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It’s time for a Monday Challenge again. Here we go: How should I prioritize where to put my time and energy between all various opportunities and social channels in digital marketing? — Camilla, Sweden. It’s sort of becoming my modus operandi to recommend a shift in perspective. But a shift in perspective is exactly what’s needed here! Instead […]

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

It’s time for a Monday Challenge again. Here we go:

How should I prioritize where to put my time and energy between all various opportunities and social channels in digital marketing? — Camilla, Sweden.

It’s sort of becoming my modus operandi to recommend a shift in perspective. But a shift in perspective is exactly what’s needed here!

Instead of thinking about where to put energy and resources, I suggest a focus on what you might have to say and whether or not this will be interesting to anyone or not.

Like this:

The Consumer Perspective

When I advise brands, they’re often eager to tell me about their social media accounts. What they post in them, how often they post in them, why they post in them. But I’m always more interested in whether there’s a community connected to the brand or not:

I care about the actual people who care about the brand. What do they want?

Structural properties, like brand accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever, is not that interesting if no-one out there really cares. If you have something to say, then that’s great; you should really have a strategy for how to get that message out there.

But maybe filling each and every channel with content shouldn’t be the prime directive?

Imagine that each follower has signed this particular follower contract with your brand:

THE FOLLOWER CONTRACT

I. I hereby declare a general interest in what you might have to say or do in the future.

II. My interest shouldn’t be confused with anything other than a general interest. My ‘follow’ doesn’t mean that I endorse everything you say or do — or everything you will be saying or doing in the future.

III. My interest in what you say or do is based on what you’ve said or done up until the point of my follow. If you change that direction, don’t expect me to remain a follower of yours.

IV. Only share when you have something to say. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not sitting around waiting for your content.

V. Even if you fulfill all aspects of this contract, I might still unfollow you. All you can do is remain true to your ikigai and you’ll get the following you’re meant to have.

Yours truly,
Your follower

(Now, you might have transformed some followers into true fans who actually do sit around waiting for you to say or do stuff — but then again, then they’re more than just followers.)

How To Use Content Themes

Since a ‘follow’ is nothing but a free subscription, you shouldn’t waste energy on how to divide your efforts between various social network accounts or properties. Because that’s a surefire way to turn them into silos.

Focus instead of what you have to say.

But choosing the right message is a science in itself. But this always holds true:

People are interested in stories about other people.

So make it about people, because we are social beings. Make it about stories, because that’s how we make sense of the world.

But where do you find stories about people?

Example: Maybe you have many happy clients? Well, then those stories might be worth telling? Stories about happy customers are what we usually refer to as a:

  • Case study.

But is that all we have to create to tell the story? We could do so much more with that story:

  • Case video.
  • Infographic.
  • Podcast with a client interview.
  • Blog post with insights and learnings from the project.
  • Press release + PR pitch.
  • Social media copy for various social networks.
  • Downloadable lead magnet.
  • Landing page promoting the lead magnet.

And so on.

This is basically a “royal content package” centered around a single story (in this example a case study). This themed approach to creating content in batches, centered around stories about people, is what I refer to as content themes.

The Surround Effect

Organizing your stories into content themes have several positive side-effects:

Streamlined content process. When you’re in the process of creating one piece of online content, you create all aligned content at the same time. This makes the content more focused, creative and coherent.

Easier publishing schedule. If you can oversee all your content belonging to one theme, it’s easier for you to divide it over time and cross-promote it per channel.

Clearer user experience. People are drenched in corporate messages, so you want to make sure they’re faced with a coherent story wherever they meet your brand.

All-in-all, content themes create a “surround effect”.

For a concrete example, also read An Experiment That Shows How Content Marketing Works where you’ll find a real-life example of the surround effect.

The Pareto Principle For Content Promotion

Back to the original question:

How to divide your time and resources?

Put some of your energy and resources into finding these stories and crafting content themes around them. And then put some of your energy into promoting this content in any channel where it makes sense.

If you want to grow your online presence fast, then apply the Pareto Principle:

20% = content creation
80% = content promotion

Or, if you want to aggressively engage your inbound traffic, reverse it:

80% = content creation
20% = content promotion

Or find a great balance somewhere in between!

Using the concept of content themes will focus your growth, increase your results and make your content creation process more efficient. And it will clarify your brand and their omni-channel experience for your growing community.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. His fascination for corporate communication and human psychology runs deep. Via his own agency Spin Factory, every day's spent on coaching people and organizations on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, journalist and television host, and their two-year-old son, Jack.

Interested in Jerry’s services or speaking engagements? Learn more.

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