I fall into this trap all the time.
Wix versus Squarespace.
Buffer versus Publer versus Hootsuite.
Mailchimp versus Substack versus SendFox versus MadMimi.
Researching the tools and tactics is a great way to feel like we’re making progress.
And a great way of procrastinating, because unfortunately…
The tools and platforms don’t matter
At least at first.
Here’s an example from my own rabbit hole:
I have a couple of Instagram accounts on which I’d like to post more frequently. But I wanted to schedule them out in batches because, like you, I have better things to do than sit on social all day.
So, I went searching for tools, plug-ins, services and hacks that allowed me to publish to Instagram from my desktop and schedule them out in advance.
Hours (if not days) of research did yield a solution. I chose Publer.io, and it works great. I can even schedule posts to LinkedIn!
But I’m no closer to knowing what I should actually schedule for those accounts!
Here’s the problem
The tool isn’t going to create the content for me.
It’s not going to tell me what to post.
Sure, there are research tools out there that give you keyword and topic suggestions, or tell you the best time of day to post. But that’s not strategy, that’s tactics.
I was getting so lost in the weeds of which services can do what, with every new available feature sending me down another rabbit hole of what I COULD be doing.
But I hadn’t ever lifted my head up to see the 10,000 foot view and figure out what I SHOULD be doing.
Because all the tools and features in the world are useless if you don’t know what you’re going to do with them.
(I know, you’re going to post to social with them. But WHAT are you going to post to social? And WHY? How do those posts fit into your overall strategy?)
OK, so how do I create a strategy?
This is a big topic, worthy of, like, ten posts. But, you’ve gotta start somewhere, and step one is just defining your goals.
Are you trying to gain awareness? Build a brand? Blow out a short term sale?
Figuring that out, along with WHY you want to do that, gives you goals. From there, you figure out the tactics to achieve them.
Need help? My friend Andy from Orbit Media has a great guide to writing your Content Marketing Mission Statement, which helps get you on the right path.
And as always, I’m happy to help, too. Hit me up.