The mindset shift that will help you create quality content

Have you ever found yourself focusing only on an “Instagram” strategy or purely on your “Snapchat” plan? I am regularly contacted by amazing creative small business owners who have thrown thousands of dollars at a “social media strategy” without any sort of overall content plan.

Now, I completely agree that social media is a huge part of a marketing plan, and it is an essential part of all businesses today, but it is a distribution channel (like email, website, events, etc.) and should not form 100% of your content output.

The issue is that there are a wealth of social media strategists out there and many will never ask as to what the overall content strategy of your business is (note: this should be one of the first questions they ask you!!).  I’m all for hiring social media experts, so long as they understand what other content and messages your business is putting out there and utilise social to create a consistent brand message. 

When you start with a content-first mindset, rather than a distribution-first mindset, you open up the gates to a more holistic content plan that can be then distributed across various channels (depending on relevancy to your target audience/s and any campaign restrictions).

So, how do you start with a content-first mindset? 

Wellthe first thing to do is to understand what your audience is curious about! Say you’re selling kid’s bathers to parents. They may be curious about exercise, healthy food, kid’s style, how to holiday with kids, body confidence (for themselves and/or the child), water safety and when to teach kids to swim.

Once you know what your audience is curious about, you can start defining rough content pillars or themes, under which you can "chunk" content. For example, in the case of kid’s bathers the content pillars might be:

  • kid's style

  • health

  • travel

  • water education

  • parenting

You then need to ask yourself: how can my business create content that speaks to the needs of my audience and piques their curiosity for each of these pillars? For the case of kid’s health it may be answering the following questions:

  • How can I have body image discussions with my kids without upsetting them?

  • How can I ensure we eat well while on holidays?

  • How often should a child of age X exercise?

  • How can I strengthen their mental health as well as their physical health?

Only then do you begin to consider what sort of medium best suits these questions, i.e. is it a video interview with a child psychologist (that parents can watch on the go) which can then be re-purposed into a podcast (audio), from which a transcript can form the basis of three blogs (sent via email and on the website) and extract quotes from the psychologist to use as quote cards on Instagram…and on and on. You begin to understand how to take one piece of content (i.e. a video) and re-purpose it to use across various distribution channels.

If you had just focused on pushing content via Instagram only — such as, a series of quote cards on IG with tips from psychologists —you may have missed out on all the other good content that can help your audience (and, in return, your business).

Remember, any content plan should start with understanding who your audience is, what they’re interested in, how you can best help them learn more about those things and, only then, the best distribution channels for that content.

This is a really basic overview of how to use content in your marketing plan. If you’re wanting more help, come along to my Marketing for Small Business workshop.

Fiona Killackey