Raise your hand if you’ve experienced content fatigue. Yeah, me too.
The tricky thing about managing content marketing is that it never stops. There’s always a platform that needs a post, a channel you want to expand into or a new direction to take your strategy. But in an area where consistency is critical, fatigue is an all-too-common roadblock.
You can’t create high-quality content when you’re tired (at least, I can’t), but alas, the show must go on. So what do you do?
You start scheduling content.
Scheduling content is how you get yourself organized, ensure your brand maintains its presence across multiple marketing channels and, most importantly, prevent content fatigue from derailing all your efforts. And the best thing is that it works for every type of content.
I could probably do an entire series on why this is so important, but for the sake of time, I’ll stick with just these 7 benefits.
#1 Save Time
I am all about maximizing productivity, and part of that is not allowing a million tiny things to eat up all the time in the day. Even if you’re adding a task to your Asana board or going old school and leaving sticky notes on your desktop so you don’t forget to post, you still have to take that time out of the day to actually post content.
Imagine if instead of spending 30 minutes here and there, disrupting your workflow, throughout the week, you could spend a single hour scheduling posts for everything you need to publish for the next week. That’s the beauty of content planning.
It allows you to block your tasks so that when you’re in publishing mode, you’re all in. You can focus on ensuring you have the right graphics, content is posting on the right day, all your links work, etc. You can schedule days or weeks in advance — whatever helps you the most — to know that your content is working hard in the background, even if it’s not top of mind for you.
No more worrying about content while you’re trying to push forward other initiatives. No more wondering if skipping a week will hurt your web sessions or SEO. Lumping all your publishing activities into one task that you complete on a regular basis saves you a whole lot of hours and a whole lot of stress.
#2 Be More Strategic
One of my favorite things about content scheduling is that it gives you an opportunity to be much more strategic with your posts. Want to do a series about a particular topic? You can plan it. Want your content to follow a central theme? You can plan it. Want to promote certain products or services in tandem with other marketing campaigns? You…can see where I’m going with this. 😉
As you put together your content calendar (which is a priority when scheduling content), you’ll start to get a high-level view of how your content works together and drives business goals. This is especially true if you’re also tracking analytics, but we’ll get to that later.
Need a content calendar? We got you covered. Just download our template.
You can use your content calendar to monitor what you’re posting and on which channels to ensure you create a cohesive experience across all platforms. This not only makes you look professional and put together, but it also makes it easier to drive traffic to specific pages on your website. So if you want more people to look at a product page, check out a new service, or book a sales call, all of your content can drive them there in various ways that match where they are in the customer journey.
In short: Better strategy = higher likelihood of success.
#3 Take Advantage of Downtime
It’s the nature of marketing. You hit a slower patch in your business and suddenly you can invest all this time in lead generation, brand awareness, developing services, etc. But eventually, all those efforts pay off and things speed up again, leaving with no time to dedicate to internal efforts.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, when it comes to content marketing, consistency is critical. Your efforts won’t do much good if you only pick them up every few months. It has to be a consistent, ongoing effort if you expect to see returns.
Content scheduling lets you take advantage of those slow periods in your business to prioritize content creation. Don’t just write for the week, write for the quarter. When your business is slow, try to create and schedule as many valuable blogs, social media posts, videos, and graphics as you can. These will carry you through the busy times when you don’t have time to work on content so that you’re still posting consistently without sacrificing time you need to spend with clients.
Before I move on, I need to clarify one very important caveat. Some marketing teams might think: “Oh we’re slow. Let’s push out as much content as possible!” Although this intention is pure, the execution often goes awry. I warn against using language like “push out content” with your team members because it often conveys “We want things fast, even if they aren’t great.”
The results of your content will directly reflect how valuable it is to your target audience. So you never want to “push out content” just for the sake of having something posted. Take your time to think through valuable topics, optimize your posts and position yourself as a knowledgeable expert. Even if it takes a little longer, it always pays to do content right the first time.
#4 Stay Top of Mind
This is the whole goal of marketing. And in most areas of your business, it requires active effort. When you use publishing tools, though — like Canva, Buffer, or HubSpot — you can automate publishing so your posts run on autopilot. The benefit: You stay top of mind without having to lift a finger.
The best way to set up your posting schedule — both for visibility and SEO — is to create a reliable cadence of when you publish new content on each platform. For example, you might post blogs on Tuesdays, LinkedIn posts on Wednesdays, and Facebook and Instagram posts on Thursdays. Not only does this set an expectation for your followers, making it easy for them to know when to find new content, but it also makes it easy for you to plan. You can schedule content weeks in advance and still maintain your regular cadence.
This isn’t to say you’re locked in to only posting on those days. If you create something in the meantime that you want to post right away, do it! Content scheduling is a way to create reliability that you can supplement with spontaneity.
#5 Stay Organized
It doesn’t take long for those five content pieces you planned to turn into 500. The more content you create, the bigger backlog you’ll have on your website and social media accounts. The key is to find tools that keep you organized so you know what’s being posted in the future and what you posted in the past.
We’ve already mentioned content calendars, which are great for blog and website content. You can include the post date, a status column, the title and target keyword to keep yourself organized. Social media marketing, however, often needs something more advanced than a spreadsheet.
Social media management tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite have a variety of functionalities and scheduling features. They offer automation options for social media content, can send you notifications when you get your first comment or like and aggregate post analytics in a single dashboard. And the best part is that you can do these for multiple social media platforms all in one account.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention HubSpot’s social media management tool. If you have HubSpot Marketing Pro or above, you can take advantage of features like notifications when your brand is mentioned, advanced analytics and reporting tools, campaign building and value attributions. And yes, you can manage all of your channels from within your portal.
It’s a much easier way to manage the hundreds of posts that will accumulate across your social media accounts since these channels typically require a much heavier posting volume than blogs.
#6 Analyze What Needs to Be Updated
There’s a growing movement in the content world to focus more on updating existing content than creating new content. Of course, if you’re just starting your content marketing efforts, then you won’t have much to update. But if you’re further in — roughly one year or more — then you likely have some old pieces that could use a little love.
*Note: Writing evergreen content significantly extends the life of your posts, meaning you won’t constantly have to update the information you publish.
One way to evaluate your past blogs is to scroll through your CMS and see what looks “old.” But this can take hours and you might scroll past content on accident or miss posts that don’t match your search criteria. An easier way is to use your content calendar.
When you go back and review what you posted and when, you should be able to tell at a glance which blogs are due for an update. For example, if you posted an evaluation of your favorite industry tool six months ago but they just released a major update last week, you’ll know it’s time to add that update to your post so it remains relevant.
Making content relevant to the present day is just one reason to update content. A few others include:
- Traffic to the blog has plateaued or dropped off
- You can offer a new or unique angle to the topic
- The current content no longer matches your marketing strategy/focus
As you parse through your existing content, remember that SEO performance takes time. Don’t update a recent blog just because it isn’t generating the traffic you want — because it might just not be generating the traffic you want yet. Instead, focus on blogs at least one year old that could use some love.
#7 Schedule Reporting
The best content decisions are data-driven. That means you have to have some type of regular reporting set up so you can track analytics and measure the success of your posts. The best way to do this reliably is — you guessed it — adding it to your content calendar.
I recommend scheduling at least one analytics evaluation per quarter. This will show you how your content from the previous quarter is performing and which pieces are making the biggest impact on your business. With this information, you can make informed decisions about next quarter’s content and how it will support your overall marketing strategy.
When analyzing your analytics, it’s important not to be blinded by traffic numbers. By that, I mean traffic isn’t the only measurement of content success. You also want to look at whether or not the web page has any backlinks (for blogs), if leads are converting from that page or post and what keywords the content is ranking for. You can use this information not only to tell if it's valuable in its current state, but also to decide in what way you could improve its performance — rank higher for a keyword, improve engagement, get more backlinks, etc.
Regularly reporting your content’s metrics will make it easier to see trends as time goes on, which, in turn, makes it easier to make strategic decisions for your brand.
Is It On Your Calendar?
Whether you’re a small business or enterprise company, creating and scheduling content in advance can save you countless hours of stress and work against a clock. You can go to work with the peace of mind that your content is working in the background to generate leads and create brand awareness. Plus, you can make data-driven decisions that move your overall marketing strategy forward.
To learn more about measuring the success of your efforts, check out our blog Is Your Content Marketing Working?