In my market research, I have consistently found that content marketers struggle with how often they should post. They ask questions like: Is more better? Is quality better? And, though there are some general rules of thumb to live by, the true answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on your company’s goals and on your audience. In this post, I will discuss the best way to determine how to find the answer to this question for your company.
Statistically, it has been cited that posting often is the best way to consistently boost your results. For example, according to a Hubspot study, companies that offer long-form content at least 15 times a month see their traffic increase by 500 percent. Companies that increase their posting frequency from 3 to 5 times a month to 6 to 8 times a month tend to experience twice as many leads. Lastly, companies see an approximate 45 percent growth in traffic when they go from posting up to 20 posts a month to up to 50 posts a month. When we look at how post frequency affects our SEO effectiveness, we can see why.
Search Engine 125 Algorithm ranks based on fresh content.
The fact is that the more recently you’ve posted content, the more likely you are to rank well on Google’s SERPS. This is because Google’s little known Search Engine 125 algorithm actually scores websites on how fresh your website content is. More specifically, the algorithm ranks you based on how much change takes place to your site each year, how recent your pages creation dates are and how fresh your inbound and outbound link profile is. For example, when you post fresh content that is currently relevant to industry audience needs, you are more likely to be referenced by other current thought-leaders and these links form part of your link profile and helps keep it up to date. So, by posting more often, you are likely to enjoy SEO benefits.
Consistent post frequency is required to keep and grow your readership.
Think about this scenario: you’ve just discovered a post offered by a thought-leader in your field on her website. This post included fresh and practical tips on solving a current company problem. You’re excited you’ve discovered this source because you assume that if the author was able to solve one of your problems, she will likely have good insights into solving others. So, you check back a few times over the next month to see what’s been newly posted. But, there’s nothing new. Sometime later, another post pops up. Over the next few months, after checking back multiple times and finding no new value, you give up seeking new posts from this thought-leader. This is why Jennifer Beever of newIncite.com writes that both frequency and consistency are so important. Without these two components, you are likely to lose your audience.
Frequent posting builds a reputation of reliability, credibility, and trust.
The frequency with which you post sends a few messages to your audience. Namely, frequent posting tells your readers you will be there to serve their needs on an ongoing basis. This builds trust and credibility. It shows your audience you are committed to the work you do and you take it seriously. Put simply, it helps build a brand image of trustworthiness, whereas infrequent posting often sends a message of little commitment, unreliable service, and, therefore, makes customers wonder if you really want to build a relationship.
The more you post, the more you know about your audience.
The more you write, the better knowledge you can accumulate of your audience. For example, after offering two posts, you know very little of the resonation trends of your audience. And, you’ve probably gathered very few comments. But, as you continue to post, you learn from the accumulation of knowledge found in engagement over time. You discover what your audience loves, what makes its members comment, what they like to share, what their challenges are, and what they want to know about. Then, as you cater your posts to this data, your readers are likely to continue sharing with you, helping you to dig deeper into their problems and needs. In turn, in meeting those needs, you become an even more trusted source of expertise.
But what is best for your company?
Clearly, as a thought-leader, the number of posts you offer your audience each month matters to your audience and affects how its members perceive you. But, the true question is: Why does your post schedule matter to your company? What are your company’s holistic goals? What are your audiences’ needs? Do your strategies align with your these two questions? For example, does your company want its posts collectively to become the hub of industry news? If so, you might want to post daily or multiple times a day (as news sites do) and shorten your posts to make this frequency possible. Or does your company want more brand exposure and have a sophisticated audience that seeks more in-depth information to share? If so, you may choose to post less frequently, but post longer, more in-depth articles when you do. Simply stated, you must determine your company’s holistic marketing metrics and then find out what post frequency will help it reach those goals based on your audience’s demographics and needs.
After you’ve clarified your company’s goals and determined the needs of your audience, you can begin putting your posting schedule together to align with them. But, to avoid compromising consistency or quality, be sure to be realistic about your abilities. To do so, ask yourself questions like:
- Can I consistently maintain my decided schedule ?
- Do I have enough insights and ideas to come up with quality and original content on such a frequent basis?
- At my chosen rate and post length, can I consistently post well-researched and high-quality content?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then you may scale back or develop a plan to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way while keeping in mind your company’s metrics. This may mean, for example, finding guest contributors or adjusting how you use your company’s thought-leaders to create long-form content.
4 Rules Every Company Thought-Leader Should Follow
However, though your post frequency must align with your company’s goals and your audience’s needs, there are some general rules of thumb that you must follow to make sure you are not doing more harm than good. For example, by rarely posting and/or posting on an unpredictable schedule, you run the risk of your audience viewing you as an unreliable company that produces unpredictable results. However, through consistently posting high quality content, your customers will likely reason that your company is dedicated to providing consistent quality. And, by posting consistently, your readers will know when to expect the next post and so will know when to check back with you. In doing so, they remember you as they engage.
So, in summary, though you must determine what meets the needs of your company and its audience, here are some minimal rules of thumb.
- Align your frequency with your metrics.
- Post a new, high-quality post at least once a week to maintain engagement.
- Post on the same day(s) each week to portray reliability and commitment to your audience.
- Focus on quality above quantity. Yes, quantity is very important. But, quality is even more important.
I’d love to hear from you: what are your biggest obstacles to posting frequently and consistently?