It’s officially Fall, and that means it’s time to start refreshing your content for Quarter 4.
There’s no doubt this unusual year has most likely disrupted any yearlong plans you may have had back in January. Perhaps you’re a bit more behind schedule than usual as a result.
You don’t have to scramble. Set aside a full day, or even just a few hours, and follow our suggestions below. You’ll be ready to crush the last three months of the year in no time.
Take A Look Back
While the majority of your Quarter 1 reporting and performance most likely looks normal, Quarters 2 and 3 are where you really need to turn your attention. Even though we’ve not quite reached “normal” yet, refreshing your content for Quarter 4 will help set you up for a better transition into 2021.
Perform a quick audit of your social media, campaigns, and reporting from Quarters 2 and 3. What content performed well even amongst the ups and downs? Is there anything you tried that is not worth doing again?
Zip back even further in time to your reporting from Quarter 4 in 2019. Sure this year looks much different, with a pandemic, election, and social change at the front of everyone’s minds. But the holidays and the new year are coming, which means you may be able to pull some useful information from last year, that can get your creative juices pumping for this year.
Need help making sense of social data? Check out this handy article from Sprout Social.
Try Something New
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Want improvements from refreshing your content in Quarter 4? You can start by not sticking to the same formula.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. To start, you’ll want to start exploring social trends. What seems to be grabbing everyone’s attention? Is there a certain type of trending content that you could produce fairly easily and well?
Our suggestion? If you haven’t already been playing with Instagram video, perhaps it’s time. Not only do videos on the platform receive 49% higher interactions than images, but there are multiple ways to play with it on IG.
Feed videos can be up to 60 seconds long, while Stories support 15-second vertical videos. Longer form content more of your strength? IGTV allows up to 15 minutes when uploading via mobile and up to one hour when uploading on a desktop. Live video content can also be streamed for up to one hour on Instagram.
Even better, if you’ve been intrigued by TikTok, but aren’t ready to add another platform to your repertoire, explore Instagram’s newest feature, Reels. Instagram introduced the new feature last month:
Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.
The benefit? You can play with your creativity and stay up-to-date on trends, without having to build an audience on a whole new platform.
Check-In With Competitors
Refreshing your content for Quarter 4 doesn’t mean copying your competitors. But there are valuable lessons to be learned from what they are doing.
Scan through the social pages of your top competitors and take note of anything big. Is there something that seems to be working well for them? Did they try Reels only to epically fall on their face?
Any information is good information that you can apply to your strategy. It’s also a good way to brainstorm. Of course, you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, but using what they’re doing for inspiration doesn’t mean you have to throw away your identity. In fact, it may help you to come up with something even better.
Another way to see what your competitors and their customers are reacting to? Social listening. You’ve heard us say it before, but it truly is key here. We can’t say enough about the benefits of knowing what your audience is talking about, let alone how they are responding to content from your competitors. Don’t have the bandwidth to dive into listening? We can help.
Prep For Holidays
No, we aren’t kidding. The last thing you want to do is leave holiday campaign planning for November. While we don’t know the specifics of how the holidays will shake out this year, such as whether we’ll be able to gather with friends and family or if we’ll be walking around with more stimulus money in our pockets. Even so, there’s plenty of things you can do to prepare now.
One thing you can hang your hat on? The need for connection during this holiday season. We’ve been separated from each other for half the year at this point, and many summer travel plans were canceled or postponed. Whether travel will become acceptable or encouraged this holiday season is hard to say, but either way, focusing on the ways we can connect with each other will be huge.
Another thing you can lean on for the holiday season? Nostalgia. As Mark Schaefer recently covered on his blog, the pandemic has caused circumstances that will have us craving the comfort of familiarity for a long time. Start thinking about ways you can bring a classic, nostalgic twist to your holiday content this year. How can you turn your social pages into somewhere your followers can go for those feel-good holiday vibes? Start thinking about it now, and you’re sure to crush it.
Now that we’ve outlined how to get started with refreshing your content for Quarter 4, start creating! And if you’re feeling extra productive, perhaps you can start planning for every quarter in 2021 using Brooke’s outline from last year! Though don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you if you put that off a little bit longer.
Have you thought about how you can refresh your content for Quarter 4? Let us know in the comments!