The Golden Trio of Social Media Marketing

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There are popular trios all over the world. From the Harry Potter fandom's Golden Trio to Destiny's Child to the lifesaving "Stop, Drop, and Roll" as some of the most popular, there's no shortage of groups of three. But can you guess what makes up the Golden Trio of Content Marketing?

If you can't, that's okay! We'll help you out. First, let's consider the actual definition of Content Marketing. Moving forward, think of it as this:

A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. - Content Marketing Institute

Secondly, let's think about the tools and resources we use in content marketing. There's paid search, social media, blogging, content calendars...the list goes on.

These are all great options, but there are three critical items that every content marketer should have in their arsenal: a Hashtag Strategy, an Annual Content Calendar, and a Monthly Content Calendar. All three of these tools can be customized to fit your needs, your industry, and your content schedule. Before we discuss why we need all of them, let's cover what they are.

The Hashtag Strategy

A Hashtag Strategy is the who behind your content marketing efforts. It holds things like:

  • Branded Hashtags - These are hashtags you've created to use specifically for your business and efforts. For example, Onsharp frequently uses #ONmoments and #TeamOnsharp as our branded hashtags.
  • Industry Related Hashtags - These hashtags are ones that you've researched and found are related to your industry. In our industry, some of our favorites use are #webdev, #ContentMarketing, and #SocialMedia.
  • Local Hashtags - These hashtags help you connect with your community. Since we're in the Fargo-Moorhead area, we use #ilovefargo and #MoorheadProud quite a bit.
  • Accounts to Follow - While this isn't directly hashtag-related, keeping a running list of accounts to follow is helpful. These accounts may inspire ideas for content, lead you to new hashtags, or keep you updated on your industry's latest trends. In addition, it'll help you keep tabs on your competition.

Your hashtag strategy lives and breathes as long as you keep it updated. Continually editing a document seems like a lot of work, but the future you will be thankful. Adding to and editing this document as time passes will help connect you to your target audience and keep you aware of industry conversations and trends.

The Annual Content Calendar 

If your Hashtag Strategy is the who, your Annual Content Calendar is the what. Consider this the skeleton of your content strategy. It's a yearly schedule and includes the following:

  • Dates - This is when your content actually happens. For example, December 25th, October 31st, and July 4th are dates you want to promote specific holidays and observances. You should also articulate specific dates for company milestones, events, and more on your annual content calendar.
  • Promo Dates - This is when you enact your content. Be wary of confusing this information with your specific date. Rather, consider it this way: You've got a huge sale happening on Christmas Day, so your promo dates are December 12th - 24th, while the specific date of the sale is December 25th.
  • Topics/Events - This is what you're actually promoting. It can be anything: holidays like Christmas, observances like National Donut Day, or company-related events like anniversaries and birthdays.
  • Categories - In addition to breaking down your content by topic, organize it in categories like Observances, Holidays, Events, etc. Doing so will ensure you have a variety of content topics throughout the year.
  • Messaging Concepts - Envision this as the early stages of content brainstorming. Jot down preliminary content ideas like blog topics or a hashtag specifically related to the topic.

Creating a thorough Annual Content Calendar is important for many reasons, but it's especially important to have in place before creating our next tool in the Golden Trio.

The Monthly Content Calendar

Since we've covered the who and the how, now we consider the when and where with the Monthly Content Calendar.  This tool puts your Hashtag Strategy and Annual Content Calendar to work. Remember: Don't confuse this with the Annual Content Calendar. The Annual Content Calendar is the year-long skeleton of your strategy, while the Monthly Content Calendar is the meat of it all.

These things make up your Monthly Content Calendar:

  • Weekly Overview - One way to narrow down your focus is to make a list before you start. This section helps you focus on specific dates, pinpoints content focus areas, and notates the week's hashtags to ensure optimal reach.
  • Channel Breakdown - As we established before, distribution has a part to play in Content Marketing. Breaking down what channels your content will infiltrate helps decide target audiences and enables action for your content.
  • Post Frequency - Avoiding content overload is on everyone's wish list. Having a visual representation of how often your content goes out will help keep you from over-saturating your audience's timelines.
  • Content Creation - While writing a complete blog post in your Monthly Content Calendar is unnecessary, you are able to anticipate your publish date if you put it in a schedule. Your Monthly Content Calendar is better used for social media content creation.

Of all the tools in the Golden Trio, the Monthly Content calendar is probably the most versatile. From writing your social content to scheduling content down to the minute, you can use it in whatever way it fulfills your needs the most. Furthermore, it acts as a nice benchmark when planning next year's content.

But...Why?

Finally, let's discuss why it's important to have the Golden Trio. Outside of how useful they are as a brainstorming tool, they also help schedule content and optimize your social channels to be as active and effective as possible throughout the year. They pinpoint missing pieces of an overall strategy and encourage content marketers to push themselves outside the limits of their content marketing box. And yet, there's something even better about it!

All you need is to implement these tools is a little bit of time - or someone to do it for you. If you're ready to take advantage of the Golden Trio, reach out to us today. Our team of Content Marketers will happily manage, brainstorm, and schedule your content for you.

 

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