Three Content Strategy Snacks

Bite-sized effort for continued growth and engagement

I love a good steak and potatoes meal as much as the next person, but I eat cereal and fruit for dinner at least once a week. I don't think it technically counts as "girl dinner," the TikTok trend of dining on a snack plate, but I get what they're going for: putting very little effort into my food after a hard day.

When it comes to content strategy, sometimes it makes sense to take a low-effort approach, as well. We have small teams, many priorities, and often not enough budget. You can't make every comms effort a three-course meal.

So save your energy. Put in a snack-sized effort in a few key places. Here are three recipes.

🥑 Snack #1: No-Fail Email 🥑

One of my clients recently asked me, quite seriously, if I knew of a set of best practices or kind of content that would make their newsletter universally appealing.

Sadly, your email is not an avocado.

There is no silver bullet for email marketing success. No magical ratio of photo to copy to white space that will drive clicks. No standard day of the week or time of day when everything will work best. You have to craft compelling subject lines, test different features and approaches, and just slowly learn what resonates with your unique audience over time.

However, you can work smarter as opposed to harder. Guru Conference recently shared this fantastic graphic that sums up the four most important areas to focus onthe parts of your email that people are most likely to read: sender name, subject line, headline, and call to action button text.

And, when in doubt, sprinkle in some dog photos. (People seriously LOVE those!)

🍗 Snack #2: Hold the Hashtags 🍗

This might be a reach, but that big block of hashtags at the end of an Instagram caption is like the side of coleslaw served with really great barbecue. Unless you're a rabid fan of slaw, it's just kind of a tradition that it's on the plate at all.

As Good Influence(r) points out, Instagram's algorithm has evolved to recognize keywords in your posts and bio, so your content will be recommended in search even if you stop using hashtags. (Custom fonts in your bio and posts will prevent IG from recognizing keywords, however. Go with standard styling to be discoverable.)

There's still a place for unique campaign hashtags, like #keepitpublic, particularly to track how awareness of your movement is growing, but subbing in #elk for “elk” serves very little purpose these days. So reclaim that time and use it for something else.

🍟 Snack #3: Conversation Nuggets 🍟

For organic growth and engagement, it's imperative that social media managers are participating in conversations and not just pushing content out.

If this is always last on your list, try scheduling a block of time, even just 20 minutes a day, for community engagement. Here's how to get the most of that time, according to a series of posts by social media marketing educator Lucas O'Keefe:

  • Reply back to comments on your last post.

  • Engage with content by anyone who liked your recent posts, so they're likely to see the next thing you share.

  • Watch Stories and reply to a few to start new DM conversations.

  • Go to big accounts you follow and have a conversation in the comments.

  • Go to small accounts you follow and support their recent posts.

Hopefully now you have a few minutes of your life back to, I don't know, eat lunch? 🌮

Use it wisely.

That’s all for this edition. No newsletter next week while I’m in San Diego and Santa Barbara for my brother’s wedding. (That’s four flights and one four-hour car ride with a three-year-old. Downloading 16 hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse should cover it, right?)

See you in August,

P.S. I was just telling someone this: In sharing this newsletter, I don’t purport to be an expert or tastemaker on comms and marketing, but I do have the time to scan the marketplace and see what trends and tricks are out there, while many busy conservation staffers do not. What answers can I go out and find for you? 

If this was forwarded to you, I’d be honored to have you follow along.