Social Media Marketing - Course

Strategy and Planning

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is your content strategy?

A content strategy actually is just a guide for how you create content. It gives it a purpose. It should be built off of your overarching strategy and it should detail your format selection and your tone and your personality. It should bridge it all, and move towards a common goal. So the number one priority for your content strategy is to produce content that’s consistently effective and builds the same behaviors with a consistent audience.

Imagine a table with 20 empty glasses and you’re filling each of those glasses with water. Now, drink it. There are 20 glasses on the table. You’ve got to do it one-by-one. It’s not effective. Each of those glasses represents a different audience and a different approach. Now, take a jug or a bucket and start to fill the bucket. Now, it’s easier to drink from.

If you focus in on one audience, it’s more effective. You’re filling that one audience with the same behaviors, the same response, the same consistent engagement, and that means that actually what you will see is much more consistent behavior as a result of that. So an example here might be that our strategy is to create a community of passionate brand advocates through inspirational storytelling.

But our content strategy then, is to deliver our products through exciting and aspirational content that encourages our customers to share products with their peers. So it really clearly demonstrates that the content strategy is informed by the overarching strategy.

The alternative is that we communicate with customers in unique and different ways that change perceptions of the brand. The content strategy is to deliver exciting content to our social audience in ways never seen before. So straight away, that tells me, “Okay, well, my content should start to use formats that are new, different, Instant Experiences (Canvas), 360, Twitter moments, an Instagram carousel, start to actually understand that. That’s the difference that we create.”

So you have your compelling overarching strategy. Out of that you start to develop your content strategy and then we will move forward again.

Planning

So in planning content effectively, that is the next step of putting your content strategy in place. So you have your overarching strategy, you have your creative platform, and, out of that, you’ve developed your content strategy, and out of this now, what you will develop are the platforms we’re going to use, identify the timings, identify the tone, and identify the narrative.

So consistency is so crucial for content. Too often, brands kind of bounce from different stories, different narratives without keeping a consistent story. And this consistent story creates the consistent response. And the consistent response, again, builds the behavior and the perception of your brand with your audience.

  • Platforms: Now we decide platforms. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat? What platforms are you going to use with our content?
  • Timings: And not just when in terms of month or week, but actually times of the days. When do we go on Facebook? When do we go in Twitter? Start to actually understand more about that.
  • Tone: Who are we? What is our personality? Are we a friend? Are we knowledgeable? Are we inspirational? You know, what are we actually saying to you?
  • Narrative: What is the story that we’re trying to tell? What is that creative platform and what’s the story that comes out of the creative platform?

Building a format plan

What is a format plan?

A format plan lists out all the various formats that you’re going to aim to use with all their specifications and everything that’s required.

So if it’s a video, you’re listing out the video specs, and the video length that you want. And you’re going to list out the different lengths you want for different channels. Consider different sizes for different channels: square for Instagram, and landscape for Facebook.

Building this format plan enables you to lay out all the content for that given period. You need to then list all the copy for each piece of content that you’re going to require. This includes videos, Instant Experiences (Canvas), posts, whatever you’re doing on the different days. You need to list everything out.

Objectives

And you need to make sure that whilst you’re listing all these out, you are considering the objective of it. Are the KSOs being maintained here? Do you understand what the objective is? So you’re going to list out all the formats in detail, and then you’re going to understand the dimensions and the requirements, per the site requirements. So again, when laying out all the content for that time period, list all the copy for that piece of content, list all the formats in detail, and then get your dimensions and your specs ready.

What you really want to do here is you want to really remember what actually are you trying to do. What is the objective of each piece of content, site visits, video views, conversation, and engagement? And remember that you need to actually focus on making sure that your objective is actually connected to what copy and what format you’re using.

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Matt Mooney

Head of Digital Strategy @ DDFH&B

  • Head of Digital Strategy @ DDFH&B
  • 8+ years working with brands in social media, content and digital strategy
  • Expertise in developing integrated digital strategy
  • Experience with local and global brands in the US and Irish markets
  • Five time winner of ‘Social Media Agency of the Year‘, 2013-2017
Matt Mooney

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Strategy and Planning
Matt Mooney Matt Mooney
Skills Expert

This module teaches you how to create an all-encompassing social media marketing strategy. It starts by providing best practices for planning and conducting research into your strategy, and covers topics such as owned research, accessed research, desk research, audience research, competitor research, and social listening. You learn how to set measurable objectives and KPIs for your strategy, and how to analyze and track your activities. Finally, you learn how to build and execute your strategy, and how to measure its impact and performance.

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