Stop pretending your audience has burned out on your message.
That’s the message I delivered at a recent seminar on content marketing programs. And it’s a big part of the strategy I use with clients here at 2820 Press.
During the first ten years of my career in radio, I learned some important lessons about how people digest ideas. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes the guts to keep talking long after you’re sick of hearing your own voice.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
That crazy car insurance commercial needs to get into your ears at least a dozen times before you start to understand what it’s talking about. A few more dozen times, and maybe you’re chuckling at the joke. After a few more dozen plays, you’re seriously wondering whether you’re paying too much for your car insurance, even if you’re perfectly happy with your current provider.
Breaking new music works the same way. If you listen to SiriusXM’s The Spectrum this week, you’ll notice that they’re playing “The One That Got Away” by The Civil Wars in heavy rotation. That means you’re hearing it about once every 2 1/2 hours on the channel, and given that the band’s unlikely to support this record with live shows, this is about the best support their label can hope for to get the song into your head.
We call this kind of scheduling a “cadence.” When it’s planned, measured, and executed well, it can bring your message to the top of your audience’s mind. It can also make you a little crazy.
Playing 52-Pick-Up with your blog.
If you’re the DJ playing those singles or commercials, you’ll burn out on them after a few days. That’s because you’re experiencing them in real time, not the way that people actually consume radio programming.
Business bloggers fall into a similar trap. When you’ve been cranking out posts on the same topic, you can quickly hit a saturation point. I often encounter marketing managers and business owners who pull the plug on their corporate blogs because they assume there’s nothing left to say.
In fact, the opposite holds true. Most of your tweets, Facebook updates, and blog posts float through the ether and right past your target audience, just like those singles and commercials on the radio. According to the folks at HubSpot, lead generation business blogs don’t hit a huge tipping point until they’ve logged at least 52 distinct posts.
It’s no longer sufficient to match a single piece of content to every product you make or every service you offer. Reaching your target audience means getting on the carousel, spinning out fresh takes on your core message.
Living on borrowed time.
Even after hitting that magic number, you’ll need to keep refreshing your blog with 15-20 new pieces of content every month to keep both readers and search engines engaged. Timing counts, too. The Wall Street Journal rallied its writers around data that shows more readers try to hit the site earlier in the day for breaking news and industry insight. When writers stuck to print-era deadlines, later in the day, they disappointed those subscribers.
Many of the businesses we work with at 2820 Press tried to manage their blogs on their own, in real time. If you’re struggling to come up with a great idea for a blog piece at 11pm, after you’ve closed the books on the day and put the kids to bed, you’re hitting an audience with less effective content at an off-peak time.
On the other hand, if you’re using an editorial calendar, a creative workflow, and a scheduling tool that parses new content at the height of your audience’s attention window, your communications cadence can generate more leads than ever before. Everybody’s best practices end up looking a little different, which is why our marketing consulting team can walk you through an ideal setup for your business blog. Contact us today to set up a complimentary review session over the phone.
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