Some common questions arise as you begin engaging in a content marketing program: How often do I need to update my content? How often should I be publishing? What is too much? How do you find the time to publish?

The answer, which everyone hates to hear, is "it depends." But it does depend—on the channel and where you're sharing your content.

In this article, you'll find guidelines on the frequency of your content posts based on channel.

social media: Post often

How often? Very often. As often as you can.

The key to successful content engagement with your audience on social media is to be there when they are. Twitter, for example, is an ongoing conversation. At any time of day, folks are on there tweeting and sharing. You want to ensure that your content shows up in your prospects' content streams when they log on.

One tactic you can use, by relying on a program like HootSuite or TweetDeck, is to set up several tweets at once, and schedule them when you want them published throughout the day or week. When planning your tweets, a good guideline is to focus about 10% of them on your brand's marketing message.

Thinking about what to include in those scheduled tweets is also important. Curated content can be a lifesaver here. Tweeting about your brand with news about your organization is a no-brainer, but why not share a tidbit from a thought leader in your industry? Did you read a great article in the news the other day that talked about your industry? Share it.

Argyle Social, as reported in the Convince and Convert blog, finds that links to third-party sites on average generate 33% more clicks than those linking to owned sites.

When you're crafting your tweets, including the author's @handle or the original publication can be a nice shout-out, and it get you an additional tweet or two.

Blogging: Post weekly, at the very least

Third-party content is critical in helping marketers fill the gap when they don’t have the bandwidth to create original content several times per week or every day. Ultimately, using original and third-party content in combination yields better results.

Specifically, curated sites that have between 16-30% original content on average generate more pageviews than sites with less or more, according to the 2012 Curation Habits report we published in early 2012.

When planning your original-content creation needs, keep that breakdown in mind.

A good idea would be set the expectation with your readers from the start: Let them know the day you plan on posting; maybe even send an email to alert them to each new post. Alerting your audience to your new content is the best way to build your readership.

After you've met your goals for readership and visitors, then you can dedicate more time to posting more frequently.

Email newsletters: Ask your audience for their preferences

Sometimes marketers so get wrapped up in marketing to prospects they forget that asking their audience is one of the best ways to find out what they want to hear from you, and when.

A great way to gather this information simply and easily is to send your subscribers a quick survey via email, asking them what information they are looking for, and how often they would prefer to hear from you.

You can also give them options to choose from when they first opt in to receive your newsletters.

To find the right mix, test

As with the majority of marketing initiatives, finding the right mix of subject and frequency involves testing. A great way to start out would be to send industry-curated content to your audience on a daily basis, reaching out to them with a few relevant news items and links to related articles.

An additional, weekly email could focus on original content about your industry that you're publishing (along with curated content highlights).

And when distributing content on a monthly basis, deliver your company news, along with a round-up of the most popular content you have created throughout the previous month. You should include both curated and original content in that newsletter.

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How Often Should You Feed Your Content Marketing Programs?

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image of Pawan Deshpande

Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a leading provider of content marketing software. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, marketer, and technologist.

LinkedIn: Pawan Deshpande