Content creators are ceaselessly putting out articles, videos, posts, and more on social media. They’re updating their blogs, changing their channels, etc. The one thing effective content creators are nailing is being visible on social media. How do they do it?
In the 5 years that I worked at Youtube, I noticed that there were two kinds of creators who became big on social media platforms.
The first started out doing what they loved, kept at it consistently, and grew with time, many going on to become social media stars. The second had a well-defined strategy right from the beginning, which they kept refining.
The latter did not necessarily have the personality, talent, and charisma of the former, but they succeeded because they identified a market need, created the right content to fill that gap, utilized multiple good practices, collaborated with the right people, and treated content creation as a business and invested in it.
Sometimes passion, talent, and persistence can fuel your rocket to social media stardom. But at other times, it might be easier to rely on a rock-solid strategy that is based on your purpose, whether as a business or as an independent content creator.
In this article, I will talk about a basic tried and tested, scalable content strategy framework that forms the backbone of multiple creators’ social media strategy. You can use this framework for any platform, as long as you customize it to the strengths and specificities of the platform you are using.
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Before you start with the framework, you have to do 3 things:
1. Identify Your Purpose
The first thing to do, of course, is to identify what you want to achieve through your social media presence. Do you want to establish yourself as an expert in a certain field and use that to get better opportunities? Do you want people to buy your professional services? Are you selling a product?
Clearly articulating your purpose will make it easier for you to understand what kind of content you need to create and who you need to target.
You should be able to articulate your purpose in a line or two, and it should be realistic and actionable.
“I want to use Instagram to promote my services as a life coach” is a good example of a well-defined purpose. “I want to become an inspiring Instagram influencer” is not a good example, since it is missing specificity.
2. Learn All About Your Audience
Once you know your purpose, you need to understand your audience. If there is a service you want to sell, for example, you need to know who is likely to buy that service, what their interests and social media consumption habits look like, and what kind of accounts they are likely to follow.
You can use tools and apps to track your audiences and know who you’re reaching.
Facebook audience insights, BuzzSumo, and Audiesense are some tools you can use to build a better audience profile. Some of them offer free trials so you can try them out.
3. Specify Your Content Niche
It is important to have a core focus area in terms of your content. While it may seem like a good idea to talk about multiple things on your account, remember that apart from the handful of people who are interested in you as a person, others are likely to follow an account if it provides them a clear value either in terms of entertainment, knowledge or some interest of theirs.
If someone cannot tell by one look at your page what your content is all about, they are less likely to follow you.
So while you may be tempted to talk about a plethora of subjects, choose. Your purpose and audience profile will help you make this choice.
Keep Reading Below.
Now, Follow This Three-Pronged Content Strategy Framework
Now that you know your purpose, audience, and niche, you can start building your content strategy. Following a strategy does not mean that you are no longer spontaneous, only that your spontaneity fits within a structure that keeps you going for the long haul.
Here is an easy, tried, and tested content strategy framework to help you get started. It may seem complicated at first, but it really is the simplest way to build a strategy, experiment, learn, and do more, without spending all your time on social media.
You need to build 3 kinds of content streams.
The regular posts are content pieces that you can put out very regularly, with minimum effort. You should aim at posting 4-5 such pieces every week.
The most important question to ask yourself over here is, “What kind of content can I create on a daily basis given the resources I have?”
Based on your niche and content themes you can come up with a list of ideas that you can possibly get done in one sitting, and schedule them in advance using tools like Hootsuite or Linktree.
Quotes, tips, infographics on useful stats, insights: all these format types can fall into this category.
Never take your focus away from your audience. You want to give them content that is valuable to them, so they come back for more. Direct promotion rarely works on individual social media pages.
A series is a recognizable and consistent format that you develop and then release on a set schedule, depending on what works well for you. Series based content creates returning users, brand recognition, and engagement. People start recognizing you as the creator of a certain format and come back for more.
Insta lives, videos in which you give people tips on certain topics, explainers, and sketches are all examples of serial content, given that you develop consistent branding and formats for them.
You should aim to release your series once a week, but once every 15 days is also good enough. The important thing is to choose a frequency that you can deliver on and set that expectation right from the beginning.
A good series will have:
- A consistent format that allows you to incorporate trending topics, people, etc.
- A name and visual branding.
- Sustainability: not just a good idea, but an idea that can lend itself to multiple episodes.
Once you have a format that works, you don’t have to rack your brains every single time to come up with new ideas. You can simply use your format to talk about different topics.
Hero content is content that you do every once in a while, maybe once a month or once every few months. This is where you pull out the stops–jazz up the production, get ambitious, parody a trending movie, collaborate with an influencer–basically do what you can to try and create reach and get people to take notice.
Aiming to create hero content once every few months will ensure that you are doing your best to get people to discover you, while the other two prongs ensure that people who find you end up staying.
You can also consider promoting hero content if it is picking up organically.
Some defining characteristics of hero content are:
- Highly relatable or topical.
- Makes space for collaborations so that you can increase your reach.
- Uses social media trends.
- Shareable. You should be able to describe in three words what people might say when they share your video.
Remember, hero content is that big push that helps people discover you. Regular posting is what makes them stay. Serial content is what keeps them coming back.
And with a combination of these three kinds of content, you should be on your way to having an effective social media presence without having to hustle all the time!
Once you have brainstormed and come up with these ideas, fill them into your calendar and start! You might want to experiment with a few different ideas at first to see what works. Once something works, keep doing it for some time so that you build a habit amongst your followers.
Try to incorporate platform features like IGTV, reels, YouTube Shorts, etc. into your content framework because platforms usually push content that uses specific features when they roll those features out.
And finally, remember this, If there was ever one golden rule of content creation for social media, it is encapsulated in one word: CONSISTENCY.
In order to attract and retain an audience, you need to keep posting consistently. A solid content framework allows you to do that in a way that is sustainable, effective, and aligned to your purpose.
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