Strategy is different from Tactics.
Strategy is your longer term aim and vision.
You can use multiple tactics for implementing a strategy. You can change your mind about what tactics you use and experiment with new approaches - all the while keeping to the same strategy.
Experiment with different Tactics
Experimentation is vital. Too often people drop a Strategy because “it doesn’t work” when the reality is the Tactics they are using are not working for them. The Tactics may very well work for other people, but:
- perhaps their industry needs different Tactics.
- perhaps their profile is not yet large enough to benefit from those Tactics.
- perhaps the tactics are not sustainable given their current time, budget and resource constraints.
An Example Strategy
As an example, for my Software Development Consultancy work I wanted to release Instagram content on a daily basis because I wanted to build up a profile on that platform.
My strategy was “release content on a daily basis”.
My Tactics initially involved Images, and Videos.
I found that pretty hard work, but I did create quite a lot of content.
I dropped the ‘motivational’ slogans because I felt they were too generic and not supporting my brand properly.
I dropped the double posting because it involved extra work and I didn’t have an appropriate set of tools to support me so image creation was taking too long.
I liked the micro blogging because it created content that I could feed into my content strategy and forced me to ‘think’ every day. This was a secondary benefit and helps me continue to create content. I tend to spend less time on the ‘slogan’ because the micro blog now comes first. The previous implementation of the tactic took too long and was followed in the wrong order (slogan, blog) - now I do blog which leads to slogan.
By writing ‘blog’ first it allows me to create ‘documentary’ content based on the work that I’m doing, rather than an ‘idea’ - this is easier to generate and also creates more practical content. It also acts as a reflective mechanism where I can journal and improve my work.
I now no longer have a deadline for the micro blog. I allow them to gestate over time and build them up, but I still try and create a few every week.
- summarising the micro blog into an animated ‘slogan’ animated image and posting that in the evening.
- talking head videos
Animated slogans were taking quite a long time to develop - I do like them because they are eye catching and retain the viewer, but time constraints mean I don’t use that tactic. If I had more people working for me then I might use this as it works very well. I tried multiple tools to create these and eventually settled on Camtasia - I can create these quite quickly now but I save them for special occasions.
I experimented with talking to camera for 1 min long form videos. But realised that videos auto play and people are not always in a position where they can hear sound.
So I used trint.com to transcribe them, then add the subtitles file to Camtasia and export them. This had a great effect but took far too long for the benefit. If I ever find a way to automate this and completely automate the uploading, posting and scheduling then I might revisit it. Again - with a larger team and more time this works well - it doesn’t require much in the way of tool budget, it is just time consuming.
Side-effect was that I learned a lot about creating smaller videos and now have new tactics for promoting my Youtube content.
A New Set of Tactics and a Slightly Amended Strategy
I’ve now settled on a new set of tactics:
- micro blogging with images based on the blog
- documenting rather than ‘creating’
- I still create motivational images and posts when the inspiration strikes but it is more adhoc
- I’ve loosened my ‘daily’ timescales
- I try to use stories more to create content through the story and then ‘convert to post’
My Strategy timescales have loosened, but the basic aims of the Strategy have remained and I’ve evolved the tactics to make it more sustainable.
Only after having experimented with different Tactics (and still failed) should we give up on a Strategy, because Strategies tend to apply to a broader set of situations and environments than Tactics, and perhaps we just need to find the right Tactics.