Content Marketing Step 3: Publication & Amplification
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
So, you’ve probably reached this article by going through our guide to content marketing for beginners.
That means you’ve just finished Step 2 of our guide to developing content. (If you haven’t, you really should do that first!)
Reaching this step means you already know how to plan and produce content for your campaign. Today’s step, which is technically the last part of this series, has to do with what comes after.
That’s the publication of that content and its amplification -- how can you do that for the best results?
We’ll take you through the answers below.
Let’s start with a tool that can help you immensely at this stage.
Most people will already have heard of the idea of a “content calendar”.
This is essentially a calendar that outlines what and where each piece of content is to be published each week, month, or so on.
That’s only sensible if you want to keep this process organised, so we definitely encourage you to make one too. What tools you use to make it are dependent on you.
There are content calendar apps and programs available now. But you don’t have to restrict yourself to them - we know some people who still use old-fashioned paper planners, in fact!
You can also use something as simple as a spreadsheet on Google Sheets if you prefer to go digital. What matters is that you have a calendar at all.
Now how far ahead you plan the calendar is also dependent on your situation or preferences.
Some people plan their calendars a year ahead; others, only a month; still others, a mere week. As long as you find a system that works for you and your team, you’re good to go!
The bigger question, really, is how to arrange the things in that calendar. That is, what should be published when and how do you decide that?
The Type of Content Matters
The first thing to consider when deciding where to put items in your calendar is the type of content each piece represents.
For instance, let’s say you have both articles for your company blog and posts for your company’s Instagram account. Their types will already affect the way you should space out these pieces of content on your editorial calendar.
There are general prescriptions about posting frequency for various types of content or content channels.
So you might see people scheduling blog posts on their calendar in such a way that only a few or even one gets published each week. On the other hand, you’ll often see them scheduling as many as three Instagram posts per day!
That’s because depending on the niche and audience - as well as the length of content - posting blogs only that often is advised. It keeps your blog active without inundating readers with content.
Meanwhile, most influencers and content marketers will advise you to publish one to three times per day on Instagram for maximum engagement.
Of course, you don’t need to stick to those rules strictly -- as we mentioned earlier, circumstances vary!
But to help you along, here are some typical frequency recommendations for various content types. You can use these as guides to populating your editorial calendar and when figuring out how to space pieces of content based on type.
Company blog posts: Anywhere from 4 to 16 posts per month. Those who publish more often get more engagement, of course, but this represents a significant amount of effort too, so don’t aim for the unsustainable. If you produce a lot of content regularly but it happens to be poor content, it’s not likely to help you.
Facebook posts: 1 to 2 times per day on weekdays, once on weekends.
LinkedIn posts: Around 20 times per month.
Instagram posts: 1 to 3 times per day.
YouTube videos and other video content: This really depends on your production abilities and video length, so just try to aim for a sustainable frequency, e.g. 1 video per week or 1 video per month.
You Need a Sense of Occasion
Sometimes, you can also figure out how to arrange content on your calendar by using events or occasions as guides.
You’ve probably seen this before. Companies generally do social media posts full of holiday greetings and themes around December, for instance.
But it's not just about fixed or annual events. Occasions can also be unique ones such as the latest news, developments in your industry, special one-off events relevant to your audience, etc.
An example would be an art website scheduling a retrospective post on a painter around the same time that painter has been or will be in the news for some reason or other.
The idea is to tap into what occupies people's attention at a given time. You can even add new items to the calendar based on this.
For instance, when the silicon chip shortage struck at the start of 2021, it worsened the supply of certain PC components, such as graphics cards.
In response, a fair number of YouTube channels in the tech scene adjusted their content calendars to not only cover the shortage and its ramifications but also to find possible stopgaps for those affected.
This resulted in a surge of videos covering techniques for purchasing or refurbishing used PC parts.
That’s because there were more people interested in buying or repairing second-hand parts due to the dearth of brand-new ones… and that meant more potential viewers for such content.
The Minutes Count
Here's another thing you should know when planning when to publish content: on some channels, the near-precise time of the "when" actually matters. In particular, it applies to content for social media.
This is because people from different demographics tend to use social media at set times of the day or specific days of the week.
While there are prescriptions here that many publish, this actually tends to vary across groups and locations.
Our advice is to check your own metrics on social media to learn when posts seem to get you the most engagement. Is it during the morning rush on weekdays? The lunch break? Or the hours from 8pm to 10pm?
Let's say you've published your content, which was a YouTube video. You can rest easy now, right?
You still have work to do to make sure you get as much out of your content as you can. You now have to promote your content to make sure it reaches as many of your target viewers as possible.
Why do it? Because that promotion can amplify your influence as well as the benefits your content marketing eventually brings.
So, how do you do it? There are quite a number of ways!
You can share links to the video in question on other social media platforms. Or post a link to the video on your blog. You can even link to the video in your latest email newsletter.
On certain platforms, you can even pay to have content promoted by being served to your target audience.
Some people even combine digital promotion techniques with traditional or offline ones. For example, it’s perfectly feasible to invite people to watch the video in question by printing the URL on tags, receipts, or cards.
The idea's simple: you want to make sure more people see or learn about the content you just put out. This means you can get as much value out of your work as possible.
As a final note, remember that doing partnerships or leveraging your network can be one of the best ways of promoting content.
Try asking others to promote it or work with influencers who have large audiences overlapping yours. Getting such people to promote your work can translate to huge gains in content exposure.
Optimisation & Amplification
Now, we could technically end our guide here. But the truth is, there are ways of further improving the gains you can get from a piece of content.
You can optimise a lot of content as you collect reactions to it or as the circumstances inspiring its creation change, for instance.
A fair number of news and opinion sites do this: they update articles as fresh material comes to light or as their readers make clear what other information they want on the topic.
You can do the same with some other types of content, editing and adding further meat to them to offer more value to your audience.
By adding more content about a particular subtopic as interest in that new subtopic grows in your audience, for instance, you can make something like a blog post more likely to show up in searches on Google by your target audience.
You can also amplify content through interaction, say be engaging with your audience in video comments or replies to posts on social media.
And you can build on particularly successful content by further promoting it, perhaps even by creating fresh content around it.
Is this milking your content for what it's worth? Certainly!
But provided you continue to offer new value each time, it's more likely to succeed than to fall flat.
You'll only have made a good thing better, so to speak. Your audience won't complain and will actually be more likely to grow.
How to Apply All of This Your Content Marketing
Now that you know how to begin with content marketing, it’s time for you to put it all into practice.
Of course, that’s still easier said than done. We won’t lie and say content marketing is simple. In most cases, it requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort.
And that’s where we come in. You probably realise this by now, but this whole series on how to do content marketing was in fact an example of content marketing.
Now you know a bit more about the sorts of things we do, how much we know about the topic, and so on. That obviously improves your impression of our marketing abilities - which was the goal.
At any rate, if you do find that you still need assistance with doing this type of marketing, feel free to drop us a line. We’ll be glad to help you to the full extent of our abilities.
We can even craft a full-on, multipronged content marketing strategy for your brand. As you can see from this example, we have some skill in this area ourselves!