Our clients, and prospective clients, constantly ask us: How much content do I need to be publishing? "Constantly" is not an exaggeration in this instance, and it’s especially the case for small DMOs with limited budgets, or outdoor brands with small marketing teams who are stretched thin.
It seems most brands know they need to be utilizing content marketing, but aren’t entirely sure how to best go about it, and developing a content strategy usually begins with settling on a publishing frequency. It’s the fundamental question. How much content is enough? Is there a minimum a brand should target?
Here, we’ll explore the answer in detail, along with a few of the ways that RootsRated Compass makes content marketing easy.
Lead generation isn’t the end of the story
Marketers often think of content marketing solely in terms of lead generation and branding, but it’s equally important for customer retention. Sure, it’s true that one purpose of publishing and distributing content is to bring prospects into your "funnel" (though we could link to any number of articles proclaiming the traditional sales funnel dead and buried). However, once a potential buyer has engaged with your brand online or signed up for your email list, you need to keep them around until they are ready to shop!
Brand-building, new customer engagement, and retention (of both prospects and existing customers) are continuous processes. To keep stoking the fire, you’ll need to continuously produce content. That means developing a content strategy, scoping articles, identifying and hiring freelance writers and photographers, paying those contributors and distributing the results as effectively as possible.
RootsRated drastically simplifies this process, of course, saving your team time and money, but the ultimate goal is to create a persistent, engaged audience through storytelling. How much content is required to make this happen? Well, How often depends a bit on your overall marketing budget, and how much of that you’re devoting to content marketing.
Let’s begin by thinking about where your content fits into your overall marketing strategy, and what you actually need to do with it once it exists.
Feed your social and owned media with a steady diet of content
What role does your content serve? You’re distributing it on Facebook and Twitter, you’re including it in your email newsletter, and you may be sharing it with retail or industry partners with our Compass Networks software. You’ll need a baseline of enough new content to keep things fresh in each of these places.
For Facebook: Recent research via Hubspot and Buffer suggest that posting once per day is close to optimal on Facebook, and that many brands actually see a decline in engagement on a per-post basis when they increase post frequency beyond that.
5-10 posts is the sweet spot; posting only once or twice a week causes your brand to functionally disappear, and posting twice daily annoys customers without driving much additional engagement
Here’s a great quote from HubSpot’s conclusion:
"Don't overwhelm your customers with content on Facebook, and be selective about what you're publishing... Spend more time crafting better Facebook posts, and less time crafting a lot of Facebook posts."
It’s well-established that original content reaches more people on Facebook, so if the goal is "crafting better Facebook posts" it’s tough to beat a link to a new feature article on your own site. While few teams have the bandwidth to publish fresh content on a daily basis, content syndication can help pick up the slack in an affordable way (more on that below).
For email: A fascinating study by Marketing Sherpa showed that the 91% of those surveyed would like to receive promotional emails (imagine that!), and 60% of respondents prefer to receive promotional email from a given brand "at least weekly."
We think weekly is a good starting point. As you reach the point where you have great new content available on a regular basis, you can (and should!) increase this frequency. Twice per week is a good goal, but only if you have something relevant to send. Don’t waste your subscribers’ time by sending repetitive or irrelevant messages.
2017 research by Litmus indicates that email attention spans are increasing, so don’t be shy about including content links in the bottom of your emails; we’ve found that readers regularly click on items well "below the fold" if nothing above has caught their interest before they get that far.
As is the case with email marketing and Facebookdark posting, segmentation is everything, and the more content you have available the more you can customize your messaging to a specific audience or audiences. The goal is relevance, so if you have the ability to leverage your content library—or ours—for personalization, you can be relevant to a wider range of customers.
Supplement your publishing frequency with syndicated articles
If your budget doesn’t allow for a constant stream of new writing, consider augmenting these flagship stories with a selection of licensed pieces from our extensive archive. Our Compass software makes identifying, selecting, publishing and distributing articles incredibly easy, at a fraction of the cost of producing custom content.
A typical strategy might be to publish one new, exclusive story per week and supplement this by syndicating two or three articles from our library. An in-depth NewsCred analysis showed that licensed content cost, on average, 3x less than original content while driving equivalent value in pageviews and shares.
When choosing topics, you need to make sure that your content is answering the basic questions your audience has. That may include where to go, what to pack for a trip, or how to use your product (like this article, for example). An easy way to do this is to take a look at what search queries your users are performing on your site.
Content marketing is tough, but RootsRated Compass makes it easy. Whether you need to produce original articles, prefer to focus on syndication options or a mix of the two, our platform is a turnkey solution for lean teams looking to successfully execute a content strategy. Request a demo today.
Originally written for RootsRated Media.