You spend a lot of time creating content for a 6-month plan you have come up with. You put your heart and soul into it. Even worked out what platforms you are going to use to post your content.
You scheduled it all out, collected the images, edited those videos. You’re feeling accomplished AF and you tick a million items off your to-do list. Yay!
Then you post your content all over the place, you’re everywhere with it. You sit by your computer or keep your phone beside your bed so you don’t miss any notifications that come in from all the people who will be interacting with your content.
At least that is the theory. In reality, what you get instead, in the best case scenario, is a few likes here and there and even they are all across the dozen platforms you have posted your content on.
When you look at your stats you realise that most of the engagement is from bots who are not interested in interacting with you at all. The rest are some likes or smiley faces from your friends, who can’t be bothered to read or watch your content but want to seem as actively encouraging and supporting you.
That just totally sucks.
How do I know that? Because this is exactly what happened to me. Here is the perfect example. For some reason, I thought I needed to be on Tumblr and use the language and tone that users of that platform are used to. I planned out a few months worth of content and optimised it for that platform.
Created the posts, including images, trying to appeal to a specific demographic. It was not my natural voice and it took me months of months of wondering why the peeps of Tumblr were not lapping up my super-duper value content.
Tumblr was not my first or last content blunder but it definitely played an important part in gaining the wisdom I needed to understand long-term content strategy and marketing much better.
There are 4 reasons why your long-term content strategy isn’t working for you:
1) You’re using a process that isn’t actually aligned with your personal and business values.
If you find that you’re changing your natural language and your tone to appeal to a particular audience on a platform you are trying to crack, you are compromising your business values. You have a tone that garners interest and engagement with your content from your audience.
That tone feels good and natural and your audience associate that tone and voice with your brand. If you need to change that to break into a platform, you will be talking to a different audience that won’t necessarily include your ideal clients, unless you are changing the direction of the business.
Not to mention the questionable authenticity of your brand if your content on one platform sounds or looks completely different from your brand on another. Consistency is a great brand building tool and it’s not worth compromising it for the sake of acquiring a loosely engaged audience on a platform that doesn’t align with your brand.
This issue is not exclusive to a choice of platforms but also the techniques you use for marketing your content and reach your audience.
If you’re promoting a brand that is more personal with an emphasis on intimate connection with your audience and you’re using a marketing method with a goal of building up your mailing list super fast with minimum interaction, the disconnect between your values and the methods you’re using will be apparent for your audience and you will feel that misalignment.
Once your audience catches up to it, they will let you know as well. They will either become passive and stop engaging with you or will simply express their thoughts publicly. Either way, you will notice that your strategy is not working by plummeting engagement and sounds of crickets.
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2) You’re creating detailed long-term plans that make you feel boxed into a corner creatively.
This is especially true if you’re running your business and creating your content from an intuitive space. For that intuition to flow there needs to be a great amount of freedom to allow for that fluidity.
Long-term plans for the business are important because you want something to measure your progress against. If flow is important to you, however, this might be very restrictive. You have to create content on a topic for weeks and even months in advance.
This means that whether you are in the groove or not, feeling inspired or not, tapping into the flow or not, you have to sit yourself down and come up with something that will serve your audience as well as you. You might have your topic you’re supposed to write about or make a video on in your diary but you are just not feeling it.
You might even feel resentful towards your plan.
Nothing stops your intuitive flow more than negativity.
There are a million topics you’d rather create your content on but that plan is in place and your planner is looming over you on your wall, your computer screen or your desk in the shape of a calendar.
How are you supposed to create great content like this, right?
3) You’re not creating a diverse range of content that serves and satisfies both you and your audience.
It’s good to have a diverse range of content on our online platforms that display different aspects of your brand and business. A good mix of promotion, inspiration and information means more engagement on your pages. Most people find it easy to create one of the three types content.
Some of you are great at creating promotional copies, landing pages, videos, some will be fantastic coming up with inspirational posts and others will be acing their how-to content. You will tend to gravitate towards creating the type of content you are good at.
You enjoy working on what you are good at and it comes easy.
Why should content be hard?
However, you make the mistake of wanting to create the content that is easy and gives you a sense of accomplishment, all the time. That leaves the other two types of content and consequently, your audience neglected.
Getting the sweet spot ratio with your promotional, inspiration and informational content is hard enough but when you have one type of content dominating your platforms, your audience is missing out on an important part of your business.
You will be missing out on growing business and improving your bottom line as a result.
You can create for all three content types easily if you have the right process.
4) You are using too many tools and platforms to keep track of.
Some business coaches will tell you that you need to be on as many platforms as you possibly can to get your brand “out there”. I disagree. Having dozens of platforms to keep track of will only result in you spending tonnes of your precious time customising your content for different platforms according to their conditions.
Not to mention optimising and formatting. And that’s just creating and posting the content. What happens when people start interacting with your content? You will be managing notifications from all over the place.
Even if you only get a few engagements per platform, if you have daily posts, you will be getting RSI from constantly checking your notifications.
Then we have to talk about replying to comments, managing and moderating, responding to direct messages, keeping up with changes on the platform and the stats.
If that doesn’t give you overwhelm then I don’t know what would. You are disbursing yourself so much that you don’t even know what platform works better for you.
I much prefer to create for a few trusted platforms that I know my audience hangs out on.
You can use a variety of media to convey your message and get your audience involved. Maximise your content by repurposing selected pieces and make sure you always acknowledge every time your audience interacts with you.
Content should feel good.
It should be easy to create.
Your business is more than just content for your audience. The amount time you spend on your content and level of energy you invest should reflect that.
If you’re spending a huge amount of time on your content for very little or no reward, you need to revise your content creation process.
Find where it is going wrong. Maybe you are failing in one area, maybe all four or maybe you could just use a tweak on a few. Maybe you don’t know where it’s all falling apart.
That’s OK! It’s OK to not get everything about your business absolutely perfect.
None of us does!
You don’t have to tackle all four areas all at once. It would be a pretty tall order. Just pick one and make that your focus until you are happy with it. Remember, content creation should be easy, simple and joyful.
It can be a process that feels good, is aligned with your values, includes content that satisfies you and your audience and is easy to track.
If you need a little or a lot of help making your content creation process easy, simple, joyful and more intuitive, book in for a quick chat with me.