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As a marketing and growth strategist, I find my clients often face a key dilemma: getting results from social media is tough, and when working with contractors on a small budget, it can be even more difficult.
And although your outsourced contractor(s) may be following best practices, doing the best they can with your budget, and the resources available to them, the downside is that it often results in generic content that lacks a coherent strategy. And then it becomes simply about having an online presence versus getting any real results from it.
How can you make your social media efforts more effective with a smaller budget and less time if you’re outsourcing?
How can you leverage their time and their skills to execute a more effective strategy?
It can feel like you have to make a compromise, but things don’t have to be that way. Whether you are managing your own social media, you have a virtual assistant, or you’re outsourcing to a marketing team, here I outline three simple ways to execute a more effective social media strategy with quick and impactful content — without sacrificing quality.
How to build a content strategy
Before you start creating and sharing content, first consider your overarching strategy. A strategy is not only helpful in maintaining consistency, it’s also necessary to differentiate yourself in a competitive market, making it easier to delegate while leveraging a contractor’s time and efforts efficiently.
To create your strategy, consider the following:
What are your top 2-3 goals for your social media marketing? What metrics will you look at to determine whether you’re successfully accomplishing those goals? And lastly, what tools or software will you need to ensure you’re capturing the data you need to analyze and measure these metrics?
Who is your target audience? What are their pain points, and what specific problem are you solving for them?
There are a lot of social media platforms to choose from, and it’s easy to fall prey to the pressure of having to be on all of them. And that’s not the case. Where does your target audience spend the most time? Where do they prefer to hang out online? Simple research can help you dive into statistics and audience demographics for each platform.
When deciding on content formats, consider the platform where your target audience spends their time and the best content formats that will capture their attention on that platform. Is it video, carousels, or stories? From there, you’ll need to consider the budget that you can allocate to support these formats.
What 3 to 5 content themes will you consistently communicate, emphasize and share o social media? To identify the 3 to 5 themes, or content buckets, consider content that will embody both the emotions, pain points, and solutions for your target audience AND communicate your brand voice and differentiators. Content pillars are the backbone of your strategy and will help you create high-quality social media content faster, saving you and your team time and effort.
Three ways to produce content faster
Once you have these foundational elements in place, you can move on to crafting better, consistent, and effective social media content on a small budget. My approach involves three steps:
1. Create a framework
Creating a framework for your social media content makes the difference between beginning from scratch each day and having a starting point for each piece of content. Once you have your goals, your audience, and your content pillars, use that to inform a framework for what and when you will post.
Here’s a sneak peek at my social media content template:
In this example, you’ll see that every Monday, I share inspirational content, and every Tuesday, I share a tip or how-to content. To the left, you’ll notice that two days in the week are in bold, indicating that these are my best two days to share content as far as reach and engagement. This serves as a reminder to share high-quality content on these two days.
By creating a framework that integrates content categories, content formats, and platform features, you’ll find that it’s easier and faster to create content in bulk. And, you don’t have to sacrifice quality because you created this framework with your strategy in mind.
It’s also a good idea to consider the best days and times to publish your content on a platform. If you’re just getting started, using general best practices is a good way to approach this. For instance, peak times and days for LinkedIn based on research are 9:00 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Eventually, by looking at your social media analytics, you’ll want to customize this according to your audience and what seems to be working for you.
And, because you have a framework doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. Analyzing performance regularly can help you make informed decisions if you find that you need to switch things up.
Many people are instinctively afraid of repurposing for fear that it’s “cheating” or that it results in “boring” or overexposed content. In fact, it’s just following one of the most basic rules of content creation: Make more of what your audience likes. It also makes it easier to produce high-quality content on a regular schedule, meaning it becomes far more achievable to scale on a small budget.
Repurposing is key to creating content across multiple channels. For example, the content in this blog post was also used to create the YouTube video above and then used to create a carousel on Instagram. There are many ways to repurpose content, and it all starts with one high-quality piece of content like a podcast episode, blog post, or video.
Another key to repurposing is to look at your metrics to see which content has performed well and think about how you can use it to deliver something fresh. Could you take a slightly different angle or use new examples? You may also want to consider which types of content you can create quickly and double down on that.
If you want to learn more, I have a content repurposing playbook on my website, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested.
3. Leverage apps and tools
The previous two tips were all about strategy, and my final method focuses on execution. Why spend more time than you have to on doing something you could get an app or tool to handle instead?
Creating a calendar for your social media content (i.e., planning out a month in advance) is a great way to boost your efficiency. And a scheduling software like PlannThat can help you plan and schedule your content. What I love about PlannThat is that in addition to scheduling social media content, they make it easy to leverage a content framework, as I shared above, and visually execute the framework for platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
There are also plenty of free social media management tools out there. Facebook’s Creator Studio allows you to manage and schedule content across Facebook and Instagram, and the design tool Canva has a content planner and social media scheduling feature.
One of my all-time favorite social media tools is Wavve, which helps you to turn your audio (whether it’s from a podcast or talk) into engaging, easy-to-consume video clips for social media. They make it quick and easy with three simple steps: 1) selecting your audio source, 2) selecting or creating your design (they have design templates), and 3) creating your clip.
It’s especially helpful for those that are not fans of being in front of the camera but want to engage their audience with video.
Great content awaits you
The secret to creating impactful social media content quickly and affordably isn’t some time management trick or using a secret template. It’s about having a solid strategy in place, and the three pieces of advice mentioned here encapsulate this — creating a framework so you have a starting point for your content, repurposing so your content goes further and using apps to help you work smarter, not harder.
If you’d like some help leveraging marketing and business systems, check out my range of guides (including the content repurposing playbook I mentioned) for women entrepreneurs hoping to discover freedom, profit, and productivity.
Or, maybe you’d like to take things to the next level by booking a free discovery call so we can learn more about how I can support you in your business. ❤️