Do you only produce one type of content? That’s like eating PB&Js for lunch every day. No matter how much you love PB&J, over time it loses its allure.
Diversity is key to keeping your audience engaged. If you typically write long, text-heavy blog posts, consider some image-based listicles. Are you always creating evergreen content? Mix in some newsy stories. You should have a minimum of three different content types active on your blog at all times and continually be thinking of creative ways to connect with your audience. Don’t be afraid to go beyond traditional blogging via video and infographics. In fact, video should be a must as all signs point to it being the future of content.
Gone are the days when clickbait titles were sustainable content strategies. Sure, you may gain some cheap pageviews, but you’ll do more harm than good in the long term. That’s because people, especially Millennials, can see right through what you’re doing and will write you off for it. As part of your strategic planning, you need to be putting real thought behind each and every piece of content you create, and ensure that it’s providing real value to your target audience. A general rule of thumb is that it must do one of the following: inspire, inform, or entertain. If your current strategy focuses more on churning out content than any of those three things, you’re bound to see a decline in engagement over time.
Much along the same sentiment of quality over quantity, identifying your target audience is essential to your content’s long-term success. How often do you visit a blog of a brand that you love only to be disappointed by what you see? It’s almost as if they don’t know how to talk to their audience or focus solely on pushing product. This is a very real problem with modern content marketing because marketers are so blinded by their company’s goals and ROI that they don’t take a step back to understand who they’re trying to reach. Marketers must set aside our traditional marketing roles and envision ourselves as our target audience. What matters to them? What piques their interest? Every piece of content you’re creating should be viewed through the lens of your target audience. From there, successful ROI through brand loyalty will follow. If your current content strategy doesn’t have this, it’s time to reset. Identify your target audience through strategic planning and social listening, and then establish an audience persona for your content.
Has your content strategy been on cruise control for a while? Not good. With the inundation of information in today’s world, people’s opinions can shift at the drop of a hat. That’s why a key element of every successful content marketing campaign is social listening. If you want to be an authoritative voice, you must know the pulse of your audience. Know what your target audience is talking about and their opinion as it relates to the matter so you don’t get caught offending them. A good cautionary tale is Best Buy who tweeted a joke in relation to the popular podcast Serial and received widespread backlash as a result. Great that they wanted to join in on a popular subject matter with their target audience, but not so great that they stumbled doing it.
“If you build it, they will come.” RIght? Wrong.
Competition is fierce, and it can feel nearly impossible to break through the clutter. That’s why it’s imperative to sit down with your social team and do some strategic planning on how to best get your content out there. Every piece of content, no matter how big or small, needs to have an amplification plan behind it. At the very least, it should be promoted across all of your social channels. So if you have been executing your strategy but aren’t seeing the lift you desire, consider paid amplification and/or influencer marketing. Both allow you to get in front of your desired audience and make a lasting impression through compelling content.
Last but most certainly not least, you can have the best content marketing strategy in the world, but if the user experience of your blog is lackluster, don’t expect to have success. I can’t tell you how many companies put tens of thousands of dollars behind crafting amazing content, only to throw it up on a horrible blog or website. That’s like hiding a two karat Tiffany engagement ring in a crumbled McDonald’s bag and expecting your fiancé to find it.
Your beautiful content needs to be hosted as such, and in a matching format. In addition to ensuring it’s aesthetically pleasing, your UX must make your content easily discoverable via search through proper formatting and organization. Think of your favorite blogs, and what keeps you returning time and time again. Content in itself is an experience, and you must delight your audience throughout the entire process.
So there you have it—several ways you can correct a failing marketing strategy. Even if your content marketing isn’t failing, these tips can help you continually optimize for success. What else are you doing with your content marketing strategy to ensure you’re successful?
To learn more habits of successful content marketers, check out Skyword’s webinar.