In this series, we have so far talked about choosing a niche, a platform, and optimizing Instagram accounts to get us on the way to becoming influencers.

In this edition, we will briefly discuss content strategy and some good practices.

First things first, when it comes to creating content, you think about your target audience; What are their pain points? Who are they? How do they consume content online? These questions will guide you in creating content that gives value and keeps your audience in anticipation of your posts.

But before we get into it, here are the different types of content you could post, depending on the platform.
● Video
● Pictures
● Text
● Word pictures.

Good! Let’s move along.

Two things to have in mind when building a content strategy; your goal and your content pillars. Your goal gives direction and your content pillars are the different vehicles to get you there. They are; promotional, educational, community, entertainment, engagement.

For instance, your niche may be Tech-based and your goal is to build a community with interests in modern tech. Your content pillars may look like this; Teaching your audience how to care for a computer screen (Educational), the latest tech news (community), introducing a new product (promotional), sharing tech memes (Entertainment). As you see, there is something for everyone within your community.

The objective of each content is predetermined by the content pillar it is assigned to. Planning content takes time and involves a lot but you can make life easy for yourself by using third-party content calendar apps such as plann, planoly, and Later.

Some of these apps have features that enable you to activate an automatic post feature. You only need to upload the content to the app and schedule when it needs to be posted. Select times that align with information from your pages’ insights sections regarding the best times to post to boost engagement.

Before I forget, consistency is key! If you cannot consistently post content 3 times a week don’t start that way. What this does is break trust between you and the community you are nurturing. For instance, imagine that you buy “waakye” (Rice and beans-Ghanaian dish) from the same place every single day, only to go there every day for a week and not see them. Disappointing right?

This is how your community would feel if you posted consistently and suddenly just stopped. It will show in your engagement rates. If you can post once a week consistently, stick to that until your situation changes. Be realistic from the get-go.

Over time, you would want to assess the effectiveness of your content strategy. Do this by assessing the insights on the platform you post to. Take note of content that performs best and produce more of that. Do likewise with the content that performs worst, produce less of it.

As an upcoming influencer, it will not be easy to get noticed by brands for collaborations, if you are still growing your community. There is, however, a way to get the attention of brands you would like to work with.

Patronize your favorite brands who have a social media presence (Make sure they align with your niche) post that as content and tag them. Yes, you are not getting paid for this. It tells your community that you authentically love the brand. This is also a great way to build a relationship with the brand before reaching out to them for a possible collaboration.

Do this at least 2 to 3 times before reaching out to the brand for a collaboration. For example, you may be a Travel influencer who always makes a stopover at a particular restaurant or hotel on your trips and you create content around this each time. You may have done this a couple of times and the brand is now familiar with you. Approach it like this;

“Hi, My name is (insert name). I am a travel influencer with (insert number) followers. I have been to your restaurant/hotel a few times during my trips. I love (mention what you love about them) and my followers enjoy content around your business. I will be at your restaurant/ hotel again in the next couple of weeks, and I am thinking about a brand collaboration that explores a different perspective of your business. Let me know if this is something that would interest you.”

The most important thing is to let them know the value you can give without saying too much. You can also attach your rate card if you have one, but there are times when this is not always advised. Keep it simple and short, because whoever is reading may be getting a lot of emails or DMs like this one.

That’s all for now. Take the time to think about your strategy, content pillars, and content types.

In the upcoming article in the series of becoming an influencer, we will delve into some content creation tools.

Until then, stay true to who you are.