Every business owner and marketing manager knows that content marketing is a powerful way to build brand awareness, establish credibility, reach potential customers and clients, and ultimately increase leads and sales. What they frequently don’t know is how often they should be creating and sharing content in order to get results.
In a sense, the answer is easy: as often as possible. After all, the more times you can appear on someone’s radar, the more chances you have of convincing them that you’re worth doing business with.
Not everyone will be ready to buy your product or service the moment they first have contact with you. Even once they enquire, statistics show that 63% will still take at least 3 months to make a purchase. So creating regular, strategic content keeps them moving along the buyer journey and helps you stay front of mind so that when the time comes, it’s you they turn to.
But since “as much as possible” is not an especially helpful answer, we’ve broken down some of the elements you need to consider when setting your own particular content goals. By the end of this post you should be more confident in creating a content schedule that will work for you.
What do you have capacity for?
Are you a sole business owner wearing all the hats? A lone marketing manager juggling all the channels for an SME? Or part of a team of 30 content creators? The answer will have a big impact on how much content you can realistically produce.
Quality original content takes time and effort to create. It’s likely to take you several hours to write a well researched, high value blog post, for example, not to mention the time it takes to source images, upload it to your website and so on.
If you’re using a professional to help you create that content then you will be limited by your budget. But don’t forget that your time has an associated cost too, not just in terms of what you’re paid but the value you could be adding elsewhere in the business if you weren’t creating content.
Don’t prioritise quantity over quality
Some people get so fixated on quantity that they lose their focus on quality. There’s no point doing a Facebook Live every single day if you haven’t really got anything to say. Far better to do one once a week and really add value for your audience.
Likewise, don’t spread yourself too thin when it comes to content types and channels. If you’re trying to write articles for LinkedIn, take photos for Instagram, prepare talks for Clubhouse and think of witty soundbites for Snapchat all at the same time, you’re going to burn out quickly.
Plus, does your audience really need all of that? And are they really on all of those channels? Choose one or two content types or channels to focus on, experiment to see where you get the best results and keep iterating so that you direct your attention to the most successful ones.
There’s a difference between “create” and “share”
We use the phrase “create and share” a lot but it really should be “create or share”. Because not all content that you share needs to be created by you. Think about when you read an interesting article in the news or watch a great TED talk and then share the link on your social channels. That’s you getting your brand out there without having to create anything from scratch, except for a few words to caption the post.
These low effort content wins are actually incredibly powerful because they help develop a rounded image of your brand. Rather than constantly pushing your own agenda, by sharing news and views from other businesses and people (ideally tagging them when you do), you’re both adding value and showing you’re connected with your industry or your city.
You can do this from a company page as much as from an individual one. The main thing is to think about what your audience will find valuable, and then go and source it. Does your audience enjoy humorous memes or inspirational quote cards? Would they appreciate being updated on the latest industry research? Go find it for them!
Rocks, gravel, sand – an analogy
Now let’s bring that all together. Think about your capacity as a vase. Work out how many rocks you can fit in there. The rocks are what we at RH&Co like to call foundation content. This might be your blog, for example, or a YouTube channel, or a newsletter, or a podcast. You’ll put the greatest effort into making sure whatever you choose is super high quality and packed with original thought.
Next, you want to start adding gravel. This gravel is the repurposed content that can be chipped off the rocks you created. Snippets and quotes and top tips, which can be produced without a huge amount of extra effort. One ‘10 top tips’ blog post can easily generate 10 individual social media posts, for example. Or you might draw out an interesting quote or statistic from a video and share it as a visual.
And then you can add the sand to fill the gaps. This might be low-effort original content such as a micro post on Facebook or a quick Instagram reel. Or it might be that curated content that you can share without having to input much of your own beyond a couple of introductory lines.
Prioritise original content that will last
Creating content is a great way of getting in front of your audience, adding value, developing your brand reputation and showcasing your expertise. The more you can do, the better – but be realistic about what your capacity is.
Prioritise a manageable amount of foundational content and make sure it’s exceptional quality. As a sole business owner you may only be able to do this once a fortnight – any less and you’re just not to get momentum. Once a week is better, if you can, and if you have the budget or in-house resources then you might consider more.
Then repurpose as much as you can, add low-effort original content and curated content from other sources. It shouldn’t be hard to get 3-5 posts out each week this way. Remember to keep it regular, and don’t give up too easily. It can take six to 18 months to get a content marketing strategy delivering consistent high results. But the results will come.