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Avoid these 5 content strategy fails
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Avoid these 5 content strategy fails

A content strategy for social media and your web presence is worth its weight in gold, if it’s done right. A badly done is, well, simply useless. The time spent creating a bad strategy can equally be targeted on something else more developing. The word strategy is often seen as too abstract or difficult, but strategy work does not have to be complicated. In fact, the content strategy is a quite simple thing, if you just know what you are doing and avoid the worst pitfalls. Before starting your strategy work, it is good to make clear to yourself what the outcome will be, what are the motives for doing it and what goals are set on the strategy itself.

As a content strategist I have seen a wide range of businesses, many different business strategies, and several content strategies from different sectors. At the same time, I have faced many different challenges when it comes to content strategy work. Because sharing is caring, here comes a few remarks so your strategy work does not fall into at least these same faux pas.

So five general mistakes that will nullify your social media strategy work, s’il vous plaît. Avoid these and you are a step closer to be a successful content strategy owner.

Documentation – what’s that?

Why spend time on PowerPoints, isn’t it enough that I know what I’m doing? If you think in these terms, prepare for failure. Strategy is an organization’s common understanding and it might be difficult to share a common vision if nothing is documented. The organization owns the content strategy, and therefore, it should be as person independent as possible. If the author of the strategy leaves, the information should remain in-house. Strategy roadmap follow-up (you have planned to do a roadmap, haven’t you?), is also efficient and easy only when it’s visualized black on white.

You only concentrate on content

Although it is called a content strategy, it doesn’t mean that it should only be based on content. Concrete content planning is really just the outcome of the whole strategy. Instead taking your content as a starting point focus on goals: what do you try to accomplish with social media and online visibility? Who is your target audience and what interests them? You can also try to identify content gaps; try to fill a need that your audience or competitors did not realize existed but you have recognized and filled. Content is the concrete outcome of the strategy and its place is actually only in the roadmap, that is, the strategy implementation plan.

More is more

For many organizations, quantity can replace quality in both amount of content and communication channels. However, if the number is your most important meter, it’s quite certain that the desired results will be thin. Many things speak for quality instead of quantity when it comes to content. First of all, as technical thing as the Facebook algorithm ranks an organization’s content by its popularity, not by the amount, on the timeline. That is, in the worst case scenario, the content you have worked hard on, will get hardly no reach.  Fairly common is that the limited resources of organizations are one reason why content strategy is not implemented. With that in mind, it is not worth to waste your few resources in creating a lot of  unnecessary content pieces but just think about what you want to achieve and focus on it properly. It is quite common, that high quantity goals are set on publication and this distorts the actions.

The same thing applies to your channel plan. Instead of creating a profile in every possible new channel on the market, think carefully about what kind of target audience you are trying to reach, what kind of content they are consuming, and whether the channel is of any real benefit to you. If not, close the channel or opt out bravely of it. Through this, you can devote your resources to really important issues.

Content work is a one-man show

Whether you represent marketing communications, business or any other function, it is certain that you are not the only person in your organization who can benefit from social media (unless you are lucky to be self-employed – but also here you benefit from consulting others). A correctly done strategy work can never be a single person’s view but rather done from several organizational functions point of view. How does content support HR or sales? Participation to the strategy work is also key to engagement: the sooner you involve others, the more committed they are to the outcome of the work and to the strategy.

Power of measurement

Measuring and learning are keys to successful strategy work. If you follow and define all possible indicators in the measurement section of your strategy document, it’s pretty sure that the things you follow do not lead to any outcome. Measurement is not an intrinsic value, it is important to learn from the results you are measuring. In order to truly improve your performance and content, choose a limited number, for example, three relevant meters, and monitor them regularly. Regularity is key: continue to monitor the same metrics for a while so you can see the progress.

If you are considering a social media content strategy, first make clear to yourself what you are doing. Vent your thoughts with others and draw up a plan. If you manage to avoid the pitfalls above, go ahead! Good luck on your strategic journey! Remember that the journey can be as important as your destination.

ps. If you are eager to your learnings, check Someco’s social media content strategy-workshops and register. 

07.09.2017