Whatever approach to content marketing you take you will need a strategy, a framework if you will, to guide your content planning and in this post I want to share with you 3 such frameworks.
I personally I lean more towards using the 411 content marketing rule, but each to their own. I say ‘lean towards’ because I doubt anyone can follow these frameworks exactly to the letter, as you need to be flexible and responsive, but the concept behind using frameworks is to get you thinking about how should approach things in a structured way.
First coined on a Tipping Point Labs post in 2009, and centred around Twitter, the concept has since been applied to all content marketing – the idea is this: share 4 pieces of relevant original content from others and re-share 1 relevant content piece for every 1 self-promoting content.
This diagram, although Twitter-focused, illustrates the 411 content marketing rule perfectly:
There are many adaptations of this rule when it comes to content marketing, these are well discussed on this post by Heidi Cohen, The Real Truth Behind The 80-20 Rule of Content Marketing, so I won’t go into it here.
My own approach to the 80/20 Rule is this: for every 5 pieces of content one should be about your product or service and the remaining four should be content and re-shares from your industries news / current affairs and content from your peers.
Rule of Thirds
Another framework to consider is the rule of thirds proposed by Cassie Gray on the Business 2 Community website – Using the Rule of Thirds to Build a Robust Online Community.
Rule of Thirds requires you to think of your content strategy as a whole which you then break it down into three segments – one third should be self-serving, one third about industry topics and trends and one third about you as a person, relevant events not directly related to your business.
I like this ‘make it personal’ addition to content planning and one that I think would work well with a localized business who want to add that personal community focused touch to the mix.
Tools To Help Rock Your Content Scheduling
HOOTSUITE – HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. Launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audiences, and distribute targeted messages using HootSuite’s unique social media dashboard.
BUFFER – Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long. Custom scheduling, multiple accounts, team member access and detailed analytics make Buffer the go-to social media management tool for more than 900,000 users around the world.
COSCHEDULE – The best thing about CoSchedule is that as you drag a post from one date to another, your social media messages move with it. This allows bloggers to create a series of messages that promote their blog posts on a rolling schedule.
Although I doubt you would want to follow these rules to letter as like me there will be times you’ll need to re-share more, or you’ll have more / or less to write about in your business.
However, I do though like the concept behind them which is to distribute your content in a structured and thought out manner. Do not be one of those businesses that just shouts at their social streams, balance your self-serving content with related news that will help your community and re-share select content from your peers.
It’s all about context.
By all means, you need to promote your products and services but to keep a social network engaged, especially in a fast moving content marketing over-driven landscape, you have to think seriously about how YOU approach yours.
How are you using content scheduling efficiently? What strategies do you employ to maintain efficiently? What content scheduling apps do you have in your marketing stack?