Onblog Series: Content Marketing Step Three – When to Speak

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This is the third installment of the OnBlog series on content marketing.  One of the hottest topics in marketing today, content marketing continues to be a discussion topic of our clients, prospects, and partners.  In previous installments, we discussed Who to Talk to in your content marketing and What to Say.  Today, we’ll tackle the timing issue – how frequently should you be pushing outbound content?  When is the best time to speak to prospect?  At what point in their sales cycle (or even their day!) should you be reaching out? We all know by now that Americans attention span is now less than a goldfishiStock_000002726839SmallA goldfish has a nine-second attention span, but we can’t focus on anything longer than eight.  This is who you’re going after – someone who is ready to click, read, or turn to something else at a moment's notice.  Someone who in just eight seconds must understand that you’re saying something compelling (read: informative, interesting, entertaining, or utilitarian) that resonates with them personally.

Targeting them at the right time will go a long way in making sure you achieve your objectives.

When

Remember, content marketing is not about selling.  So you don’t want to use content to capture the attention of people who are ready to purchase right this minute.  In that case, you want a clear call to action so you can convert that prospect while they’re hot.

Imagine if you had a salon.  You might have a subset of consumers who want to make an appointment for a haircut that week.  These are people on a mission.  Sending them to your blog isn’t going to make them very happy.  These consumers need a way to purchase.

Your content marketing shouldn’t target those consumers.  Instead, it should target consumers in a dream state.  Those wondering what types of styles or colors might suit their personality. Those looking for new ways to style their hair.  Those looking for product recommendations in between cuts.  Those are the people you’re targeting with content marketing.  Not the doers, but the dreamers.

Frequency

Frequency is really going to depend on the resources and time you have available.  Creating content is time-consuming, especially if you do it with thought and consideration.  So an effective way to go about it is to think about doing three things ten times a year.  So maybe you decide to do an Instagram post, blog post, and short video.  Those are your three things.  And you do those three thing 10 times a year.  Which is totally doable.  calendar

The way you get the frequency you need is by repurposing that content.  So at the end of the year, you’ll have 30 pieces of original content, but you can reuse that content in various places.  Pull out facts from your blog and post them to twitter.  Pull together the photos you took and create a Facebook slideshow.  Don’t just create a piece of content and serve it once.  Get creative in how you can get the most use possible.  Make it a gift that keeps on giving.

If you follow that rule, you’ll be creating comments in various formats in a way that A) won’t drive you insane and B) will get the frequency you need to stay top-of-mind with your dreamers.  You’ll be hitting them once a week (which is good), but you won’t be forcing yourself to create a new piece of content once a week (which is even better).

There are ways to get the reach and frequency you need to stay effective, even if you’re the only one creating your content.

Duration

This is not a one-night-stand – this is a marriage.  If you enter the world of content marketing, you’re in for the long haul.  You’re establishing a rapport – a relationship – with your audience.  It’s a way to stand with them, shoulder to shoulder, throughout their sales cycle.  70-90% of the consumer journey now happens online.  Creating online content is a way for you to stay with them every step of the way.

If you’re in real estate, as many of our customers are, this is not going to be a short cycle.  The average home-buyer takes 14 months from the time they start thinking about buying a home to the time when they actual sign the paperwork.  So know going into this marketing strategy that this is a long-term commitment.

Be patient.  Be diligent.  Create content with care.  If you do these three things, this strategy will pay off.

For our next (and final) installment, we’ll talk about how to deliver the message.  Online blogs, publications, guides, ebooks, Facebook posts, tweets, photos, youtube – there are a ton of vehicles to carry your content.  We’ll talk about what to use when to get the most return.

If you’re interested in finding out more or seeing how Onboard can fit into your content marketing mix, please contact us today or e-mail me at egilbert@onboardinformatics.com.