How to Plan 1 Year of Great Social Content in 1 Afternoon
Author: Jeremy Harrison
The most sure-fire way to get actual, measurable results on social media (or digital marketing in general) is to CONSISTENTLY share good original content. It’s like water dripping on stone… over time that small drip, drip, drip really makes a difference.
Alas, no marketing leader or business leader I know has time to create blogs and social media content consistently. In fact, unless you love to write and are good at it, I’m not sure it’s the best use of your time. On the other hand, outsourcing it can yield mixed results too. Too often, those freelance writers don’t have enough direction to create social content that hits the target and gets results.
This is why I believe the best approach is a hybrid. As a leader, you need to create the blueprint, then give it to others to execute to your specs.
Today I’m going to share how you can carve out ONE AFTERNOON and map a power-packed plan for your digital content that will generate results for at least 6-12 months, perhaps much longer than that.
When you’re done, you’ll have a plan you can confidently delegate to a writer, with the confidence they are going to be writing about things that yield results.
To pull this off, we’re going to use a process called “splintering.”
Step One: Create an Outline for a Webinar
This first step is the hardest part and requires the most from you as the thought leader for your organization. I’ve covered these steps in a previous article, “How to Plan a High-Converting Webinar in 90 Minutes or Less.”
Essentially, the best webinars should:
- target your ideal customer
- be a simple outline based on 4-7 key points
- list 3-7 problems or symptoms your target customer experiences
For the best results, your key points should address things your target audience should avoid doing, rather than what they should do. Here are a few examples:
- Spire’s “7 Costly Mistakes Businesses Make with Their Marketing”
- Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
- CentraComm’s “4 Security Risks that Threaten Manufacturing Companies”
Once you have the content outlined (this should take you no more than 90 minutes), most of the hard work is over; using the splintering technique, generating the next 6-12 months of promotional content will be simple.
Step Two: Splinter Out 12-20 Ideas for Blog Posts from Your Webinar Outline
You’ve identified 4-7 key points you plan to cover in your webinar. Now, come up with 1-3 blog post topics for each of these key points by looking at what you plan to teach in the webinar.
In our previous blog, we talked about an example of “The Reconnect Program” — a course that helped parents and kids overcome technology addictions. The webinar they planned was called “6 Mistakes Parents Make That Fuel Kids’ Cell Phone Addictions.”
In the webinar, the first mistake parents make is: “Bringing phones to the dinner table.”
We could turn that first point into a blog post: “3 Fun and Engaging Ways to Avoid Phones at the Dinner Table”
Here’s a list of more blog topics:
- Plan 6 blog topics – 1 about each of the 6 mistakes in the webinar
- Plan 6 blog topics – 1 about each of the 6 solutions to the 6 mistakes in the webinar
- Plan 5 blog topics – 1 about each of the key problems you listed with cell phone & social media addictions
- Plan 2 blog topics – sharing success stories of how different families overcame the problem in their family. A before & after spotlight.
- Plan 1 blog – sharing your own personal story and what prompted you to create The Reconnect Program.
That’s 20 blog posts, all splintered from ONE webinar!
Resist the urge to start writing any blog posts just yet—right now, all you want to do is generate topics, and maybe draft titles for each like I did in the example above: “3 Fun and Engaging Ways to Avoid Phones at the Dinner Table.”
Unless you are someone who both enjoys writing and has the time to write, it’s likely you’re going to want to find someone else to build this content for you. The good news is that because you’ve already created the content for your webinar, and you’ve got a list of 12-20 blog post topics, you can have someone else generate this content for you. When you’ve found the person who is going to write for you, provide them with 3-5 key points, examples, or references to support your blog post title and let them fill in the rest. It’s always easier to edit someone else’s work than to generate the content from scratch yourself.
Step Three: Tie Your Blog Posts Back to Your Webinar
The beauty of the splintering technique is that everything you create has a purpose, and its purpose is to lead people back to your webinar. Make sure every blog post has a call to action that helps your reader understand there’s more to learn about this subject from you.
For example, The Reconnect Program’s call to action in the blog “3 Fun and Engaging Ways to Avoid Phones at the Dinner Table” might read as follows:
Reclaiming the dinner table is just one of many places where you can overcome cell phone addictions and reconnect with your family. In our webinar, “6 Mistakes Parents Make that Fuel Cell Phone Addictions,” we’ll cover this and other important topics to help you reconnect with your family in meaningful ways. This is so powerful, because the ready just got value from 1 idea, but now it feels incomplete without learning the other 5.
Step Four: Splinter Out Social Posts from Each Blog
You want to spread the word about your blog content on social media, right? Whoever writes your blog posts should be the same person who writes 3-4 related social media posts. These could be pull quotes from the article, statistics, a diagram, a question, or an idea. They don’t have to be long and they shouldn’t be new ideas; we’re talking 1-2 sentences, max.
This content should point to the blog, which then points to the webinar.
Step Five: Create a Schedule for Your Content
If you have four social posts per article for 12-20 blog posts for the year, that means you have a total of 48-80 different pieces of social content to circulate! This content should get scheduled to run in a seemingly random order, on a loop over a period of 6-12 months.
That can feel like a lot to keep organized. You can use a platform like Edgar (MeetEdgar.com) to automate the posting in a somewhat randomized loop. It may seem uncomfortable to run this content more than once, but with 48-80 pieces of content, you can run these for a year or two before it gets stale. You could also schedule other content that doesn’t link back to your site, such as inspirational quotes, images, links to other relevant articles that relate to learning, and more. Using Edgar, you can set up a weekly mix that incorporates these different categories of social content in a random order, ensuring you get the right ratio of each type of content.
If this sounds intimidating, you don’t have to do this alone. You may want to pull in an experienced digital marketing strategist (like me) who can ask the right questions to draw the content out of you and then create the plan. Contact Spire to see how we can sit down with you and help you plan and execute a winning content marketing plan.