Content marketing is an effective way to reach new clients and highlight yourself as a resource during this time of crisis, especially if you do it smartly. A disjointed content strategy that isn’t tasteful and tactful leaves followers confused and ready to click over to your competitor. This is not the time for us to stop creating content, so you need to put in the time and effort to create an effective content strategy to support your current clients, increase brand recognition and attract new clients.
As you plan your content for the months ahead, consider these tips in your overall marketing strategy for maximum impact with your audience.
Know your data
You have to know where paying clients are converting from, whether it is from Instagram, Google, paid directories, referrals, etc. By gathering this data and using tools like Google Analytics, qualitative data from your lead capture forms and your website's internal data stats, you can determine where the best places are to be publishing content. For example, if you've done a superior job on your SEO and Google is the main traffic source of paying clients for you, consider taking it a step further and adding a YouTube Channel to your content efforts to capitalize further on Google's reach for your business.
Posting During a Difficult Time
Posting to your marketing channels during a pandemic might not be at the top of your priority lis,t but it honestly should be something you are focusing on. The key here is to put your content through the “Tasteful and Tactful” test prior to posting. COVID-19 is impacting everyone and it’s important to be sensitive and helpful in this space. You want your current and future clients to see your business as a pillar of strength and support now more than ever. You don’t have to know everything about COVID-19 to be a resource to your audience. In fact, just being a curator of information from helpful and reliable resources during this time of crisis can help current and future clients build that trust factor with you. It's imperative to show up for people from a place of empathy and a desire to serve, and sharing other vendors and business owners' content is one way you can do that.
In the next few months as we navigate the waters and attempt to return to business as usual, you’ll want to filter in other types of content. When you start to do this, you might think to yourself, “I am going to run out of things to talk about quickly.” However, if you’re running out of topics to cover, it’s likely that you haven’t taken a deep enough dive into your specialties. Niche down and dig in; it’s easier to go deep than to go wide with your content topics. Covering too many broad topics isn’t strategic, it can confuse your audience and make it hard for them to refer you because they don’t know what you specialize in. Thoroughly educating on your specialty topics better than your competitors is the right move. Check out online forums like Reddit or The Knot and spend time in the comments on social media for an inside look at what real couples are asking and discussing.
Look beyond the wedding industry
If you aren’t already, broaden your horizons by learning about other topics and businesses outside of our niche industry. Listen to masterclasses on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics that interest you — educating yourself can get you out of a rut and provide new inspiration for your work. On a similar note, I recommend joining and becoming involved with local groups that share interests and goals with you as an entrepreneur or event professional. You can meet business owners from other walks of life who will motivate you and encourage you to be innovative inside of our industry.
Don’t fear persistence
It may feel redundant to post the same content to multiple marketing platforms, but rest assured that there’s nothing wrong with this strategy. In fact, it’s now being said that it can take up to 16 brand touches before a prospective client is moved to make a decision about your business, so you need to be impacting prospective clients from multiple directions regularly. Reusing and recycling well-performing content is valuable to you as a business owner and is valuable to your audience who needs to hear or see your brand message multiple times.
One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to creating content is that you have to create brand new content every single day. I’d like to challenge that trope. You can certainly publish the same content in different ways to align with various audiences. For example, Facebook may be your place to connect with parents of engaged couples, whereas Instagram is where the couples are; you can share the same information to both, tweaked to suit the intended audience.
Leave room for flexibility
Planning ahead doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have content prepared for the next 12 months. In fact, as a best practice, I'd encourage you to plan up to 90 days ahead at the most so you can leave space to pivot and make changes when necessary. This strategy has become extremely important for my business as well as others during the time of COVID-19. When it comes to breaking news, continuing with our pre-scheduled content could make us appear uncaring and uninformed. Prepping a year's worth of content also doesn’t leave room for creativity or flexibility when inspiration strikes. Planning quarterly content is an ideal timeline; it will get you through your busy seasons while still leaving space for growth.
Whether you’re the type to batch-schedule your content months in advance or you keep your planning documents close for on-the-go posting, these tips should keep your digital presence running during peak season and beyond.