We get asked about this topic a lot so it's about time I dedicate a blog to answering the question. Actually, I suppose it's a two-part question:
- Is there a difference between consistency and frequency (in relationship to content marketing)?
- ...and if there is, which one should I (that's you, the reader) be concerned with?
Totally fair and totally confusing. To cut to the chase, yeah there is a difference... and yeah consistency is the one we care about. Care to know why?
The Difference Between Consistency and Frequency
It's all about to make sense. Without going all "Webster says..." on you, I'll offer a short description. Consistency is posting on a regular (aka: consistent) schedule. Frequency, on the other hand, is posting repeatedly during a period of time. To put that into a practical example, consistency would be posting every MWF. Frequency would be posting 13 times on Monday and then not again until, well, whenever you feel like it.
Consistency is posting on a regular (aka: consistent) schedule. Frequency, on the other hand, is posting repeatedly during a period of time.
Does the Difference Really Matter?
Yeah, actually, it really does. It's not just semantics. Posting on a consistent schedule is a big deal because you're setting an expectation. However subconscious, the primary reason people follow social media accounts, company news, TV shows, or what have you, is because they know what to expect. They know what they are buying into, so to speak.
Think about it like this: if you were to turn on "Survivor" and instead see an episode of "Teen Mom" you'd be a little bit "oh no they didn't!" about it. And rightfully so. You're expecting to watch "Survivor"! Maybe a better example isn't a lack of the content entirely, but a lack of the content you're expecting from the source you're expecting it from. Picture that same TV show example but this time, "Survivor" features all the same characters you were expecting -- but it wasn't a survival show anymore. Nope! Now they're all playing charades for the entire episode!! YAY!! Fun, right? Wrong.
The point is this: people come to you, sir or madam, because they expect information that is unique and fills a need (or intense want) of theirs. If your customers aren't interacting with your company it's because you aren't feeding them content that they want and/or care about... or that content is too inconsistently shared.
Want a Solution?
Thought so. Talking about problems isn't helpful... talking about solutions is. We recommend picking a posting schedule and sticking to it. Whether that is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or some iteration of the aforementioned is up to you, friend. You know your business better than anyone but the hard truth is that you're not the buyer of your product. It doesn't matter how often you like to post or how often you interact with content online... but how often your consumers do.
One of the most popular weekly posting schedules (not necessarily the right one for everyone) is this:
M Industry news and/or blogs
T Project updates / fun facts
W Call to action
T Project updates / fun facts
F Light-hearted post
That's the schedule we follow. Do we stray from that exact content-strategy sometimes? Yep, but only if there is relevant industry news or a project that is worth breaking the cycle to share. Does every post get massive engagement? Nope. Is that the point? Nope. The point is that you are present, active, and building a community that shares things your audience cares about.
The end goal isn't to post consistently so that you can pat yourself on the back... it's to brand yourself as a thought-leader in your industry so that your current and potential consumers trust your opinions and want to engage with your solutions (that means buy your stuff, folks).