One of the most important ways Wildix reaches out to MSPs is through its content. We plan and schedule regular content throughout the year, and we have an overarching strategy to engage. So what does that look like?
Defining Key Channels
The most important step was first defining all the channels where we use content. These include:
- Sales letters
- Social media
- Banners and booths
- Press releases
Some of these can be scheduled, but some are done as and when needed. So what can be scheduled?
These should be produced on a regular basis — but how regularly depends on your needs. Start with one a month and vary from there, if you’re not sure. In addition, a blog is a good way to improve the overall website, as it will hopefully capture keywords that help it rank for SEO. About half of our output is focused on SEO keywords.
Evergreen content is usually key here. This means thinking about what people will likely be searching for over the next year or so (or even longer!) and delivering that content to them. We use various tools to check our content for SEO, and we have a dedicated in-house SEO specialist.
Ultimately, we can write multiple blog posts at once and plan out our overall content schedule months in advance because our posts usually are evergreen. That makes it easy to work on content when we have a little bit of downtime.
Our blog articles can also be reused in various forms: cut them down, and they can become a sales letter, a social media article or a magazine article. This means we don’t have to rewrite content completely from scratch.
Press releases are great for promoting the company, and they often can be scheduled. We know when key dates are going to happen: the summit, releases for our systems, key product updates and annual announcements. We might choose:
- 10-year anniversaries of supporting a particular product
- An anniversary of a particular business relationship (e.g., Reviewed by AWS)
- A key collaboration with a new technology partner (such as our partnership with Veesion)
- A significant charity donation
- A major conference or event
- A major milestone
However, we may discover interesting pieces of data we might wish to promote. Our key mantra is this: How do we promote the good the company is doing, and what might our partners (and potential partners) enjoy reading about? Our content schedule here is mostly about what sort of thing we can promote over the next year, without focusing on specifics (except for predictable anniversaries and events).
Again, this press release can become something else, such as a magazine article or part of a major blog post.
Social media is one of the trickiest things to get right because it moves very quickly. As a result, a deft hand is required to navigate it.
However, there are definitely areas of opportunity for scheduling. We have two tracks: our “standard” social media posts (Monday events, Tuesday blog post, Wednesday UCWords etc.) and our campaign track.
The standard track keeps our social media engaging and interesting. We use it to deliver content and ensure that we can put our overarching message out there. These should include things partners are most interested in.
Our campaign track is separate, and it looks at how we can effectively deliver key campaigns focusing on a specific issue across all our channels. We might decide these in advance (especially for major events that are predictable), but we typically create these as needed. The presence of a separate track ensures our overall campaigns do not disrupt our everyday content production.
Most other items are not particularly critical when it comes to managing a content plan. Marketing materials related to tradeshows, roadshows, sales letters and so on are generally on an as-and-when basis, and they are often reactionary — you create them because there’s an opportunity in the market. However, it never hurts to have some marketing content ready to go just in case.
Creating a Content Schedule
For our blog, we started by deciding on the ideal posting schedule. For us, once a week is ideal. Then we created keyword searches to deliver an idea of what questions people are asking. Next, we looked at how we could incorporate those questions into our content.
We brainstormed a load of additional ideas that would eventually make it into our overall content plan. You might start with a spreadsheet like this:
We plan our content about 3 to 6 months in advance, and we regularly brainstorm new batches. It’s good to bounce ideas back and forth with your team to provide a full stack of article suggestions. Don’t forget to include HR, management, marketing and sales ideas as well — it doesn’t all have to be about telecommunications (this entire post is an excellent example).
So now we have the ideas and the content schedule, how do we put them into practice?
Like many things in life, it’s easiest to work backwards when creating a content schedule. We look at:
- What we want the final result to look like
- How we can manage processes to achieve that
Let’s say we need a blog post live on March 20. We work back so that we can take it into work at the right time (preferably a week before) to give us time to get it translated, reviewed, graphics created and so on. We might start it two or three weeks before (especially if quotes are needed).
This makes organization a critical part of the process, and we use our own Kanban methodology so we get it done in time.
Social Media Channels
For the blog, it’s relatively easy to create a standard flow. Social media should follow a similar principle.
Again, you need to decide how often you want to post: Once a week? More? Less? It’s often easier to start with a few posts and then work out if you can do more.
A lot of social media posts flow organically from things you’re interested in. For example, the recent Silicon Valley Bank collapse was a natural topic for us as we are always interested in drawing parallels between industries.
So we decided on a five-times-a-week minimum posting policy. We set up a cadence modelled on the following:
- Monday: Wildix Weekly Roundup
- Tuesday: Blog post summary
- Wednesday: Wildix UCWord dictionary definitions
- Thursday: Repost of critical news
- Friday: Our lighter-hearted section
This meant we had a good baseline that encourages engagement. We use Hootsuite to manage our posting schedule, and it provides additional insights into our posts (engagement, likes, comments etc.). Other options include Buffer, Loomy and SocialPilot. A lot of content is recycled as well: a shorter blog article may appear on Linkedin at some point, ideally around 6 months after it’s been published.
On top of that, we may have specific content campaigns that are designed and executed in response to current events. These campaigns are layered on top of this, and they may involve a variety of content types produced and published over five to 10 weeks. Miro is exceptionally useful for designing workflows that have some complexity (it has a free layer).
These are the easiest. We decided on at least one press release per month, and so we designed a schedule around that. However, the frequency that works for will vary depending on other responsibilities. We’d suggest at least one a quarter.
In any large company, there’s a lot going on, which makes it easy to find some tidbit of data and work with it. We have several products and hundreds of integrations, as well as hundreds of partners. That makes finding 12 press releases a year fairly trivial. For smaller businesses, it might be more as-and-when. There’s always something you can talk about, though: new business, new partnerships, charitable giving, changes at the top or a new product.
Setting Up a Content Schedule
Ultimately, all of these need to be properly mapped out and the content created on time. This means having several tracks on your process management system (even if it’s a spreadsheet!) so you can organise content quickly.
This content schedule works well for us because we’ve designed it around our own business needs. However, you can easily draw inspiration from it and create your own!
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