Content marketing is important; we know this. For those of you who didn't have 2017 planned out back in August 2016 (raise your hands), we have examined eight key areas marketers should be building into in this year for maximum return on investment.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60 per cent of marketers with a documented content strategy generate results that align with set goals; compared to a dismal 7 per cent success rate for those without a strategy. If you haven't already checked in with strategy ahead of the New Year, now is the time.
A clear, actionable strategy including clearly defined and achievable goals goes a long way to informing effective action. Consider, what it is you want to achieve: an increase in web traffic? To grow leads? Boost sales?
Where content marketing is concerned, personas help the personalisation and targeting process: in a nut shell, it's about delivering the "right" (most useful/interesting/valuable) content to the right audience segments. Personas do not exist in a vacuum; they need to be regularly updated in order to maintain relevance. In 2017, spend some time with your personas: re-evaluate, redefine and update.
Content auditing is all about doing away with unsustainable content practices and optimising your performance in a meaningful way. Ideally a content audit should be both qualitative (quality of content against a criteria) and quantitative (your performance broken down into numbers), to paint an accurate and comprehensive picture of your content performance. From here you can reasonably evaluate:
- Content to keep
- Content to dump
- Content to improve
- Content to consolidate.
Creating and managing content tasks and doing it well, is no small feat. As such, a content or editorial calendar must be a big part of any content marketing strategy. Mapping out your content strategy in this way has a number of benefits:
- Encourages consistency
- Allows for forward planning
- Affords greater visibility of processes, planning, steps and task management
- Safety net: no more falling behind on content
- Brainstorming tool: encourages collaboration of ideas.
New Content Optimisation
SEO and content marketing have a uniquely symbiotic relationship. SEO makes demands, and content marketing fulfils them. So, it stands to reason that it is infinitely beneficial to ensure any new content you are developing, is optimised for search engines from the get go.
In 2017, make of point of activating available distribution channels when sharing content: email, video, downloadable reports, blog posts, and don't forget social!
This is not a new conversation, and it isn’t going anywhere. In case you're late to the party: make sure your content is easy to read on mobile devices.
If you're not tracking performance, you have a problem. It has been said ad nauseam, but it bears repeating: monitoring and performance tracking is important for identifying what is working and what isn’t; allocation of resources; and responsive strategy development.
In 2017, commit to a monthly review of content marketing actions so you will get a realistic and actionable picture of performance.
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