Social Media: The best-kept content marketing secrets

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As social media talking heads say, content is king. For both business-to-business and business-to-consumer businesses, creating content to share across social channels is increasingly how brands are making the leap from good to great.

In recent years studies from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute have showed that the biggest challenges for brands are creating engaging content and producing enough of it.

Google reinforces this need in a couple different ways. First, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research tells us that the average shopper interacts with 10.4 pieces of content before buying — twice as much as in years past.

Second, as Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt famously noted, every two days we create as much content as we did from the beginning of time up until 2003. In short, content is critical and we need a lot of it.

So how do we go about creating all of this? As a content creator myself I’m often asked how I produce content in addition to my other work. Ultimately it comes down to two things — keeping a schedule and a simple mantra I use to follow that schedule.

Schedules and Deadlines

With social media, everyone’s a publisher.

You’ve no doubt heard this phrase tossed around cavalierly. While often used as an attention-getting impact statement, it also holds a secret that few marketers fully embrace.

The social web does in fact give you the potential to build an online platform, but to create enough content you need to act like a publisher, too. Specifically, that means establishing and respecting a schedule that works for you and your audience.

Whether that means weekly, biweekly or monthly, reinforce this routine with a consistent date and time for your posts. Scheduling and respecting deadlines not only helps you establish a routine, it also sets an expectation with your audience.

However, this merely sets the stage. The real content creation secret can be summed up with three simple words.

Just Push Publish

With a publishing schedule in place, the only thing that remains is doing the work and meeting your deadlines. Yet many struggle with this, opting instead to take comfort in over-writing and over-editing posts and other forms of content.

The mantra “just push publish” takes its roots in advice from my high school art teacher who taught me to stop fiddling and finish the piece.

More editing does not always make something better. Being a content creator means producing regularly.

Does this encourage mediocrity if you publish a post that isn’t up to par? Not at all.

Of course, if it’s terrible, you don’t have to publish it. But if your standards are reasonable — that is, accepting that each post is not Ulysses — you should have no problem meeting them in a timely fashion.

Above all, this practice helps you build your content creation muscles. While many wait to blog until they “feel it” and then get lost in the process of excessive word-smithing, you need to get used to shipping.

Though we’ve focused heavily on things from a blogging perspective, these secrets — scheduling and “just push publish” — work for other forms of content as well, such as e-books, white papers, videos and more.

What are you waiting for? Don’t you have a deadline to meet?

Go ahead. Your business and your community will thank you for it.

This article, Social Media: The best-kept content marketing secrets, was re-published from The Gazette.