People are so fancy about their online content. It's gotta be the most frustrating part of my business.
Whenever I hear a story from someone about how they can't do this or that online because it would "hurt their brand," I get a bit squeamish. To me, what they're really saying is a couple things:
- You're insecure about your brand. Now, when I hear you openly mock social content that isn't perfect or up to your standards of quality, it makes me wonder if you actually believe in what you're selling. The fact that you probably don't want to do the work necessary to scale your business or communicate properly online with social media is telling.
- You're making excuses about time. Yes, doing real storytelling of your brand is hard, but it's also something that can and should be done in 60 minutes per week without fail. If you're having trouble with time excuses, then that usually means trouble with some of the other work you're doing. You lack discipline, not time.
- You're afraid that trying something new might actually work. This is the most arrogant of all excuses, because it means that some company higher up doesn't want to admit that what they're doing to acquire new business is actually outdated. It might have something to do with company culture, but it says a lot about you. Get over yourself.
- You have a romantic vision of your work. Someone hired your company because you exhibited a pretty good vision, a product or service that stood out, or because the price was just right. You're excellent at your craft and your brand logo is sexy. Great. But the customer probably doesn't know that or care. So treating your marketing the same way is foolish. Yes, your social and online content stuff should reflect your brand, but in forcing yourself to be so perfect, you're just leaving the door open a new startup to walk all over you.
How to create content for your business at scale. An example plan for you.
Now what if you were to, say, outline your social media posts once a week. Take a 10 minute meeting on Monday with a couple key people in your organization. Here's an example of what I'd do regardless of industry:
- FACEBOOK LIVE. Start with a live streaming video from your company page to Facebook on Monday morning. This means pull out your phone and record a live video for 2-3 minutes. Use a microphone, or don't. Who cares. Create an outline for it and stick to the bullet points. Say what you're going to say, say it and then say it again... Some people use a blog, higher performing vlog, or podcast as a piece of "GOLDEN CONTENT," to use as an anchor, but I like using Facebook Live because of the ease of use and automatic upload it provides.
- CREATE A BLOG POST BASED ON THE VIDEO. Use your blog to take the video you created and write 300-450 words. Use key SEO terms that you can get from a service like Ahrefs.com or a simple Wordpress.com SEO tool to build some keywords. Send out the blog posts to your newsletter subscribers. Post the blog to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using a service like Buffer or Hootsuite. If possible, create two blog posts based on the live video you create. Post these on Tuesday and Friday. Share the post on LinkedIn as a long-form post (just like the one you're reading, or a shorter one in the timeline) and to Medium.com as a full article.
- RE-PURPOSE THE VIDEO. CUT IT IN TWO OR THREE. Take that video and quickly edit it into 2 or more other videos to repost later in the week. Link back to the blog post in each video you post.
- CHOP UP THE BEST POINTS. Take the best points of that live video and chop it up into manageable soundbites. Take your best lines and use those as tweets and LinkedIn nuggets. Link out to the blog post after your quotes or nuggets that way as well.
- CREATE IMAGES. Create an image, meme or quote that fits the purpose of the video and post that to Instagram. Use one of the images I use canva.com for free to create quick Instagram-ready images and usually one of the templates they have there. Use appropriate hashtags to spread the message to a wider audience.
- USE THE LIVE VIDEO AND CREATE A PODCAST FOR BONUS POINTS: This takes a bit more coordination, but don't poo-pooh it. Create a 3 minute podcast using the same Live video you created above. Share it to Anchor, Soundcloud, Sticher, iTunes, etc. If one person listens to each, you've done your job.
- FACEBOOK ADS. Take the best performing post of the week and boost it to your Voltron List. What's a Voltron List you ask? So glad you asked. Visit my post on this subject for a more advanced look at how to maximize efficiency with your ads.
All of the above takes 3 people about 55 minutes per week if you're efficient about it. 10 minutes to prep/outline the video. 5 minutes to shoot the live video. 10 minutes to create images. 25 minutes to write a blog post based on the video. 5 minutes to schedule all the posts on Buffer.com.
So you have this romantic vision of your business and brand. Great. But instead of just creating and getting feedback from customers on it and engaging with your audience in real time, you're living in the past.
You're forgetting that in the social space, creating content on the fly and improving on that the next time is so important to staying top of mind. I don't care how huge your organization is or how important you think your brand is.
Regardless of if you want to pretend you're a huge agency or a two person shop.
The time that you're wasting on making it perfect or being too fancy is distancing yourself from creating the type of scale you need to make social content actually work.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of progress.