It's all well and good creating all this brilliant marketing content for your company, but how are you going to make sure it gets sent out on time? How do you divvy up parts of this pretty monstrous task properly and efficiently? Well here’s our thoughts on how to plan the truest rock n roll invention: the content schedule.
1. Trello; your new organising friend
As soon as I started at Mattr I implemented Trello - the hyper visual, hyper collaborative and super easy to use organisational tool that you will become addicted to. Having all the team on Trello meant that I was able to assign tasks to people, collaborate on lists and easily share ideas for our plan of action for our content. Trello saves you from falling into the trap and pressure of not remembering to do something crucial as part of your content campaign for example, you can assign X to find images, Y to find influencers for cross promotion and Z knows to put in the hyperlinks in the article for SEO.
2. CMS wars: Hootsuite vs Buffer vs SproutSocial.
You have loads of platforms you want to spread your message on, but don’t have the time to always log into each of them when posting your content. Well have no fear, your content management system is here. So which one to choose? Well, in one corner you have Hootsuite, in another you have Buffer and then somewhere in the crowd you have SproutSocial. I’ve tried all three and have found Hootsuite is the most consistent and has the broadest amount of features. The main advantage of Hootsuite is that you can post into multiple Linkedin groups that you follow, Facebook groups and schedule Instagram images.
What Buffer is best at is it’s smart posting feature that sends out your post at the busiest times your users are online, some digital marketers i’ve met REALLY swear by Buffer so it’s definitely worth taking a look at. And then there is SproutSocial, not THAT much different between Buffer and Hootsuite, but what it does do (which I felt was the main reason to mention the service) is it’s powerful analytics that is part of the service (unlike Hootsuite's ridiculous credit system).
3. Platform posting times
We suggest start off by writing up a timetable on a big whiteboard and fill in the times you know you can commit to creating content each week. Then work out what you believe are the best time for that content to be posted.
Once you’ve done this, either take a punt and allow Buffer to auto post your content for you based on your users optimal times, OR if you’re trying to be time sensitive then go back to your audience persona’s and figure out when would be a good time to post to them. Bear in mind this approach won’t work well on Facebook timeline because of its algorithm, but this strategy would work fine on Facebook Groups, Twitter & Instagram (within reason).
One thing we’ve learnt is that optimal posting times are important, but unless you’re CONSISTENT with your posting none of it will even matter. One way around this is to add a CTA at the end of your piece of content (Video, Blog etc) with a blurb that reads (something along the lines of) “come back every Wednesday for more content like this”. Creating your own obvious CTA makes it SO much easier for post something for an audience who is actually expecting your content.
4. Knowing your team's strengths
This age old idea plays a vital role in your content schedule as attention to detail is key. For example if you know Brian can find the best stock images, Louise is good at finding relevant quotes, Amy is great at analysing the data of what content works well and when to post and then Scott knows how to reach out to influencers. For us, we all have our key roles and have found some of us are better at other aspects of putting the content together, we knew it all was (and still is) a matter of testing as we continue to find our goldilocks formula.
5. Putting aside time for CRM
Don’t forget to set time aside for community relations management (CRM)! It can really boost how receptive your audience is to your content each time you post something new. This is as simple as making sure you respond to: comments, tweets, emails and ensuring your audience feels listened to and appreciated. This is also a really great way to scope out what content your audience want to see and also is a easy way to make more content in itself. For example many Youtubers collect user generated content (UGC) in the form of comments and response videos all to create another piece of content from the UGC they’ve gathered. What better way of keeping your content personal, accessible and fresh by having your audience feel involved.