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Content Scheduling

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Native and third party content scheduling

Content scheduling involves uploading content to be published in the future. Methods for content scheduling include native scheduling and using third-party applications.

Native content scheduling

Native scheduling is scheduling content using a social platform’s own upload function. Examples of native scheduling include Twitter Studio and Facebook Publishing Tools.

Third-party content scheduling

Third-party content scheduling apps such as Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social can be used to publish content across multiple platforms through a single hub which has already validated your logins for the platforms you wish to use.

Benefits and limitations of content scheduling

First, the benefits. Content scheduling is time-efficient. It enables you to schedule a large amount of content at the same time, freeing up your time for other activities. And using third-party content scheduling apps makes your content approach more integrated.

However, there are some drawbacks. Content scheduling means you are slower to react to unexpected real-time events. For example, in the case of a natural disaster or tragic event, automating content may mean you forget to disable content which may later be deemed inappropriate or insensitive in the context of a recent event. For example, advertising holiday deals for an area that has just been struck by a natural disaster. An automated content scheduler does not have the intelligence to remove this content so it’s important to be aware of this possibility.

API updates can often affect third-party applications. An API update is when changes are made to the features or data of a service or application (for example, Facebook or Instagram). When social networks change their security features, this may prevent content being published. You need to monitor this and have a QA process in place to check that content has been published as and when expected.

Scheduled content can make reporting in Google Analytics less comprehensive as URLs are sometimes stripped out, making it difficult to see the exact sources of traffic.

Content distribution channels

There are three main content distribution channels: owned, earned or collaborative, and paid.

Owned channels

Owned channels are the channels that you have complete control over. These channels offer the best opportunity to shape your message, creative, and content. The challenges with owned channels include reaching your intended audience and the danger of being too product-focused. Examples of owned channels include your own website or blog, social media pages, and your email broadcasts.

Earned or collaborative channels

Earned or collaborative channels are channels where online communities come together to share and create content together. User-generated content (UGC) can greatly benefit your content offering as well as making users feel that they are part of the creative process. Examples of these channels include forums and social media comment sections.

Paid channels

Paid channels are channels that you pay for. They allow you to leverage already engaged audiences or networks and place your product into the existing conversation. Examples of paid channels include social advertising campaigns.

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Will Francis

Will Francis is a recognised authority in digital and social media, who has worked with some of the world’s most loved brands. He is the host and technical producer of the DMI podcast, Ahead of the Game and a lecturer and subject matter expert with the DMI. He appears in the media and at conferences whilst offering his own expert-led digital marketing courses where he shares his experience gained working within a social network, a global ad agency, and more recently his own digital agency.

Connect with him on Twitter (X) or LinkedIn.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of using personas in content marketing 
  • Critically analyse the relationship between buyer personas, target audience and content marketing 
  • Systematically analyse techniques for sharing and promoting content and for measuring content performance


    Content Marketing
    Will Francis
    Skills Expert

    This short course covers the principles of content marketing and demonstrates techniques and useful tools that you can use to develop and refine your content marketing strategy.

    You will learn how to:

    • Apply best practices for developing and enhancing content throughout a content marketing campaign
    • Create buyer personas for use in content development
    • Develop a content brief
    • Conduct keyword research to inform a content strategy
    • Curate, personalize, and repurpose content
    • Craft a brand story
    • Schedule content development and publication
    • Promote content
    • Measure and analyze content performance

    Approximate learning time: 3 hours