Content production for social media may seem pretty straightforward- take photos, upload them online… however, high quality results require a lot more consideration and time. The really beautiful social media platforms that fashion brands adore take so much more time, thoughtfulness, and planning than is often considered.
1. The Editorial Calendar
The editorial calendar is at the root foundation of any content strategy. Your editorial direction is going to set the foundation for basically everything you need to plan. The editorial calendar is made up of key themes and messages that will probably be pervasive throughout all of your marketing. However, it will be the foundation – not only for your website homepage and newsletter – but also for social media.
When you start to work on your editorial calendar, build out an overarching calendar for 12 months, before working backwards seasonally.
- What are the kinds of images you’re going to need to satisfy e-commerce, wholesale lookbooks, Instagram, Facebook, and newsletter content?
2. The Budget
You’ll need plenty of content to avoid user fatigue. Planning your photoshoots in advance will help you develop a sense of consistency. Without consistency, your brand is going to look great one minute and terrible the next.
Plan in advance to avoid any content production gaps, including organizing and assigning your team.
3. Copywriting and Inspiration
Even though platforms like Instagram are predominantly image-based, people will be leveraging them to understand and get to know your brand voice better.
We’ve seen so many brands launch without strong communications strategies or strong verbal and branding guidelines. Many of us fall in love with brands that not only have great product images, but also quotes, inspiration, or text-based images that explain what they’re offering.
- What do you want to express?
- What do you want your templates to look like?
Taking the time to build out what your social media strategy and templates will look like is going to be extremely important and valuable as you grow your business over and over again.
4. User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is often the most overlooked aspect of content production, and yet it’s often the most-discussed aspect.
User-generated content consists of video or images representing your brand that are shared by customers or influencers. Sometimes there’s a huge disconnect. Gifting tends to be a strategy that a lot of brands use to get free, inorganic images. However, if the images are not in alignment with your aesthetic, what is the point? As you curate UGC and seek out other opportunities for sourcing images, make sure it’s very clear what those brand guidelines are and make sure you have example images.
Perhaps you may even want to gather some friends to put on a “fake” UGC photoshoot. What’s great about that is you can then provide cues to your followers about what kinds of user-generated posts actually espouse your brand and will be shared; take the time to train your followers, customers and supporters.
5. Systems and Software
Make sure you have the right systems and software in place. The only way to know if your content is resonating, or if you need to pivot is through analysis.
PeopleMap gives you a firsthand glimpse into who’s following you, what kinds of images are being liked, and a bird’s eye view of your content matrix. However, any sort of analysis you can perform on a monthly basis will help you then pivot and change your content accordingly. As you build, launch, and execute your experiments on social, make your post-mortems, analyze them, and then pivot on a quarterly basis.
6. Reposting Content
When a brand is starting off with a limited budget, they tend to spend a lot of time reposting other people’s content. If you ever decide to reshare someone else’s content, be sure to give credit and make sure the inspiration truly ties back to your brand. There’s no point in reposting other people’s content if it’s just to show a pretty image without having the right story behind it.
Whether you’re looking for a super stylized image board (very highly curated, using presets), or you’re opting for a more raw organic position, Instagram trends are always evolving. Keep your eye on the prize, and make sure you’re giving credit where credit is due- because the Instagram community is both massive and small.
Continue your social media production journey by reading our article exploring more content strategies to guide you along your way. Also be sure to download “The Scaling Retail Content Planning Template”; it’s a really great template editorial calendar and an opportunity for you to start incorporating the advice in this production guide.
If you’re in need of help and guidance on the marketing side, business modeling, capacity building… send us an email at email@example.com.