We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: content is king. A strong content marketing strategy is paramount to your online success. The New Year is only a couple of months away, which means it is time to take a cold, hard look at whether or not what you’ve been doing so far is working for you or flip-flopping around like a fish out of water.
Are you getting sales or leads…or do you need to make a big change? If your content strategy is flat, we can teach you how to bring it back to life again.
Why Your Content Strategy is Failing
Before you can fix your content strategy, you need to figure out what’s going wrong. You should see year-over-year improvement when you compare your results. If you can assess your sales and your marketing plan and feel as though you “held your own” or saw “small improvements,” your strategy isn’t working. A strategy that is simply holding you in place isn’t a good thing.
So why might your strategy be failing?
- You didn’t have a clearly defined goal other than to create great content. What was missing? Measuring conversions, social increases, or leads to an email list and figuring out where to improve.
- You don’t really know your audience well enough, so the content you created didn’t resonate well. Are you working with a customer avatar or persona? If not, you should be.
- You lack consistency. You aren’t creating regular content on a daily basis, whether it’s on your social channels or on your website. This is common, but it’s also super damaging to your strategy.
- You aren’t on the correct platforms. You are creating content targeted to the right audience, but you aren’t putting it where your audience can actually find it. Can’t fit a square peg into a round hole!
- You are completely ignoring SEO and keyword research. This is the core of every content strategy and needs to be properly implemented if you want to succeed.
- Your content isn’t good enough. Be honest with yourself. Is it? A quick trip to your Google Analytics page will let you know how long people are staying on your pages. If they’re bouncing away, something is wrong.
Every marketer struggles to get content right sometimes, even the experts. There’s no shame in dialing back and realizing you need to review. In fact, the people and organizations who succeed most often are the ones who see it as “upgrading” and “evolving,” instead of simple failure.
Repairing Your Content Strategy
What if it’s all just failing? You’re stressed, but don’t give up. Your content strategy is salvageable no matter how bad it is right now. You may need to go back to the drawing board, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Businesses have to shift gears all the time.
Ready to get started? Let’s jump in.
Reassess Your Audience
Start by assessing your audience. Are your customer personas properly targeted? Are you looking to the correct age groups and demographics and actually solving the problems they have with your product or service? If not, figure out what changes you need to make so that you have a clearer idea of who your audience really is.
Find Your Audience
Once you know who your audience is, figure out where they’re really hanging out. Are they on Facebook, which typically caters to 30-to-40-somethings, or are they in the younger demographic, which prefers Instagram? Nail down where they spend the most time and focus on that platform first.
When Do They Consume Content?
Alright – you found your audience. Now what? First, figure out when they hang out and when you’re most likely to reach them. Should you be holding a weekly Twitter chat or should you be recording regular YouTube videos released at specific times? Keep activity and time frames in mind and do your best to cater to them.
Readdress Your Keyword Research
Take some time to readdress your past keyword research strategies. Are you still targeting the most relevant keywords or do you need to start looking for some new targets? Should you incorporate new short and long-tail keywords into your strategy? Are there new buzz-words that relate to your niche? Make sure your content is focused on the words and questions people are really asking when they search for you online.
Struggling to figure out just what your audience wants? Try AnswerThePublic.com; just enter a few keywords, and the site will send you back questions from live search results so you can drill down to the right topic.s
Develop a Strong, Consistent Workflow
Every member of your team should be involved in the content creation workflow, all the way from brainstorming to creation right through to publication. Successful content marketers have amazing project management skills.
You don’t? That’s ok. Either learn how to create a workflow or add someone to your team who can take the lead. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to churn out quality content without risking negatives.
Map Out Your Content Strategy
Take some time to really sit down and consider the strategies you’ve been using in the past. Should you be tailoring your content to different times of the year (not only as they pertain to holidays, but as they pertain to your business), or is there a certain season you should push harder than another? Are there particular events you should be marketing around? This is critical information that can help you plan more effectively.
Map out all of the occasions for which you should be creating content. Your content strategy can and should be a living, breathing document — and that means it is subject to change. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to reflect a plan.
Explore Content Types
Text-only blog posts are a thing of the past. There are tons of content styles you could be using, including video, longer-form text with images, infographics, and podcasts.
Content type mixing works best when you utilize several different formats over time. Do your best to diversify over the weeks, months, and years you’re planning for.
This approach also creates a unique opportunity to cross-promote. For example, you may not be utilizing video right now (but you should be; it’s powerful). One simple video can be repurposed on several platforms. Make a LIVE Facebook video, save it to upload to YouTube, and then embed the YouTube link into a blog post with a written transcript. Just one video gave you content for three platforms!
Similarly, a great infographic belongs on your website but can also be shared on Facebook and other visual platforms. Think of similar diversifications when you plan.
Step Up Your Frequency
Were you getting a surge of traffic from your past content…only to suddenly see your traffic drop off? Odds are you need to fill in with more frequent content to keep things moving along. Your readers depend on you to give them something of value on a regular basis, whether that’s via email, on your blog, or on your social platforms.
For social posting, daily is best. Real long-form content should be published at least weekly, if not bi-weekly or even daily (depending on your readership). That may be hard to do in the beginning, but you can start slowly and work your way up.
If you’re a one-person business with little time, you may need to start with a new piece of content monthly. That’s okay! The important thing is that you start – you can always branch out further later. Your goal should be to publish every two weeks, and eventually, weekly for optimal results.
It doesn’t matter if your content strategy is completely DOA or if it’s just a bit “unwell” at the moment, you have the power to fix it. Figure out which areas you are falling short in, make the necessary fixes, and monitor your results on a regular basis. You can, and will, turn your content around. We believe in you!