It’s 2016, and content is still at the forefront of virtually every marketing technique, digital and traditional. Whether it’s video, photo, or content, marketers need to know how to stay on top of content and get the most for their efforts. Content has been a buzzword for more than a decade, yet many business owners still don’t know how to maximize theirs to get more of an impact. Here are a few quick tips to show you how to leverage your content the right way.
#1: Form a Plan
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the majority (53%) of the top most-effective B2B content marketers have a documented strategy. Documentation can be simple – just a few pages with a layout of your plans, steps, and goals. Consider using a planning template to get you started. Failing to document your strategy and objectives makes it more likely that you won’t see results from your strategy or believe that content marketing just isn’t effective enough.
#2: Meet with Your Team
Once you’ve laid out your strategy, share it with your team of marketers or content writers. Meet regularly with the team member who handles your content output and promotion to ensure you’re all on the same page. Best practice is to meet at least weekly to receive an update on important tasks and confirm accomplishments according to the documented plan. Discuss the success of previous pieces of content, how to improve content, and what’s on the board for next week.
#3: Consistency is Key
Keeping your content consistent is a detail you can’t overlook. Not only does inconsistency rub customers the wrong way, but it also bodes badly for search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Consistency is arguably the biggest ranking factor for SEO. Uniformity throughout your site builds trust and reliability, forming a stronger bond with customers.
If your content marketing efforts “failed” to give you the returns you expected this quarter, don’t quit. Stay consistent with your content output, whether it’s in your blog or as a guest writer on someone else’s blog. Keep your tone consistent – readers turn away from content that sounds like multiple people wrote it. You may not see instant results from this tip, but it will undoubtedly improve marketing efforts in the long term.
#4: Know Your Platforms
There are many different platforms you can publish your content to, from social media sites to a personal blog. Reposting the same content across multiple platforms might work, but your chances of reaching a wide audience significantly increase if you change the formatting or structure of a piece before reposting. For example, you may want to turn an article into an infographic for Facebook or a how-to video for YouTube. Carefully plan your distribution, and give each platform equal attention. Understanding the platforms where your audience will view your content is vital to ensure you’re targeting the right people at the right time with the right content.
#5: Imitate the Best
Whether you’re having trouble knowing where to begin, need content marketing inspiration, or simply want to learn from the best, take a few tips from the best content marketers in your industry. Analyze the strategy of companies seeing success with their content and see how your team can imitate them. Observe what the world’s best brands are doing right, and see if it would work for your company.
#6: Impart Value
Content that gives a brand returns always gives the reader value, whether it’s a helpful how-to video or a lifestyle piece with an important lesson. It’s easy for SEO and metrics to distract you. However, being true to your brand often yields better returns than all the strategizing in the world. Tell a story with your content and show your brand’s heart. Stay relevant, touching on current trends or major events. Readers will always appreciate content that imparts value.
#7: Track Metrics
You can’t tell if you’re getting the most out of your content without tracking the right metrics. Before you begin your content marketing strategy, decide which metrics to track. This can include the number of times readers share your content, page views, downloads, and sales metrics. Provide a metrics framework outlining those that are most important for your strategy and explain how you will track them. Analyzing the success rates of your strategy is a key in building a plan that works.
#8: Learn and Grow
No content marketing strategy is perfect. If there was a formula that guaranteed viral content every time, businesses wouldn’t need to track their performance and make improvements. If your content isn’t performing as it should, analyze the source of the problem, learn from your mistakes, and try again. Don’t get discouraged if a piece of content doesn’t get the attention you thought it would. Learn and grow with your content marketing strategy, and make sure your next piece is better than your last.