Last night, I made my favorite side dish: carolina slaw. It’s a red slaw made with apple cider vinegar, NO MAYONNAISE, hot sauce, cabbage, and a few other things. But the deliciousness of this slaw is not the point of this post. The point is that I don’t have an exact recipe.
I like it that way. There’s something about the fluidity of the process that makes it evolve and get better each time. In my experience content strategy should be somewhat the same. Businesses should have a handle on the right ingredients to use, but they shouldn’t be so precise that it impedes them from actually talking in real time.
Create a loose approach to content strategy by understanding yourself and your followers (ingredients). Here’s how:
First, you have to know who you are. Figure out your brands voices and then stick to them. With every story you tell, every URL you retweet and every video you post, you should also think about how it reflects your brand. Along with this authenticity comes credibility and right down the street is authority. Just like I know the five or six ingredients in my slaw, you should know your the adjectives that make up your brand’s identity and let those inform your approach to conversation and content.
On par with learning your brand’s voice is learning the voice of your followers. While my slaw always has the same components, I mix it a little differently depending on who I’m making it for (most kids can’t handle red pepper flake and hot sauce). To steal a quote from Rosenbaum, the king of content curation, “the web will get exponentially nosier.” This means that in order to stand out, you have to not only listen to your audience, but you also need to respond and collaborate with them (immediately). When I find out my slaw is a little to spicy, I make it differently the very next time. You have to make your content valuable, just like I need to make my slaw tasty.
To do this you have to know who your audience is. Follow those who follow you. Be personable. The whole point of these social networking sites is to continue conversations. No one wants to be talked at, they want to be talked with.
Be relevant, today. Monitor all your social networks to see who’s there and what they’re talking about. Pay attention to google trends to help you stay current.
Finally, be helpful. Be there as an outlet for your audience. Get them to complain to you instead of their friends. No business wants a page full of negative comments, but if you have them you’ll learn a lot about what you need to improve. You also get the chance to respond to them and, hopefully, solve their problem. I’d rather someone critique my spicy side dish to me, than blabber to all their friends about it. That way I have the chance to show them that I can make it better.
There are other elements to content strategy, but these are its core. The point is that it’s all about giving yourself the chance to be immediate and fluid, so that you’re constantly hitting the right chord with your audience.
For the rest of my slaw ingredients, comment below!