When it comes to content marketing, one of the biggest challenges — if not THE biggest challenge — entrepreneurs and business owners face is consistency.
In this article, I’m going to help you get a better grasp of the key role consistency plays in content marketing.
And, more importantly, I’m going to lay out the steps you can follow and tools you can use to get things done on a regular basis (even if you’re a solopreneur and don’t have a big team behind you).
Why Does Content Marketing Matter?
If you’ve read the blog or listened to the Smooth Business Growth Podcast before, then you’ve probably heard me talk about why content marketing matters.
Today, however, I’m going to make my point on the importance of content marketing by sharing a couple of stats laid out by Neil Patel (one of the world’s leading content marketing and blogging experts).
‘I think we’re in a special time for content marketing. Businesses and marketers are recognizing how effective it is in the modern consumer climate. People have always liked to buy from businesses and people with whom they have relationships and whom they trust.
Until the Internet, it was hard for businesses to build those relationships. But now, it’s easier than ever to deliver content to an audience.
This is important whether you’re selling straight to the consumer or to a business. A recent survey found that 67% of B2B buyers base their buying decisions on content.
And they don’t become just buyers — a large percentage of them also frequently share that content (most often in the form of a blog post – 40%).’
Let that sink in for a moment. Content plays a role in the buying decisions of 67% of B2B buyers.
As you’ll see throughout this article, it isn’t just about content and content marketing…it’s about CONSISTENT content and content marketing.
The Impact of Content Marketing and Consistency on Your Business
According to Forbes, the impact of consistency ‘not only helps create a better customer experience but it also helps build credibility, reputation and brand trust.’
There are many “keywords” I could throw your way…but there are three that I believe are truly worth focusing on to better understand how content marketing consistency can lead to an ROI for your business.
The first keyword is Relationships.
We all know how noisy it is out there — so many blogs, social media posts, videos, etc. This is why building and nurturing those relationships is so important.
I don’t want to sound cliché but we buy (and work) with those we know, like, and trust.
Taking the time to serve, help and comment in Facebook Groups, to send Direct Messages, email your contacts and engage in their social media posts is key.
You stay top of mind and nurture those relationships because that’s what will serve you and give back as you grow your business.
Relationships are crucial and consistent content marketing will help you foster them.
The second keyword is Perception.
People do their research, their due diligence before making a purchasing decision or before working with someone.
They rely on different platforms to do that: Google, YouTube, Facebook…
If you went to a Facebook Page of a business and saw they had not posted in 2 weeks — what would your impression be?
Will they be there for you in case you need support?
Imagine walking into your favorite bookstore or newsstand only to notice that they haven’t added any new titles to their shelves in months…
Consistent content marketing helps you be perceived in a positive way.
The third keyword, which may really be the one that can make or break you, is Credibility.
By sharing your knowledge and content — whether it’s videos, blogs, podcasts, e-books, free reports or any other form of content — you’re showing your expertise.
You share what you know, showcase your solutions to problems your prospects may have, and position yourself as the go-to person to help them with those.
Actually, the impact of consistent content marketing doesn’t stop there. To tell it like Neil Patel, ‘SEO is actually all about content marketing, and vice versa.’
As he points out, there are a few reasons why content marketing and SEO are connected:
- SEO states the requirements, content marketing fulfills them
- SEO demands content, content marketing is content
- SEO demands keywords, content marketing means using keywords
- SEO demands backlinks, content marketing introduces backlinks
The key point here, without getting down a rabbit hole with too many technical terms, is the fact that instead of thinking about SEO and content marketing separately, you and your team should think about them jointly.
And yes, this means that consistency shouldn’t be limited to content marketing and should be applied to both instead.
Here’s a passage from HubSpot’s Your Content Strategy Needs More Consistency that I believe summarizes the importance of consistency very well:
‘If you’re not consistent, you’re not taking advantage of all the opportunities you have to connect with your audience. Creating a few pieces of content here and there might help someone understand a topic better, but they won’t help you hit all of those touch-points between your brand and your audience — and they won’t help you build a meaningful relationship with it.
To do that, you need to be a consistent content creator.
[…] With consistent, engaging content, you can hit touch points on your audience members’ online journeys, build connections with them, and position your brand to be top-of-mind when they think of their most trusted and liked resources.’
Do I need to add anything else? 🙂
What Should I Be Consistent With?
Now, you may be asking yourself ‘What should I actually be consistent with?’.
There’s more than just a single answer to this question:
- Social Media
- Network connections and communication
- Email Marketing
In a nutshell, you should focus on keeping up the marketing efforts that nurture your leads and connections, and that help you attract and acquire new prospects — as well as drive people toward your sales funnel to complete your end-goal.
I know you know: all these are activities that will bring you more business but there are several moving parts to the equation.
Not to worry, though! This article will help you get rid of overwhelm and help you leverage content marketing day after day, week after week, month after month.
How Often Should I Publish Content?
While there are technological blogs like Techcrunch and The Next Web that publish hundreds — or even thousands of pieces of content in a month — there are also companies and individuals who achieve success by publishing far less content.
Brian Dean has been able to get one million unique visits by publishing a little over 30 blog posts in a year on his blog Backlinko.com.
So, which way should you go? Should you become a content machine and make content creation a 24/7 activity?
While there isn’t a clear cut answer to the question ‘How often should I publish content?’ (sorry!), I find myself in agreement with Lifewire’s Determine Your Goals, Then Choose Your Posting Frequency “philosophy”:
- For Maximum Growth: post multiple times per day to drive the most traffic (3-5 times or more is considered best for power bloggers)
- For Steady Growth: Post at least once per day
- For Slower Growth: Publish at least every 3 days or 2-3 times per week
- For Very Slow Growth: Posting less frequently than 2-3 days per week is most appropriate for bloggers who maintain blogs as a hobby with no strategic plans for growth
When considering frequency, it’s important for you to keep the nature of the various channels in mind.
If you’re running a Facebook group where many members start conversations and engage with each other’s comments, then you may not have to publish something several times a day or even daily — and, despite that, the engagement on the group will keep going.
On the other hand, if the main channel you’re focusing on and medium you’re using is an Alexa Flash brief, then you might be expected to publish on a more regular basis.
And don’t forget about the “bandwidth” of those you’re trying to attract and nurture with your content.
A daily podcast that features 10-minute long episodes is more likely to be consumed by its audience compared to a daily podcast that features 2-hour long episodes (simply because not everyone may be able to dedicate two hours of their day to listen to it).
An additional aspect that is important for you to consider is whether you have an existing library of content or are starting from scratch.
Let’s go back to Neil Patel for a minute.
In one of his posts, he points out an interesting trend that has to do with the impact of total blog posts on inbound leads for B2B vs. B2C.
‘For B2B companies, those that published 401+ total blog posts generated almost 3X as many leads as B2B companies that published 0 – 200 total posts.
B2C companies that published 401+ posts generated 4.5X as many leads as B2C companies that published 0 – 100 total posts.’
As he puts it, ‘If you’ve stocked up ample amount of cornerstone great content on your blog, then you can probably do with lesser posting frequency.’
So, while it’s important to create and provide your audience with fresh content, you should take a moment to look at your existing content too.
Similarly to what we saw with HubSpot a moment ago, Neil Patel also points out different publishing schedules you could follow:
- Several times (3 to 10 posts) per day
- 2 to 4 posts per week
- Once per day
- Occasional blog updates
Whether it’s blogging, podcasting or creating YouTube videos, there have been people and companies who have been successful with different schedules.
So, think about the nature of the medium and channel(s) you’re focusing your content marketing efforts on, keep your end-goals in mind and think about the people you’re trying to reach and nurture with your content (and their “bandwidth” and their habits in relation to the consumption of your content).
And if you’re still having a hard time after having thought about all of that, then create a “minimalistic” schedule — that you’re 100% confident you can follow — that allows you to be consistent with your content marketing.
Once you’ve implemented it, you can experiment and try to change some things here and there (like going from one post a week to 2 posts a week, for example) to see how a change affects your content marketing ROI.
How to Be Consistent With Content Marketing in 4 Steps
So, once you’ve identified the “how often to publish”…now, how do you actually go about leveraging content marketing on a regular basis?
I have 4 steps that may appear relatively simple and intuitive at first but that, at the end of the day, are what makes the difference between content marketing success and failure.
1) Use a project management tool: start using a tool like Teamwork (what my team and I use), Basecamp or Trello. There are a ton of options out there, but these 3 are the ones I’ve personally used and liked.
You can set up templated tasks, assign due dates and do many other things to keep track with what you need to get done on a regular basis.
And the fact that most of the project management tools on the market have a mobile app too, means that you can keep an eye on things and take care of business with your smartphone or tablet, even on the go.
2) Use your calendar: If you don’t put it on your calendar or schedule it into your day/week/month — it will never get done…sad but true!
Has the thought ‘Oh, I’ll get to that when I have time this week or once I get finished with this project!’ crossed your mind before? And yet, it still hasn’t gotten done?
You have to schedule it, just like an appointment or meeting. You have to honor its important.
In case you’re wondering what my go-to calendar is, check out this Smooth Business Growth Flash Update.
3) Create a system or process: Instead of reinventing the wheel or just winging it from month to month, take the time to create a system or process.
Trust me, it’s worth it. Once you have a system or template, which you can follow as a step-by-step blueprint, and get on a schedule, it’s a no-brainer!
Let me give you a quick example.
The first week of every month, you’d write two blog posts and record two videos (they can even be covering the same topic), then create social media posts to promote them and schedule these posts.
To simplify things, you could even create a content calendar within your project management tool and sync it with your calendar to receive reminders and other notifications.
This way, you’ll always have a bird’s-eye view of the content you’ve created and published, as well as the one you’ll be creating and publishing.
Thinking about systems for your podcasting workflow? Then, check out my interview with podcasting consultant and systems strategist Yann Ilunga where we talk all things podcasting systems.
4) Outsource: You don’t have to do it all on your own!
Think about your revenue and the hours you work in a year. Then, do the math and figure out what your hourly worth is.
I bet you can outsource your content and social media marketing for WAY less than your hourly worth!
Additionally, outsourcing to someone who is an expert in that field will boost your efforts 10 fold. You don’t have to worry about training them.
Just make sure you are on the same wavelength and let them work their magic…you’ll get consistent results in place with less stress!
A win-win, right?
By doing this, you’ll win back time that will be able to spend it doing the things you love.
That’s right, you’ll be getting the benefits of consistency in your business and will have more time to focus on revenue-generating tasks — woohoo!
Do you need help putting a plan together to jumpstart your content marketing and get consistent with it so that you can feel less overwhelmed and less stressed — and you can create stronger relationships, attract more prospects and boost your credibility?
Click on the image below to contact us today!