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That’s your customers scrambling to leave your channels because you post inane content every day.
It’s not necessarily your fault. You do it because industry “experts” tell you to. They say you have to post regularly, on a schedule, to stay in front of the competition. They put out charts showing engagement ramp-ups and say that getting in the faces of your customers will make them remember you and your brand.
That’s all true, to a degree. And if you’re starting out as a new brand, it’s probably a good way to gain recognition. But even then, anyone who tells you to post once a day or more, come hell or high water, is doing you a disservice. Read their advice carefully. If it says post daily, give them a wide berth. If it says post regularly that’s fine.
Just don’t misinterpret what ‘regular’ implies: it does not mean every day.
Saying nothing too loud
More volume doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. Just because it’s national smash-an-egg-with-a-mallet day doesn’t mean you have to pass on such sentiments to your customers, with a link to your website offering two-for-one on cat food.
If your business is selling mallets or eggs, or perhaps cleaning products, great. Use the event as a springboard. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant. White noise that people will scroll past because it adds no value to their already maxed out cognitive load.
Posting about something tangential is no more relevant than buying a greetings card that reads: Happy Mother’s Day, Grandad… from the Dog. It’s a waste of your time to write the content, and likewise it’s a waste of potential customers’ time to read it (assuming they don’t scroll right past).
So how often should you post?
Ah, the golden question. And the terribly unhelpful answer is… it depends.
Frame it this way: many sites and marketeers suggest businesses work to a schedule, such as:
- Throwback Thursday posts to reflect on stuff that happened a year or more ago.
- Funny Friday as a light-hearted entry into the weekend to show your company’s human side.
- Statistics Saturday to give some insight into how many sales you’ve made or people you’ve helped that week.
And so forth. That’s all very well but it ends up trapping you. If you get to a Thursday night and can’t think of anything humorous for Friday, you start to panic that you’re not going to meet your customers’ expectations… or your own, and you stretch for any old content just to fulfil your perceived obligation.
The result? Nobody cares. If you’re struggling to find something to say, it’ll come across as meaningless, flat or bland, and your readers will likewise struggle to care enough to read it.
So the best advice: plan for a schedule to keep motivated, but if you miss a few posts, don’t fret. Focus on writing the best and most relevant or engaging content you can that people will find interesting rather than sticking slavishly to the schedule.
How should you write?
This largely depends on your sector and customers. It’s easy to get bogged down in writing the same old tired laundry lists of content. At the other end of the scale, being so whacky or outlandish comes across as desperate, attention-seeking behaviour.
What you need to do is develop your voice. And that requires you to sit down and work out what that voice is.
It starts with a rough style guide. As an example, the guide for this site is:
- Chatty and conversational business tone.
- Second person perspective.
- Use of colour, visuals and relatable examples in the articles to create a connection with the reader.
- Direct, active language. Hip language is avoided. Contractions are fine.
- College age reading level with sentences on the shorter side if possible.
Go through the process of working out the language you are going to use. The tone. The keywords that define your business. Write everything down. That gives you a framework in which to start writing.
What should you write?
This is the important bit. Pay attention.
You should write…
Anything you like, as long as it delivers value to your audience. Five unbelievable items we found under the sink in the office kitchen is probably not going to cut it. The acid test is: Does the content transfer knowledge and/or expertise from your business to readers?
If the answer to that is yes, congratulations! Now go and do it again. And again.
Before long, you’ll gain a following, because people love sharing information and tips, especially if they’ve not been told to do so. That brings with it brand recognition and trust. The power of a personal recommendation is far greater than any algorithm can deliver. Algorithms only track what you have read and provide more of the same in the hope you might be interested.
Avoid spammy content. If your articles sound like a drive-by sales pitch, readers will see through it. Your content will seem insincere and a cheap shot.
Instead, strive for delivering information that people will want to share and you’ll reap greater dividends than writing content for the sake of it and posting on a fixed schedule.