Personal Branding Series: Week 4: How to Create a Strategic Content Strategy
If you missed Weeks 1, 2 or 3, start here to learn why event professionals need a personal brand in the first place. Then, read this to discover how to build your brand foundation and go here to learn what should be on your website.
Last week, Natasa Djukanovic briefly mentioned the value of being consistent and service-focused in your content strategy. Today, we’ll dive in deeper on the topic of creating content for your personal brand with Hannah Nieves, principal and founder of her eponymous New York-based consulting firm for marketing, branding and PR.
A key point to keep in mind: When you are creating a strategic content plan, the first thing you should do is to determine what platforms are the most aligned with your brand. “Here is your permission to not be on every social media platform all the time,” says Nieves (thank goodness!).
Pick Your Platform
To determine which social media platforms you should be actively creating content for, think about your target audience. What platforms do they use? Are they using different platforms for different purposes? Where are they spending their time digitally, and why? What is it about those platforms that draws them in? Considering each of these things will help you figure out which platforms align with your brand (and equally, which ones do not). “For instance, if you’re a business targeting Gen Z, Facebook would probably be a waste of energy, but you may want to look into TikTok,” explains Nieves.
Also think about the type of content you want to create. Nieves says that in her experience with clients, a range of content types is best; however, if video lends itself well to your brand (say, if you’re an experiential event designer and want to show off what you’ve created), then a platform for video would be the best option. If you’re desiring high interaction with your content, then utilizing Instagram Stories to use the poll and question features could be the perfect match. Remember, you don’t have to pick just one, says Nieves — but you should not try to do it all, either, as that’s not sustainable and likely won’t help you grow.
Figuring Out the Instagram Mix
There are 500 million active daily users on Instagram, according to Statista — and with that many eyes, Instagram is a smart platform for many business owners. There’s no such thing as an “ideal Instagram format,” says Nieves, but there are a few things to keep in mind if your brand has a presence on this platform (and most likely, it should!).
Consistency is as important as the format of the content itself. If you’re not showing up regularly, you’ll be less likely to grow (and keep) your audience. Here are a few other things to keep in mind: First, showing people the face behind your brand — and the story behind it — matters, says Nieves. When you show up on Stories consistently, post photos of yourself on your feed and engage with your audience as a person and not just a faceless entity, it creates a personal connection, she adds.
Instagram’s IGTV (a live video feed) and recently added Reels (which allows you to edit video on the platform with fun effects, music and more) can be great tools to experiment with. Look to see what others in your field are putting out there in terms of format, but don’t get caught up in trying to do what everyone else is doing. The key is figuring out what works for you.
“Just because it’s trendy or in style, doesn’t mean it will work for you and your business,” says Nieves. Measure what types of content gets the best engagement and do more of that. Also be wary of copying just for the sake of doing what’s “accepted” in the industry — your personal brand a reflection of you, and all the things that make you unique.
There’s a misconception that personal branding is all about you. But actually, it’s about your audience — and how you can uniquely position your talents and skills to be of value to them. This is important to consider as you’re mapping out your content calendar, which you can do with a simple spreadsheet (think columns for each platform, captions, post date, etc.).
“Value doesn’t always mean knowledge or a solution to a problem; it could be enjoyment, distraction or a laugh,” says Nieves. “Find ways to ask your audience what they need/want from you and run with it.” That could take the form of asking people to respond to your posts in the comments, DM you or respond to a poll or question posed in your Stories. “This is essential,” says Nieves, “for understanding the content your audience is actually looking for.”
What has been your biggest learning from our Personal Branding Series? Has it inspired you to launch your own website this year? Share with us in the comments for a chance to be featured in a future article.