By UCLA X425 Student Anna Schniepp
On November 25th, Serena Ehrlich (@Serena) came to speak to our class to provide a crash course on content creation and distribution in the world of social media. Serena had several useful tips on everything from creating great content to selecting the best tools for tracking and distribution.
First we got an overview defining what content actually is. Content comes in many forms, and it is used to form opinions and make decisions. Editorial content is some of the highest trusted content by consumers, and it’s most trusted when a third party shares it. As Serena mentioned, content cannot have an impact unless someone sees it. So while social media may be free, companies still must pay to distribute their content. On the plus side, people are always looking for content, so there is always an opportunity to reach out to industry influencers to help get your content distributed.
After this overview, Serena delved into how to go about creating and distributing content.
1. Define Your Audience
Start by defining your customer. Rather than focusing on broad categories, you need to get down to specific markets. It is best to get “granular” and find a particular niche, and then let that niche market help distribute your content to a broader audience. Content will fail if you view everybody as your customer.
2. Figure Out What Content Interests Your Audience
Once you have defined your audience you can go about creating content, and one of Serena’s helpful tips was to create a few different levels of content. The lowest level content should explain who your organization is and what it’s all about. Midlevel content should be geared towards those who already know about you. Lastly, upper level content should appeal to “experts.”
Remember: Content can be pictures, videos, infographics, etc. — not just blog posts. So be sure to test what type of content your audience prefers.
3. Create a Calendar
Create a calendar for your content (find a template on Pinterest) and be sure to let everyone know the posting schedule by coordinating with all departments across your organization. Your calendar can be organized to coincide with exiting holidays and events. Use content distributors to publish your prewritten posts automatically.
4. Monitor Your Content
Lastly, we learned how important it is to monitor your content. There are plenty of tools available to help you measure shares, inbound traffic, bounce rates, and much more. It’s important to establish a baseline so you know what preforms well. This will make it easier to adjust your strategy as you go.
Serena is truly an expert and her presentation is a useful reference to have on hand. Be sure to check out her PowerPoint for additional tips and information on specific tools.