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Working on a social media content strategy can be a daunting task. Here is a rule of thumb for dealing with it in a balanced and creative way.

Social media content strategy is tough. With platforms constantly rolling out new features, trends changing overnight, and an oversaturated market, it takes time to develop a working strategy that promotes your brand, expands your base, and sells your products - all without alienating your subscribers. Like many creative entrepreneurs, you may not have the time to continually refine your strategy as trends change.

To complicate matters further, it can be difficult to follow an established brand's formula, as its existing subscriber base helps create and suggest new content. For those who are struggling to create a content strategy for an online platform, there is a simple ratio you can use to get you started.

Content categories
Knowing your brand's content distribution is an important first step in understanding how to plan your content strategy. Surprisingly, even with all of the existing products, services, and brands, most content falls into one of four categories:

Most of your content should be "Entertainment" content. It's content that will appeal to your target audience. While it can mention products, services, or other aspects of your business, the goal is only to entertain your audience and build engagement.

Examples of entertainment content can range from branded memes to contests to documentary series. This is where the creative arm of your business can shine. This is also where knowing the demographics, interests and trends of your audience is most important.

The entertaining content for the audience of a denture cream retirement community will likely be different from a zine in the making. Since this category includes the majority of your content, make sure it matches your brand identity and target audience.

Brand information
The second most important category is brand information. Think of it as all the value-added content your audience wants to see. This could be announcing new products, upcoming flash sales, brand news, or general company information.

The important differentiator in this category is that the content does not actively promote the sale of a single product. The tone is "We're launching a new conditioner!" as opposed to "Buy our new conditioner!" Link in the bio. "

Since brand information is more about disseminating information, it can be linked to other categories, depending on how you present the information. For example, hosting a giveaway to announce the launch of a new product can be both brand information and entertainment.

The Company Cheerleading category is a category that many brands tend to overlook. This category aims to showcase your brand's successes. These can be highlights, awards and honors for employees.

Recently, many brands have started running corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns that align business functions with social causes. These also fall under Company Cheerleading. In short, Company Cheerleading content convinces your audience to love your brand, not just your products.

Difficult sale
The smallest category, for good reason, is hard sell. Content that falls into this category is any content that has a direct call to action (CTA) for customers to purchase a product. These often have links associated with them and can be flagged as #Ad.

As a rule of thumb, if this sounds like a tough sale, it probably is. The public is tuned in to tough selling content and will shy away from brands that overdo it.

The 50/20/20/10 rule

The 50/20/20/10 rule refers to the percentage of different categories that your content should roughly meet. This allows you to avoid overventing your products while keeping your audience on top of the products and services.

Based on the categories above, the content should roughly match the following percentages:

50% entertainment
20% brand information
20% cheerleading
10% difficult sale

This breakdown is a great starting point for content strategy because it is audience-focused and doesn't overlook the brand. As you will see in the following case studies, the brand can be - and should be - incorporated into each category. So no matter where a potential customer finds your content, they can attribute it to your brand.

You will find that many brands and designers intuitively adopt a similar strategy. However, once you know your content distribution, you can use that information to better guide your strategy based on your brand.

To apply this approach to your content, take a look at what you posted in the last month. Pay close attention to any type of recurring content. Then group it according to the four categories. If you find yourself lacking in a certain area, you can either think about what content to fill that category or adjust the percentages slightly depending on your brand identity and audience. As your accounts grow, you can continue to refine your strategy to meet your business needs.