Your content calendar is the hub for everything you produce about your brand. It dictates your publishing schedule, content workflow and collaboration.
However, your content calendar is not just about what you want to say to the world – it’s about what your fans want, too.
In talking with our customers day in and day out, we often hear a similar story. Let me summarize it this way…
Our marketing and content teams are just reacting and creating content that the business wants, kinda like a content vending machine. However, we recognize that we need to have a customer-centric strategy that dictates what we produce, and our content calendar needs to be centered around what those audiences would find valuable.
So how do you find out what they want?
Ultimately, you want to create a content calendar that is packed with content topics, themes and ideas that your followers and fans will love.
Let’s talk about some of the methods that you can deploy to ensure your content ideas are relevant and meaningful to those you most want to attract and engage.
How Can Your Customers, Fans, and Followers Impact Your Content Calendar?
There are several ways to capture and harness their interests. Hint: It’s all about data!
Content Marketing Analytics
Whether you’ve been doing content marketing for two months or two years, you probably already have data to shape your future content plan. Understanding your content analytics is the first part of understanding your readers. Look at these key metrics:
- Page views for posts and other content – these numbers quickly tell you which topics are popular (and which aren’t)
- Amount of time visitors are spending on content pages – this gives you a gauge on topical relevance and content quality
- Content with the most social media engagement (likes, shares, comments)
- Conversions on gated content like eBooks and whitepapers
- Most watched videos
You may find some very worthwhile insights in this data. For example, you may find that your audience shares infographics the most on social media, which would indicate you should probably create more infographics to boost engagement.
You may also find that your long-form content, say blogs over 1,000 words, has more views than shorter content. This could indicate that your fans crave more details as they try to find solutions to solve their challenges.
Next, you need to have fully developed buyer personas. Buyers personas, as you know, are much more than demographics. The Buyer Persona Institute explains, “built from real words of real buyers, a buyer persona tells you what prospective customers are thinking and doing.”
The fundamentals of your buyer personas should include:
- Foundational demographics (titles, industries, education, experience)
- What are their priorities?
- What are their pain points?
- How do they define success?
- What are the barriers or objections they may have to your company, product or service?
- What impacts their buyer’s journey?
- What are their decision criteria?
- Where do they go to research and get information?
By developing a buyer persona and answering these questions, you’ll know what matters to them, as well as where they may be seeking content to ensure yours is easy to find.
Ask Them What They Want
You can research your fans more by asking them exactly what they want. Create a survey and send it to your best customers to gain targeted insight into their informational needs (template below, if you’re interested). Most people aren’t shy about giving you their opinion. Whether it’s positive or negative, this is another avenue to collect more data so you can optimize your content calendar with content your audience really wants to read or watch.
Looking at the Logistics
Another part of delivering content that’s going to be consumed by your fans is looking at the logistics of when and how you distribute content.
Pay attention to what times you seem to get the best responses. This could vary for many different industries, but if you can determine when your buyers are most likely to click your social media posts or open your emails, you can use this to optimize your content calendar.
In addition to looking at your own data, you can check on some aggregated data on the best times to use social media . It only makes sense to use this to your advantage. If your fans aren’t early birds, then hold off on that first post until they’ve had a few cups of coffee.
In addition to time, how you distribute content is just as meaningful. Maybe you’re killing it on LinkedIn but falling flat on Instagram. That’s probably because your audience isn’t looking for answers there. Focus on platforms that are showing signals of your desired behavior and put your energy into those.
Data to Insights to Beloved Content
If you’ve deployed the methods above, you should have some powerful data at this point. Now you just need to put it together using a content marketing platform that lets you build your calendar, manage your content production workflow, and deliver content that resonates.
There are lots of options out there but few that really support you in building a content calendar your fans and followers will love. That’s why we made DivvyHQ, so marketers could take control of the process and simplify. Give it a go. You can try it now for free today.