In Part One we began to dissect content marketing, an area that is over-saturated with contradictory advice, rules and strategy. We looked at who is using content marketing, it’s value and where businesses should focus time, effort and resources.
Now, in Part Two, we’ll answer some common questions like when you should post, how to stay current and which technological platforms to use.
When Do You Post?
The best day and time to post content is highly debated and, of course, changes depending on the type of content, your industry, whether you’re B2B or B2C, your time zone and the platform you’re publishing on.
Experts have differing opinions, but according to HootSuite’s data, these are the best days and times to post on:
- Twitter: 3 p.m. Monday – Friday.
- Facebook: 12 – 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 12 – 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
- Instagram: 12 – 1 p.m. Monday to Friday.
- Pinterest: 8 – 11 p.m. Saturday
- LinkedIn: 7 – 8:30 a.m.; 12 p.m.; and 5–6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Google+: 9 a.m. on Wednesday and 9–10 a.m. on weekdays
Keep in mind that these recommendations are based on analytics from a variety of industries. In other words, it’s okay not to rigidly follow these suggestions. In fact, you may find that another day or time works better.
To determine when to post your content, experiment with different timings, track and analyze your results and then create your own best practices based on your findings.
Posting your content regularly and consistently is more important than when you post.
Create a content calendar to stay organized and on track. Whether you use a CMS (content management system), Excel, or other platform, there are a few details you should include in your calendar:
- The theme/topic of the post including keywords to target
- Timelines for the:
o Draft copy
o Approval of the draft
o Publication dates
- A spot to record analytical insights
- An organization system (colours work well) to identify the types of content being published, including:
o Blog articles
o SlideShare presentations
o Your comments on other people’s industry-related content
o Visual content like infographics, videos and images
o eBooks, white papers and case studies
o Social media posts
- If you have multiple people on your team indicate who is responsible for which tasks
A calendar is meant to keep you on track, ensure you post consistently and log your past activity. It’s not meant to put you in a corner – feel free to deviate from the calendar when needed.
How Do You Stay Current?
For some businesses, publishing fresh, current content is a struggle. There’s no doubt that it takes time to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. However, in this day and age it’s something you simply can’t ignore. Your clients and customers expect you to be an expert in your field, which is a good place to start.
No matter your industry, keep in mind that you’re the expert and don’t be afraid to lead the way when it comes to sharing industry news, insider tips and expert opinions. It’s also a good idea to dip your feet into content curation, which is when you find and share relevant information for your audience. You can do this through industry RSS feeds and news subscriptions, or by accessing content curation platforms that will help automate this process.
Curating your content is not enough, though. You need to take some time each day, perhaps over a coffee, to read and use the news as your inspiration. This should be the time when you brainstorm ideas. Make a list and keep track of these free-flow thoughts. When it’s time to populate your content calendar your brainstorming notes are a natural place to start.
Why You Need to Use Technology (And Which Tools Are Best)
When it comes to content, you can get along without much in the way of technology, but it’s not the most efficient or time effective strategy. Tech that a content marketer should be aware of and consider includes:
- Hootsuite – a social media management marketing platform that allows you to access multiple social platforms on one dashboard, schedule posts and respond to activity.
- Blogging and CMS tools – whether you use WordPress, Tumblr or your website has a customized CMS this is a must for any company involved in blogging.
- Content Curation platforms – there are many different options out there. This HubSpot article mentions a few of the top platforms.
- Analytics tools – you need to know how your content is performing, whether it’s on your blog, your website, social media channels or elsewhere. Google Analytics is a start, and most social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have custom analytics built in. But there are a number of other analytical tools out there. Here’s a long list to get you started.
- Marketing Automation platforms – Curata lists a number of different marketing automation platforms that will help you schedule, distribute, optimize and track your content. HubSpot, Pardot and Marketo are a few examples of the platforms on this list.
Honestly, there are just too many content marketing tools out there to include here, although this article from Curata attempts to cover them all (and includes everything from graphic, audio and eBook creation sites to survey tools).
Ultimately, when it comes to your content the trick is to stay on track, post consistently and be strategic and thoughtful about the content you’re creating and sharing. Ensure your brand is maintained, and your brand story comes across. Give your audience the information, insight and expertise they’re looking for and, of course, ensure that your content is interesting, engaging and as entertaining as possible. If your content can accomplish these goals, then the rest will come together with time.Read more >