- What is the hero content? Should we use these promotional materials only on specific days?
- How to fill in your content gaps and keep the hygiene of your content?
- The importance of doing analyses.
Producing social media content can be challenging especially with the pressure to come up with fresh ideas. Sometimes frustration takes hold and we don't post anything because we are simply out of ideas. But you can produce amazing content and recycle these ideas over and over—and we’re about to teach you how.
What is the structure of good content?
The content model Google uses and applies to YouTube is dividing content into three categories:
This is the crème-de-crème content. The content you might invest money into producing (Professional videos and photo shoots) with the objective of hitting what your audience’s likes. It’s created to be shareable and gain new followers. Save the hero content for your big annual events such as Mother’s Day, Valentines, End Of The Financial Year or fundraising events.
Hub content: This is the meat and veg of your content—the regular stuff. Sometimes described as push content. These are the regular campaigns that remind your customers of what you do or sell.
Hygiene content: The small things you need to do every day to look and feel fresh like brushing your teeth and having a shower. Also referred to as helpful content, so when your audience is looking for answers to questions, you are seen as a source of solutions.
Let’s look at three tiers of content and how to break them down.
The first thing any business needs to do is map out their hero campaigns for year. For example, if you're a retailer, seasonal gifting around your commercial holidays—Christmas, Boxing Day Sales, Valentines—are going to be your hero content. You maybe have additional retails highlights such as new product lines or annual season sales.
Once you have your big hero campaigns marked out, you can start to think about the types of hub content derived from them. What will actually keep that campaign going and how will you fill the gaps in between?
You might find it easier to plot out your social media campaigns if you break them down into quarters. Set aside time before the end of this quarter to review how the content you used worked. What was successful and what didn’t perform very well, and start to map out the next three months.
Simply being organised—planning and understanding the types of content you need to create—will creating social media content so much easier. Thinking about the quarter you’re preparing for look for key sales periods (hero pieces of content) and make a list of content you might use for hub content. Using the example of a retailer again, an upcoming sale usually has a key offer — perhaps its 30% off footwear or buy one, get one free promotions or free lunchbox with every pair of school shoes—start to plan how many posts or how many pieces of content you'll need to talk about that campaign.
Next look at the gaps. This is where we use our seven themes so we always have content or hygiene content (super relevant content your customers will love)
1. Create a question and answer series.
This is a great way to showcase the features and benefits of your products and services. Think about all the questions you are asked by customers. Create a post around each question and schedule one a month or per week and answer in a way that promotes your product.
It could just be a Q&A video starring you or members of your team, a blog article that you publish and promote through social channels.
2. Seasonal content
Often overlooked, the season will actually affect the types of content produced. For example, if you're a mortgage broker, you might look at how to assess whether a home is leaky before you buy it. You might talk about the benefits of buying a house with air conditioning or a pool during summer. Retail obviously has huge ebbs and flows around key buying seasons. The fitness market will obviously have key periods around New Year and then changes with the weather. Mechanics may want to target the benefits of having wet weather tyres/good windscreen wipers.
3. Deep dive with one topic for a whole month.
Make your topic a theme for a month and that you're going to be the ultimate source of all information on the subject. In this instance, let’s take accounting. It's a service-based business. Choose a month, obviously not in key seasons tax returns, and dedicate a month talking about different accounting software or things the difference a bookkeeper can make to your business. So it can be a whole series of little short pieces of educational content that will fill out your gaps. Instead of it just being one piece of content, you run with that theme over a period of four weeks.
4. Customer stories & journeys.
This falls under the category of what we call social proof. If you have an opportunity to tell stories about your customers and their experiences with your product or service—just do it. People are 94% more likely to purchase from a company that’s received a 4-star review or a verbal thumbs up.
It's not just you talking about your service and the benefits. It's actually now coming from a third party and it's seen as being more credible as a way of referring your product. It’s hugely beneficial as a way of getting people to buy into your product or service.
Let’s look at the example of a personal trainer. A personal trainer could tell a client's journey (obviously with the client's permission) of how they have toned up run or wanted to be fit enough to run a marathon and trained with them to ensure they reached their goal.
Financial planners could tell the story of working with young couples to help them buy their first house and if it's told from the perspective of that couple, it adds to credibility to your business.
Reach out to your current customers that you have good rapport with and ask if you can share their story and how they found their journey.
5. Invite the experts to share their opinion.
You engage the help of other businesses and complementary services and talk to other experts and use that content to help promote something that you both benefit from.
Let’s use a tradie example. Perhaps you’re a cabinetry maker specialising in custom-built kitchens and bathrooms and manage the entire project from concept to completion. You could draw on the expertise of interior designers, plumbers, even manufacturers of appliances. Maybe feature a blog with the latest trends or colours for kitchen designs by someone with the knowledge and background to speak with authority.
6. User-generated content.
There a way you can get customers to create the content for you. Encourage your followers to tag you in their holiday photos when they’re using your product or service. You can repurpose these with consent. It can be as simple as asking customers anecdotes, recipes or ways that they your product has changed their lives. Don’t be afraid to use incentives by running simple competitions.
Running a competition as a game of skill doesn't require a gambling permit. It also means you could pose a question and asks customers to be creative with their answers. The winner is the most creative or practical answer. This allows your customers to have a say and create some great pieces of content you can repurpose through your channels.
7. Trending topics
If there's a trending topic or a strong opinion affecting your field or your service, give your point of view on the subject. For example, if you’re in financial services, banking or accounting you could voice your opinion on the federal budget and how you feel it will affect your customers.
If you are in fashion retail could you have an opinion on the 2019 trends for Spring. Find out what people are discussing in your industry. Remember this is to endear customers to you, not as a soapbox rant. You need to have a good understanding of your brand and how your customers will respond, but this is a great way for you establish your company as a thought leader and actually tell people what you believe. It’s not illegal to have an opinion so that people can remain more informed.
So to plan out your content calendar and never get stuck look at the key sales periods (hero content) or product launches affecting your business.
Plot them on a calendar over 12 months so that you know when they're coming up.
Expand those periods out with hub content. Leading up to a sale or event you will know how many pieces of content you need and how much lead time you need before an event. E.g. Accountants going towards EOFY and tax time, how long before returns need to be submitted do you need to remind your clients. How many posts do you need?
Analyse the gaps.
Look at the seven themes suggested in this article, and potentially you could take one idea every week and run that out over seven weeks and then just repeat that throughout the year
Make sure you're checking the engagement on your content to see what your customers are enjoying the most and how beneficial they are finding it.