Formulating your content strategy takes a lot of groundwork. You need to clearly define who the audience is, understand what their expectations are, and list down what they are prowling around the internet for. That is what constitutes the foundational elements of your content marketing strategy.
One of the primary ways in which you want people to discover your content is when they are looking for solutions to their problems, problems you as a business could potentially help them with — directly on indirectly. That is the reason why content marketers lay so much emphasis on understanding what people are searching for on Google, and how the search trends have been evolving in their business segments.
Why? Because creating a piece of content is a one-time effort, but it keeps on delivering results for a sustainable period of time.
Content helps you establish subject-matter expertise, it helps you arrive at a connect with your audience, it helps you answer some of the most common questions your audience may have, it helps you build a relationship with your consumer base, and most of all — it does help you generate revenue for the business, at least in the long run.
SO WHAT KIND OF CONTENT SHOULD BE CREATED?
Simple. One that helps your audience discover you. No matter what your audience is looking for, as long as it is covered by the general description of your business, some piece of content or another should lead them right to you.
BUT CONTENT IS CONTENT, THEN WHAT THE HELL IS TEMPORAL CONTENT OR SPATIAL CONTENT?
Not all content is created the same. Yes, most content is created with the mindset of creating the content once and reaping the rewards of the created content for weeks, months and years to come. But that is the long game, and most of the time, you need to be extremely patient in the early stages and trust the process.
Now this — this is what is typically covered and talked about when we talk about content. And this is what spatial content is (typically referred to as evergreen content). Content that strategically remains contextual and relevant irrespective of temporary external factors. Take the example of instagram, and a business that claims to help individuals and businesses grow their instagram reach and engagement. There are a lot of questions the target audience of this business would be having, and by creating content centered around such a topic, and this in return will keep on driving traffic back to the main product page for weeks and years to come. But, it will do little to drive organic traffic to the business right now, when it is just trying to get on its feet.
And that is why temporal content becomes important. Temporal content is temporary in nature, designed to capitalize on temporary, situational and circumstantial changes in user search patterns and behaviors. Traffic and value-driven to a business by temporal content could result in a spike, but most of the time, the value is short-lived, and most of the value generated will subside once the playing field returns to its normal state. Take the instagram business example we just talked about one more time. This business could capitalize on some quick and temporary traffic and new visitors by creating content centered around searches related to ‘instagram changing its policies regarding display of likes’.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU FOCUS ON? TEMPORAL OR SPATIAL CONTENT?
Both, to be honest.
Spatial content would continue to bring in reliable, trustworthy and constant flow of contextually relevant audience to you. Since there is a lot of contextual mapping, the leads generated this way would be relatively hotter, and you would have a somewhat clear understanding of what their expectations and aspirations are.
Temporal content, on the other hand, follows trends. The leads generated this way, while relevant, could most easily include businesses who just came across your content, and they just checked you out owing to sheer curiosity. While the end results in spatial content is often astronomical and follows the simple rule of compound interest, in the case of temporal content, it has it’s very time-driven peaks and once those peaks are over, the traffic drops down to almost nothing.
They are both very different kinds of marketing funnels, and they each serve a very specific purpose. Just think of yourself from the perspective of a business. Why would you want a potential customer shown the way out, even if they are not 100% sure of transacting with you right now. Will they be rated as high as the contextual audience on the potential value they hold for the business? Definitely not, but at the same time, it is quite clear that they are not worthless.
So this is what you do. You create temporal content to drive more and more traffic to your ‘primary content engine’, and you use the spatial content to retain as much as possible of the traffic and leads you drove by creating temporal content.