Don't Cry Beige to Meet an Artificial Content Schedule
What do you do when you have nothing to say? And how do you align that reality with all the (often conflicting) advice about how frequently and when you should post to your blog and/or social networks?
With the holiday season fast approaching, that's often a huge concern for marketing/communications types within your business as vacations, downtimes, and business pace can contribute to a less-than-vibrant content-creation market, but let me give you an early Christmas gift.
Post when you have content. And don't stress.
You can Google all you want about studies, research, and advice, but the fact of the matter is that your social and blog content is supposed to be about showcasing you and your business -- honestly and with your customer's needs in mind.
And when it comes to content, I'm always going to argue quality over quantity.
Essentially, you have to ask yourself, "Am I saying something that matters, has value to my customers, and is relevant to their needs at this time?" If the answer is yes, then by all means post, tweet, and write away. But if the question you're actually answering is, "Since I haven't posted anything in a while, should I make something up to fill some artificially designed quota to make sure that my followers aren't forgetting about me?" then the answer should be no.
Why? Because nothing makes your readers, followers, and fans forget about you faster than forgettable content.
As a society, we are inundated on a daily basis with so much information that it can be hard to concentrate on what matters. As a defense mechanism, we scan through content to find things that stand out and are relevant to us. If you're merely creating content for the sake of creating content, then that's going to be reflected in its quality.
The fact of the matter is that some businesses, organizations, and industries are going to have peak periods and down times. If you're a summer festival, it makes sense that you're going to inundate your followers with content in and around the time of the festival, but likely not have much during the winter months.
And, you know what? Your readers know that. They're smart people. They're not expecting you to always be sharing content. They've got enough on their plate -- and they don't need your fluff getting in the way.
So how often should you post? It's easy. Here's the comprehensive list of dates, times, and frequency.
- When you have something worthwhile to say.
That's it. Sure, it's simplistic. I get that. But it works.
There are other factors to consider: amplification strategies; time zones; ensuring you reference or reuse content for multiple audiences.
But at the root of any solid content strategy is having good content. If you don't have anything worth sharing, amplifying, and referencing, then it's not worth forcing it. If you create content that doesn't have value to your customers, they'll move on.
Volume can be a negative if it's not filled with effective content. In fact, it can be extremely detrimental to your efforts. Simply pumping out content for the sake of an artificial schedule can cause people to unfollow you, or ignore your posts. And then when you have something to say, you've sacrificed that opportunity.
This isn't a "boy-crying-wolf" scenario -- it's that same boy just shouting "beige" over and over on a daily basis to make sure that he's heard. Eventually people will tune him out so that "wolf" message will be lost.
Now, there are things you can do to help create compelling content:
- Create a schedule of events, monthly foci, and goals that can help stimulate content production;
- Diversify your content and content creators to offer different items;
- Mix up your content to include photos, videos, etc.;
- Read-and-react to industry items.
But if you come to a point where you just don't have anything to say on a "scheduled post" day, please feel free to not say it.
Don't be intentionally forgettable. Don't be intentionally beige. Post when you have something to say and be OK with it. Your readers will thank you. And remember you.