Your content marketing strategy is in full swing, but you’re not not seeing the massive ROI you projected in your Q4 plan. So, either your math is wrong or your content marketing strategy is missing something. (We’ll give your math the benefit of the doubt.)
Perhaps you haven’t seized the opportunity to capture your audience on a channel where they seem to enjoy spending time. Or maybe you haven’t assessed any of your content performance since your Q3 recap–of last year. Worst case scenario: maybe your content marketing strategy is missing altogether.
Well, 76% of marketers use content marketing and just a mere 37% report it being effective. By even considering optimizing your content marketing strategy, you may be ahead of the game.
Whether you’re just getting started (i.e. have no strategy in place) or have found you’re missing out on some potential content promotion opportunities, don’t worry. We can fix this.
What’s so Special About Strategy Anyway?
Your content marketing strategy is the essence of your client-facing branding efforts. Without a content marketing strategy, you will be hard-pressed to establish unity in your messaging. You may struggle to solidify the way an audience views and/or interacts with you brand, product, service, etc.
Long story short, don’t make content just for the sake of making content. Take a moment to assess your current content situation. Ensure you’re not missing any of these crucial pieces of the content-strategy puzzle:
Go to Goal
Before you set off cranking out blog posts and publishing ebooks, you first have to define who it is you’re speaking to, what it is you’re saying, how you’re going to say it, when, where, why. You get the idea.
By answering these questions, you will cover (and ideally document) the information needed to create quality content. But, more importantly, with a clear picture of your purpose, you will be set up for goal-setting stage. This is perhaps the most pertinent part of your content strategy.
This is the part where you decide what your content will do for you.
Are you planning for the sake of capturing new, qualified leads? And if so, how many?
Are you looking to drive conversion rates up? And if so, by how much?
Your content goals should align with your larger business goals. Be specific about how the content, in particular, will get you to where you need to go.
Pro tip: Use the tried and true S.W.O.T. analysis to make sure you’re setting goals that are realistically attainable and on target.
As you determine what your content will be doing for your business, write it down! Document every part of your content strategy, from buyer persona, to value statement, to keywords, to goals.
Beginning at the planning stage straight on through to measurement, and eventually analysis, you should be documenting all of your efforts.
Documentation will help you stay on task through the creation phases. It’s a good way to combat the quantity over quality mindset that often plagues content calendars. It will also make for much easier measurement when your campaigns have all run their course.
This documentation is a valuable resource when proving the success of your efforts–and we all know what that means… more money in the content marketing bank!
Do Some SEO
Your content marketing strategy needs to include your SEO strategy. And your SEO strategy should relate to the buyer personas, value statements, etc. you should be drawing from for content ideas.
SEO can even be a good way to guide content creation. Although at times, your content may in some ways shape your SEO strategy.
You should be creating content marketing materials that are highly relevant to your intended audience. Therefore, they’re easily discoverable when searching for information on a topic.
With solid SEO you will be able to boost your search rankings, making your content more discoverable. And we all know that after toiling through conceptualizing, creating, and publishing, the more eyes on, the better.
Don’t Skip the Testing
You should be testing your content marketing strategy the same way you’re documenting it. That is: all of it, all of the time.
If you have neglected this aspect of your content marketing strategy, you are missing out on valuable learnings.
Of course the tests range in complexity and type, but any and all testing can prove useful as you develop future strategies, or edit the existing.
For instance, try testing new types of content on channels where you have typically posted other types (i.e. you’ve primarily featured white paper downloads on LinkedIn–this time, try an infographic instead). Not sure where to begin? Your email marketing list can be a great place to get a feel for content tests. Try sending different headlines, or different in-message content, to different groups of people.
You will gain additional insight about your audience and ways they can be segmented, but will also begin to understand the subtleties of certain channels.
Reminder: Your content marketing is not limited to online channels. Incorporate offline content in your testing tactics, as well as in the larger strategy.
There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of which channels you should be tapping into for content distribution, but there certainly are right and wrong channels.
Your audience is bound to be spread across countless channels, but that doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere they are. In fact, a big focal point of your content marketing strategy should be assessing per-channel performance.
Again, your audience will likely be everywhere–to an extent–but they won’t be equally active everywhere. Similarly, most channels have developed and defined standards regarding what type of content is distributed there and how it is presented.
On a fairly regular basis, it will be beneficial to make note of which channels are encouraging high levels of engagement or conversions and which might be better off removed from the strategy–or if nothing else, made less of a priority.
As new platforms become available, you may have to find ways to reorganize your channel hierarchy–a little trial and error never hurt anybody (see above)!
Now that you’ve potentially identified some content marketing misses, take a minute to re-evaluate your current strategy–or start anew–so you can really start cranking out the high-value, high-converting content your company needs.
Note: Stay flexible through it all. Your content marketing strategy should be somewhat fluid. Be prepared to think on your feet and change as you go, as needed.
Ready to optimize your content marketing strategy? Get in touch to chat about what tactics you may be missing and how you can maximize your content marketing efforts.