your video’s are high-quality and that your images reflect your brand and will resonate with your users.
Another factor to consider is the frequency of posts. This one comes down to how much content you have available to push out and your capacity to create regular content. But to ensure the biggest bang for your buck with each content piece, post when your community is most active via each individual channel.
Here is an example calendar template that you can use ongoing as an easy visual way to plan and structure your content execution.
Tip: even though you may utilise more than one channel, in many instances your copy will differ across channels, depending on the audience.
Stop selling, start supporting
Before you jump into brainstorming and planning each of your content pieces, the most critical consideration right now is ensuring you’re adding VALUE to your community. Take your foot off the ‘selling’ pedal. Now is the time to share your knowledge (for free), because people are listening.
Share free advice, education and knowledge over the upcoming months to show your support and show that you care. Across email, social media and your website, ensure that all written content, video and imagery has your audiences’ needs front of mind. Your customers and extended community need it and they are soaking it all up like sponges.
This is your opportunity to be a leader. If you provide tangible, actionable strategies and lead, your listeners will follow.
Asking and listening are the first steps
Utilise your community to help shape the individual content pieces you develop in your calendar. This is where social media comes into its own. Utilise the handy tools available like polls and questionnaires, and ask your community what they'd like to see from you. Listening is critical.
Let the creation begin
Here are some practical tips for the now:
1. Get on a call with your whole team and spend 30 minutes of power brainstorming content ideas. These can sit alongside the content ideas you’ve already gathered directly from your community. Any ‘extra’ ideas can be added to a ‘content dumping ground’ doc for future use!
2. Utilise customer content where you can - if you’ve got customers who deliver great visual content, reshare it with your own valuable messaging. It not only helps your own efficiencies, but it helps to promote their brand as well.
3. Look back at older great performing content to see what can be repurposed. Consider things like past videos, blogs and client content.
4. Unsure of relevant blog topic ideas? Use a tool like Answer The Public to understand what questions people are asking in your particular industry. Then you can strive to answer them with your written content!
5. Schedule a photoshoot. If you can work within the current physical distancing guidelines, this is an ideal time to capture a new collection of imagery to make your brand stand out. Make a shot-list of all the types of imagery you’d like captured and note where each of the images will be used (eg. website, social media etc.). Looking for a photographer? See the works from one of our ask Marketing preferred photographers Megann Evans who is currently offering 25% off all studio services when you mention ask marketing- get in touch with her here.
6. If you need a extra handful of ‘generic’ imagery, Unsplash is perfect for this
Not only have the operational aspects of many businesses changed recently, but so has marketing and content execution.
So, whilst it is important to plan a couple of months ahead, be ready to pivot your content strategy when needed. What we must all take away from these challenging times is the importance of being able to identify opportunities for rapid change.
Need Additional Support?
Our team of Virtual Marketing Managers are here to help. In light of current events we have launched an initiative called ask for help, offering free 30 minute phone calls to give guidance and marketing communications support to all businesses. Email us now to schedule your complimentary session.