Publish is the fifth step in the Cadence9® 7 Step Content Marketing Lifecycle.

This is the critical step that actually gets your message in front of your online audiences. Other terms for “publish” … announce, declare, spread, advertise, broadcast, distribute, communicate, proclaim, impart—and my favorite—shout from the rooftops.

Yes, it’s time to make some noise!

Who is going to pull the trigger?

As a franchisor, you may corporately control all content publication, or you may allow individual franchisees to publish their own content to Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels.

Regardless, being ready to publish involves knowing when and what is safe to publish, either as franchise corporate-controlled or at franchisee level. What governance, risk and compliance (GRC) do you need to be aware of and where can you get this information? This includes:
  • Channel authentication and access
  • Content review policies
  • Publishing rights
  • Company publishing guidelines
  • Curated content parameters
Some of this dovetails into content production, Step 4, and may be a shared responsibility with the “publisher-manager.” But the actual pull-the-trigger publisher could be another individual dedicated to managing all publishing-related issues and making sure there are no problems with content, images, video, etc., as a final proofing before content actually goes live. Here are three sources to help you get started if you have questions on copywriting, licensing and fair use practices: Additionally, where individual franchise locations actively publish content, it’s important that any employees authorized to engage in social media are trained in company-approved procedures and etiquette. You don’t want a Taco Bell “lick the tacos” social media fiasco on your hands due to rogue publishing.

Your Franchise’s Home Base

Your website hosts your franchise opportunity and online branding, so anything published outside of the website—social media sites, guest blog posts, images, videos, infographics–should have links and calls to action directing users back to your website, or home base.

For example: if you post a video on Vimeo or YouTube, that URL should be incorporated into the content on your website that promotes the video. Your website URL of that video should then be embedded in any other posts (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) pointing back to your website rather than the hosting video site.

Using cross-promotion between your social networks and your website will ensure maximum visibility for published content. Each social network has its own structure and limitations (e.g., Twitter 140 characters and mobile apps condense content), so you always want users directed back to your website where the majority of your content lives. Including calls to action and sharing links in all of the content you publish will help users share your content with their own networks, expanding your digital footprint even more.

Timing is Critical

To maximize your publishing efforts, your content should post when your target audiences are online. Online tracking services like bit.ly or Google Analytics provide insight into “best times to publish,” but experts can disagree, as seen in the following stats:
  • Facebook: One study found engagement rates were 18% higher on Thursday and Friday, another study found weekend engagement to be 32% higher.
  • Twitter: One study found engagement for brands 17% higher on weekends, another study found 14% more engagement during the week. One study showed people 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their daily commute.
  • Email: Lower open rate on weekends; highest open rate Mon.-Fri., 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Blog: Morning is best for traffic; Thursday is best for social shares.
For the most accurate result, you need to track your actual user engagement and discover your franchise’s best times to connect with your customers. Depending on the franchise business, there may be optimum times during the year to publish certain kinds of content around holidays and events. Intimately knowing your target audiences will help get your content to them when interest is high around your product or service.

Consistency Trumps “Perfect” Timing

Publication dates have been spelled out in your editorial calendar/s and missing a publication date is like breaking a promise to your followers and subscribers. Especially if franchisees are depending on you, the franchisor, for all content marketing publication, you want them to be confident that you are actively managing the brand. You definitely need to be providing fresh, compelling content across all online and social media platforms to empower your franchisees by keeping their individual online following engaged with their business.

Consistency is even more important than perfect timing. According to Yahoo link data, franchisors who post frequently increase their links (and therefore traffic) significantly. Remember, no post is ever lost; every piece of published content becomes a permanent asset, capable of drawing traffic over time.

Graph from ProBlogger

Graph from ProBlogger



Manual versus Automated Publishing

Publishing is a perpetual activity with different types of content going out daily, weekly, and monthly, depending on your content marketing strategy. For a franchisor, depending on whether or not franchisees control their own publishing, this could become a complicated, time-consuming process. Can you efficiently handle all publishing activities manually, or would implementation of a technology that provides you the ability to schedule automated publishing be beneficial?

Online software specifically designed for content marketing and social media management such as c9 prime can provide automatic publication to your entire digital footprint (all social media channels, brands, departments and campaigns) in minutes instead of hours. Able to accommodate even large scale content publishing, your c9 prime™ subscription has no limits on the number of users, channels or publishing activity available in your account. All of your franchise brand’s social media and content publishing sites may be managed in a single account, centralizing all of your content marketing and social media efforts.

Regardless of how you manage publication of your content, you need a clear, defined path that ensures proper auditing and fail-safes so all published content is legal, brand enhancing and released only by people authorized to publish to your networks.

What systems do you have in place to ensure that any published content is “good to go” within your corporate guidelines?

Next week in Step 6 (Engage) we’ll examine how to get the most connection and engagement from your customers and prospects.