Content marketing is an essential part of the marketing strategy. Before you start creating posts and articles, however, set your goals. After all, what do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy and what is the associated goal?

The famous content marketer Joe Pulizzi has a definition of content marketing that helps define your purpose: “Content marketing is about understanding exactly what your customers want to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and convincing way to help your business to grow.”

He therefore advises you to focus on one clear goal; sharing valuable content. Clear right? But what is 'valuable content'? And how do you make it? The 4-1-1 rule for social media content will help you with this.

The 4-1-1 rule


The 4-1-1 rule is a simple rule of thumb where the phasing of the type of posts you share is important. Suppose you make six posts, then the sharing frequency is as follows;

- 4 messages from external sources aimed at sharing knowledge
- 1 personal message
- 1 commercial message

4 educational posts


These messages mainly serve to strengthen your position as an authority within a specific domain or field. Think of news items, white papers, key figures, studies, legislative changes or, for example, infographics. By sharing these kinds of posts you show that you are an expert. Of course these messages can be written by yourself if you have the time, that only makes it stronger.

1 personal message


This can be a message from a personal experience or interest, a course or webinar that you are going to follow or a more 'fun message'. Think, for example, of sharing a message about an activity with your team. It shows what concerns you as a person.

1 commercial message


This message has a sales character. It can be the introduction of a new product, the opening of a new branch, a promotion or a customer story. It is important to find a good balance between messages that are sales-oriented and messages that focus less on this. Don't push it.

With the 4-1-1 rule, you ensure variety in your content mix and you create a good balance between strengthening the bond with your relationships and promoting your business. The order in which you post messages does not matter. More importantly, you post them to be visible and work on developing your personal brand while achieving your business goals.

To create more attention for your content, we recommend using hashtags in your social media posts. Do you want to know more about it? Then read this article.