Content Marketing Requires Constant Work…But it’s Worth it

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Content marketing is time consuming.

There’s no doubt about it.

Content marketing may not always require a lot of resources, but it requires a lot of time.

Creating content – edited videos, blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts etc., creating in real time e.g. putting out unedited videos, live videos, tweets on a trending hashtag, and responding to comments etc., and curating content (finding and sharing content from elsewhere) all takes time.

And the results are not instantaneous.

It takes time, dedication, and patience to build an online following and even more time, dedication, and patience to start earning sales and leads from that following. 

As well it should.

To win in today’s world, you need to provide value. You first need to have people’s attention, before you can ask them for anything. In order to get their attention, you need to give them things they want and need. The market doesn’t care unless you do something worth caring about.

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Don’t fall into the trap of getting frustrated.

If you think it sucks that you have to create content, give away knowledge or tips, entertain, and inspire people day after day for the slight possibility of getting someone’s business, pack it up and get out right now. You’re not going to win if that’s your attitude. If you think your own time is valuable, imagine how much other people value theirs. What makes you think you’re entitled to it?

You’re not entitled to anyone’s time or money, so marketers and brands should stop the complaining and the hand-wringing every time Google makes an update or Facebook alters its algorithm, or a new technology e.g. ad block, is invented that makes it harder for them to push messages in consumers’ faces. To complain about inevitable change is evidence of a losing mentality.

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Embrace change in the marketplace and adapt accordingly.

If you want to succeed in today’s business climate, you need to consistently add value to the lives of your audience. There is so much competing for your audience’s attention. No longer do marketers have a captive audience the way they once did on television or radio.

Going in for the ask before you give them reason to care and you will rub your audience the wrong way. A great way to alienate consumers who now have so many options is to ask them to do something without first getting them to know you, like you, and trust you.

We cannot take people’s attention for granted. We have to earn it. And we earn it by making valuable impressions (keyword here is valuable i.e. not pop-ups or spam), on a steady basis.

After consistently interacting with your content and receiving value from you so often, perhaps in the form of inspiration, laughs, or being emotionally moved, your audience will be primed to interact with you. If people see your name attached to things they like and care about enough times, some will feel compelled or almost like they have to give you their like, their subscription, their email, or their hared-earned dollars.

Smart businesses are spending an increasing amount of time and money on content creation and curation, not because it’s fashionable, but because it’s simply how sales are now made. It’s because this is how business is now done.

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Practice caring.

So, be authentic and genuinely care for the needs of your audience. You won’t convert everyone, but you will win their attention and ultimately gain the desired outcomes that make it all worthwhile.

Just remember that it takes consistent hustle and grind as well as enormous patience before you start building any momentum. It’s easy to lose stamina, get fatigued, and throw your hands up in the air. But I urge you to stick with it. If what you’re putting out is quality and you’re distributing it correctly, you will eventually see the growth returns you want.

 

Note: I will be away until Wednesday due to holidays, but I plan to be back with a vengeance when I return. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of Keeping to a Content Marketing Schedule (Includes sample schedule)

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A lot of people complain that they are not seeing results from their blog or on social media. Assuming they are pushing out great content, the problem often comes down to not publishing enough and not publishing frequently.

If you only publish on a ‘when we get around to it’ basis, you will not gain the traction and momentum you need. To publish in fits and starts is a bit like being half-pregnant. The food in the pan won’t start cooking if you keep taking it off the burner.

When it comes to building an audience on the internet, what matters most is publishing both frequently and consistently.

In effort to do a better job of this myself, I’ve drawn up a tight schedule for myself. The schedule is still a work in progress, and is obviously subject to change based on testing, looking at the analytics, and modifying accordingly, but it’s a good start. Feel free to use it and adapt it to your audience and purposes! Includes some social media best practices and B2B marketing strategy.

By the way, go ahead and follow me on all of these channels to see if I’m keeping to the schedule. And if I miss a day, please call me out! I’d appreciate it. 🙂

SnapChat: Zev87
Music.ly: @zevgotkin

Content Marketing Schedule:

Sunday:

  • Best time to plan and organize content for the week
  • Write blog post/s and Huffington Post articles
  • Schedule and automate as many social posts as possible
  • Best time to post is after 6pm
  • Post photo or video about nice, chill activity I’m doing on the weekend on Facebook (day) and possibly Instagram after 6pm
  • Instagram stories and SnapChat story
  • Something light and inspiring to pump up or provide motivation for the upcoming week
  • Prepare video topics for the weekly videos

Monday:

  • Best day to post on Instagram (evenings Mon-Thurs always best)
  • Post Monday 7pm
  • Use #MotivationMonday and/or #MondayMotivation on IG and Twitter
  • Post a YouTube video
  • Short blog post
  • Send email newsletter on Monday once per month (test if Mon or Thurs is better)
  • Post in LinkedIn Group/s
  • Post on Pulse

Tuesday:

  • Most people too busy catching up on things and distracted on Monday for longer content. Have more time Tuesday and still in mindset ready to conquer the week
  • Use #TuesdayThoughts on Twitter 2-6pm – Plan it out Sunday if possible
  • #TuesdayMotivation optional
  • Post longer blog post and/or Huffington Post article – Plan in advance
  • Announce and cross-promote on all channels that I will be going live Wednesday or Thursday on Facebook Live and/or Periscope/Twitter
  • Facebook note

Wednesday:

  • Test Facebook Live (Live at 5?) every other week (alternatively, Thursday to see which is best)
  • Prepare topic in advance (Sunday if possible)
  • Wednesday meme – Create one on Canva, Whisper, Mnemonic, or other app in advance to post
  • #HumpDay, #WackyWednesday
  • Encouraging, inspiring, ‘pick-me-up’
  • Look into Podcasting (biweekly)…

Thursday:

  • Content Marketing Weekly Round-Up
  • Alternate email newsletter once per month (testing b/w Monday and Thursday)
  • Instagram 7pm
  • #TBT, #ThrowBackThursday, #ThursdayThoughts, #ThirstyThursday
  • Post a video to use on both YouTube and Facebook
  • Alternate day for posting Live video (testing b/w Wednesday and Thursday)
  • Post Huffington Post article and/or blog post
  • Post on Pulse (alternate with Monday)
  • Inspiring, final push before weekend, don’t live for weekends and vacations
  • Look into Podcasting (biweekly)…

 

Friday:

  • Content for the morning mostly curated from elsewhere
  • Repeat original content from past week
  • Content Marketing Weekly Round-Up repost
  • #ICYMI, #TGIF, #shabbatshalom, #grindtime
  • Try to post most things before 12pm
  • Something for 3-4 pm
  • Huffington Post article if urgent or was not posted for some reason on Tuesday or Thursday
  • Last push before the weekend, productivity, happy and inspiring for the weekend

Channels:

  • This mostly refers to content creation. Documenting is still very important.
  • Use general best practices, test, and adapt based on behavioral observation of my particular audience
  • 15-85% rule talking about self vs providing value (right-hook vs jab)
  • Consistent branding and message across all channels, but speak the language of each particular medium
  • Adapt to the needs of each platform so every piece of content feels native and authentic
  • 50-50% curated versus original content
  • Cross-promote all content across every channel, adapting the copy and presentation to the specific nuances of each platform
  • Promote SnapChat handle and QR on all channels (except SnapChat, duh)
  • Do some HW learning and studying about each platform and keep up with new features and best practices (5-10% of time). This includes researching and playing around with new social networks
  • Try one new social network per month
  • Name of the game is getting attention
  • This will attract people who will then look more closely at who I am and what I do.
  • Document more than create

Facebook:

  • Test times (mornings and afternoons)
  • 7-9 am
  • 10-11am
  • 12-1:30pm – Best time/most people on Facebook
  • Post on average – 2-5 times per week
  • Every day or every other day
  • Memes, videos, Facebook lives, blog posts, articles from elsewhere
  • Best is Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
  • Post a note once per week (Tuesday notes), which can be taken fro my blog or my Huff Po column
  • Document being a freelancer/entrepreneur starting a marketing busienss every day (video and image mostly). Use NYC to my advantage.
  • One ad every other week – $20/day for two-five days
  • First priority – Post concrete, simple value offer and boost post for $20/day

Twitter:

  • Use trending hashtags (Trending #s on Twitter and Google Trends) every day
  • 12 – 20 tweets per day every day (at least 2-3 per day can be auto-scheduled)
  • 6 tweets should be to other people
  • 6 tweets on page
  • Speedy replies to automated tweets
  • Retweets should have my own two cents and relevant hashtags whenever possible
  • #TuesdayThoughts – optimize for retweets
  • Share video, photos, and blog posts
  • Retweet (no more than two or three times per day)
  • Periscope biweekly
  • 2-3 hashtags per post
  • #contentmarketing, #contentwriter, #freelance, #freelancer, #entrepreneur, #entrepreneurs, #startups, #copwriting, #marketing, #digitalmarketing, #socialmediamarketing
  • DM three interesting people who follow me and try to get them to subscribe to email newsletter, check out blog, or do business per week
  • Use search to find people in marketing, business, entrepreneurship, startups, tech, branding, freelance etc. and talk to them
  • Document being a freelancer/entrepreneur starting a marketing busienss every day (video and image mostly). Use NYC to my advantage.

LinkedIn:

  • Publish to Pulse once per week (can be a blog post or from Huffington Post)
  • Publish in groups related to digital marketing and entrepreneurship twice per week (Mondays, Tuesdays, and/or Thursdays) – Pick out topic on which I’ll pose a question or start a discussion in advance
  • Message 3-5 potential leads or apply 3-5 freelance content writing gigs per week
  • Share updates 20 times per month (5 times per week) 7-9am and 9-5 Mon-Thurs
  • 2-3 original pieces of content and 2-3 curated with my own two cents provided
  • Message people every day with birthdays or celebrating milestone/accomplishment
  • Post blog posts, Huff Po articles, and B2B-friendly memes/images
  • First priority – Optimize and update profile once a month – Second Sunday of each month

 

Instagram:

  • See previous hashtags
  • Post blog posts in bio and tell people in the copy to check link in bio for blog post
  • Provide one image or video w/ teaser for blog per week
  • Provide one image or video with longform content and hashtags that’s stand-alone once a week
  • Respond to those who comment or like
  • Use search to find people in marketing, business, entrepreneurship, startups, tech, branding, freelance etc. and talk to them
  • DM interesting 2-3 followers per week
  • 3-20 Instagram stories per day (average about 3)
  • Get out there and do more interesting things to provide content for stories
  • Announce when new blog posts and live videos will be coming out
  • Announce upcoming projects and news
  • Document being a freelancer/entrepreneur starting a marketing busienss every day (video and image mostly). Use NYC to my advantage.
  • Try Instagram ads

 

Snapchat:

  • Aim to post once or twice per hour on average
  • Share from camera roll and share popular snaps to other channels
  • Save to Google Photos so memory doesn’t disappear
  • 50-50% marketing/business tips vs humor
  • Get out there and do more interesting things to provide content for stories
  • Use at social gatherings
  • Ask friends/intern to snap for me
  • Have a friend take over my SnapChat once every other month
  • Use at events and public gatherings relevant to my field
  • Announce when new blog posts and live videos will be coming out
  • Announce upcoming projects and news
  • Warn people a snap beforehand to save or photograph next snap when needed
  • Explain it to others in blog etc. Educate people about best practices and such.
  • Document being a freelancer/entrepreneur starting a marketing busienss every day (video and image mostly). Use NYC to my advantage.

 

Google+

  • Post 5 times per week
  • Curated and original content
  • Blog posts, videos, images
  • Find new groups and people to follow
  • Follow 3 new people and 3 new groups per week
  • Research best practices
  • Post Mon-Thurs

Music.ly

  • Study people doing well on it
  • Post 1-2 videos per week
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Research best practices
  • Try music and skits
  • Promote it on Snapchat and Instagram
  • Become a thought leader explaining it to older folks etc.

Pinterest:

  • Create a Pinterest for free for a friend and test and learn
  • Create one for self if it can make sense for my brand (may need professional photography and a website first)
  • Can link to blog posts
  • Tailor it to Pinterest audience (mostly female, suburban). Find those on their interested in marketing
  • Put more content there for a non-marketing audience, since most on the platform into craft ideas, purchases of items, educational ideas, health, food, and recipes
  • Perhaps document my journey learning to cook and stuff (or get a dog)

YouTube:

  • Once per week
  • Come up with idea for a show – episode once per week….
  • Cross-promote it on other channels – particularly email newsletter and Google+

 

Email Newsletter:

  • 1-2 past blog posts (not including round-up)
  • 1 video (YouTube mostly)
  • Content Marketing Round-up – round-up of other content about content marketing with my two cents
  • Launch special promotional offer once per month (or season) particularly to new subscribers in addition to newsletter (drip email)
  • Update list once every three months – Third Wednesday of each month
  • First priority – MailChimp: Add contacts, create template – Do this by November 30th.

 

Blog:

  • Publish one blog post about starting a business/freelancing and hustling every Monday (inspiration, documentation, stories, practical tips and tactics)
  • Publish one blog post about content marketing every Tuesday (strategy, tip, tactic etc.)
  • Content Marketing Weekly Round-Up every Thursday