More tab a year ago, I tried to get my podcast But First, Coffee going. Failing miserably, I finally conceded that there was no way I could diligently find the time to record a podcast with the noise bug that is my full time charge. But writing? You bet your cutet little bitton nose I can!

So, transforming the concept from podcast to newsletter, bfc morning e-newsletter delivered via email Monday to Friday, will feature five to seven articles on lifestyle, food, creatives, business tips and events around the cities of Kingston, Jamaica and Fort Lauderdale/South Florida, US.

If you’re interested, sign up, here! Share eith a friend!

Before we dive into the specifics, let me hasten to advise that the information I am about to provide is highly subjective. There are several factors that will determine, where your client leads come from. As a matter of fact, one piece of information the internet often fails to offer, is that leads also to a high degree depend on the individual knowing their strengths. Content is great, but there are so many content types out there, a person has no business neglecting areas of strength to follow the crowd. But, I digress.

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As this year comes to a close, I am reminded of everything that I have been able to accomplish, both individually and as a part of an amazing and supportive behind-the-scenes team. We sincerely would like to thank you, our clients, suppliers, supporters and partners who have made 2018 an incredible year of growth, successes and realized opportunities for us, and by extension my brand.

animated-thank-you-png-for-powerpoint-copyright-2018-animations-media-960Each project was a challenge and a phenomenal success – thanks to your vision and commitment, often requiring clarity and an extension of skills that has served as a catalyst for improvement, change and innovation. I will treasure the experience as well as the lessons.

I am especially grateful for your flexibility, patience and the opportunity to have served you in the past year and towards continued partnerships in 2019.

Please do not hesitate to let me know how I can improve on your service experience.

With that, my team and I wish for you a wonderful holiday season filled with good feelings and a prosperous and successful 2019!.

Yours in good spirits,


Shandean Reid
Business Plan Consultant & Author

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When Instagram announced a few weeks ago that it would be updating the app to allow for hour-long videos, the social media community (myself included) was very sceptical. However, the feature launch of IGTV for content creators have set the industry abuzz since the release.

IGTV was released earlier today as a feature accessible inside the Instagram app, as well as a stand-alone app available free for iOS and Android devices.

The One Billion users strong community continues to gain traction, as regular forms of media become less favourable to millennials.

The Implications

This development will bring to a head the direct competition between YouTube and Instagram.

Influencers will have the opportunity to build and interact with their audience from a single platform. At a time when changes in the algorithms force business accounts to spend on advertising to increase their reach, Instagram has now offered the ability to extend that reach.

Content strategists have been aware for some time that video content has a greater value in terms of reach and interaction, yet, are somewhat expensive to create. IGTV is now giving even more power to the smart phone, empowering smaller content creators and splitting open the market for new entrants.

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IGTV Icon

Of course, the IGTV is still fresh on the market and doesn’t feature ads just yet. But we know it is coming. Until then, there is much to discover and harness from it from a brand-building perspective.

As Instagram continues to expand, we have seen the consistent growth of the community and consequently, influence.

It is hoped that the local market (Jamaica) understands the implications and that small business who have been lagging will take the steps necessary to build upon and improve wholesome digital strategies.

“It’s painful how slowly the Jamaican market, particularly corporate Jamaica is reacting to the digital market. Traditional forms of media and advertising are still preferable to corporate companies, despite the fact that primary target audiences converge in millions on digital platforms” said Shandean Reid, Freelance Business Planner & Content Strategist.

“Clients tend to ask what platform is my favourite and why. My answer has always been Instagram. The opportunities and potential are staggering, and the market continues to grow daily. This proves it. I’m excited!” Reid continues.

Have you ever looked up a business or brand on social media and tried to contact them only to realize they haven’t posted anything in months, or that message you sent is replied to only weeks if not months later? That is because scores of businesses have social media accounts, but no presence.

As a content strategist, it is not uncommon that a company looking to rebrand will say something like, “Oh, we do have a social media page, we just don’t really use it.” followed by the explanation that it was created because they needed to be there. It’s also not uncommon that events planners think a social media account that is only ‘active‘ for two weeks a year to support an annual event will generate sales of epic magnitudes. In short, companies who do not understand digital marketing equate having an account with some followers to having a presence. The two are not the same.

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“In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social network users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.” (Statistica, 2018) Despite these figures, social media platforms are the biggest winners, as the perpetual updates to the algorithms found on these platforms have one purpose, to maximize sales. Yes, sales. So the customers and potential customers are there for free, but the businesses pay to be seen. More and more, consumers look to social media to influence their purchasing decisions and simply being familiar with your brand can boost sales. This is largely in part due to the power of marketers, social media influencers and their roles in providing awareness and reviews.

This does cost, in time, expertise and money, however, social media marketing it is an investment. In many instances, businesses and brands depend on tapping into these billions of potential to be successful.

Yet, many companies are still elusive to the power and presence of where customers and potential customers are and are misinformed that as long as the page sits on the site collecting dust, they have a presence. Except this is not true. To harness the power of digital marketing, to own a page with the businesses name and little to no activity is simply not enough.

Your business page should never go more than a few days without a post, to keep up a presence. Your why shouldn’t be just because.

In 2018, the era where content and social marketing are paramount in connecting with the online generation, there are millions of brands for consumers to sift through. This is why content marketing has skyrocketed in the last decade. Strictly speaking, to survive and eventually thrive in the electronic community as a brand, your business must speak in a way that translates into what you want to say and how you want the brand to be perceived by the public.  This is referred to as a brand’s voice.

To successfully achieve this, the brand must ensure that a joining of the disciplines.

 

The Communication Process

Exhibit 15-1: The Interpersonal Communication Process
The Interpersonal Communication Process

If you are familiar with the communication process, (If not, I’ve enclosed a simple diagram) you will remember that despite what we may believe, process distinctly presents that when a message is sent out from the source (brand) it’s encoded, flows through the channel and requires decoding in order to reach the receiver (brand’s audience). The receiver then provides feedback to the source, letting them know whether or not the message was received.

This process is standard and tells us, that if at any point the message that reached the receiver is not what the source intended, the source is at fault. Always. Simply, the communication process must be designed so that it cuts through noise (anything that may interfere with the transmission of the message) and encoded in such a way that the receiver is able to correctly decode this information.

Similarly, if a brands message is not translating to the audience in a way that the brand intended, whether that is because the message was not adequately encoded, or designed to cut through the noise (other brands, marketplace, confusion, etc.).

 

Your Brand’s Voice

audio-15604_960_720.jpgA brand’s voice is represented by a consistent expression of your brand’s values, aims and expertise, usually represented through words, whether written or oral. It is important t maintain consistency is the brand’s voice across all platform and through all pieces of content expelled by the brand. It is possible to cultivate a brand’s voice through traditional market mediums, however, online content and its marketing carry a significant clout. Due to the speed at which feedback from the communication process can be achieved, an inconsistent or faulty brand voice can quickly come under fire and within minutes or hours be trampled, if not monitored and managed effectively.

The brand’s voice if not rigorously enforced, is also in danger of being drowned out by the sheer number and presence of other brands that are either direct competitors or alternate/substitute brands. Remember, many brands are just that nowadays, a brand that can represent a person, place, product, service, experience and the list goes on. Intangible brands can compete just as effectively with products and services if marketed the right way.

 

Your brand voice can be whatever you want it to be. Develop a strategy, execute and maintain it, and it will be heard.

 

The definition of content strategy can be loose to define, and that primarily accounts for the lack of definitions one may find laying around the web. Ergo, definitions are scarce and will differ, however, they will unify in some way. Here is my definition.

“The holistic development, organization, distribution and maintenance of content to support a brand’s business model or campaign.” (Williams-Reid, 2018)

However, simplistic, this definition captures what content strategy is. It assumes the role as the “brand’s voice”. As suggested in the definition, a content strategy may be used as support for an entire business or brand, or just for a project or campaign.

The content is planned, created, scheduled, and used to empower a business’ position in achieving its goals through content marketing, enabling the company to improve and sustain its position in the industry. BrandingThe strategy shapes the brand’s identity, setting it apart from its competitor’s or simply, positions the brand as the go-to name in the industry by strengthening credibility.  Thus, the content created to support the business goals must speak in unison to the business’ values, tones and perspectives.

Content Strategy vs Content Marketing Strategy

A content strategy is not a content marketing strategy. They do, however, walk hand in hand. The content marketing strategy is used to share the produce of the content strategy. You can produce a mindblowing content strategy and it never reached the heights of its potential or it’s intended audience without the right supporting content marketing.A New Design

The content strategy encompasses the types of content to be created (images, videos, infographics, emails, ebooks, etc.). The strategy also considers the usefulness to the audience and who the content is created for, the best types of content for each platform included and the schedule on which said content may be distributed.

The End Goal

Deliverables from content marketing effort and ultimately the conversion rate from same determines the success rate of a content strategy.  If the content does not in the long or short term increase the conversion rate and set apart the brand in its industry, it has failed and at the very least requires revision. The content strategy is aligned to achieve the business’ goals.

Goal.