Every commuter in the world knows that timing is vital if you’re going to get ahead of traffic. Waiting until rush hour is underway will leave you mired in congestion, one car among millions. The same holds true in content marketing in the social sphere: timing is vital if you’re going to get ahead of the competition and stand out. Getting a story out first – whether it’s content you’ve created or content you’re simply sharing — will widely broaden your audience and your visibility. It’s easier said than done, however.
For starters, you need to identify the times of day your audience is looking for fresh content. If you want to lead in trending and create shareable viral content, it won’t do you much good to be brilliant when nobody’s watching. (On the flip side, your timing can be perfect, but if your content’s no good, you won’t get anywhere.) Following are some tools to help you find the raw resources to create your content and get it out when it’s most likely to go viral.
Trends by the Hour
BuzzSumo is a tool that continually analyzes content to determine what trends the best for any topic. It ranks content by the number of engagements (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest) and helps users identify what’s special about the top trending content. It not only allows users to filter by content type, it offers trends by the hour to help users create the right bait for the most influential early birds.
Developing meaningful content is tricky: even the pros need help sometimes. Epictions’ EpicBeat is a content aggregation tool that helps users find and curate the most cutting-edge content possible. Widely used by marketing agencies, EpicBeat allows subscribers to drill down and find nuggets of interest and insight that can inspire great viral content, and offers extras that basic content analysis tools don’t, such as alerts and guidance on popular days to publish.
Evaluate the Customer Journey
Businesses looking to provide the most relevant content need to understand how customers are undergoing online conversion from bystanders to purchasers. Google’s Customer Purchase Path Tool “consumer barometer” illuminates the role of online sources in the consumer journey, from consideration to purchase. The tool is particularly helpful if your content audience is international, as people’s Internet usage behavior patterns vary from region to region.
Aggregate Your Sources
Perhaps you already have some favorite content analysis sites you use to improve your trending. Visiting them individually, or trying to keep track of dozens of alerts, can be time-consuming. Content acceleration tool Feedly aggregates RSS feeds from a variety of content sources into one feed so you can scan it quickly and easily, crunching more data in less time.
By getting content into your social sphere first, you can get ahead of the traffic and stand out. Building up a network of tools that save you time and work means you can extend your content “feelers” far and wide. While trending topics will seldom fall right into your lap, they will get caught in your extended web if you build it correctly.
Tracey S is a former trade editor (editorial director, Customer Interaction Solutions magazine) turned freelance business content writer. She has written material (both bylined articles and ghost-written material or staff editorial) for a wide variety of clients, including those offering content in business software, telecommunications services and equipment, manufacturing and industrial design, aerospace, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, materials science, smart grid/smart city initiatives and green energy. Her background is in marketing, which dovetails nicely with content creation, search engine optimization and sales/marketing enablement.