5 Proven Ways to Rock a Consistent Content Marketing Strategy
You’re a team leader in charge of your brand’s content marketing strategy.
You create content, assign deadlines and manage your team, with the hope that you can publish content consistently.
Unfortunately, it’s been a few months and you are still not consistent. Sometimes you publish five blog posts per week, and sometimes you publish just one.
You’re not alone. It’s become a lot more common in the past few years to see content creators struggling to remain consistent. It should come as no surprise when you learn that according to Altimeter, 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.
While inconsistency may not seem like a big deal, it’s a very real problem.
Just imagine telling your team to create an infographic or a blog post on fairly short notice. You might get away with it a few times, but the spontaneity of your tasks will quickly leave your team feeling burned out.
So how do you follow through with your content strategy? How do you create an effective social media strategy?
Pay attention to these five techniques and you’ll be well on your way to having your own consistent content marketing strategy.
1. Set a Monthly Schedule
A good way to stay consistent is to plan ahead.
Think about the topics of the blog posts, graphics or vlogs that you have scheduled for next month. By putting them down on paper so to speak, your team won’t be scrambling to get them done on time.
That said, can you share articles from other sites? Interestingly, TA McCann proposed a 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing. The rule states that for every 10 social updates: 5 should be content from other outlets, 3 should be content from you yourself, and 2 should be personal.
By personal, McCann refers to non-work related but inspiring content that can humanize your business. Using this formula, your team won’t get too burned out on content creation.
Image courtesy: Fast Company
Here are the facts when it comes to their post’s frequencies:
- Twitter – 14 times per day, from midnight to 10:00 p.m. Central Time, never more than once per hour; seven times per day on weekends, from 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., roughly every three hours
- Facebook – 2 times per day, seven days a week, 10:08 a.m. and 3:04 p.m.
- LinkedIn – 1 time per day, 8:14 a.m., no weekends
- Google Plus – 2 times per day, 9:03 a.m. and 7:04 p.m., no weekends
2. Conduct Weekly Team Meetings
While it may be easy to create a monthly schedule and follow-through, that method is not always practical nor effective.
Sometimes your employees will unexpectedly fall ill. Other times, they may be too burned out from the previous week’s workload.
Naturally, your content marketing schedule will be bound to fall behind under these circumstances. Every now and then these setbacks will be unavoidable, but you definitely can’t let it become a habit.
One simple solution to avoid having deadlines become “optional” is to conduct weekly team meetings.
Not only does this method ensure consistent content, but it is also a great way to evaluate your weekly content strategy.
Of course, in the real world team meetings are not always so easy. Some members may not be comfortable sharing their insights and sometimes the discussions can go way off-topic.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help with your weekly meetings:
- Set your agenda: If your team is aware of the meeting’s objectives, it’s easier for everyone to stick to the topic.
- Make fast and logical decisions: When a discussion on one issue goes on for too long, it lessens team morale and decreases the time available for other relevant issues. If you’re faced with this scenario, it’s best to review your objectives and establish the pros and cons of moving on to the next subject.
- Listen: If a member has a suggestion, then it’s everyone’s job to listen and evaluate it. This ensures a collaborative environment where everyone’s ideas are valued. Keep this in mind and you’ll gain far more ideas and insights for your content marketing strategy.
- Know your team’s problems: When it comes to content creation, there is no shortage of problems that can arise. Sometimes you won’t have actors for the shoot. Other times your writers might be so busy with press releases and events, that they don’t have time to create next week’s blog posts. As a team leader, you have to be on top of these problems ahead of time so you’re prepared to quickly provide solutions.
3. Ask for Pitches
Your team will be most motivated to create their assigned content when the ideas are their own. After all, there’s nothing better than seeing your ideas become reality.
With that in mind, you should always remember to ask your team for their ideas and pitches. This way, you’ll create a collaborative environment and improve your online content.
Not sure how you can get started? Here are some tips, which can help you conduct weekly pitch sessions:
Have your team do research ahead of time
If your team meeting is about brainstorming article ideas, vlogs and marketing campaigns, then be sure to ask your team to search and download examples of interesting content.
You can’t have everyone surfing the Internet on the day of the meeting. The flow of the discussion will be a lot smoother if everyone is prepared.
When your time already has ideas and samples ahead of time, it will be much easier for them to speak confidently about their ideas.
Use outlines for everything
If you want to clearly visualize your team’s pitches, you can start by asking them to create outlines for their ideas.
If your writer proposes a listicle, ask them to give a brief rundown of the main points their article will hit.
By discussing them in person, you’ll have the opportunity to ensure the content will be in line with your overall goals.
It is truly awesome when your business masters a certain type of content. As you gain authority in a given field, you’ll find your content having an increasingly important impact on your overall business.
While that’s great for your bottom line, it’s not always great for your team members to be kept in a narrow line of work.
Sometimes you’ll need to spice things up a bit. Try making a vlog, experiment with Instagram posts, or launch a series of Snapchat stories or Facebook Live videos. Any of these techniques will help re-engage your audience, reach new viewers/readers, and keep your writers happy.
4. Follow up on Deadlines
When implementing your content marketing strategy, the ultimate challenge is to follow the deadlines. However, it can be difficult to incentivize others to do the same.
Some writers like to cram and need a push to get started aheads of time. So how can you solve the problem without seeming like a persistent nagger?
You may not need to worry about it much. A study by Harvard Business School professor Tsedal B. Neeley and Northwestern University’s Paul M. Leonardi and Elizabeth M. Gerbe found that managers who engage in redundant communication (or nagging) are more effective.
The researchers discovered that while reminding your team to finish their work via multiple media and multiple times may seem a bit harsh, it does actually get the job done.
One way to minimize the fallout from nagging your writers is to be sure to maintain a respectful tone. You can even occasionally be playful about it in order to keep morale high.
5. Get in Touch with Freelancers
Your marketing and public relations team is most likely busy. With press events, social media posts, client meetings and blog article creation to consider, it’s only natural that every now and again something will begin to slip through the cracks.
When faced with this scenario, the most obvious solution would be to hire more people. However, your company may not always be able afford a full-time writer or graphics designer.
For businesses’ that can’t afford more employees, freelancers are often the best alternative.
Not only are they paid per project, but with the advent of sites like Upwork they’re exceptionally easy to find and contract.
According to a report by FlexJobs study that analyzed expansion of the freelance economy, there are 53 million freelancers in the United States alone! You can infer how many millions more engage in freelance work around the globe.
So, let’s recap what we covered today.
What’s the best way to stay consistent with your content marketing strategy on the whole? In the end, it all comes down to regular communication.
Conduct meetings and ask for pitches every week. Set the schedule, but modify it when there are problems with executions. When you lack the manpower, contact freelancers and regularly collaborate with them.
When it comes to your brand’s online presence, having and maintaining a consistent content strategy will be a major key to your success. After all, you’ll have to stay both interesting and relevant in order to keep your followers and gain a ton more!