There’s much ado about content management these days.  In fact, it’s the new buzz word in the social media and marketing landscape. With so many business and brand managers just grappling with the ever-changing dynamics of the worldwide internet and what it means for their business and brand portfolios, content management is yet another aspect of this evolving channel that they need to understand.  Content Management is the umbrella of the social media marketing landscape, where content creation strategy plays a significant role under that umbrella.

Like all initiatives in marketing, and more specifically, advertising, achieving critical mass is extremely important in social media. By now, I believe many businesses have come to terms with the fact that social media takes a lot of time and effort. In business terms, that means it’s not free, but nor is it inexpensive. In order for social media initiatives to work, clear goals need to be defined and closely tied into clear and precise strategy. This is what we, at 3H, refer to as Content Creation Strategy. In the social media arena, being without a plan that outlines specific strategy means that businesses are essentially just shooting at random.

Here’s a quick overview of a Content Creation Strategy.

Define your audience: As with marketing, a clear and concise  statement of who your target is, is essential. Without it, you are just pushing out content without intent. The beauty of social media is that you can aim… very specifically. Hallelujah!  Niche marketing is where it’s at, especially in social media. Why not take advantage of it? Mine the internet and find other like-minded and complementary sites that also speak to your target audience. Define your target: not only by where they go, but by what they do and what they like.

Create a plan: Content creation, like advertising, needs to have a plan. What are the relevant topics for your brand or business?  Are there key cycles that you need to build up to and are important? In traditional advertising, if February was Heart Health month, then all the major brands with something to “sell” in heart health would be advertising in February. In the social media environment, there’s no need for that. Slow builds to peak event activity garners greater rewards. At 3H, we establish social media calendars, months in advance. This doesn’t mean that it is set in stone, but the ability to be nimble and flexible on a moment’s notice is key.

Mix it up: Content creation doesn’t only speak to words, blog posts, posts on Facebook, or discussion comments on LinkedIn. Make sure that you blend in a mix of visual(photos) and if possible, video as well.  Once you engage in the social media platform,  you’ll be surprised how many consumers you have that are your advocates already; sending photos, testimonials and videos and allowing you to share them on your social media properties.

Know where to be: Part of any solid strategy is knowing where to be seen. Assessing the true value of each social media property is essential as well as understanding the must-have versus the nice-to-have. There are so many properties… yet, so little budget. Assess the need to be on every social media property versus the key properties; building towards achieving a broader range and greater reach. That’s what strategy is all about.

If you haven’t established a content creation strategy for your brand or business, then stop what you’re doing… and do it now. Marketing is all about efficiencies, and a content creation strategy plays right into that. Content creation does reap rewards and does provide ROI, but only if, there’s clear objectives and strategy behind the content.