Timing, they say, is everything. You can be doing everything right, for all the right reasons, but pick the wrong time to do it and you’ll come unstuck. Content marketing is no different.
First things first. Content marketing is not a quick fix. It’s a long-term, on-going commitment, and like investing regular amounts for your retirement, the benefits compound over time. So the earlier you start to plan your strategy the better, and the best time to start is now.
I’ve talked to several companies over the years that had brilliant stories to tell. They knew they should be telling those stories, but there was always something more pressing to do, so they kept putting it off. In the meantime, their rivals did get their act together, so when eventually they finally got round to starting that blog or YouTube channel, they would always be playing catch-up.
The right time
So, assuming you’re already up and running, what are the sorts of things you need to think about when planning and scheduling your content?
The most important thing is to work out when your target audience is going to be asking the sorts of questions that you can provide the answers to. I personally work mainly with financial firms, principally advisers and asset managers. It’s typically around new year when people review their finances, and perhaps again at the end of the financial year, so we encourage our clients to have specific content ready for then.
You should also plan content around industry events you know are coming up. For the financial sector, for instance, it might be a budget announcement or the introduction of the new regulatory regime.
Think, too, about things that could happen anytime. Do you have a message prepared for then they do? So, for example, a financial adviser should always have ready-prepared content up their sleeve in the event, say, of a market crash or correction.
Then there are sudden, unexpected events. Always be asking, how do national and international news stories impact on the sector we work in? What questions are our audience asking? What are they worried about?
Another key consideration is when to schedule your content on social media. My own business has an international audience, so we carefully schedule content relevant to specific markets — Australasia or North America, for example — when we know that people in those countries are most likely to be online. First thing in the morning, the commute to work, lunchtime and the commute home are all good times to target.
The wrong time
What, then, are the times to avoid sharing content? Well again, you should always keep an eye on the news. The day of a major news story — a terrorist incident, say, or a natural disaster — is not an ideal for launching a big campaign about your latest product or service.
Finally, when sharing content on social media, try to avoid posting anything too serious or work-related when most people are relaxing — particularly public holidays, Friday evenings and weekends.
Are you thinking of content marketing for your organisation? A member of the Ember team will be happy to talk to you about a suitable strategy. If you’re a financial adviser, we have a specialist division, Regis Media, which deals with financial advice firms.