How to Create an Effective Social Media Content Strategy in 7 Steps

Brands that aren’t on social media or don’t know how to stand out and create a social media content strategy that effectively attracts are missing out on a ton of new, potential customers. 

Many brands fail at social media content creation because they jump straight into posting without a clear and well-defined content strategy. 

In fact, according to the 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing Insights report by the Content Marketing Institute, 27% of marketers don’t have a defined nor documented content marketing strategy. Yet, 71% of marketers consider content marketing even more important than the previous year. 

In a world saturated with content, brands must create a well-thought-out content strategy to grab their audience’s attention and differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

In this article, we explain what is a content marketing strategy, why you need it, and how to create one in 7 steps. 

What Is a Content Marketing Strategy? 

A content marketing strategy is a game plan that outlines how you’re going to use content to attract, engage, and convert viewers into customers. 

Developing a content strategy means planning out every element of content marketing in detail, such as the topics you’ll post about, where you’ll post, how many times per week you’ll post, and the specific metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your content. 

The goal of having a content marketing strategy is to plan the logistics of content creation and distribution. But aside from that, having a concrete content strategy also helps you define your brand voice, tone, and style, which is the key to building brand identity and trust with your audience. 

Your content strategy should encompass the following elements: 

  • Goals and objectives (what are you looking to achieve with your content?)
  • Target audience (who are you creating content for?)
  • Content types and formats (what kind of content will you create?)
  • Distribution channels (where and when will you post content?)
  • Content pillars (what topics will you talk about?)
  • Metrics and KPIs (what metrics will you track to measure the success of your content?)

Content Strategy vs. Content Plan

Many businesses often confuse having a content strategy with having a content plan. These two elements of content marketing overlap, but they’re not the same. 

As we’ve explained above, a content strategy is a roadmap that defines your content marketing goals, target audience, and the key messages you want to convey. In other words, your content strategy is the guiding framework for your content marketing efforts. 

A content plan, however, is the detailed execution of your strategy. It outlines the details of when, where, and what specific content you’ll publish. 

So, only once you have a clear strategy can you create your content calendar, which will help you maintain a consistent posting schedule and stay organized when it comes to posting content. 

7 Steps to Create a Good Social Media Content Strategy

Without a content strategy, you won’t be able to create your content plan, and you’ll end up either not posting at all (because you won’t know what to post) or posting random content, which will confuse your audience and dilute your brand message.  

So, here’s how to create an effective social media content strategy in 7 practical steps. 

Step #1: Understand Your Audience 

To develop an effective social media content strategy, begin by gaining a deep understanding of your target audience. Before you can know what to post, you must specify who you’re creating content for. Define their demographics, such as age, gender, location, and job title. 

But understanding what type of content your audience wants to see goes beyond knowing their age or job title. 

According to a recent survey by Sprout Social, 64% of consumers expect brands to connect with them. This emerging content marketing trend means that brands have to make a more considerable effort to truly understand their target audience and create content that resonates with them on an emotional level.

If you want to post content your target audience resonates and engages with, you must understand their interests, preferences, pain points, and online behavior.

Step #2: Research Your Competitors 

Many businesses jump straight into content creation without doing proper competitor and market research. Yet, good research is the difference between posting strategic content with real growth potential and shooting in the dark. 

By understanding what your competitors are posting and analyzing how their content is performing, you can gain valuable insights into the preferences and expectations of your shared audience. 

Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ content marketing strategies and use what you’ve learned to identify content gaps and opportunities and refine your own strategy. 

Step #3: Choose the Right Social Media Channels

An analysis by Kepios found that 61.4% of the global population is using social media (as of October 2023), with 215 million new users joining in the last 12 months. There’s no doubt that using social media for business has numerous benefits. 

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are a gold mine for brands, and many are tempted to create content on every social media platform. Yet, they don’t realize that that’s a surefire way to fail at their content marketing efforts. 

To ensure a consistent posting schedule and maintain quality, you must be careful not to spread yourself too thin. You’re better off choosing 2 or 3 distribution channels that best align with your brand personality and goals than trying to do a little bit of everything. 

Choose the social media platforms that best fit your goals and style and allow you to showcase your brand in the most authentic and effective way.

Step #4: Come Up with Your Content Pillars 

Before you can start creating content, you must decide on the topics you’ll talk about. This involves identifying core themes or content pillars that align with your brand, resonate with your audience, and support your objectives. 

These pillars are the foundation for your content plan – they allow you to categorize your content into themes or topics. For instance, if you’re a real estate agency, you might want to talk about home-buying tips, real estate market trends, or investment advice. 

Then, come up with specific topics within these categories. For example, in the “home buying tips” category, you can include posts like “3 mistakes first-time home buyers make” or “How to prepare for a mortgage application.” 

This approach allows you to create targeted and informative content that addresses specific aspects of your audience’s interests and concerns.  

Step #5: Create a Content Calendar

Once you know what you’ll be posting about, it’s time to organize and schedule your content. Creating a content calendar involves planning when and where you’ll publish each piece of content. 

This will help you know exactly what to post when and stay organized. By mapping out your content in advance, you can maintain a steady posting schedule, avoid last-minute rushes, and ensure that your messaging remains cohesive across all platforms. 

Step #6: Prepare Your Content In Advance

Now that you’ve got your content strategy and a detailed content plan, it’s time to start creating your content. 

But don’t wait till the last minute and create on the fly. Instead, prepare your content in advance. Whether it’s blog posts, Instagram reels, or YouTube videos, having ready-to-go material ensures that you post high-quality content consistently and without stressing about your posting schedule. 

Depending on your content strategy, you might need to hire a professional videographer, video editor, photographer, or graphic designer. This requires time, so you must be ahead of your posting schedule to avoid compromising on the quality and creativity of your content. 

Step #7: Track & Measure Performance

After you’ve been posting content consistently and according to your strategy, you’ll have enough data to measure the success of your content. Check your analytics to track metrics such as likes, shares, saves, new followers, watch time, and more. 

Also, assess the performance of individual posts and overall trends across different platforms to pinpoint what type of content works best on each channel.

Then, use these insights to identify what works well and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy based on this data. This continuous feedback loop allows you to refine your approach, optimize future content, and adapt to audience preferences and platform algorithms.

Create Your Content with Dorothy House 

Developing a content strategy is the key to establishing a strong online presence and effectively reaching your target audience. However, not even the greatest content strategy and the best content plan in the world will help you succeed on social media if you don’t create great content. 

If you’re looking to create high-quality, professional-level content, you might want to consider hiring external help. Our creative team at Dorothy House excels at bringing ideas to life, crafting visually appealing and compelling content that resonates with your audience. 

Get in touch with us and learn how we can help you create exceptional content for your business.


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