I decided last week to lace up my running shoes again and train for a 10k race in April. At the time that I selected my race, I had eight weeks to train. Instead of making up my own training regime, I looked to the Internet. I found a novice program that seemed a little too easy and an intermediate program that seemed like a stretch, combined the two, and devised a custom plan. Now, fully equipped to hit the pavement, it is up to me to execute.
Creating calculated content can be similar to training for a race. For the purpose of this post, I am going to write from the perspective of creating calculated content for your LinkedIn Company Page. However, you can apply these principles in other ways, like your company blog, for example.
PLAN your content
I incorporated my training program into my calendar so that my workout is pre-set for me. Having a plan without assigned dates can lead to inaction. Creating a content calendar will help keep you on track with managing the mix of content you are posting. I often recommend that clients have an editorial calendar that includes the following columns:
- Date to post
- Type of post (keep reading to see examples)
- Subject of post (i.e. sales, marketing, etc.)
- Comment to include when you post (i.e. ask a question, highlight a point, etc.)
- Link to post
If you are managing the content calendar with a colleague, it is helpful to include a column for who is posting. I made my training calendar a Google Sheet so I can easily share it with my friend who is training for the same race; you can make your editorial calendar a Google Sheet too so that it is easily editable and accessible.
TYPES of content
If you have never trained for a race, you may not know that the training is not all distance running. There is a combination of cross training (i.e. any physical activity other than running), sprinting, and resting. To compare this combination to content creation, you want to focus on the types of content you are generating. Keep your content a healthy mix between:
– Long-form published posts (i.e. this article)
- Focus on strategy, planning, your philosophy, something inspirational
– Short-form updates
- Make these informative, like a new way to do something more efficiently, an update on a product or tactic, a news announcement for your company, etc.
– Products and services
- “[Buyers] crave technical details about products and how they work…buyers most often selected product info, features, functions, followed by demos” according to a new LinkedIn study on a B2B buyer’s journey
– Third party content
- Incorporating information and news coming from your industry will validate you and your thought leadership
Intentionally mixing your content keeps your audience engaged. It also allows you to begin to benchmark what type of content your audience engages with the most. As a LinkedIn Company Page Administrator, remember to pay attention to your Analytics and Notifications.
LOCATIONS of content
Acclimating to a variety of environments when training for a race will mentally and physically prepare you. I switch my running locations from the treadmill and the track, to the trail and the road; this mix of settings extends my training and keeps me interested. Content is no different.
From your website, to LinkedIn, to Twitter and to Medium, be strategic about sharing your content to extend its reach.
In Larry Kim’s article, 3 Unusual Hacks to Dramatically Up Your LinkedIn Game, he says, “According to LinkedIn’s latest available figures, more than a million people have published posts on LinkedIn’s platform; more than 130,000 posts are published every week; and the average post reaches LinkedIn members in 21 industries and nine countries.”
I searched the word “content” in LinkedIn and had 395,613 posts returned to me in the search results. Is content a hot topic? I am venturing to say yes, but how can you make sure you are making the most of what you are creating? Extend its reach across multiple online platforms.
I recently learned the term duplicate content, which is essentially taking your content and copying it exactly from one source to another source with no changes. Is this a bad thing? It depends on your purpose.
Maddy Osman wrote an interesting article, “Is Duplicate Content on Medium and LinkedIn Bad for SEO?” which does not conclusively say one way or the other. However, I appreciated the suggestion of considering the time increments to which you post across multiple platforms. To give you an example of how I extend my content across multiple platforms:
- Launch blog post for the first time on company website
- 1-5 business days later I publish my post on LinkedIn
- The same day, I share that post to my Twitter account, which connects to my work Facebook account
- 10-15 business days later I publish on Medium (this is a work in progress for me)
- 10-15 days after publishing on LinkedIn, I share my post within a few LinkedIn Groups
This is a rough timeline, but gives you an idea of how I extend the reach of my content across six different online avenues. I am calculated in my approach because my audiences on each platform vary. Do you use any other platforms to broaden the reach of your content?
To sum it up:
- Coordinating your PLAN with your calendar helps move you to action
- Incorporating various TYPES of content will keep you and your audience engaged
- Sharing your content in multiple LOCATIONS extends your content
Training for a race is hard work. Creating content is hard work. Make the most of both by being calculated.