What do professional athletes excel at? Consistency. Sure, professional athletes have great moments in which they transcend everything their sport stands for. But those moments, by definition, are few and far between. The rest of the time, professional athletes have another, even more important skill: to perform well, and do so consistently.
In the same way, online marketers have to be able to create quality content consistently. In our experience at Little Jack Marketing, lack of consistency is by far the most prevalent issue we’ve seen among content creators who are unhappy with the results they’re getting.
Most content creators tend to be experts in their field, and have something interesting to say. Their content could be helped by a few best practices—writing better titles, hooking the reader with a strong introductory paragraph, and following the post with better calls to action—but is generally in good shape.
However, where most content creators falter is in delivering this quality content consistently. Online readers have an immense variety of options and can be fickle, so sticking to your content schedule and providing them with content they can look forward to on a reliable basis is one of the best strategies for growing your online follower base.
To do so, create a publication schedule and stick to it. From our experience, the following formula works well (though the right formula for you will depend on the specifics of your industry):
1. Social media updates several times a week. Social media news feeds change rapidly, so it’s important to create fresh content on a frequent basis, which will give you a better chance of being noticed on these platforms.
2. A blog post once a week. One blog post a week is frequent enough to give readers something new to read (and something to look forward to), without taking up so much writing time that it would become a burden. Links to these blog posts should also be posted as social media updates during the week, month, and year (see #1).
3. An email newsletter once a month. If you have a list of members, subscribers, or other loyal readers, a once-a-month newsletter email will let you connect with them more directly. It’s also a handy way to re-publicize your weekly blog posts via a “Best of the Blog” section in the newsletter.
4. A larger piece of content once a year. Once you have a significant collection of blog posts under your belt (if you do one per week, they add up quickly), one of the best things you can do to leverage that pool of content is to arrange it thematically into a pamphlet, guide, or even a short book on a particular topic you specialize in. These longer pieces of content let you build a longer-form argument for why you’re an expert in your field and why your company is the one customers should turn to for help.
We’ve found this schedule to work well for a variety of businesses, but remember: it’s up to you to create the publication schedule that works for you.
Once you’ve settled on a schedule though, consistency becomes of the utmost importance—following the publication schedule “to a T” is what separates those businesses that excel at building thriving online communities from those that still spend their valuable time on content marketing, but aren’t able to achieve the same results.