High on the list of many content marketing plans is the timely sequencing of content across a target audience’s buying cycle. At the top of the funnel (ToFu), content marketers have an opportunity to encounter audiences right at the time they recognize a pain point. Known as situational triggers, these moments provide timely opportunities to post blogs and other ToFu content.
Encountering Ready Prospects
Consider the case of a cosmetic dentist. Many dentists wait for signs of aging teeth as the moment to present their message. Other see the value of encountering prospects the moment they detect hair loss, discover new wrinkles or experience aging ailments. Using this moment as a situational trigger, their content could be developed on the subject of anti-aging, which features smile makeovers as one of the anti-aging remedies. This assumes the content is not perceived as self-serving (about teeth) or biased (about the dentist).
Continuing the analysis across other targeted personas, moments of encounter could then be identified for audiences planning to walk down the aisle, perform on stage or mingle in high society circles. When timed to reach the audience as they experience these early awareness pressures, the content can then create an opportunity to influence the consideration and evaluation phases of the audience’s decision making as well.
Exploiting Urgent Situations
Besides triggers, another way to get your target audience to appreciate your timely content is to address urgent situations early in their buying stage. The following example illustrates how a real estate accountant educated his property management and HOA audiences on what to do with a recent county regulation. At the time when condos and housing associations were faced with serious economic issues, HOA boards were looking for sources of cash to offset foreclosures.
One method to solve this problem was to liquidate reserves applied against potential property damage. But when a county ruling restricted the use of reserves as a cash source, HOAs faced tough choices on how to the fund budget shortfalls.
A savvy real estate accountant used this opportunity to connect with an urgent pain point. Starting with what the ruling implied, and continuing through the decision cycle with alternative workarounds, timely content was aligned with the HOA’s frame-of-mind from awareness to decision. The accountant, in this case, was credited with providing an objective response to an urgent issue.
Timing Content with Audience Consumption Routines
Understanding the routine your audiences follow in checking their email, tweets or posts can make a difference in whether your content gets on their radar at the right time. Many tools like Klout’s scheduler shown below will let you know when your audience is most active across each day of the week. Their scheduler, along with that of Hootsuite, TweetDeck and others, allow you to tweet your content to meet these peak periods.
So what other ways do you know can make your content more timely? Are their opportunities besides triggers, urgent issues and routines?