Anyone who is involved in content marketing knows that effective customer engagement requires more than simply publishing content on the company blog and social media to the same aggregated audience. Reaching the audience that is most likely to take action – like, share, comment, sign up for your newsletter, click to get a special discount code, or visit and browse through your website – requires the right timing. The first step to being successful in content marketing is to create quality content that answers your audience’s most important questions. The next, is sharing that awesome content at the right time.
Here are guidelines on how to time your content sharing strategy better and improve your audience’s engagement.
1. Learn About Your Audience
You may already know how your regular buyers behave around your website and social media profiles, and tailor your efforts around that knowledge. You might want to rethink that approach. Yes, knowing how your current clients behave is great, but your content is aimed at engaging a wider audience that is your potential customers and prospects. So listen closely to the audience, and make sure you keep up with the newest trends. They evolve together with your prospects’ habits so you must evolve as well to stay current, informative, and engaging.
Besides being active on social media and listing to your customer’s online conversations, continue to learn about your customers by using your own customer data. Extract data and statistics from all of your internal resources like your website, social network profiles, analytics, and CRM. This will help you follow your clients’ journey, from prospects to buyers, and learn how they move through every stage, and what type of content pushes them further down the sales funnel. Which leads us to the next step.
2. Map Out the Buying Cycle of Your Buyer Persona
Now that you assembled all the data, it’s time to map out each step of the way that your buyer personas make, from being a new visitor to becoming a customer. Analyze which devices they use, what type of content they find most engaging, and what questions they need answered in every stage.
By analyzing the audience’s’ engagement with your content throughout the sales funnel, you’ll be able to identify which types of content work at the beginning of the cycle, and which work in the later stages of the cycle. Once you identify the patterns of your buyers’ decision making cycles, you will be able to identify their typical paths to purchase and utilize predictive analysis with your overall content strategy. The insights about your audience’s behavior can also be very helpful in the process of optimizing your ecommerce conversion funnel.
3. Choose the Right Time
After understanding your potential and current customers, you need to figure out when to publish your content. Since everything we post online is available at any time, you may wonder why it is important to pick a specific time. The answer is: because you don’t want your content to get lost in your customers’ cluttered news feeds and inboxes. Sending too many emails may tire them and push them to unsubscribe, and sending a message too late can cause a permanent loss of conversions.
The content may be accessible at any moment, but your buyers aren’t accessing it all the time. So it’s very important to deliver your message at the precise moment when your audience is ready and willing to read it. The best way to determine the right time for sharing content, depending on the types of content and your audience’s preferences, is to test publish at different times.
Generally, people connect early in the morning, while having their breakfast, and later in the evening when they come back home, after dinner. Also, lunchtime is when people are usually active on social media and check their personal emails. Another observation we made is that we can divide two phases of connection among young professionals: one to personal social networks in free time, especially over the weekend; and one dedicated to professional platforms upon arrival at work and during waiting periods between tasks and appointments.
4. Decide on the Right Publishing Channel and Format
By now you have learned from your data who to target and when. But in what format and which device do you need to broadcast it? Mobile users may not want to see and interact with the same information as a desktop user. Downloading and reading an ebook on your smartphone is not very convenient.
The way you relay your message will greatly influence the way it is perceived. So make sure you structure your content accordingly to the format and channel you are using, and the device you are targeting. Again, make these decisions based on the customer data you collected and analyzed before. People who are in different stages of the buying cycle respond differently to social media posts, emails, ebooks, or videos. Make sure you match the content with the stage they are in, especially if you are sending personalized content. And make sure that you have content suitable for each audience member and each buying cycle stage throughout your website, social media profiles, email campaigns, newsletters, and whatever additional content type you share.
The greatest dilemma of sharing the right content for the right customer at the right time can be precisely answered only if you listen closely to your audience, and constantly analyze your data. In the Age of the Customer—when the customers are in control, and have access to tons of information and countless choices, it’s the marketer’s’ job to precisely meet their expectations at every moment in their buying cycle, or risk losing them to the competition.
We know that the struggle to create the content is hard enough, and additionally learning when, where and what to post can make if even more complex and time-consuming for you. And you end up spending the time on learning about content marketing. Let’s make a proposition – let us help you with your content marketing efforts while you focus on running and improving your business and creating new valuable business relationships.
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