Three Steps to Make Your Social Media Content Strategy Amazing!

In a previous blog I talked about Jay Baer’s unique content strategy approach in his book YOUtility. Jay’s main theme in YOUtility is that content can be amazing or it can be useful. Having amazing content is difficult, while having useful content is more obtainable and engaging. I won’t argue that part of your social media strategy should be having useful tips and tricks for your audience. I will say that having amazing content is not only possible, but also quite valuable. I believe that graphics, promotions and special events can be amazing if a content producer is willing to try.

content strategy, social media strategy

Is your content strategy strong or a little soupy?

Graphics can be the bane of your existence when you’re coming up with an amazing content strategy. After all, graphics are time consuming and expensive. If you’re getting them out-sourced, that money is coming out of someone’s pocket. If you’re trying to do them in-house or on your own, a lot of time and energy will be spent on trying to find or create the right visual—perhaps without the skills needed for the task in the first place.

  • TIP: Make graphics amazing by hiring someone with the right skills and experience. If this is in-house, invest the time and money to hire a stellar graphic designer. If you’re outsourcing, go with the best agency or freelancer you can find and afford. You will save yourself so much time and agony by just spending the money on a professional. It’s also important to make sure you have a clear vision between your graphics person and yourself or your client. Amazing content will not come from miscommunication.

Promotions can be quiet troubling for content strategy. Jaded content producers will roll their eyes and try to repeat the same tired tweet or email newsletter about a new product. Uninspired social media strategies will involve repetitive contests because they tend to work, despite creating diminishing returns as followers get sick of the same old Facebook app.

  • TIP: Make promotions amazing by focusing on your intended outcome or asking more questions of yourself or your client. What do you/they want to gain from this particular promotion? Are you/they trying to sell a particular product, or just get people in the door? Those two desires require an entirely different content strategy. For example, if you’re trying to sell a particular brand of bourbon, you don’t want to do a Facebook contest where people name their favorite cocktail. People can post about any kind of alcohol they like. Focus is important for promotions.

Special events can be incredibly fun in social media strategy. They’re easy to talk about, fun to plan for and most followers are going to be interested by default. This built-in interest can be a curse for content producers, though. Easiness breeds stagnation, and even the best special events can lose attendance without diligence.

  • TIP: Make special events amazing by trying new things. I hate the phrase think outside the box. Forget the box. Throw the box away. If you have never tried to reach out to local news organizations for your special events, try it now. Perhaps you haven’t bothered with Facebook ads before. Now is the time to try. If you execute social media on behalf of a client, you also want to make sure you have all available information from them, because they can often help you find new and interesting ways to approach the subject.

In case you didn’t notice, communication is the central theme here. Know your brand inside and out, and if you work with clients, then mine as much data as possible from them or your content strategy won’t be amazing.

Do you have any special tips for creating amazing content? Let us know in the comments below!

Marketing Concepts and Evolution in YOUtility

I’ve certainly said my part about modern marketing concepts such as content marketing in the past. If my posts have taught you anything about marketing strategy, then I’ll consider that a win. However, my knowledge pales in comparison to Jay Baer. Baer is a consultant, public speaker and award-winning author in the field of cutting-edge marketing concepts.

I have always said that when it comes to marketing strategy, reading longer pieces is preferable to skimming short blog posts. We’re all busy, but you’ll acquire more in-depth information from a book than you will from the internet. With that in mind, I started reading Baer’s book YOUtility. He has a quick, light humor that most business books sorely need. After reading only a chapter or two, I started looking at my own marketing strategy in new and different ways. YOUtility has really shaped how I view my clients and what I’m doing for them.

One of the coolest parts of YOUtility is the explanation of the three different marketing concepts that are at work today. Instead of using typical names for these marketing platforms, Baer uses his own language, which seems much more intuitive to me.

Top of Mind Marketing is Baer’s way of describing the traditional form of disruptive marketing. Baer seems to use the phrase top of mind because this platform only works if it’s right in front of people. In essence, disruptive marketing is the practice of shouting at consumers. The only winner is the brand that is shouting the loudest. Another problem with this form of marketing is that, according to Baer, the attention span of the average person is very fractured. Top of Mind Marketing worked well when there were three TV channels, but people have a variety of choices now.

Frame of Mind Marketing is Baer’s description for search or inbound marketing. Once search engines became so powerful, many marketers and businesses were content to optimize their search results and stop there. The issue Baer has with this marketing strategy is that people aren’t searching for related products or recommendations. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are where people ask their friends about products and services. As people turn to social media, the reach of search engines begins to shrink.

Friend of Mine Marketing is really where YOUtility begins to shine. Baer describes the challenge brands face now. They aren’t just competing against other brands for attention, but against a consumer’s friends and family as well. In order to get past this avalanche of information, Baer suggests the most powerful strategy of the three marketing concepts—being useful. He uses a lot of examples, but the key concept is that a brand should offer content so useful that a consumer would pay for it, even though it’s free. That concept is the key ingredient of any successful content marketing strategy.

Even though I am covering some of the core concepts in the book, Jay Baer will be glad to see I’m skipping some key points in the book. That’s because I highly recommend getting this book for yourself. Not only should Mr. Baer be supported for his ideas, but reading his book will refresh your marketing campaign!