Three-fourths of today’s most successful companies say they always or frequently deliver content consistently. But what the heck does that even mean?
The way I see it, this is a multi-faceted question. There are several types of content forms out there that each have their own set of rules: where and when to distribute, how to track/analyze, and how often to publish for optimal results. These various content forms include blogs, white papers, social media posts, case studies, infographics, eBooks…the list goes on.
So, how often should you post content to maximize overall content marketing effectiveness? This question might have been burning in the back of your mind for months or even years. I’m no Joe Pulizzi, but I’ve been advising companies on content marketing effectiveness for close to a decade and I feel I can lend some practical insights based on my experience. Here’s how I typically break this down for clients (not considering budget or bandwidth limitations):
Blogs: Companies across the spectrum—from startups to international enterprises—should strive to publish at least two blogs per week, or a total of 8 per month. These blogs should vary in subject matter and author. Here’s a sampling of blogs you could rotate through each month:
- 2 evergreen blogs (long shelf life, always relevant, quickly consumable)
- 3 executive thought leadership blogs (penned by the individual him or herself, or ghostwritten by a third-party writer)
- 2 product features (blogs meant to organically highlight the features and functionalities of a product or service)
- 1 Q&A (sit down with a subject matter expert to pick their brain on your newest product release. Or, talk with a member of the C-suite about the future of the industry/notable trends).
Roll out these blogs any two days of each week (you could dive into research to pinpoint specific days/times to maximize responsiveness but starting here is just fine).
White papers: These longer-form assets require much more research and energy, and so they should be reserved as premium content that’s rolled out less frequently than blogs. My suggestion is to produce one new white paper per quarter, totaling 4 per year. Each white paper should differ in nature to offer prospects and customers a diverse content portfolio. For example:
- White paper 1: The Significance of XXX (discussing a new industry trend or change at large)
- White paper 2: The Rules of XXX (ex: strategy for improving in a certain area of business, educating readers to take action)
- White paper 3: Six Steps to Improve XXX (a how-to asset that helps readers confidently navigate a key challenge)
- White paper 4: How XX Will/Has Transform(ed) XX (ex: how chatbots will transform retail or how AI has transformed banking).
Social posts: I’m going to point you to this blog here, which thoroughly explains when to post social media content depending on the specific channel.
In my opinion, the content forms from here on out are not mandatory to produce at a certain rate; however, you should strive to post at least a couple per year. They add a nice little flavor to a winning content marketing strategy.
Case studies: Your ability to post case studies will always depend on client availability. For example, a satisfied client may not have time to contribute to the asset. Another client may have time but might not want their name mentioned throughout (if this is the case and you’re eager to get case studies out there, agree to post under anonymity).
Other clients may have rigorous approval processes that make producing the case study counter-productive (assets that mention clients by name, especially larger or international corporations, usually must go through several chains of approval that can take months). If this is the case, I recommend pursuing anonymity to speed things up. For these reasons, it’s impractical to try and post case studies at a set rate. Just do your best! If you’re still not sure exactly why you should be posting case studies, check out this blog.
Infographics: These are fun to produce and barely take any time when you’re using free templates (I personally love these 15 customizable ones from HubSpot). Considering how little time and effort these take, I would say shoot to produce one per month using relevant market research, whether this is collected internally by surveying your own customers or from various credible sources on the Web. These are meant to be snackable pieces of content that further drive thought leadership.
eBooks: The way I see it, eBooks are comparable to long-form infographics. They’re similarly data-rich and visual heavy; however, they take much longer to produce. This eBook I recently created, for example, took about 15 hours from start to finish. I would say try to produce at least one or two of these a year. My favorite platform for making these is Canva, which offers customizable templates for easily getting started.
And there you go! Though there are many more content forms we can discuss (videos, email, brochures, fact sheets) I think this is a good place to start.