How I Create and Plan My Cohesive Content Strategy
Submitted by Dondrea, the Creative’s CFO
“How do you plan your content? Your messages are so consistent from the blog to Instagram, Facebook, your Stories, the Academy – how do you do that without taking an extreme amount of time? Plus, your Instagram feed is visually cohesive – perfectly spaced out quotes and images and blog promos. How do you work that out, and how often are you planning?”
Canva is my best business friend or in the top 5 for sure. I’m a big believer in creating and using templates. Templates are great for consistency in delivery both visually and physically. They also reduce the time it takes for me to create a blog post because I’m only selecting from image templates I pre-selected.
I finally moved to a content calendar for Instagram after 3 years. If you are an entrepreneur I would suggest doing it sooner, however many times the delay comes from finding your brand voice. Figuring out exactly what you want to share and why, instead of posting for the sake of posting. During the past 3 years, there was a lot of trial and error and the business evolved a lot.
I did a lot of research to create my content calendar and pulled ideas from multiple sources to make something that works for me. This is in an essence what business is about. Observing, learning, pulling what resonates, leaving the rest, and creating something custom for your business.
Each post has a purpose (inspire, educate, conversation, connect, promo) and is aligned with a specific offering (Academy, Mastermind, Coaching) It took me about two days to initially create a monthly template. Now, I can complete Instagram content for the month in about 4 hours.
- Know your brand colors and their hex codes. This makes it easy for editing and creating text images.
- Brand photography is a critical part to creating a cohesive feed. It also reduces time spent to find the right photo. Artistrie & Co did mine. Jennifer Kathryn is a local Chicago photography who does a great job. If brand photography is outside your budget then you can also start small with stock photography.
- I use my own photos a lot. I edit it them using apps on my iPhone.
- Occasionally I will pull in UGC (user generated content) meaning photos from members I want to highlight. When I do this I ask for permission first and don’t edit the photo. Key to finding the right photo is browsing through their feed to find images that have similar style or colors to your brand. Again the key is being cohesive.
I can’t say enough how crucial it is to have templates for any process within your business. Whether it is content planning, blog posts, onboarding, etc. Having a template A L W A Y S helps you with consistency in your delivery.
Instagram Monthly Content Template
Includes columns and drop-down menus for type of content, reason for posting, image/text, and which business offering the post supports.
I post quotes in the morning since that is why people originally followed my account. So as to not disappoint them I moved the quotes from my feed to my stories.
The rest of my stories are a combination of impromptu BTS and stories created to remind followers of upcoming events and new content on the blog.
I have navigated most of my business off Facebook. My business page is used primarily for sharing new blog posts and promoting brands that I support and want to bring attention. Their content must align with the LBDS values and make sense to our followers, meaning it is small business related.
Little Black Desk Academy
The Academy content is organic and LIVE. Meaning I create posts as I see the need based off conversations I’m observing in the industry or feedback from clients and members.
Real relevant conversations > pre planned themes and automated posts.
Social media are marketing platforms. It makes more sense to plan content out ahead because it is geared towards brand awareness.
Whereas the Academy is for building relationships. I maintain a presence there daily. You typically don’t walk up to someone in an office with preplanned conversations each day. You ask them about current projects, etc. I apply the same behavior here in the Academy.
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