You decided to invest more time in content marketing, so you’ve started creating blogs, videos, social media posts and email campaigns. When you started, everything was probably going pretty well. You’d leave a note for yourself to post content on certain days, maybe even had a spreadsheet to act as your social media calendar.
However, I’m willing to bet that, over time, this process stopped working. You forgot to publish something, you didn’t have time to optimize that blog and your team members are feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this content they’re supposed to create.
We’ve all been there. And it’s why you need to schedule content. Creating content ahead of time and using automation to publish them at the right time is a simple way to not only streamline your workflow but also take pressure off your team.
When you’re not always worried about publishing your new content at the perfect time, you can focus more on content planning to ensure everything you create aligns with your marketing strategy and your ideal client’s needs.
In addition to a more aligned marketing machine, I’ve highlighted 7 core benefits of scheduling content.
1. Strategic Social Media Content
Social media is a beast in and of itself. The speed at which it moves means you need to be sending out Tweets or posting pictures to Instagram multiple times a day. Scheduling posts makes this possible.
You use social listening or social media analytics to evaluate your audience to determine the ideal social networks, hashtags, and posting times to reach your target audience. This ensures that your efforts will boost your social media presence for the right eyes.
Another area where this is particularly helpful is when planning promotions and ads. You can use scheduling features to ensure your posts are timed accurately so they’re catching people’s attention and engaging them throughout their journey.
In short, scheduling your social posts helps you curate a cohesive experience for your audience without having to worry about hitting “post” every two hours. You can use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to help you manage your social media strategy.
2. Save Time
Whether you’re running a small business or managing a marketing team, you’re busy. You don’t have time to proof and publish every piece of communication that your brand sends out in a day. Content scheduling gives you the option to manage content creation when you have the time and space to do so.
To be more specific, you can:
- Plan posts in advance
- Seem active online even if you’re not regularly engaging
- Have the freedom to focus on other aspects of the business
One important note is that you don’t want to plan posts too far in advance. The sweet spot is having all of your content — from blogs to LinkedIn and Instagram posts to Tiktok videos — planned out 4-6 weeks ahead of time. Anything further than six weeks, and you’ll likely have to make changes when you reach that post to ensure it aligns with current campaigns.
3. Write When You Feel Creative
Your personality can affect what times of day you feel most focused. Understanding how and when you work best can help you point your skills toward content at times you feel most creative. And without a pesky deadline handing over your head, you won’t have to worry about the anxiety to get a piece done right now.
Having your brain free to focus on content curation means you won’t get stuck in the pattern of recycling topics or blogs over and over again. You’ll be able to come up with new ideas that are valuable to your readers and answer their questions.
Plus, you won’t have to spend all your time writing one type of content. You can focus on blogs one week, then turn them into social content the next week and an email series the next. This allows you to segment your type of writing so you get in a good groove and can stick with it instead of frantically jumping from task to task.
4. Stay Organized
Whether it’s a social media campaign, your blog content strategy or sending content to influencers, you need to stay organized to keep up with content marketing. You’ll have a lot of different assets going in a lot of different directions at all times, and you can’t always rely on notifications you set up for yourself.
When you’re scheduling content, you can use a content calendar to help you plan out what you’ll post on which channels and how they all connect back to an initiative or campaign. Share this document with your entire marketing team and anyone who assists in content creation so everyone knows what’s being published and when.
Don’t have a content calendar? We’ve got you covered. Download a template here.
5. Keep Your Business Top Of Mind
Content marketing is all about creating a consistent presence. That presence is what helps you generate brand awareness, both on search engines and social media channels, which then drives traffic to your website. However, if you aren’t posting consistently, you’ll likely fall behind the competition.
When you schedule content in advance, you ensure that your brand is a consistent presence wherever you’re marketing. Maybe you put out a blog once a week or regular videos on YouTube. The more consistent you are with publishing content, the easier it is for people to know exactly what to expect from your brand. You’ll be surprised how many people start checking in for new content when they know your posting schedule.
6. Analyze Your Content
Once you start posting more consistently, you’ll notice your backlog of content growing. And growing fast. This can feel overwhelming, but it’s a good thing. Look at every piece of content as a treasure trove of data. With that data, you can determine what your audience likes and is interested in versus what doesn’t really strike their fancy.
Just like you have a calendar for publishing content, create a schedule for checking metrics too. This could be once a month or once a quarter, but ensure you always set aside time to look at how your content is performing. For blogs, you can use your CMS reporting tools or Google Analytics. For social, there are plenty of social media management tools that also offer reporting functionality.
Keep in mind that you can’t watch your content climb the rankings in real-time. You need to give your content some time to perform and the platform (Google, social media platforms, YouTube, etc.) time to index and assess your content. As a rule of thumb, it usually takes about three months to start seeing gains from content marketing.
7. Repurpose What You’ve Already Written
The final benefit of content scheduling is that you can make informed decisions about what content to repurpose. As you go through the metrics on all your blogs, you can pull out things that have dipped in views or are losing spots in rankings. These are great articles to repurpose and republish.
The main reason articles will perform worse over time is that the lose their relevance. Maybe you wrote a blog about the state of your industry in 2016, but it’s been three years and the landscape has changed. You can take that blog and turn it into evergreen content — something that is relevant no matter what the date is. Make your post more general, but still valuable, and republish it to your website with an updated date.
Start Planning Ahead
Creating and scheduling content for your business in advance can save you countless hours of stressing and working against a clock. You can go to work with the peace of mind that your content is working the background to generate leads and create brand awareness.
To learn about measuring the success of your efforts, check out our blog Is Your Content Marketing Working?