Perseverance pays dividends when it comes to content marketing
I have found myself having multiple conversations about the Content Marketing Snowball Effect in recent weeks. When I sit down with clients and explain to them all of the different content marketing activities that they need to be doing to grow their audience, it sounds exhausting! But the snowball effect describes the way that you will see results – slowly, but as they gain momentum and traction, they will get bigger and faster and more noticeable.
Think of it kinda like compounding interest and the network effect combined – as you start to consistently put branded (yet meaningful) content out into the world, you are drawing more and more people into your ‘orbit’. And as those people start to take notice of your content and engage with you, people within their ‘orbit’ will start to notice them engaging with your brand and start to take notice of your brand as well.
The more new people you pull into your ‘orbit’ the more opportunities you have to increase your reach and brand awareness by reaching people in their orbit (or networks or communities or follower lists).
Ask any social media influencer or business with a large social media following and they will often tell you that the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into getting their first 1000 followers far outweighed the amount of effort that it took to double, triple or quadruple that following.
Many of the business owners that I talk to don’t like social media or content marketing activities; they spend all this time creating what they think is going to be an amazing piece of content that their audience is going to love and then when they push it out into the world…. crickets. And that is rough. But it is also common.
Content marketing takes time, routine, commitment and most importantly – consistently. Even the most successful social media butterflies will tell you that if they stop posting for a few days or a week they will notice a drop off in their audience and engagement numbers. If you are constantly stopping and starting your content marketing activities then you are not really giving yourself and your brand the opportunity it needs to start getting that momentum flowing – to get that snowball effect.
Instagram also recently supported this message of consistency when they made a (very rare) announcement about how their algorithm ranks content. The takeaway of the announcement was that it is better to appear in your follower’s feed routinely and consistently than in spurts. It is better to post 3 times a week, every week than to post 10 times over 2 days and then give up because you didn’t get the reach, engagement or new follower count you were expecting.
But while content marketing is a bit of a hard slog to get started, there are a few things that you can do to help nudge that snowball along…
Tips for Getting the Content Marketing Snowball Rolling:
Content marketing is time consuming. It requires routine and commitment, and to begin with it is going to feel like the results you are getting are not worth the effort it takes to produce and publish the content. None of these tips are going to change that – but they will help you cut a few corners and make your life a bit easier so that you are able to commit to more consistent content creation. They will help you turn content marketing from an avoided chore into a part of your everyday routine that just gets done without much hassle.
Content Themes and Messaging:
One of the most frequent things I hear as that people run out of things to post about and can’t think of something new to post every day. Content themes are basically just categories that you post about – each category has a different strategic purpose or message, and when you post content it should align with one or more of your content categories.
For example, a common category is ‘education’. The purpose of this content theme is to provide free value to your audience in the form of education or information, while also positioning yourself as skilled and knowledgeable in your field. Common types of content in this theme might be a sharing a tip or a trick, giving your professional opinion on an emerging trend within your industry, or addressing a common myth / knowledge gap that customers often have.
If you can create 5 different themes for your content to align with, and post one piece of content for each theme per week then suddenly you have 5 posts (one for every weekday!).
- Monday – Team / Culture
- Tuesday – Education
- Wednesday – Behind the Scenes
- Thursday – Promotional
- Friday – Celebrations/Wins/Shoutouts
BAM! Whole week of content done!
Ok, so you have your 5 content themes and now you need to start planning them out.
There is nothing worse that realising what a great content opportunity something was AFTER IT HAS HAPPENED AND YOU DIDN’T TAKE ANY PHOTOS! My team and I have a meeting every Friday and one of the first things on our agenda is to look at what is happening in the coming week and to plot out our content and posts for the week. That way, when I’m at that cute cafe meeting with a new client, I know I need to snap a pic of it for later. Or when we are celebrating Alex’s birthday, Cat knows she needs to snap a pic of the cake before we devour it.
Alright, so you’ve got your themes and you’ve planned out what you are doing for the coming week. Now start scheduling as much of it ahead of time as possible. (This is a great Friday afternoon activity when you’re counting down the hours to the end of the week and need something to keep you busy and productive but don’t want to start something new!). Start drafting up your captions, getting your hashtag lists ready and sourcing any stock or filler imagery that you need for your posts.
Some things – like the pic of that cake – you won’t be able to get until the day, but you can have the caption and the tags ready to go. You can also source a stock image of a cake in case the real one doesn’t turn out great or doesn’t fit with your grid aesthetic. You can then load all of that into an auto scheduling tool (we use Later but there are a bunch available) so that the completed posts auto-publish on the day and time of your choice, and the incomplete posts sit in drafts waiting for that photo to be uploaded and published. Scheduling content this way will cut down the time it takes during the week and will help you post consistently.
All Aboard The Content Train:
Get everyone you can involved in the content creation process. Firstly, it will save you time if other people are helping create some of the content. But secondly and more importantly, they probably have better ideas than you. If you’ve been doing this day in and day out and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere or are running out of ideas of what to post about – take it to the team. They will have fresh ideas and thoughts about how to reach and engage with your audience, they’ll be excited to be helping with the social media and content, and if it fails then you have someone other than yourself to blame. JOKING!
If it doesn’t work then you have a brain trust to discuss and dissect it with, and figure out what to do differently next time. Content marketing (and digital marketing as a whole) can be a lot of trial and error – testing things, tweaking them and dipping a toe in to see what works and what doesn’t work – and having a team to help brainstorm and come up with new theories or ideas to test can make that trial and error process a lot faster and easier.
Ok so those are my three biggest tips. I know they aren’t rocket science but they are honestly the biggest things that are going to help you post consistently. And posting consistently is the number one thing that is going to help you achieve the ‘Content Marketing Snowball Effect’.
As always, if you need any help with your social media management or content marketing let us know. No job is too big or too small for BeKonstructive Marketing, so whether you just need help setting up your content themes and strategy or want a full start-to-finish management service, we can help.