While you’re working on impressive Canva posts, crafting scroll-worthy blog posts and editing your Facebook Live videos (well done, by the way!) there are a few activities you’re perhaps not giving as much importance too. The invisible ones with no shiny finished result that everyone can be impressed by. As such, these mini-tasks slip under the carpet to make way for daily fire-fighting tasks. These jobs are often reserved for those moments when you’ve got nothing else that’s pressing: that halcyon moment after this important campaign’s been launched, following that conference or when the head of sales position has been filled.
Let’s face it; that moment is never going to happen. Have you ever heard the refrain: “If you want a job doing, give it to a busy person”?
Busy people will prioritise the kinds of jobs that will elevate their marketing efforts, even when the effort is not always evident straight away. These tasks come in various forms:
- The 15-minute fillers you should do little and often in amongst your chunkier activities.
- The jobs you need to ring-fence time in your diary.
Seriously, even when you are snowed under a backlog of other essential work, you must take some time out for these activities.
ONE: INVENT SOME AUDIENCE PERSONAS
(One afternoon – revisit annually)
Why create these fictional personas of your audience? It may seem like a pointless activity, but by humanising your target market, you are able to home in on their problems and write more relevant and focussed content.
TWO: CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
(One day – revisit annually)
Yes, it’s laborious and a headache, but it is critical to ensuring that your content is responding to your overarching marketing goals. Break it down into columns for campaigns, blog, individual social channels, email, video and influencer marketing/third party link building, bespoke to your company’s marketing mix. Use a spreadsheet, Google Calendar, Trello Board or a Word Document to organise content activities. You will save time in the coming weeks or months stressing about ideas and suffering from creative block if you know in advance what you are doing.
THREE: CREATE A READING LIST WITH FEEDLY OR ANOTHER CURATION TOOL
(One hour – Revisit monthly)
Feedly lets you curate lists of blogs and editorial sites on your chosen topic or keyword. It then displays the latest articles from these websites in a stream. The benefits of this activity are two-fold. Firstly, you stay up to date with the happenings in your industry. Secondly, you will find relevant links to share with your audience on social media.
FOUR: COLLECT TOPIC RELATED HASHTAGS
(One hour – Revisit quarterly)
Find out from All Hashtag or Hashtagify popular hashtags related to industry topics. Make up ten lists of eight-ten hashtags (it’s okay to mix and match) and store them on your Stickies or a Notepad document easily accessible on your computer’s Desktop. This way, you can copy and paste them when scheduling your Instagram posts.
FIVE: CREATE SOME COLUMNS IN HOOTSUITE FOR HASHTAGS TO FOLLOW
(15 minutes – Revisit quarterly)
Social listening is when you follow the conversations happening in your industry on social media. Using a tool such as Hootsuite, you can set up streams for pertinent hashtags so you can keep an eye on the hot topics affecting your business.
SIX: COLLECT NETWORK HOUR HASHTAGS
(One hour – Revisit monthly)
Industry and general business networking hours on Twitter help you get on the radar of potential customers in your location or nationwide. Why not put together a timetable of network hashtags so you know when to be online. Scheduling Tweets for these times is not best practice as you need to be in the conversation in the moment.
SEVEN: CREATE A TEAM CONTENT HUB
(30 minutes – Updates ongoing)
When working as a team of content creators, it’s helpful to have a place to share all your creative assets, ideas and useful third-party links with all members of the team. With Trello, you customise the columns and make a ticket for each content piece.
EIGHT: CREATE TEMPLATES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOCIAL MEDIA POST
(One afternoon – Revisit quarterly)
One easy way to speed up your social content creation is to use a series of templates in Canva, for example for quotes, statistics, testimonials and facts. The other benefit is that all your posts stay on brand, even when you’re in a hurry.
NINE: RESIZE YOUR TEMPLATES FOR EACH SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL
(One afternoon – Revisit quarterly)
Not only is it desirable to keep your social media assets on brand, but to make sure they are the right size for each time of social media post. Canva Pro (formerly Canva for Work) lets you resize your designs for a variety of post types including Instagram and Facebook Stories so your content will look gorgeous on every channel.
TEN: RESIZE YOUR VIDEOS FOR EACH SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL
(One afternoon – Monthly)
And the same goes for videos – they need to look the part on each social channel. Here is a quick tutorial from Social Media Examineron transforming your videos into a square format.
ELEVEN: RESEARCH POPULAR TIMES TO POST ON EACH CHANNEL
(One afternoon – Every six months)
Spending time finding out the best times to post will pay dividends for your social media engagement. Fortunately, this article from SproutSocial can give you a head start. But remember, you need to conduct your own research using your Facebook Insights. Take some time to conduct experiments posting similar post types at different times and logging the number of likes, comments and shares.
TWELVE: SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS IN ADVANCE
(One hour – Weekly, fortnightly or monthly)
Take some time in your week to schedule your social media posts so you don’t have to worry what to post each day and create content on the fly.
THIRTEEN: RESEARCH IMPORTANT DATES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
(Two hours – Monthly)
At the beginning of the year, research and discuss what important dates are coming up, both generally, in your industry and in your company. These dates might include big product launches, anniversaries or an event you’re hosting. Make sure these dates are all represented on your social media calendar.
FOURTEEN: REVISIT AND UPDATE OLD CONTENT PIECES
(30 minutes – Weekly)
See what blog posts are on your site, document it in a spreadsheet, categorise them to use for recommendations and review which pages prove most popular in your analytics. Check which content pieces need an update, turn off any that are no longer relevant and see which posts you can repurpose.
FIFTEEN: CURATE STORY HIGHLIGHTS FOR INSTAGRAM
(20 minutes to decide – Updates ongoing)
With each Story that you post on Instagram, save the best frames for your Instagram highlights. You can categorise highlights areas of your business or product types.
Social media and content marketing: it’s a never-ending cycle of tasks to accomplish the best outcomes for your strategy. Use this article as a checklist to review your activities each month. This means you can keep making small steps towards a comprehensive content strategy.