I appear like I know what I'm doing all of the time. The fact is, I get lost now and then too. I play out all these scenarios of failures and disappointments in my brain. But, as I spiral into such negative thoughts, my daily routine and frameworks bring me back. Without them, there would be no way for me to remain so focused.
After all the glitz and glam in March, it was a challenge for me to step back to normal. The first week was chaos. There were unexpected conflicts, overdue calls, and just a lot of work. But right before I start to panic, I went back to look at my 2022 plan. Q2 is all about education, and there was a lot to do in April to achieve that.
Things become much clearer when you have a strategy sitting right in front of you. The detail may change, but the gameplay remains the same. It's the most satisfying when the things happening are fitting into your designated slots. By no means am I a prophet, but indeed I work hard with a plan to make the dream happen.
As a result, the stones I've set up led me to a path. CoCoon Foundation and Po Leung Kuk reached out to me to host some educational sessions with them. A Southeast Asia elite marketers group also invited me to one of their video calls to share some value. April became filled with educational content that kickstarted me into achieving my Q2 goals.
I've received a handful of interesting questions from secondary school students, entrepreneurs, and marketers at the sessions. Let me share some of them with you here:
- What is the difference between content, social media, and digital marketing strategy?
A content strategy is a guiding principle for the content you create. It identifies the common grounds between what your brand can offer and what your target audience actually wants. It is an overarching strategy that identifies your content pillars (open-ended topics), content formats (word, video, graphics, etc), and most importantly, your content's objective (what are these content trying to achieve and how do we measure their success). A content strategy is not focused or restricted by a single or a collection of distribution channels. The content it illustrates can be posted online, printed offline, or further built into webinars and events. In short, a content strategy tells you what content your brand should create.
A social media strategy is the guiding principle for how content should appear on the selected social media platform with regards to competitors' performance and the platform's best practices. It covers the tools (Live on Facebook or Reels on Instagram), the details in execution (hashtags, visual selection, etc), and anything that can help propel the performance of your content specific to the platform. A social media strategy can suggest the types of content to produce, but are based predominantly on what is already out in the market, not what your unique branding indicates.
A digital marketing strategy is a guiding principle on how content should be distributed across different channels in the online world. It should entail the customer journey across various stages in the marketing funnel. The strategy outlines the platforms and the route the audience may take and implement tactics for that to happen. Tactics may include different CTAs (downloads, subscriptions, clicks, etc), paid efforts (retargeting or social media ads), and owned channel creations (landing pages, websites, etc). In short, a digital marketing strategy should outline the route of which the audience takes and what content points they will reach as per the stages in the marketing funnel.
- Why are the people I attract still highly unaware of the problems that I solve?
Given the differences in circumstance, there can be several answers to this question. But, if we were to assume that content has been created and properly distributed, even just organically - the biggest reason for this would be because the content created is not attacking the right stage in the funnel.
Likely, the content created is i) either occupying the very top of the funnel, asking for engagement without educating them on why they should; or ii) is at the very bottom of the funnel, directing for inquiries without educating them on what you can do for them.
There are ways to create content specifically for people in the middle of the funnel, those who are already aware of the problems but searching for a solution. To understand what the content should be, a content strategy must be present. But as one can rightfully assume, it will entail SEO (as people who are looking for answers often search online) one way or another. That means social content is not the missing piece of the puzzle. Instead, the brand should invest in creating longer format content in the shape of landing pages, downloadables, blogs, and more.
- How do I attract people outside of my industry to engage with me, particularly on Instagram, where I have very few followers and run no ads?
The key here is to social. Social media platforms aren't created for brands, or anyone, to simply blast out their messages and receive a response. Therefore, the first thing one must do is socialize with accounts outside of their industry. Follow different hashtags, leave comments and give likes, and follow those who inspire you with their content.
Second, and the most oversee tactic, is to utilize all the tools on that platform. When you create a story, do you use stickers, hashtags, and GIFs? Other than posting polished feeds, do you create spontaneous reels? Is your bio clear and well-written? Doing so helps you understand the ecosystem and can potentially help you earn organic reach.
Third, do not expect social media to do all the work. You need to leave a mark in other places, particularly offline. Attend events, go to meet-ups, and speak to people. The more conversations you make, the easier these new faces will follow you. Social media is not an all-in-one tool. It's only one of the many content touchpoints you can offer to your audiences.
And, with all that said, I can't just talk the talk. As a content marketer, I make it a priority to always walk the walk. Since starting Joyce Tsang Content Marketing in November 2020, I've continuously created content. I've revamped the website once in the past year and never treated it merely as a static window display. I update the website consistently with educational content and landing pages to bring me closer to my goals. I've just introduced a new site map structure with a specific drop-down menu for my fellow slashers. Now that Google is starting to recognize my hard work, I am happy to see that my website is ranking for searches for my name and my industry.
Though I do all of Joyce Tsang Content Marketing's content myself, I outsource my client work to my trusted network of freelancers, managed under a teamlancing structure. None of them are my full-time employees. Yet, the hardships and projects we have pulled through have proven to me that they are just as supportive. I want to thank them once again for standing by me and trusting in Joyce Tsang Content Marketing. Of course, I would also like to let people in my community know that each one of your DMs and comments matters. You guys are the reason I stay motivated every day.
I don't know what May holds in store for me, but I sure know what I need to do. Hopefully, it'll be another month of seeing things slide into place!