This is a question I’ve been asked recently, and it’s a really important question to consider, because sometimes time matters a lot, and sometimes it matters less, so I want to talk you through three or four examples when it comes to creating content.
With marketing in general we are trying to get the right message to the right people at the right time on the right medium. We don’t have an unlimited amount of money and resource, so we want to make sure that whatever we’re doing with our marketing, we’re doing it in the right way, maximising our time and resources to get that message to the right people at the right time.
In general, timing is important, but when it comes to content marketing and attracting people, we have to think about things differently.
We have to think about how content is delivered at different times, so for example, there’s a type of content that we want to create that doesn’t go out of date, where time doesn’t matter so much. What does matter is that you have created that content, so it helps, describes, answers questions, solves problems, explains. That kind of content is like a basic foundation content that you need to create so people can find you when they’ve never heard of you before. People will find you by asking Google questions and typing problems into Google to discover your content, so you can then attract them, and that’s where timing matters less.
If we look at that in the traditional sales funnel approach, then that matters at the top of the funnel. You need to think to yourself, well, as someone goes through that buying cycle, I have to deliver different types of content to them at different times. If someone’s on the fence about whether to buy from you or not, perhaps delivering them a very specific case study that’s relevant to them would maybe get them over the edge or start that conversation.
You have to think to yourself, maybe there is content that I need to physically deliver at a specific time to get them to make some sort of decision or to move them forward in that buying cycle. That could come from a repository of content that you’ve collected and created, and delivered at just the right time.
A lot of people in the content space are really focused on that top of funnel, but actually there’s a lot more to it than that.
There’s content that needs to be delivered throughout, so you could even say there’s content that should be delivered after the sale to build that brand advocacy as well.
In summary the top of funnel content needs to be created anyway, and it needs to be evergreen content that doesn’t go out of date, then you can use social media and email marketing to share that far and wide for a long period of time.
Then there’s real time content, and you might have heard of the term newsjacking?
This means to publish something at a specific time when something’s happening that’s relevant in the news or your industry, or something that you want to get out to your audience that they’ve got questions about.
This could be something political or it could just be something very news worthy, and timing’s crucial with that. If you want to capture some of that audience and ride some of that newsjacking wave, it has to be when it’s on the up. You could be too early and you could be drastically late and your article might never be seen, so when you’re writing that type of content or creating that type of content, it’s crucial to get that on that curve.
David Meerman Scott coined the term newsjacking, so if you want to find out more about that, search for him and his book, Newsjacking.
Another example you may have seen is Casey Neistat’s video where he’s snowboarding through New York City. That’s an example of real time opportunity, as in it had to be snowing, all the right things had to be in the right place at the right time for him to do it, and he had to be first to have the best impact.
The final piece would be to work out how distribution and ignition around your content works around that, in that really social media’s there for you to start that conversation, to interact and engage with people, but it also allows you to get your content out there at the right time as well.
If you’re creating a lot of evergreen content, you can use social media and all those channels to get it out there over a period of time.
Consider your sales funnel, your buying cycle, think top of funnel, timing not so crucial, but what is crucial at that point is being found. When someone’s looking for you, can they find you?
Then there’s that content that you want to deliver to people at the right time, perhaps to encourage them to make a decision, to take some action.
Then there’s all that other content to build brand advocacy, and then there’s that real time content where you are riding that newsjacking wave and taking advantage of that opportunity that’s available to you to be relevant and to take advantage of that conversation that’s taking place online at that moment in time.
I hope that’s been helpful for you.
If you’ve got any questions about anything I’ve covered today and if you’ve got a question that you want me to cover on another video, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop a note into the comments section below.
Don’t forget to be awesome.
About Chris Marr
Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.