Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Avoid Content Overload & Social Media Burnout

Content overload is real. Content's value is also real - and considerable, especially when it's used well to attract prospects and to turn them into customers.

            On the other hand, can content be counterproductive? On 4/8/19, cosmetic brand Lush announced that it's quitting social media. Time will tell how the company's experiment (or social media ploy) works out. My guess is, at the very least, the company is reevaluating its content management plans.

In the face of "more is better" content marketing strategies, I tell clients to consider their own sanity, budget, and what they know about their business before they commit to a blog or another social media channel. 

The Cold, Hard Truth About Business, Life & Content Marketing

Cold hard truth 1 - We all get the same 24 hours a day to work, shop, eat, sleep, play, and read scintillating blog posts. People who are not in the market for a kitchen sink will not spend a lot of time reading blogs or social media posts  - however witty - about kitchen sinks. 

Cold hard truth 2 - Content sells. It also takes time to deliver on its potential - which is huge, Forbes notes. So while witty writing about kitchen sinks can, in fact, sell kitchen sinks, without a good content marketing plan, those sinks are...sunk.

Content Marketing is important because, when done right, it will: 
  • Build relationships with existing and potential customers at every point in the sales cycle
  • Increase your sales 
  • Highlight new opportunities and 
  • Offer additional insight into your market
In other words, content IS marketing - when it's done well. 

To do it well, you must have a plan. 

As Alli Berry of The Motley Fool explains,  "every single piece of content you create needs to be mapped to a goal." 

I'm not a Lush cosmetics follower (apparently a lot of people can say that today!) but my best guess is Lush didn't follow a good content marketing plan. 

Balancing Your (Time and Money) Investment in Content and Social Media

I don't have any clients with unlimited budgets. (If you know any, please send them my way.) When making a marketing budget, I advise my clients that their content marketing plan needs to take care of three things:
  1. Determine what your prospects want and need to know.
  2. Know how to get that information to them (online and off).
  3. Create and deliver that content to them - and be ready to follow up. 
If you're wondering why I didn't mention keyword research, PPC advertising, or SEO, see step 1. And 2. And 3.

It's all related, folks. But without a good content marketing plan, trust me, you can waste a lot of money on advertising. And without a thorough understanding of your prospects and buying cycle, you can lose a lot of sales.

Content Marketing for Small Businesses: Play to Your Strengths

You need a website. Maybe you need a blog. And a Facebook Page. Or Instagram. Or Pinterest. Or YouTube. Or not. What about Twitter? Instagram? YouTube?

Don't go with a knee-jerk answer. Don't rely on the last study you read on internet shopping habits. Spend some time analyzing your market, your prospects, and your organization. That's how to plan a  marketing content program that will deliver your best results.

If you don't have a marketing/content plan that supports your business plan, or you need help executing and making adjustments, get in touch.