Guest Speaker: Ben Sailer
Ben is the Blog Manager at CoSchedule in Fargo, ND by day, and a freelance music journalist by night. CoSchdule allows you to sync all your favorite tools and social platforms into one place, then driving traffic your website.
Maria: Whether you’re an author or you are in any other type of business, this really could relate to anyone because I truly believe that marketing goes across different industries, it’s just the way you look at it.
So, I’m going to welcome Ben Sailer. Hi Ben, how are you? Ben, where are we talking to you from?
Ben: I’m in Fargo, ND.
Maria: Tell us a little bit about what you do Ben.
Ben: I am the blog manager to CoSchedule. CoSchedule is a marketing management calendar platform. It’s a subscription based software app and what we do is we help everybody from small bloggers to large enterprise companies to just manage their marketing workflows. That’s quite the simplest. The explanation I could offer for CoSchedule and what I do specifically, I am our blog manager, pretty much anything that has to do with our blog or our content marketing. I am heavily involved in all of it from planning to execution to measurement.
Maria: We are going to take your expertise today and we are talking about, when you are marketing we’re going to talk about the importance of balance and consistency. When we talk about balance, where do we begin? Because for example, as a writer, writers feel that they should be writing everyday but in order for people to actually discover your writing if it’s published, it needs to be marketed. What advice would you give to a writer or anyone in the industry? Because people tuning in could be selling a product or a service, so whether it be developing their content vs. marketing, tell us a little bit about balance. How would you describe that?
Ben: That’s a great question and a tough one for a lot of people to answer for themselves especially if they’re just starting out marketing. Obviously if there are any type of creative, like say you’re an author and your business is selling books, you’ve got to spend a lot of your time actually producing your product and anytime that you spend on anything else, there’s always a risk that it will distract from that and so I think that finding a balance is really important though, because if you’re not investing anything out on the marketing side then you’re going to be split all the assignment of this incredible work that now as may people are going to find. So, what I would do, assuming you’re an author and you’ve maybe dipped your toes into the marketing waters a little bit or maybe you’re completely fresh or you kind of do it sometimes but you don’t really have a plan or anything, I would start small. Pick something that you can do: getting a website up, for example, or if you’re creating blog try writing one post a week, or one post every two weeks, or if you’re going social media, set a really simple schedule like say, I’m going to post on Facebook once a day and I’m going to do five tweets a day. The specifics are not super important at first but just pick something that is manageable enough for you to fit into your schedule without feeling overwhelmed because if you feel overwhelmed you’ll probably just quit.
Maria: When you talk this balance, you talked about the importance of planning. For example, beginning authors maybe choose one social media platform and choose to post X amount of times a week. In your industry and what you do, do you plan per week, per month, per quarter? How do you actually plan and develop that content?
Ben: It really depends on the type of project. For content, whether it’s blog posts, webinars, anything content related, we make sure that we have at least two weeks worth of blog content, ready to go at all times. We have probably at least two or three weeks of social content queued up and ready to go. If we’re doing a one-off project, like a webinar or something we’ll probably plan that or start planning that maybe like a month out. It depends on the project but I would say that we have plans that range from bi-weekly to monthly plans or maybe some broader like quarterly plans or annual goals and things like that.
Maria: I’m hearing the magic number is two weeks of content. People listening to find balance, sit down, and plan out two weeks of content. If you say you’re going to be posting on Instagram (which I think is more of an organic posting schedule), maybe Facebook, sit down and plan out two weeks of content. Then I love that you said, at quarterly goal, an annual goal, maybe in that order you look at it and say, is this working, does this look comfortable to me, am I seeing results, should I make some changes? Super for balance, planning and scheduling is included in the balance.
That’s awesome when we talk about balance, just the importance of doing this. Instead of dealing, like you’re overwhelmed, just really recognize that and make changes if it’s too much. I like that you said to start small.
Talking about of consistency, what’s the importance of consistency because I think most people are like, “Why do I need to post on Instagram once a day in the stories?” Why does that matter?
Ben: I think the simplest place to start with that is, we live in a very busy media world, whether that’s social media or otherwise and people see an incredible amount of content and advertising and all kinds of things over the course of the day, whether that’s when they’re on their computer, when they’re on their phone. They’re probably not too concerned about TV or radio or anything like that but when you think about the sum total of what people are exposed to over the course of 24 hours, there’s an incredible amount of things that are competing with people’s attention and that’s without getting into things that are going on people’s personal lives likes their kids, hobbies, jobs, whatever… so, where consistency really becomes important is that if you want to attract attention and keep attention, you have to be getting in front of people’s face all the time, or at least a healthy amount. If they see you with one post and then they don’t hear from you ever again, that one post better be incredible or else they’re mentally never going to come back or thinking about you at all amongst the midst of everything else they have going on. So if you’re able to post consistently and not just consistently but if you’re consistently sharing something of value or something that people find interesting, they’ll keep coming back. That’s how you’re going to cut through the noise and the clutter and insanity of what people have going on. I think and that’s maybe the other piece to it. It’s one thing to be consistent but you’re consistently posting stuff that people don’t really find attention-getting, they can be really easy to suspend your bills, you know, they’ll just throw up something and be like “well I checked off that box for today, I’m good.”
Maria: So there needs to be value in it is what you’re saying because you want to cut through the noise. I want to make a point, we’re not saying you have to create all of the content. I have a couple of different platforms and on my publishing platform, we find really good articles that are out there. Other people are feeding that content. We are not always sharing our own content but we’re sharing… Huffington Post have a very great article about the actual writing process and we share that article and that’s a value. That in saying is that you don’t have to be the creator of all these content but it has to be a valuable content that people care about.
And in consistency, let’s also bring up the point of algorithms because that comes into play. If you think you’re all fine and dandy “I’m posting on Facebook once a week. This is so great”, I’m keeping to my consistency, that can all be a problem because of algorithms.
Ben: Some of them are kind of like trying to peer in some mysterious black box of weird whatever the have going on to help determine what content they show people but on a lion network, Facebook for example, they’ve been throttling organic reach for years, like they want you to pay the plate to be on there which isn’t to say that organic posting on social (media) is dead but you’ve got to give it some creativity or just provide something that’s valuable to people. If you are consistently sharing things of value, those algorithms are going to reward you because they’re going to see like, “this account shares stuff that people on [inaudible 11:43] because the network is why they want the engagement. What they after is looking for some sort of signal that shows that, “people who follows this account stay on Facebook longer because they’re clicking on stuff for…
Maria: They’re liking, they’re commenting, they’re engaging. That’s what engagement means in this situation.
Ben: And for Facebook’s perspective, that engagement is what’s valuable to them and so obviously they’re going to reward that and because also if your content is rewarding or is valuable or interesting to people on Facebook, the way that Facebook provides better experience so those people, by showing them more stuff that they’re likely be interested in. The simplest way to understand it, I certainly don’t think it’s necessary or maybe in some case it’s possible to like try to crack the code behind all..
Maria: And they’re always changing the code so don’t even waste your time doing that, just listen to what Ben is saying: engagement, consistency, having value, their Facebook’s going to reward you for that but you’ve got to put it out there and it can’t be once every couple of weeks.
Ben: Exactly. There’s consistency in your posting for sure but there’s got to be consistency in your results too. If you start small and then you ramp it up, build some momentum and then just keep it going. It’s easier said than done.
Maria: This is not a question that I asked beforehand so I’m going to just go out there because it’s just coming out of me through this interview. Ben, for the time being that you’ve been doing this that you’ve been a blog manager, you’re been a journalist, what has been the challenge when it comes to consistency and balance? Have you had moments of “I don’t know what to write as far as content or what has been a major challenge for you?
Ben: One big challenge is making sure that we’re doing the right things and just doing a lot of stuff, and again consistency. It’s like, you can consistently do an ineffective thing for a long a time and so, for us at CoSchedule and certainly like other roles and things I’ve done in the past, it’s like, are we always making sure that the thing that we are doing at a given time is the one thing that’s going to provide the most amount benefit, the biggest impact, are we consistently doing the most impactful things all the time? I think the way that you answer our question, the way you keep answering that question, select your data, look at trends over time. People will you however indirectly what they want from looking at, whether it’s traffic on your sites, analytics.
Maria: … Analytics, insights on Facebook you can see. For example on our page, people really like video versus images. Our videos do really well that’s why I’m doing a video interview. I’m sure down the road I’ll repurpose this interview and put in on our blog because you’re going to have people who like different things but you do have to see what’s trending.
Now let’s before we wrap it up, CoSchedule could be really helpful to a lot of people who are actually tuning in so I’m going to make sure there’s the link that they can find out more but CoSchedule actually can take all of your content and put it in a system so that it’s organized and that you can be successful in consistency and balance. Correct?
Ben: For sure, like building consistency in work flows is very core to the problems that we are to solve for people. Let’s touch on that briefly, CoSchedule, we integrate with WordPress, the all major social networks, we also added some email integrations so if you’re using Mailchimp, you can schedule your newsletters and promos and stuff and can get all of that brought together into one calendar so you can visualize everything in once place, you can automate all of that in one place. There’s also the communication and collaboration future in there too. Say you’re working with another person, you’re a writer and you’ve got a buddy who’s a graphic designer, whatever the case may be, there’s functionality in there to where you can trade files and pass comments back and forth, all of that is retained in one place. Not like texting one day and then something’s in an email thread in another day, and you try to find or like what were we thinking a month later and you can’t find ….
Maria: Like, did we text it, did we email it, where is it? So, it’s all in one place. I love it.
Ben: All in one place. That’s the story right there.
Maria: All in one place is going to give you more time so that you can be consistent and you can be balanced in you marketing.
For those of you just tuning in, we are talking with Ben Sailer. We are talking about creative marketing and how to be consistent and balanced and why those are beneficial to you in marketing to that whatever products, service or book you’re trying to sell and promote will get that message out there.
Ben, I appreciate your time and appreciate your expertise and I thank you for tuning with us today.
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My name is Maria Dismondy. I am a children’s book author who also founded the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press.
Finding ways to market my messages is a passion of mine. I want to help you gain greater recognition of your brand, to generate new readers and improve your sales. Why? Because I love to GIVE and CONNECT and I truly believe we are all in this together!