It is always about the tactics. More focus should be on the strategy.
Having a solid strategy will get you momentum, and you need momentum if you are going to go for quality and quantity. p.s. you need both.
Here is my process which seem to work for me. Please adjust to your own version if necessary.
1. Mind walk through your audience personas’ POV
I’m assuming you have done personas for your brand. If you haven’t, seriously consider creating them. One of the worst things to do when going into business is to not know who you are selling to.
With the persona in mind, spend some time to ‘mindwalk’ though their life. Don’t overlook the more minute things. Life experiences can sometimes be heavily distorted. e.g. Not getting a seat at your favourite coffee shop can suddenly feel like the most important thing that may ruin your day.
This is why your personas should cover some level of emotional data on your audience segment. In other words, your audience’s psychographics — their outlook towards life, their mindset etc.
2. Find an issue to address
When it comes to things that overlaps with what you do as a service or your product, talk about that intersection. For example, if you are selling Human Resource Tech solutions, you can talk about leadership or work culture. These are non-direct but adjacent topics.
Be in the state of giving value. Tips, encouragement, entertainment, even commentary that helps your audience with their insecurities will be great.
Your content should be something that you can give genuine insights on. Based on your expertise, knowledge and experience.
It’s also OK if you don’t have all the answers. A quick research can present you with the findings you need. Just be sure to re-present it with your own tone of voice and wrapped with your own style. In other words, make it your own.
Please don’t forget to attribute your findings. You would want others to attribute to you too, so start by attributing others first. It’s only right.
3. Jot salient points (headlines)
Easiest way to start off is to jot down just the main points. For example, in the process of writing this article, I literally jot down the headings first, I tweaked them later but at least I know the main points I need to address or expand on.
I would recommend going about it in the following way, with these number of points
- 1 point — strong statement, if nothing else, remember this.
- 3 points — there’s something about the power of 3 that humans appreciate.
- 5-10 points — longer step by step kind of articles. You can go a bit technical on these.
4. Draft it out. Let it flow. Don’t censor.
Here is where many of us may differ. Some are able to let thoughts flow better if they speak to someone, if that’s the case, record it. Some prefer to talk it out in front of a camera (rant mode). Some, like me, prefer to write.
It is super crucial that you keep your audience persona in mind when drafting. Speak to that person. You are not talking to anyone else, Don’t let anyone else censor your conversation with the persona. You can bet you’ll get unwanted comments from people who think they know better. Ignore them, and don’t let it get to you. Write (or speak) only to the person you are trying to give value to.
5. Review and edit.
I mentioned that it’s important to just let it flow in the previous stage because flow is more important than getting spelling, grammar and structure right. I would recommend letting it sit for a day or two before looking through it a second time. Whether it’s video or written form you can review, word for word, and edit to sound professional or as true to your brand voice as possible.
I would recommend putting a time limit. We often overthink our own content and voice. Set half an hour to an hour to review and edit the raw content. Don’t try to rewrite or reshoot. Just, check and correct.
6. Produce content branches from this pillar.
The main content you have made earlier is what we can consider as your content pillar. From that video or audio recording, or written copy, you can put it through production.
It is good to have some creative support at this stage. We are talking about:
- instagram carousels
- video snippet
- etc etc (list goes on)
Don’t waste a good piece of pillar content, let it have legs and make its run around your platforms for as long and as much as it can.
7. Set it up for distribution.
At the time of writing, I would caution against using automators to get your content out. I’m seeing a lot of noise around how social media platforms do not favour automators and apps.
Besides, you can’t get the subtle things done when posting using those tools — e.g. tagging someone in Facebook or adding mood, location etc.
Best is to have a schedule to post and interact manually. We are all busy here, but if we are going to take social and content seriously, we need to make time for it. Not just creating it, but distributing and engaging with your audience.
8. Use feedback from the engagement in your content strategy.
Once people are engaging with your content, you have feedback. But first, let me just say that even if you have no engagement, that does not mean your content strategy is not working.
Feedback can come in all forms — negative, positive, even lack of feedback is feedback.
The most important thing here is to take the feedback constructively. Whatever the response is, we must understand why the audience responded that way.
It is also worth looking into the individuals background (if you are still having about 1000+ followers). This might give you insights into your audience who are engaging with you. Generally, haters are more willing to voice out than people who like your content. And that’s OK. It means you are reaching people.
Once your tribe is established enough, the people who believe in you will take care of the haters on your behalf. And their voices will be silenced out. Till then, just keep up the good fight.
Having an SOP like this for content marketing can help take the headache out of how to go about doing it. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you do your content. Please share them in the comments below or DM me directly.
Cheers and happy creating!