As a self-proclaimed “professional nerd,” much of my career has been focused on the intersection of crafting purposeful communication and building engaged digital communities across paid, earned, owned and shared platforms.
What does this look like in practice? Identifying challenges within a brand’s digital communications efforts – and strategically turning those challenges into new opportunities.
(Consequently, this has also become my go-to response for explaining my job to friends and family at holiday parties.)
It’s no secret that today’s integrated communicators and digital community managers are under more pressure than ever. Content creation is becoming increasingly overwhelming, new platforms and features are constantly emerging and the number of eyes focused on marketers’ quantifiable efforts has grown exponentially.
As our job as communicators and marketers gets trickier, crafting a strategic approach to creating high-quality content that can be repackaged and shared across platforms is critical – especially in today’s oversaturated media landscape.
As part of their NextUP video series featuring young leaders in communications, I recently joined Dante Muccigrosso from D S Simon Media and Isis Simpson-Mersha from Ragan Communications to discuss crafting a digital strategy that sticks out from the noise.
Check out our full discussion below.
Here’s a recap of my go-to plan for building a strong digital communications campaign amidst the never-ending sea of online content:
With so many different voices online all competing to be heard, it can be hard to get your message across. To me, resonating with your audience almost always comes down to taking a quality over quantity approach.
To maximize the quality of your content, it’s important to be intentional in your choices. I always consider these three questions when determining a digital campaign strategy:
- What is the thing your organization does really well?
- What is most important for you to achieve?
- What platforms are the best fit for your goals?
Outlining content that fits your unique need is the first step toward increasing its overall quality. Plus, due to Google’s helpful content update, taking the “quality” route will also benefit the search engine optimization (SEO) of your owned content.
From here, think about how you can repackage this content in a different format or for a difference audience or medium. And don’t forget to re-share! Rarely do I let a new blog post, whitepaper or any digital asset go out on a brand’s social media just once.
Research shows only about 5.2% of your Facebook audience will see an organic post – or about one in 19 fans.
When posting content multiple times, be sure to create accompanying graphics and videos. This will keep your posts fresh, which can help get the viewer to stop the scroll on their social media channels.
Developing a strategy
Every time I sit down with a client to determine a campaign strategy, I ask four questions.
You can remember the categories as the Four C’s: customer, call to action, content and capacity.
- Who are you trying to reach? (The customer)
- What are you trying to get them to do? (The call-to-action)
- What existing assets can you use to achieve this goal? (The content)
- How can this be accomplished with the team you have? (The capacity)
Perhaps you have an on-staff photographer or videographer whose multimedia assets for other marketing campaigns can be repurposed to fuel social media content.
Or maybe you’re working with a lean team, which further emphasizes the impact needed with fewer posts per week. Deploying an employee advocacy program can help further the reach and engagement on each post your company makes through amplification across your employee’s professional networks. By creating pre-written content about your company that employees can customize and post on their social channels, you’re increasing the presence of your brand without having to bring on additional team members.
Measuring your success
The best way to analyze the success of a digital campaign requires implementing a scientific approach before the content is developed or launched. Building a strong foundation starts with developing a hypothesis – if you have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to learn about your audience, you can ultimately draw conclusions at the end of a campaign period using the right data.
A common mistake is attempting to pull a bunch of data to measure a campaign once it has ended. This can cause you to miss crucial data points over the course of the campaign, and not to mention, you won’t have any data to reference throughout the campaign.
Instead, put an infrastructure in place that will allow you to track measurables while your campaign is active.
For example, say you’re posting a piece of content on social media multiple times, but each time, there’s a different visual element. If you keep all the language in these posts the same, you can use that visual element as the variable. How much impact did the different visuals have on the overall effectiveness of a post?
Remember: there is no failure in organic social media campaigns – only learning. The point of all this measuring is to find out what does and doesn’t work. Shake things up, make the adjustments, and roll with what works.
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