Here’s why your content strategy is lost in the weeds
Dec 31, 2020 8:34 pm
Don’t miss the forest for the trees when designing your content strategies...
Hello Content Creators!
I fall into this trap all the time.
Wix versus Squarespace.
Buffer versus Publer versus Hootsuite.
Mailchimp versus Substack versus SendFox versus MadMimi.
Researching the tools and tactics is a great way to feel like we’re making progress.
And a great way of procrastinating, because unfortunately...
The tools and platforms don’t matter
At least at first.
Here’s an example from my own rabbit hole.
I have a couple of Instagram accounts on which I’d like to post more frequently. But I wanted to schedule them out in batches because, like you, I have better things to do than sit on social all day.
So, I went searching for tools, plug-ins, services and hacks that allowed me to publish to Instagram from my desktop and schedule them out in advance.
Hours (if not days) of research did yield a solution. I chose Publer.io, and it works great. I can even schedule posts to LinkedIn!
But I’m no closer to knowing what I should actually schedule for those accounts!
Here’s the problem
The tool isn’t going to create the content for me.
It’s not going to tell me what to post.
Sure, there are research tools out there that give you keyword and topic suggestions, or tell you the best time of day to post. But that’s not strategy, that’s tactics.
I was getting so lost in the weeds of which services can do what, with every new available feature sending me down another rabbit hole of what I COULD be doing.
But I hadn’t ever lifted my head up to see the 10,000 foot view and figure out what I SHOULD be doing.
Because all the tools and features in the world are useless if you don’t know what you’re going to do with them.
(I know, you’re going to post to social with them. But WHAT are you going to post to social? And WHY? How do those posts fit into your overall strategy?)
OK, so how do I create a strategy?
This is a big topic, worthy of, like, ten emails. But, you’ve gotta start somewhere, and step one is just defining your goals.
Are you trying to gain awareness? Build a brand? Crush a short term sale?
Figuring that out, along with WHY you want to do that, gives you goals. From there, you figure out the tactics to achieve them.
Need help? My friend Andy from Orbit Media has a great guide to writing your Content Marketing Mission Statement, which helps get you on the right path.
And as always, I’m happy to help, too. Hit me up.
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A Recent Content Project
At the end of every year, we post a roundup of our top stories on Bikerumor. These are the most popular, as determined by view counts, and they’re a really interesting look at what people click on and share.
It’s only about half what we think it will be.
Every year there are outliers. Things like Sprinter Van conversions. Or ridiculous hacks and obscenely lightweight bikes.
These aren’t the stories that we’d consider “big and important”, but the people want what they want.
You know what else they want? Fun lists (yep, “listicles”) and Top 10 posts. And I bet your brand has some interesting data hiding in your sales figures, social posts, blog posts, etc.
Would you dare share your 10 most popular products? Or colors? What about counting down your 10 most popular Instagram posts from the year? Maybe even the 10 most ridiculous ideas your R&D team pitched?
I promise, this type of content is highly shareable, usually generates a lot of comments, and gives you TONS of opportunity to engage with your customers.
Cool Stuff I've Found
This week, it’s about bingeworthy NSFW series you’ve never heard of...
CAMP CAMP comes from Rooster Teeth. If you don’t have a tween/teen male in your house, chances are you haven’t heard of Rooster Teeth, but they made their mark with the HALO video game action series. Now they have a full production studio and crank out hundreds of video series...the breadth is insane. But CAMP CAMP is where you need to start, it’s f’ing hilarious.
TITANS is a more mature version of Teen Titans Go. The latter is an animated series about teenage DC heroes, led by Robin...and it’s great for all ages. But TITANS is a gritty HBO series rebooting the group as mostly 20-somethings with some serious skills, great backstory, solid pacing, and interesting, well developed characters. Damn if this isn’t the best live action series DC’s done in... forever?
RWBY is, according to my 15-year-old son, soooooooo gooood. He says each season gets better, in terms of story, animation, and maturity. But I’ll make a case for Season One. It’s Anime, but with clear influences from Red vs Blue humor (this one’s also from Rooster Teeth). Which makes it a really interesting mix of animation style that’s true to its roots, but in stories that blend traditional themes with a more Western, modern humor.
And a Happy New Year...
Which brings me to the close of today’s newsletter and the year. RWBY is one of those shows my son kept bugging me to watch. I resisted. Eventually I ran out of excuses, didn’t feel like working (t’was the holidays, after all), and sat down for what ended up being an hour-long viewing.
The point? I’m glad I did. Not just for the family bonding (we all watched it), but for the exposure to something new. It’s got my own creative juices flowing, and thinking about how I can convey my own marketing stories differently. Or freshen up my tone on Bikerumor.
Here’s wishing you a New Year full of new experiences!
Try new things,
PS - Wow, you made it this far on NYE! Quick, forward it to a friend today to show them the holidays can’t stop your hustle! Thanks!
*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. I don't sell this space, but some links might be affiliate links, which earns me a small commission (beer money, really) if you buy something. This helps support all the free content. Thanks!