Imagine waking up one morning, going to work, and thinking to yourself at your desk, “I’m going to blog about this topic today, turn it into a video for YouTube, & then I’m going to hop on a Facebook live for 30 minutes and go even deeper into that topic”. Yeeeaaaa…if you’re publishing content regularly, you this scenario is more like a fantasy than reality.
Content overwhelm happens to all of us at some point (including myself). Knowing exactly what to publish across your social media platforms is a skill that requires practice. It’s almost like exercising at the gym. Some weeks you may be shredding those pounds or lifting more than ever before. And some weeks you’re falling off the bandwagon, cheating on your diet, and skipping the gym altogether. Can you relate? So, these 3 steps I’m about to share won’t eliminate overwhelm overnight, but as you continue to practice you will gain a sense of clarity about your content and those feelings of stress and overwhelm will be less frequent.
STEP 1: Define Your Audience and Identify the Social Media Platforms They’re Hanging Out On.
A few months ago, I had a meeting with a prospective client who’s a plastic surgeon in New York City. Interestingly, I had worked with him on his online marketing 5 years prior. When I asked him who his demographic was today, and which social platforms he’s publishing on, he said female Baby Boomers and gave me a list of 16 social platforms! I was stunned! The icing on the cake was that he was publishing the EXACT same content across every single platform.
Not knowing who you’re talking to and where they’re hanging out on social media is one of the biggest mistakes I see clients making. So, before you even decide where you should invest your time and resources, ask yourself “Who is my audience?” Write down their age, gender, ethnicity, and where they live (urban or rural environment).
Then you’re going to want to do a little research to which social platforms they’re active on. Today, the top 3 social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This can change, but as of right now every other platform else is for a niche audience. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t publish on other platforms. I’m just saying these 3 platforms are the big players today. Twitter, for example is an excellent platform if your demographic is urban, educated, and female. In my example above, my former client was on Tumbler and Snapchat which is a complete waste of time because Baby Boomers aren’t there.
Sprout Social has a quarterly report they call The Sprout Social Index. In their recent study, they looked at Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Here are some of their findings:
- 43.6% of all 3 generations said Facebook was their social media network of preference.
- Both older Generations said YouTube was their second favorite social network.
- However, Millennials second social media network of preference was split between Instagram (22.2%) & SnapChat (15.8%).
- But here’s where it gets interesting, younger millennials (ages 18-24) identified Instagram as their first social media network of preference.
STEP 2: Identify the unwritten rules of that platform.
Think of each social media platform like it’s a different party you’re attending. Each one has written rules users need to follow, but they also have unwritten rules – behaviors and communication styles that they’re users prefer. So for example, you would dress, act, and speak differently if you attended a nightclub, a dinner party, a networking party, or a birthday party. The same concept applies to different social media platforms.
For instance, content that works well on Instagram includes beautiful photos, short video clips in the form of Stories, and inspiring visuals. Users prefer accounts that have a very curated, editorial feeling (like a copy of Vogue). Accounts that are able to maintain a consistent, visual aesthetic on their feed are the ones that succeed.
YouTube users, conversely, are looking for videos to answer their questions and objections about a product or service. How-To videos in longer video formats perform very well. Remember, YouTube is a search engine at its core so the text of your video’s title, the meta data, and tags all YouTube how to organically rank your video. In fact, there’s a whole art and science to organically ranking your YouTube videos called, “Video SEO (search engine optimization).
A few weeks ago, when IGTV first rolled out, there was a lot of chatter about how it’s going to replace YouTube. But the truth is IGTV isn’t a search engine, but rather a new vertical allowing users to post longer format video content. User handles on IGTV are searchable, not the videos themselves. And as of now, I think the vote is still out regarding if it’s going to be successful or not.
And finally, there’s Facebook, the social media GIANT in the room. What started as a collegiate social community has seen many different iterations over the years and is now focused on community building. And even though their algorithm doesn’t reward live content as it used to in the early days, Facebook Live is still a power way to connect with your audience.
There’s so much more one could say about each one of these social media platforms! They’re also constantly evolving and the unwritten rules change with that evolution. So once you’ve decided which platforms you want to invest your resources into, I recommend finding multiple online publications devoted to delivering the latest news/trends. While this is something I’m intending to provide, there are other online marketing resources that I highly recommend as well including Sprout Social Insights, Hoot Suite’s blog, Agora Pulse’s Social Media Lab, and Social Media Today (to name a few).
Step 3: Develop “Quality Content” Buckets and Batch Your Social Media Content in Advance.
Now that you know who you’re talking to, what social media platforms they’re active on, and the unwritten rules of each platform it’s time to start creating your content. Creating your content in advance, what’s known as batching, can take a significant amount of stress off of your shoulders.
Develop “Quality Content”
The first phase with batching your content is figuring out what to publish. And the answer is ‘Quality Content”. Quality Content isn’t abstract, rather it’s the content that falls in the intersection of what you love to talk about and what your audience loves to hear from you.
If you’re passionate about your business, the former is the easy part. It’s the latter that becomes challenging because you have to understand your audience to know what they love – their likes, dislikes, age, gender, income level, political views, media they consume, hobbies, passions, etc.
Now does it make sense why you should start by identifying your audience and what social platforms they like to hang out on?
I recommend setting some time and brainstorming 2 lists – things you love and things your audience loves. The content that is share on both this is your Quality Content.
Then look at your list and ask yourself, “what are 3 – 4 broad themes this content falls under?”. For example, my Quality Content includes Online Marketing Strategies, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing Tips/Strategies. Using my plastic surgeon client example, his broad themes might include Overviews of the Procedures, Frequently Asked Questions, and Behind the Scenes Photos/Videos.
These are what are known as your Content Buckets – the broad themes of content that you’re passionate about. Now you can create and schedule content in advance, that you know your audience wants to hear, and avoid content overwhelm.
Content overwhelm happens to all of us at some point (including myself). Knowing exactly what to publish across your social media platforms is a skill that requires practice. The 3 steps you can take today to avoid content overwhelm include:
- Define Your Audience and Identify the Social Media Platforms They’re Hanging Out On.
- Identify the unwritten rules of that platform.
- Develop “Quality Content” Buckets and Batch Your Social Media Content in Advance.
These 3 steps won’t eliminate overwhelm overnight, but as you continue to practice you will gain a sense of clarity about your content and those feelings of stress and overwhelm will be less frequent.
Hi, my name’s Milan and I’ve helped dozens of aesthetic & luxury service providers maseter online marketing. I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned along my journey so you can apply the same high-end marketing strategies for your business.