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I am going to be chatting with you about content strategy and when I say content strategy I mean content marketing strategy.
A lot of people hear content strategy and assume I mean social media strategy. It does not. Content strategy means getting the right content, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
There are two types of strategy and both should be used together.
- search which is anything that can come up in a search -blog posts, youtube videos and podcasts accompanied with a transcript
- Passive which is social media
We are in a digital age where influencers rule and social media is where it’s at. However, if you stop and think about a few things you may not put all of your eggs in the social media basket and instead use both to complement each other.
Let’s say you own a social media management company. You start getting clients by word of mouth. You get some reviews you can put on your website and social media channels for proof but honestly, how do you know if those are actually legit. Anyone can make those up. What’s next? How do you expand beyond your local market? How do you show proof that you are an expert? You need to put out content.
While you are active on social media, it may only get you so far. You can use hashtags to be discovered on Instagram and people search for Facebook groups and Facebook recommends groups but those aren’t usually reliable for people to find you as fast as you would like. You may get some people who are looking for hashtags but generally if someone doesn’t stumble upon your page or isn’t recommended to you then it’s going to be hard to find you. Yes, there are people that follow hashtags on Instagram but we know how those algorithms work. One day you are doing fantastic and everyone is coming your way and the next day you are not.
The question is what does someone do when they want to find an expert in an area? They ask for a recommendation or they google it. And google does not search social media. If you aren’t putting your expertise out there for search then it’s going to be hard to find you.
Example number 2 – you sell essential oils. You have a Facebook group where you share all of your sales and strategies. It’s a private group, of course, as most groups are and you have grown it quite large.
- You share your tips and tricks, your knowledge of which oils go with each other and which oils help certain symptoms.
- You know your stuff and now you want to expand to a wellness company.
- You want more people to find you and know that you are the expert.
- You want to expand beyond just your network and the people they know.
How do you reach people further away? How do you show that you are an expert in the wellness industry?
If I’m searching for a natural cure for mosquito bites and your information is only in that private Facebook group, I’m not going to find you when I google the question. If I need to know what blend of oils will help my son sleep at night, the first thing I’m going to do is google it.
Google is king. We all know it. When I want a new paleo instant pot recipe I google it. When I want to see some new eye shadow shades and what they look like applied, I google it. When I need to know something to grow my business I google it.
If you want to be known outside of your circles you need to become the expert and put content out there that shows you are the expert. It takes time for a content strategy to bump you up in google but it’s worth the long term effects. Social Medial is moving towards the pay to play method more and more each day. If you want new people discovering your Facebook group you better have a ton of engagement and some good keywords OR you can do the pay to play and run an ad to your Facebook page or an opt-in and then redirect them to join your group. But that costs more money and then you still don’t have your knowledge available in search.
Everyone should have one type of search content they use to show they are an expert in their field and use social media to complement it. The purpose of putting content out there is for people to search for it, find you, like you and trust you. We all know when someone likes you and trusts you then they have a higher percentage of purchasing from you.
You want to be putting out valuable, relevant and consistent content. This will help you attract and retain your ideal audience. And by that content again I mean either a blog post, a youtube video or a podcast accompanied by a transcript.
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy should come before your social media strategy. Your social media strategy should complement the big chunk of content you are putting out.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content. And we all know I mean google by search engines.
- PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
- PPC: For PPC (pay per click) to work, you need great content behind it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
So now let’s talk about those types of content. How do you choose which types of content to put out? Depending on your industry this may not be a hard choice for you. I think a combination of two of the three would be your best bet.
When choosing what type of content you should apply to your business you want to think about your industry, your target audience and how they consume their content. If you are putting out recipes then you should have videos with a demonstration; if you are targeting busy moms then podcasts with transcripts are your way to go, and if your audience is 16-22 then video better be on your radar.
Blog posts – I hear blogging is dead on a regular basis. It’s not dead. You can see right away when you google a question in your industry it’s going to lead back to a lot of websites posting a lot of blog posts with an answer to your question. If I want an answer that isn’t technical then I will always choose the blog post over the video…however, I’m 38 years old. It’s part of how I grew up.
If your target audience is an 18-year-old then you better be making videos on YouTube. If I’m searching for something technical…like where the heck on my face does my Maskara contour cream get applied then I’m going to be opening a video up on YouTube because I need to see how someone is applying that contour. If I’m looking for something from an entertainment aspect like sayyyy we love Disney and want to see what’s going on in the Disney world then we are going to be following Disney vloggers. I won’t search articles on what’s currently going on in Disney I’m going to watch those YouTube videos. I will, however, search for how to plan out my dining or how fast passes work when going to Disney world and look for those as articles. That’s my age range and how I search.
So that brings us to YouTube. For those that don’t know YouTube is owned by Google. So we are talking keyword research here as well. Google “reads” the videos in their search. They also recommend videos based on your watching history. Many many Youtube strategists will tell you to pair your YouTube video with a blog post. Double the google juice. Google scans your video on Youtube and ranks you in search. Then they love it that you inserted your video somewhere else for people to watch as well. If you write out a post with your keywords to accompany that video then google is also scanning your post. Double the love. It won’t necessarily bump you up double in search but it will give you a higher ranking.
The last piece of search content is podcasts. Now podcasts themselves can’t be searched as of right now. I have heard rumors that Google is opening its own hosting platform with some type of search capability but it’s rumored right now and lots of questionable info coming out about it. So as of right now, podcasts can’t be searched for google. However, if you pair them with a transcript of your podcast or a blog post that applies to that podcast then it can be searched.
You can take a look at my podcast posts as an example. It’s a transcript of my episode, with an audio player inserted if someone wants to listen right from my website and at the beginning, I tell everyone to look for my podcast on the podcast app for Apple, Stitcher, or anywhere else they listen to podcasts and subscribe. If someone searches for a question my podcast answers then my post will give people the ability to find my podcast. Then depending on the demographic they may read my transcript, listen right on my page or grab their phone and subscribe to my podcast to listen to later. Win-win for everyone.
So those are the three types of search content. How does Passive content or social media strategy apply here? You want to take the search content that you create and spread the love everywhere you can. The more eyes on your content the more Google likes you. Tell everyone in your Facebook group, in those other Facebook groups that allow promotion, post it on your Instagram with appropriate hashtags so people who follow those hashtags will see it.
I’m just going to take a break here and emphasize appropriate hashtags. Please don’t use hashtags like #ididit #itwasamazing. How many people do you think actually follow those hashtags? If you are a beauty person then use beauty hashtags people will search for on Instagram, if you are a food blogger use food hashtags people may search for. Make it relevant keywords. Put it in your stories for your current followers to see hey I like her and she has a youtube video on youtube so let’s check it out. Repurposing your content by taking bits and pieces of it and put it out on social media gives you more eyes on your content AND it also makes less content for you to create out on your social media channels. The content is already created and you need to re-purpose it for the correct channel.
If you want a more basic rundown of content then check out episode 6 of the podcast.