You’ve heard it before: content is king. But I beg to differ. Sure, kings are influential and all, but at the end of the day they take off their fancy headwear and binge on Netflix until they fall asleep just like the rest of us. (Probably.) Content is really more like a wise old sorcerer: all-powerful and infinitely more interesting and mysterious. You can’t boil exactly how it works down to a science, but when it does work, magic happens.
No matter how good your social media strategy is, people will not click, share, or otherwise engage with your content unless it resonates with them. When was the last time you heard a layperson wax poetic about a brand’s choice advertising placement? Probably never, because the average person doesn’t care about your distribution plan. They care about what you’re distributing. So treat your content like what it is: the very essence of your brand. That means creating a stellar content strategy.
Allow me one more metaphor, this one of the anatomical variety: if content is the lifeblood of your brand and your distribution strategy is the network of veins that gets it flowing to the right places at the right times, a content strategy provides the building blocks–the red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma–that comprise the blood and make it healthy.
So, to create a great content strategy, you have to answer a few fundamental questions first: what is your brand’s story, what do you want to say, and how do you want to say it? These answers provide the base for your building blocks.
Now it’s time to get specific. What is your brand’s tone of voice? What themes do you want to focus on, and how much attention do you want to give to each? What creative, brand-aligned tactics will you use to get people to engage with your content? What hashtags will you use? On which platforms? How many? What time of day will you post? How many times a week? What about visual content? What is your artistic vision? What assets will you use to execute it? The answers to these (and other) questions will form a bulletproof plan that ensures your written and visual content is thematically cohesive, brand-aligned, and enticing to the right audience. Otherwise, every piece of content you publish will be little more than a shot in the dark.
Looking for a bit of inspiration? The following brands are killin’ the content strategy game.
Airbnb made history by compiling the world’s first crowdsourced Vine, making it clear that the brand prioritizes fan stories above all else. Its stunning user-generated content has made its Instagram quite the visual buffet, and its YouTube channel houses multiple video series you’d actually watch for fun. Its Twitter and Facebook pages promote blog posts, exceptionally share-worthy listings, and content series (Airbnb Stories being one of the most noteworthy).
Any brand with Jeff Goldblum on its side has my vote, but GE is much more than the sum of its quirky A-lister parts...and even its own products. GE not only promotes its goods and services, but successfully rallies its communities around a specific cause: energy efficiency. Almost all of its social media content orbits around this mission, and the result is, well, electric.
An oldie but goodie, Oreo puts out creative and engaging videos at an astonishing rate. Its Wonderfilled series shows in 30-second clips what happens when people get their hands on an Oreo. Its even shorter Snack Hack videos show how to eat Oreos in wacky ways. This Mel's Mini Mini Mart video also caught our eye earlier this year. The conclusion? Videos, especially short ones, should be a part of your content strategy. (Here's more proof.)
Have some thoughts on content strategy? We’d love to hear them. Share your insights with us on social or in the comments section below.