Content Strategy and Your Voice
Before I jump into a whole bunch of lists and questions and things for you to review to create your content strategy checklist, I want to talk about finding your voice.
WHAT??? Yeah, you heard me.
Before you click off this post because you can’t possibly imagine that your voice has anything to do creating your content strategy, just give me a minute to explain myself. Let me walk you through the method behind my madness.
Seriously, there’s no way that anyone can run a business and spend all their time creating content to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and throwing up a few pictures on Instagram. It’s just not physically possible to do all that work which is why it’s so important to find quality content that you can share with your fans.
Your goal is to share valuable content that will help your followers make their life easier, help them do something quicker or solve a problem they’ve thinking about for awhile. This is the stuff that brings your fans to actively click over to check your Facebook fan page or Twitter feed.
Are you with me now?
Alright, so you get what I’m saying and you’re following my logic. So now I want you to start thinking about what you’re sharing with your fans.
When you collect your shareable content, ask yourself these questions:
- Are the points in this post important to how you run your business?
- Is this post written from a different point of view or the same as yours?
- Have you tried out these tips, the apps or whatever else the post is telling people to try/do/download?
- Is this a topic your fans would want to know more about?
The idea is to do more than just grab links and post them on your social sites. It’s about taking the time to share links that will help you help others.
It’s about sharing posts that sound like they would have come from your blog. Links that sound like your voice.
See what I did there? A successful content strategy has everything to do with who you are and what you do for your customers.
Content Strategy Checklist
Now that you’re with me … let’s review the essentials your content strategy needs and how to make sure that your voice is coming through with what you’re posting.
1. The Content of the Content
Before you start collecting links, ask yourself these questions about the content:
- Who are you sharing this content with?
- What social sites are you using?
- How can you add YOU into this information? Can you share a personal story in the description of the Facebook post that you’re sharing? What if you asked questions related to the post to get some feedback from your fans?
2. Editorial Calendar for Your Content
I’ve been working on organizing my content editorial calendar and I think I’ve finally come up with a process that works. I’ll walk you through my system and give you some suggestions about how you can make this fit with your work style.
The first thing I want you to think about is how you’ll organize all your content links, dates and weekly topics (or themes). If you’re a visual “I gotta see it” kinda person then try using an excel spreadsheet or a simple word document with tables.
My first version of my content editorial calendar was an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was broken up into the different social sites with the top line showing the weeks and when to post the content. I added in word prompts under each week to help me remember what needed to be posted that week.
The second version of the calendar spreadsheet included color coded social sites and promotions. It worked when I would use it but if I was on my tablet at night, I couldn’t remember what I needed to research next. And honestly, if I were to hand this over to a virtual assistant, she’d get confused.
The third version that I have found is a combination of both my visual world and my digital world: Evernote. I totally love how I can create notes in Evernote that I can pull up in my computer and on my tablet when I’m clicking around online. It doesn’t matter where I am when I’m doing my updates.
I set up a note for each social site and then I create a weekly list with checkboxes. Every time, I post this link on my new Facebook page or share this image on Instagram, I click off the checkbox. I can look at my lists and see what I need to post when and where.
3. Keep Your Calendar Filled
Make sure you set aside time to continually brainstorm your ideas. This is one of those parts of the process that most people forget to do.
In my Small Business Guide to Getting Things Done, I detailed how I do my brainstorming process and I included some of my FREE printables that I use every month.
Before you download those worksheets, think about how to keep your calendar focused on your voice:
- Keep a running a list of word prompts so when you start looking for content to share, you already have a few ideas of where to start your search.
- Brainstorm for 60 days out. You can usually knock out a 60 day brainstorm session in about 30 minutes. The time it takes to work through 2 months of ideas, will save you hours of time searching every week.
Creating your content strategy is more than collecting a bunch of articles that everyone else is sharing in their social sites. And then picking which week to pop them up on your Facebook fan page.
It’s not just sharing what’s hot and trending.
It’s about reading something that made you say, “Wow, that’s cool” or “Man, I didn’t know that.” That’s the content you want to share. That’s the content that will help you share your company’s message and will connect with your fans.