A question was posted some time ago by a non digital marketer friend of Dave but it is a great question with a tough answer. Here is a modified version of what they asked:
I am starting a new business and want to have a blog and Instagram. How much content do I need to launch with? Do I need to fill my Instagram grid? Do I need 1, 2, 10 pieces of content on the site when I launch?
Best Practices for New Content or Social Channel
Sadly there is really no “correct” answer to the initial question but at a high level the goal should be to plant the seed of what your project/site is about with as many or few things posted as you need to lay that groundwork.
This is true no matter what channel or platform you are looking to get started with:
- Instagram Posts
- Instagram Stories
- Blog Post
- Email Newsletter
- Weekly Food Special
- White Papers
Do You Have a Content Plan?
In the end the real question that we try to answer is “why you need a content plan” to answer the question around how much content do I need when I launch.
Do You Know Your Posting Frequency Going Forward?
If you do, use that number to help figure out how many to post at launch and how many to have at the ready so that you can come out fast. In reality you likely only need 1-2 at launch and have 1-4 at the most ready in the can waiting to be posted.
[00:00:00] Hey guys, excited to be here with you on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. How’s it going, Dave? Top of the morning or afternoon or whatever time it is. You’re listening to this?
Yeah. Who you know? Who knows whatever time we’re recording. That’s right. So what we’re going to talk about today, and I love this, and you guys, you don’t know like how awesome this stuff happens, just like on the fly, but a Davis four different changes to the title. Yeah. Four different changes within, like a minute of us, uh, getting ready to record this episode.
But the one that stuck that I think is amazing that Dave came up with is a tips for starting a new content channel. And so, uh, it’s really what we’re going to get into, but I guess it came from a. Inquiry or question that you received, Dave, so maybe you can kind of, uh, uh, jump in and get us started and we’ll go from [00:01:00] there.
It was, um, a friend of mine who is not a digital marketing person, um, like a year and a half ago. That’s how, like when we tell you that sometimes we have ideas that we sit on them for a while and we have a long list of ideas, which kind of goes into what we’re going to talk about. Like, we have a long list of topics to talk about and we get to them eventually, sometimes not as quick as people want, but, you know, sorry.
Well, yeah, you know, when you try, Hey, we’re not paid for this guy, but this is kinda one of those, it’s actually an example on multiple levels. Um, they, they were starting like. A new blog, and it can be a blog, it could be a podcast, it could be an Instagram account. Um, I don’t really think Twitter would qualify because it’s more about how much content do I need before I start.
So if you’re starting a new blog, do you start with just, you know, you launch it and there’s no content? How many videos should I have before I start my YouTube channel? How many videos for your YouTube or Instagram? [00:02:00] What’s that? Yeah. No, I was gonna say, yeah. And, you know, do you build a grid in your Instagram to start with, uh, where, what is the correct best practice?
And you know, back to our best practices aren’t always best practice. But as I think about us, we launched the podcast we had, shoot, how many? We had like four, I think, in the can. And I think we pushed to live instantly. And then. We had to for the next two weeks. So that gave us, you know, two or three weeks ish to then record more.
Cause we don’t do it every week as this is our second one today. So, you know, that’s how we do the podcast, I think for Instagram. How did you start your most recent Instagram? Okay. For your photography stuff? Well, luckily with me, I’ve been taking pictures since 2010 um, I mean, you know, I’ve, I’ve been taking pictures [00:03:00] before then, but I’d say like more professionally since 2010 and so basically if with me, it comes down to, okay, I have to decide like, what kind of a, you know, I had the content there.
I have, I mean, good grief. You don’t want to know that hundreds of thousands of pictures that I’d taken, but, um. Or tens of thousands. Sorry, I’m, yeah, but, uh, tens of thousands of pictures and content to be able to like go through. But for, for me it was just trying to decide, okay, well, you know, is my theme going to be, you know, portraits of people that I’ve taken?
No, I don’t really want to do that. I don’t want people coming to me asking for portraits or is it going to be. You know, this or that. Well, you know, I do a lot. It ends up being where a lot of my stuff is landscape photography, you know, even more so you probably find more Milky way type stuff. But you know, just a matter of going through the content and picking those kinds of things out.
But you bring up a good point though, cause I’m working with a group [00:04:00] that’s recently, um, they’re getting ready to launch a business and, um, a restaurant. And one of the most important things that we’ve talked about. Again, you know, helping them understand like the importance of reviews and things like that.
But on the side of it, for what we’re doing, um, you know, this, you know, different social media channels. For example, Instagram is going to be their friend. Facebook is going to be their friend. But more specifically with, with Instagram, you know, the conversations that we’ve had is, okay, well, you know, what kind of a content, what kind of content do I need to put out there?
And so the research, or the homework that I gave them was go and look at, and again, we all know the different companies that we follow for whatever reason. But. I know like several restaurants and places like that that are killing it. And so why not take a page out of their book and see what they’re doing?
That works. And so I say, go look at X, Y, and Z. Go and see what they’re doing. See how consistent they’re posting. Go over here and look at them and see what they’re doing. And they all kind of have the same [00:05:00] formula, you know, they’re posting information daily about what their specials are. They’re posting information about closures, you know, they’re posting information.
I’m wishing people happy whatever days, or they’re keeping people up to date, like especially if it’s like a barbecue place or if you’re a place where you know you’re gonna run out of food in a certain amount of time. Just letting people know that they have that channel there to be able to go back to, to consistently.
Find that information that they’re looking for. And so, like, I don’t go to the store and, you know, hoping to get the brisket, but I could have looked and found out that it’s sold out two hours earlier. So that’s kind of what I do and I help them understand like, this is the amount of content that you’re going to need for this new channel.
Okay. You’re going to need to have these images of, of your, uh. Uh, of your food, you’re going to need to know, kind of have an idea of what you want for, um, you know, free content for free food for freestyle. And again, I’m just giving this example with the food one, [00:06:00] but it can be almost anything, whether you’re a dentist or whether you’re a, you know, whoever, just basically having this content together before and afters or, you know, come in for a free cleaning or this or that or whatever.
It might be. Obviously related to to your business is what I’m saying. But having. Enough content to be able to put something out consistently. But getting an idea from that by doing a little bit of research, going, going and taking pages from books of people that have already done this and seem to do it consistently well.
And so once you do that, you know, again, this is the advice that I’ve given these guys and helping them understand, and then they know, okay, why? Well. You know, we’re gonna, we’re going to start working on this. We’re going to start creating graphics. We’re gonna S you know, let’s, let’s have this plan to head six months.
Let’s know that. Hey, okay, so Valentine’s day is coming up. We’re going to have a graphic already made for Valentine’s, so we’re not going to have to scramble last minute and get something made, or we’re going to have a deal. Or maybe we’re going to [00:07:00] put together some sort of a thing where, you know, maybe we, maybe we normally don’t do a dinner service, but we’re going to do dinner service.
You know, and we’re going to let people know on Instagram that we’re going to let this many people come through. And this is going to be a Valentine’s day thing that we only offer. But again, these are the kinds of things that you need to think about with this channel. And again, this was just Instagram, but you could have this same kind of stuff on, you know, the same kind of a routine or, or research, whatever you want to call it.
You can have the same kind of, um, planning stages on whatever channel you’re thinking about. Uh, but the point is to figure out what that is. And I know that this has been a big, whole long winded spill, Dave. And so, um, I don’t know if there’s anything that, uh, that you have to add to it, but, um, I think the very first question people need to ask before you go, well, how many do I need?
Is what’s is your, [00:08:00] what is your content plan like. What is your frequent sweet freak free frequency? And I can speak honestly what said, I said it’s early. Actually. It’s not, but it’s not a, it’s been a long week. Um, yeah. What is your frequency of posting? Let’s see. March. Why? I suggested the research because it helps them get that idea.
Yeah. Like are you just going to be posting your weekly specials. You know, or are you a food blogger and do you have one new post a week? Okay, well then you assume that you’re going to have one new post a week. Um, you’re a YouTuber, you have one new video every Wednesday or every Tuesday and Thursday your a SAS solution company and you know, once a quarter, maybe you have something really worth.
You know, screaming from the rafters about, but the rest of the time, what are you going to do? Are you going to have a blog or you’re going to have a podcast, or you’re gonna have a YouTube? Are you just going to put stuff on LinkedIn? Or you’re just going to be posting on medium? [00:09:00] What? What is your content plan?
And then I think figure out what your content plan is. How much time you think you have to create that content each week or each month or each quarter, and then assume that you’re going to be wrong. That life will get in the way that today, for example, the, your your content writer, who is the person that fulltime works on your emails and your product listings and product things, but also spends five hours a week on, you know, dry the, creating that new piece of content for the next week.
Assume that once a month. You know that our entire week’s going to be gone. Like they’re not going to get to work on anything. Now what are you going to do? So that for me is why we record multiple episodes at a time. Well, and I also love what we do that you created, uh, when we first started this. Um, you [00:10:00] know, just a simple Google doc, a sheet that basically.
Is our content plan. Really? Yeah, it is. And again, that’s what my point is, that your content plan doesn’t have to be some elaborate CMS system and remind blah, blah, blah, whatever. Like it can be something that’s super simple and it just basically lays it out in front of you and gives you an idea. And also I like it too, because one of the things that you’re really good at, Dave, is, you know, if an idea, like if I, an idea pops into my head or yours or whatever.
Like, do you go directly to the doc and just update it? Whereas I’m not as good at remembering to do that, but otherwise, well, yeah, and that’s awesome. And so like that’s what, that helps with the overall plan and that’s what people need to be doing. So again. You know, I may be having a really good brainstorm session with a business owner about different things to do, but then there may be things that pop up in their mind, you know, while they’re serving a customer or something that helps.
Will having that channel to be able to go back to or that, you [00:11:00] know, that, that place to be able to go back and write that right. That down, so to speak, so they don’t forget about it. That’s huge. And help and that helps with this channel is what I’m thinking. Yeah. Whatever channel you’re setting up, whether it’s an email newsletter that you’re going to send out, like Alaina just started her newsletter again.
You know, and she’s also got her crawling Mondays, so she’s got herself set up where she now has a weekly email and a weekly video. Bless your soul later. You’re crazy. Oh, that’s great too. Yeah. Yeah. But she’s got herself set up now where she’s got these weekly, she’s, that’s her routine. She’s got to, you know, have it done every week.
Yeah. And I’m glad that you said God bless her because the thing that’s the part that I want to distress, so like. As we’re saying all this like you know, Dave, you mentioned your, your, if you’re just posting your daily specials or your weekly specials or you’re just posting the video on Wednesdays or whatever, the thing that is going to drive or the thing that’s going to [00:12:00] make it work is the consistency.
You can’t tell someone to come back every Monday and look at your specialist or come back every Wednesday for a new video. If you don’t have that, like you and I would not have done as well on this podcast. If people didn’t know that they could every Sunday or Monday, you know, come and count on or not have a new episode, like it just wouldn’t work if there wasn’t a new episode.
Well, in the way the algorithms work, the less they interact, the less they listen. You know, if it falls down the list and you go, Oh, well I have an extra 20 minutes this week, I’m going to go listen to this one instead. Oh, I like this one. Yeah. And now suddenly we are one of the places that is now fighting another place for an extra 20 minutes of your time.
That’s right. And so I think the, the long, the short answer, the, the too long didn’t read, you know, want to listen at the, what 13 minute Mark ish is to sit down, plan out your channel, plan out your cadence of dropping [00:13:00] content of. Podcasts, video, you know, posts on Instagram, posts on Twitter, Facebook, whatever it is that makes sense for your business.
Assume that you will have pitfalls and lapses every so often. Factor that in, keep some content ahead, which you should be doing anyway, but then that is your kind of thing. It’s like, okay, when we launch, we’re going to be posting once a month, so when we launched, we really only need one piece. But we also know that the next six weeks, our developers and our content people are busy on things.
So we should have to, and that’s the answer. Launch with one, maybe two, and then know that you already have one in the hopper that gives you two months to create whatever it is. Or if you do a weekly video, you know, push out one or two and then have one or two ready knowing. Cause that gives you again, two weeks to keep going and always have that.
You know, vacation time or some family emergency [00:14:00] happens that gives you a little bit of breathing room so you’re not struggling, you know, or maybe business picks up. Like I had a whole bunch of stuff going on this week. We were actually going to do another project or another topic for this podcast, but I simply couldn’t get to remotely get to digging into this stuff that I wanted to.
So it’ll probably be in two or three weeks. But you know, again, that’s exactly why we do that plan. We have. 20 or I don’t even know, 40 or 50 more ideas sitting there, 10 to 15 I guessed ideas. And because I got too busy and we couldn’t record one of those, we went down the list and went, what makes sense?
Yeah. Well, and I like how you’re like playing it by ear, cause it, what it makes me think of too is, you know, again, going back to one of these, uh, other examples kind of that I’ve been using is . You know, there might be someone that comes in and, and takes a picture and posts or review or says something amazing.
Well guess what, your content for that. We could be just a screenshot of that [00:15:00] thinking, that person and you know, they posted it for their channel and it went in front of all their people. But maybe your people on your channel haven’t seen that. And so you take, you know, the user generated content from someone else and make it your own.
You know, there’s always those opportunities. So, you know, play it by ear. Like, let’s say, maybe you. You know, had something planned, but then this came up and it’s more timely, or you know, there’s always opportunities and ways to go about it. And, and the point in all this is there is no right or wrong way.
It’s just like whatever works best for you based on these certain principles that we’re trying to lay out. And if you’re starting a podcast or a video or. Blog or Facebook post one or two, you know, make it so that people get an idea of what you’re about, the topics and that. And then just figure out, you know, how much you need in the can based on that cadence.
And I think that if you don’t have a plan, like there’s times where we have a plan [00:16:00] of we’re going to record three and we record four. Sometimes we record two, um, and sometimes matter. I will come in with an idea and it’s like, yeah, I know we were going to record these three, but here’s what I just. Saw, Oh, okay.
Or here’s what Google just announced. Our conversations lead to completely new topics or we decided to go, yeah, we’re not going to talk about that one today cause we really don’t want to and that we have that allowance. Because also there’s times where we decide that. We’ve just recorded to a, it’s lunchtime that’s hungry.
I have a call that I need to prep for, so we’re just gonna wrap up early today. There you go. But we have enough in the can and we know that in a week and a half we’ll record more. So we’re fine. Yeah, because we kind of plan ish. Well, and that’s the point guys. Cause I think like a lot of times people get too stuck up on, I have to have.
40 blog posts ready to go, or I have to have the same time. Yeah. And [00:17:00] so they think that they have to have all this in. What we’re saying is you don’t, you just have to have a plan in place and at least one or two. Yeah. At least one or two have a plan in place and also learn to play it by ear. Um, you know, and again, every, you know, depending on the channel is going to be very different.
On how you have to go about that prep. Like, you know, if you’re wanting to start a YouTube channel, like some of the YouTubers that my, you know, 14 and 16 year olds, 17 year olds, watch, then you know, that’s gonna take a little bit more of planning and stuff like that. Um, but a couple of years ago. The, the now middle one.
Wa wanted like a video camera and Mike set up and like all this stuff and I think he’d been watching Carolyn like podcast and stuff for like, yeah, webmaster radio. And he was like, no, I want, you know, I want to, I want to do a video thing. And I was like, all right, what are you going to talk about? Write down your first 10 [00:18:00] topics, your first 10 like episodes, what are they going to be about?
I want you to come up with, you know, the research or whatever you need. To show me that you know what these 10 are going to be about and how long they’re going to be and stuff, and he was like, that sounds like a lot of work. He’s like, no, I just want to make a video. I’m like, we’re not going to buy you a hundred or $300 worth or whatever stuff for you to go, you know, I bought them like basic software.
I said, download some free video software and play with it and figure it out. Like make silly videos. No one will ever see. I think, well, I don’t, I don’t really want to sit and learn it. I’m like, alright, well we’re not buying it for you. Figured it out. Cause he was like, that sounds like a lot of work. I’m like, yeah, it’s not easy.
Yes. Starting to get hard. You just gotta you know? I’m like, yeah, I didn’t. All right. Well I wasn’t that interested, which is fine. Any final thoughts on this, Dave? Um, this started as tips for starting a new content channel, but it [00:19:00] became kind of why you need a content plan. I think, which makes sense. Yeah.
Cause I mean, it’s tough when you start a new channel. Yeah. And, and again, I guess if I had to hone it into, you know, the title of it, Mike, you know, tips for starting that content channel, it would be like, don’t get too overwhelmed and thinking that you have to have every piece of content for that for the next six months.
Like, you know, like do what Dave said, have a couple, at least two or three ready to go have the one that you’re ready. To launch with and a couple in the bag ready to go, but also let it guide you and let it lead you in and let your audience, um, you know, help to lead that as well. And you’re gonna find that the certain things that you post about people are gonna like and interact with more.
And based on a lot of what you do on that feedback and just kind of how things go. And you know, those would be my tips for starting a new contact, a new content channel. Just don’t get overwhelmed that you have to have everything for the next six months, all done in, in, you [00:20:00] know, ready to go before you even get started.
Cause trust me, you will not start it if you just don’t jump into it with a couple ready to go. So it’s not the end of the world, even though we said it is. If you miss a weekend. Yeah. There you go. Or change your schedule. Well, and my thing with that was not missing a wig. It’s just being consistent. Like if, if you’re consistently missing every week or every other week, when you say you’re going to have it every week, you know, if I’ve been able to listen to you for 52 weeks and you end up missing one week.
I understand that Google understands that, you know what I mean? Done with them. Yeah. And if you are, then I don’t want you guys listen to anyway during the holidays. That’s right. All right, well, um, just a reminder, everybody, and we do appreciate you guys. We love you and we love that you listened to us and we’re, we’re, we’re very grateful for that.
So, just a reminder, we are on Spotify. Um, go and write reviews. We love reviews. Go in, review us anywhere. But, uh. Just a reminder if you can go do that on Spotify [00:21:00] and, uh, for Dave roar with Northside metrics, I met Sosa with avalanche media and we appreciate you guys listening. Bye guys.