Using the right tools - content marketer in training

The life of a Content Marketer is certainly fast paced —there's nothing quite like being in an agency on deadline day — and sometimes 24 hours in a day seems nowhere near enough.

Having said that, we all have the same 24 hours and shouldn't treat this as a limitation. I’ve learned to capitalise on this valuable time and use it to its full potential — whether that's through learning, working, or connecting with others.

Think it’s fair to say that I’m not alone in this predicament. No one ever has enough time to write and cram everything else into their day. This has become a well-known truism. In an information age, we are flooded with a never-ending stream of content — and it seems to be growing faster than the speed of light. Content marketers are expected to produce more and more content at a faster rate. How on earth can we keep up?

The right tools

Content creation takes a lot of time and effort, but using the right tools will help you make light work of it. Tracking your content is a great way to stay on top of your tasks — especially if you're just starting out. With a simple content calendar, I’ve found you can view all your content ideas at a glance and know exactly what’s required for each one.

Why do you need a content calendar? Well, if you're like most businesses, your marketing strategy is still stuck in the dark ages. You need to get with the times and start thinking about how your customers consume media — not just when you want them to consume it. Your customers are dipping in and out of social media often throughout the day and night. Why not work around their schedule instead of yours?

Social media content can be an intricate web of information. Don't get caught in a tangled mess. We've all been there and it's no fun! With an organised content calendar, you'll be able to schedule your posts and make sure your message is delivered in the way you intended.

Sea of content

Have you ever felt like you've been lost in a sea of content? I have! It's particularly challenging when you find that each social network has its own rules, guidelines and best practices for posting.

Juggling multiple social media accounts, writing blog posts and newsletters is all in a day’s work for seasoned content marketers. It's not all fun and games for rookies though — you must remember to post at the right time and in accordance with each platform’s guidelines. Posting the wrong thing at the wrong time can result in you losing your audience or even being banned from a network. That's why the old-hands recommend using a scheduling tool to make things easier. Schedule and content calendar apps allow you manage everything in one place. I prefer the latter.

If I had to pick an MVP in the marketing world, it would be Notion. Notion is a cloud-based calendar that lets you to build your content calendar with ease. I've found it's the best way to manage your schedule — it's been a game-changer for me. Whether you're a full-time blogger, or just someone who wants to start blogging on the side, Notion is what you need, trust me!

So don't be a ghost at happy hour. If you want to avoid your colleagues from thinking you're a party pooper, but still want to update your socials when everyone’s enjoying a beer — you need to get yourself that content calendar!

Early bird catches the worm

To win at content marketing, you must walk a tightrope between posting too much and too little. Hit just the right frequency and you'll be an online sensation in no time. But if your content's too infrequent or too average, people will soon forget about you. The trick is to post regularly enough to build a following, but not so frequently that you burn out and let the quality of your content plummet. There is a perfect middle ground for everyone, but you must find what works for you. 

Timing is everything for sure. There's a reason for the old saying "the early bird catches the worm" — it applies to social media just as much as it does to catching dinner. That's why it's important to know when your followers are active on social media, and when they're most likely to respond to posts. When you're thinking about posting, think about what your followers are doing at that very moment.

I'm still learning when the best time to post my content, but strangely this seems to be 3 am — people are always scrolling on their phones, even in the middle of the night! They're probably looking for something light and humorous to read — and I've got just the thing for them. Another great time to post seems to be between 2 pm and 3pm. You may have also heard of the 'Upworthy effect', where viral posts are published on a Wednesday at 1pm. Why? Because that's when traffic is at its highest, and shares are being sought after by thousands of users across multiple social networks.

In order to be heard on social media you need to speak when your audience is actively listening. Choosing the best times to post on social media can be tricky and varies from person to person, there's no hard and fast rule. To find out what days and times are best for you, constantly check your analytical data and see which times of day you get the most traffic.

Flex that muscle

Keeping that content flowing is key. Whether it's on Facebook, Twitter or your blog, your audience will flock to your content if you keep them interested by posting regularly. Posting daily has helped flex my writing muscles and build brand loyalty. It might be a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but once you get into the groove of posting at a regular time each day, it'll feel like second nature.  

That being said, burn out is a real problem for creators. It's so easy to get caught in the cycle of posting too much, then find you're tearing your hair out and can't cope. There's a constant pressure to compete but this often means sacrificing one of your most valuable resources — time. Look at establishing some sort of routine — even if it is just writing a sentence or two daily — this will not only help you keep your sanity but help you build a connection with your followers.

You're not a machine. You have limits. And you need to respect them, especially if your job involves hybrid working or if you're just starting out in content marketing. It's all about self-care and setting boundaries.

Consistency, organisation and self-care — if you're not practising these skills and attributes as a trainee content marketer, then your career is doomed to fail. You might be talented, heck, you might even love what you do, but if you don't practice (and practice a lot), plan well and be consistent you're not going to hack it as a content marketer.

KazD - Content Marketer in Training