Welcome to the final installment of the Finding Your Voice Series! I hope it’s been informative and helpful for you.
So far we’ve talked about helping your clients know who they are, identify their unique offering and perspective, and target their voice toward their customers. Today, we’ll finish up with the last step – using content to connect your client’s message with their customers.
Creating targeted online content can be a daunting process for any client who hasn’t previously had a content strategy. However, you can help them stay calm by reminding them that they’ve been creating content for as long as they’ve been a company. Television advertising, brochures, customer service manuals, and newspaper advertising inserts are several examples of targeted content that may already exist. The key is to understand how to use existing material, how to get new material, where to publish it, and how to keep content production consistent.
Re-purpose Existing Content
This is the first step in any content creation strategy. The client has already spent hours and dollars creating content – why not take advantage? However, it’s important not to simply publish what exists without changes. Each piece needs to be refined based on the topics already covered. Does it match the client’s current voice? Does it showcase their unique perspective? Does it resonate with the right audience?
Once a piece has been refined, think about how it can be stretched into other content that can be published on multiple platforms. Take a look at this post on how to make content go further for ideas.
Create New Content
Your client will likely fall into one of two camps – either they will be scared to death of the time and cost of creating content, or they will optimistically think they can run four social media platforms with one person. Both of these are dangerous attitudes that will bring content creation to a standstill. Be sure your client has a realistic understanding of what content creation requires. Encourage them to outsource the creation to quality writers if needed. And again, there are a lot of ways to stretch a single piece of content into a variety of forms that can be spread across platforms.
Decide Where to Publish
Fortunately for you and your client, a huge amount of research already exists regarding the clientele of various social media platforms. A website as a ‘home base’ is a requirement for any company, but beyond that, it’s all about where their ideal customer congregates.
Be sure to work with your client to understand their resources. This will be a key factor in deciding how many platforms can be maintained. If a client can’t consistently engage with potential customers on a given site, they shouldn’t use it until their resources increase. An inconsistent, sloppy looking presence is far worse than no presence at all. If the client is still trying to prove the business case for a defined content strategy, then start small with one highly-relevant platform. Great work on one platform will gain a much higher return than a scattershot attempt on several.
Keep Content Production Consistent
I’m a huge advocate of process, because at the end of the day, it’s our habits that run our lives. If a client is proving their case to the C-Suite, start with one small content process away from the core marketing activities. If a client is ready for a larger content strategy, help them create a timeline where certain content is created, posted, re-purposed, and posted elsewhere. I discuss this in my post on top-down and bottom-up content creation.
The key is to create a repeatable process that, over time, will become second nature to your client. When a company is creating unique, targeted content on appropriate platforms on a consistent basis, they are well positioned for success.
Which part of this series was the most important for your clients? Please share in the comments!
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