Matching your content calendar to your customers’ needs seems like a no brainer. But it’s a no brainer a lot of companies don’t get. Isn’t that the whole point of content marketing—meeting your customer’s needs?
Looking at websites, blog posts, and social media posts of a lot of companies, you can quickly see that their customers’ needs aren’t the main focus of their content, let alone their content calendar.
Blatant self-promotions meet giveaways, meet long, pontificating tomes about the company’s much-lauded history and their current laudable wokeness.
Here’s looking at you, big soft drink maker. Puh-lease. We want a satisfying soft drink, not a sermon.
It’s Always Been About the Customer
When you look at what made those companies grow during their formative years, you’ll see a customer-centric outlook.
Timing is paramount. Take Coke’s first TV ad. First of all, genius timing. What better time to introduce a food-comatose audience to a refreshing, caffeine-loaded drink than Thanksgiving? “The pause that refreshes.” You can almost taste it, can’t you?
Now that’s a content calendar we can live with. Absolute genius. Not only did it make the customer happy, but it also delighted the end client—the TV network who ran the ad. Bet that “pause that refreshes” livened up the audience so they would pay attention to the other ads that follow, bringing in numbers that made the network heads drool.
It’s simple. When you make everything you do customer-centric, you are more likely to meet their needs. When you meet their needs, whether with the “pause that refreshes” or an AI chatbot that seems to know what you want even before you speak, you have them in the fold.
Simple, but a fact that so many companies don’t get. Allow me to elaborate. You’re in business because you make a product or service that solves a problem.
In the case of the mid-century post-Thanksgiving TV audience, who is snoozing off right before Edgar Bergen delivers his punch line. In your case, it might mean a more fuel-efficient manufacturing process or a New York-to-Sydney flight that chops three hours off a harried businesswoman’s travel time, allowing her to rest before that make-or-break presentation.
Effective Content Calendars Deliver What Customers Need When They Need It
The question becomes, then, how do you let all these needy customers know that you have exactly what they need to soothe their soul, satisfy their sweet tooth, or help them double their revenue?
That’s where content marketing comes in. And the requisite content calendar.
Content marketing management is all about the timing. Your content calendar can help you get the timing down to an art when you put the customer’s schedule at the center of your planning.
We believe that a content calendar ought to match your customers’ needs. For example, a blog post about winter holiday decorating would be out of place during the January doldrums. As would an explainer video about how your new surfboard keeps you on top of the wave for longer running in November. Unless you’re in Australia, of course!
Those cases are obvious. But with the availability of high-tech content automation comes the ability to schedule content publication down to the exact minute.
Use Target Customer Segment Analytics to Time Your Content
To put that technology to work, you need detailed content planning that leverages timing to maximize the benefits to the customer. An effective content strategy always starts with data.
Therefore, taking a deep dive into customer personas to uncover your target customers’ deepest desires is the first step.
Next, you need to learn when each of your target customer segments is online—and where they’ll be when that happens. For example, if you send a text message while your small business owning prospect is likely driving home, you’re not going to connect—and if you do, the resulting traffic ticket won’t build brand loyalty.
But if you send that customer an email first thing in the morning–and that email’s subject line promises a low-cost way for their business to promote their products through retargeting, you’re likely not only to get open but probably a click-through–and maybe even a conversion.
And when you automate your content, you can schedule that email to go out without lifting a finger. Easy-peasy.
Use a Content Calendar to Give Customers a Heads-Up About New Products
Matching your content calendar to your customers’ needs is essential when you introduce a new product or service.
Your customers will need to know:
- What the product can do for them
- When it will be available
- How it works
- How much it costs and whether its benefits outweigh its costs
- How to use it to maximize those benefits
- How/Where to get it
Here’s where it pays to have leveled the departmental silos throughout your company. You should be on a first-name basis with your development teams so you know when it will be ready for release.
Then you can consult with your engineers about how it works, the developers on its benefits, and your bean-counters about how much it costs. You’ll want to do some research on the product’s cost-effectiveness, brainstorm various ways to use it, as well as where and when customers can buy it.
Then, you’ll need to plan customer-focused content around the rollout.
- Blog posts that address your target customers’ pain points and your product’s effectiveness in meeting those needs
- Explainer videos that show how it works and how to use it
- White papers that dive into the research that demonstrates the product’s effectiveness and ROI
- Brochures for customers that prefer print communications
- Images and descriptions that trigger the buying impulse
- Press releases
- Social media posts and follow-up communication with commenters
- Internal communications that help call center, sales, and technical support teams explain benefits, answer objections, and troubleshoot any issues that arise
- Retargeting ads for people who are searching for your product or service
With an effective content calendar, you can time the production and publication of all that information at just the right time to reach your target customers.
Finally, Focus on Your Customers When Planning Blog and Social Media Posts
Regular blog posts, too, should focus on your customers. When planning your content calendar, as Forbes’ Syed Balkhi points out, you should ask yourself questions that target your customers’ needs, questions, and schedules, such as:
- What are the questions about your company and its products that you and your team hear on social media, blog post comments, and conversations with customers?
- What are some things that frustrate customers?
- How does a recent industry news development affect your customers?
- How can we address any seasonal needs our customers have (such as client holiday gifts, a way to tame energy bills in both winter and summer, how to deal with summer absences, etc.)?
With content calendar planning sessions that start with the customer at the center, you’ll end up with a year full of content that will build customer trust, increase your brand authority, and inspire your current customers to become your brand’s best advocates. You can manage your content calendar, production and more with DivvyHQ. Request a demo today to see it in action.