Any marketer knows: the success of your efforts relies not just on great content, but also its timing. Even the best possible Tweet will underperform if you post it at a time when your audience is not on the network. Successful promotion of your brand, in other words, relies on perfectly timed marketing.
Just how do you get the perfect timing? Especially for new marketers, it’s a difficult question to answer. Here is the secret key: listen to your audience. Perfect timing means posting content and promoting your brand at times that fit perfectly in your audience’s, not your, schedule.
Get it right, and your audience will listen. Get it wrong, and your content will disappear without having been seen. Here’s how you can unlock the secret for your brand:
4 steps to perfectly timed marketing
Listen to your audience is an admittedly broad piece of advice for achieving perfectly timed marketing. Here are 4 steps that can help you achieve it:
1) Conduct industry research on perfect content send times
Every digital marketing tactic comes with specific benchmarks on the best times to publish. On Facebook, for example, sees most engagement on Thursdays and Fridays between 1pm and 4pm. On the other hand, Pinterest users are most active in the evenings.
This HubSpot infographic gives you a great overview of the various times that work best on social media. Meanwhile, this study by MailChimp reveals that the best time to email your audience is Tuesday or Thursday around 10am.
2) Analyze your own audience for similarities and discrepancies
Industry averages, of course, may not always be relevant for your own marketing efforts. So instead, it’s beneficial to analyze your own audience, as well. Analytics tools like Facebook Insights show when your followers are typically online, while email open and click-through rates can give you hints of which emails worked best during which dates and times.
Of course, this information can consist of relatively small sample sizes. It also includes a number of variables: an email, for example, may simply have outperformed a counterpart that was sent at a different time of day because of a more compelling offer or subject line. So for truly perfectly timed marketing, using your own audience’s data in conjunction with industry averages tends to be most successful.
3) Run experiments to find the perfectly timed marketing nadir
Theoretical statistics are a great start, but your efforts shouldn’t end there. Instead, run A/B tests in which you send identical content to different segments of your audience at various times of day and days of the week. The segments that perform the best give you insight on the ideal timing. If you repeat it often enough, you will gain insights that will get you closer to a perfect publication schedule.
4) Follow up immediately whenever possible
The above three steps work particularly well when raising brand awareness and making initial contact with potential customers. But what if they contact you? In that case, it’s crucial to follow up as quickly as possible.
In a world where our average attention span online is now at 8 seconds, quick responses are crucial to marketing success. One study found that sales leads who receive at least an acknowledgement within the first hour of becoming a lead are 7 times more likely to convert to customers.
The mix between scheduling your marketing messages strategically and providing immediate follow ups to any questions or inquiries you receive is crucial to achieve perfectly-timed marketing. Once you know audience expectations and behaviors, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Over to you: how strategic are you in timing your marketing efforts? If you need help in that arena to ensure a successful marketing strategy, contact us.