Content Strategy: Building a Social Media Supply Chain
Developing an effective content strategy and running an efficient, ongoing marketing campaign can be a difficult process. Just getting something started may seem daunting enough but the true challenge is maintenance and growth. Unfortunately, when it comes to engaging in the conversation there is no such thing as a “set it and forget it” approach.
Planning, organization and workflow can make all the difference. A key idea I’ve brought to our work is the importance of efficiency. There are many tools out there that can be helpful but it all starts with taking the right approach—we call it the social media supply chain.
During the initial production process, the goal is to build templates and repositories of content to create an inventory of reusable assets. Hopefully you are working from a solid brand style guide to answer questions regarding relevancy and tone of suitable content. If not, that’s your first step. From there, perform an audit of all existing content for the brand. This may include both on and offline materials, items like brochures and annual reports are all fair game.
- Brand / Style Guide
- Content Audit
- Asset Inventory
In this stage, we edit the aggregate of available material into posts. These are the blog articles, social posts, memes, etc. that are what we normally consider content. Following a well-formed, goal-oriented strategy, we work to package content with design that is creative, compelling and shareable, while both channel and audience appropriate. Some of this can be “evergreen” content, considered material un-beholden to the constraints of time and re-usable whenever opportunity presents itself. A single blogpost can be sliced and diced into multiple cross-channel posts: a tweetable quote, likeable (or pinnable) image, shareable GIF, etc. But most of your content should be timely and relevant, appealing to the ongoing conversation within the general zeitgeist.
We used to call this step “Publishing” but in the proliferation of channels and platforms, we find Distribution to be a more suitable description of getting your content out across the Internet. Scheduling is important, and recently so too is the boosting or paid sponsorship of your content. Platforms rapidly have become pay-to-play – meaning it will cost you to get users to actually see your posts. So, keep at it, test and measure your results. Publish content with the right timing, frequency, promotion and integration for conversion tracking, and reap the rewards of broader awareness and better engagement.
- Editorial Calendar
- Analytics / Insights Reports
In the business of marketing, success is measured by return on investment and everyone wants value for their dollar. Beyond growing overall revenue (the obvious business goal), cutting expenses can be just as beneficial to the bottom line. And for most, the largest expenses in content marketing are production costs. An efficient and effective content marketing supply chain can go far in keeping those costs low and your threads full.