In my experience with content marketing, whether blogging, podcasts, email marketing, or social media, there is one major problem that faces nearly every business at some point.
Consistency is, in many ways, just as important as quality, but much harder to produce.
After all, business ebbs and flows throughout the year, along with our ideas and motivation. I so often see brands doing amazingly well one week and crickets the next.
As a content producer and business owner, I get it. Consistency can decline despite the best of intentions.
But as an audience member, I know that a lack of consistency is a massive killer. It shows me that you don’t have a full commitment to your business or your customers. It means that I might forget about you or how to find you when the time comes for me to buy. Perhaps it even creates space in my head for your competitors to occupy.
So, how do we keep at it long term?
I have a few tips that have helped me (and my clients) with consistency.
When inspiration hits, roll with it. Create as much content as you can in one go. I love spending hours at a time writing my blog posts while I'm inspired. Then I might spend a few weeks without writing anything for myself. If inspiration doesn’t tend to strike for you, that's okay too. Just schedule in a few hours to blog and do as many as you can at once.
Schedule ahead of time
Once you’ve created a batch of content, schedule it in to your blog and social media. Ideally, start by scheduling a week in advance, then gradually increase this to a month or two… or more! This gives you a buffer in case your business goes through a busy period. You can focus on serving customers and clients, then go back to batching and scheduling content when the rush period is over.
Don’t post too little
If you don’t post often enough your brand will be forgotten and your message will be lost in all the noise. And the internet is pretty noisy these days. You need to assume that only a small percentage of your audience will see each piece of content you share. Even if you share every day, most of your audience will only hear from you once a week.
So, how much content is just the right amount? Start by checking what your most successful competitors are doing and experiment from there. It will vary a great deal depending on your platform and industry, but as a starting point, weekly blogs and daily social media posts tend to work well for most people.
Don’t post too much
When I write 10 blog posts in one go, it can be tempting to go ahead and share them all right away. But this would really disrupt the consistent pattern I’ve set (one post per week) and my audience wouldn’t know what to expect anymore. The same thing goes for other platforms – consistency is about being predictable, which means not posting too little or too much. If you have a lot to share in one go, try spacing it out with scheduling.
Be open and honest
If a platform is not working for you anymore, you’re heading elsewhere, or changing your direction, tell your audience about it. For example, perhaps you’ve decided to stop Tweeting or reduce the frequency (you wouldn’t be the only one!).
Send a quick Tweet saying “Hi! We’re mostly hanging out at Instagram these days so please feel free to join the conversation there @yourhandle.”
This ensures that anyone checking Twitter knows you’re being intentional about your lack of posting (it’s not because you’ve forgotten to post or your business has shut down) and that they can find you on another platform.
If your budget permits, get some help with your content marketing. There are heaps of services at all different price points that you can use to level-up your content or systemise it, so you save your time. This could be help with transcribing, blog writing, video production, audio editing, scheduling, graphic design, community management, moderating, and much more.
It can take a lot of effort to stay consistent with your content, but as with most things in business, it’s worth it if you stick at it. And if you stick at it for long enough, that’s when the benefits will start to compound.
It's a work in progress
By the way, I'm not perfect at this. I've been a bit inconsistent lately with some of my social media content. But I'm working on it!
Just this week, I've gone through this process myself. I batched and scheduled over 400 social media posts. And can I just say... it feels amazing. And it's 100% worth the time and effort.
Here’s to consistency!