Julie Sealey is an Advertising Strategist and Co-Founder of Nutshell Services Limited who provide digital marketing support to scaling ecommerce brands. We asked Julie to give us 5 tips on creating a strategic social media content calendar.
Creating a content plan is really about having a framework from which to be responsive and creative. Content planning isn’t about painstakingly trying to map out each and every word and creative that you want to post, it’s really about taking the time to be strategic rather than reliant on what pops into your head. It’s also about understanding what you need to say, to which audience, and where, and moving them from being a stranger to being a prospect and ultimately a customer and a fan.
Here are 5 top tips on creating a strategic social media content calendar:
Understand your client pain points
Your target audience should guide your content creation. Understanding your ideal customer interests and demographics, and delving deeper to understand their relevant pain points will enable you to create the content that will resonate with them and bring them towards your brand.
Delving into your reviews, feedback and FAQ’s will highlight common pain points or issues that can be addressed in your content. Try writing out 5 common questions / pain points and for each create 3 headlines that relate to how your business empathises with or addresses each pain point – that’s 15 pieces of easy content right there!
Map out the wider funnel
It’s the old Stephen Covey adage “begin with the end in mind”
Your content needs to reach strangers and bring them into your world, so what is the wider journey you want your customer to go on to reach the sale (spoiler – it’s very rarely ‘view social post and subscribe for life’) So, how is this content ultimately going to lead to the sale?
How can you reach more strangers at the top of the funnel? When you do, where are you sending them and what content do you have in place to capture leads (quizzes, calls, information?) Once you capture the leads how will you nurture them into hot prospects (maybe email nurture or targeted advertising?) How will you move the paying clients into loyal fans who convert again and again?
Understanding the journey helps keep your social content consistent and targeted.
Plan and repurpose content
Having a variety of content themes and types keeps your social media content fresh and interesting. For instance, you could opt for themes such as “product,” “behind the scenes, “values” and “throwback Thursdays” and use different types of content, such as images, videos, and infographics.
Repurposing content is a great way to get more mileage out of the work you have already done. For example, you can turn a blog post into a series of social media posts, or create an infographic based on your most popular posts. This not only saves time but also ensures that your content is consistent across different platforms.
Use the tools that work for you
Ultimately your content plan needs to make YOUR life easier so work with tools that you are comfortable with. If you love planning in excel, start a spreadsheet, if you prefer a whiteboard and PostIt notes then go for that – make it work for you.
A scheduler can be a great help. Some platforms allow you to schedule natively, but you may wish to look at using a third party tool to get organised and schedule posts to multiple channels. Metricool, Later, Agorapulse and Sprout Social are among the many options. Again, it’s finding the one with an interface that you like which also fits your needs and budget.
Analyse and adjust
There are opportunities in the data. Use the analytics tools provided by social media platforms or your content calendar tool to track your engagement, reach, and other metrics and from this you can refine your content calendar. For instance, if you notice that your audience engages more with video content, incorporate more video in the calendar. Also, monitor your competitors and industry trends to ensure that your content is up-to-date and relevant.
Consistently creating high-quality content can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a clear plan in place. A strategic social media content calendar will help you stay organised, save time, and ensure that your content is consistent and engaging. Remember that social media is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay flexible and adapt your strategy as needed. By following these tips, you can create a social media content calendar that engages your audience, boosts your brand, and achieves your goals.