Marketing is changing. Traditional promotional methods are not as successful as they used to be. How can you make sure that your content marketing strategy is not staying behind?
It’s the perfect time to start thinking ahead to adjust your plans for the next 12 months.
Here are seven tips to get you thinking of what you need to improve in 2019.
1. Get the basics right
A good way to start the year is to review your existing strategy. Find the time to get together with your team to discuss all the things that worked well in 2018 and what needs to be improved in 2019.
A closer look at your strategy can help you understand whether your plans are still relevant for the next 12 months. If you haven’t created a written content marketing strategy yet, then you can start drafting your plans to make it easier to communicate them across different teams.
According to CMI’s recent report, only 39% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. This means that a large number of marketers is still not able to prove how their plans are set to make a case about the value of content marketing to the rest of the company.
The easiest way to revise your content marketing strategy once a year is to invest time in setting up a documented content marketing plan. Even a simple overview of your strategy can still be effective.
2. Improve your distribution tactics
Content distribution can be a key part of your content marketing strategy. It’s not enough to create good content if you cannot show it to the right audience. Distribution is changing and 2019 will encourage marketers to spend more time finding the right tactics to reach their target audience.
Have a look at your data to discover your best acquisition channels and explore your audience’s habits when it comes to content consumption.
Start by answering some of these questions:
- Which channels are the best performing acquisition channels?
- What’s the journey of our visitors to the site?
- What are the devices that our audience tends to consume content?
- What’s the best time to reach our audience?
- Which messaging works better to promote our content?
- What’s the ideal frequency in terms of content promotion?
These questions can help you update your content marketing strategy to adjust to your audience’s needs. They can help you improve your tactics around content distribution to ensure that you stay as efficient as possible.
3. Focus on your best performing channel
Content marketing is changing. We’ve left behind the need of being on as many channels as possible.
Now it’s time to explore your best-performing channels to use them more strategically. Find the channels that your target audience spends the most time on and craft a strategy to reach them.
Use your learnings from 2018 and improve your success by using the right channels at the right time. Don’t be afraid to start using a channel that is not working for you.
Just because all your competitors use e.g. Twitter, doesn’t mean that you should be on it if it doesn’t yield the desired results.
We’re moving away from the time that we’ve added channels to our marketing mix simply because ‘everyone was on them’.
Start 2019 with a more strategic approach to 2019 and use your energy to your best-performing channels.
4. Narrow down your audience
Content marketing is not necessarily about reaching as many people as possible. Even if you’re not aiming for a large-scale campaign to improve your awareness, you still have a target audience in mind.
Modern marketing is not about shouting hoping that someone will listen to your message. It’s time to set more specific objectives and content tactics to increase the success of your promotion.
Don’t be afraid to focus in a niche audience if this means that you can improve your engagement or conversion rate.
In fact, niche marketing can be your key to success. It can prove that you really know your audience and you improve the chances of having a great ROI to your content marketing efforts.
5. Don’t just create content for the sake of it
It’s tempting to come up with new content ideas even on a daily basis. However, we’ve reached the stage that there’s too much content out there but not enough time to consume it.
Right before creating your next piece of content, think of the objectives that you want to achieve from it.
- Does it fit into your content marketing goals?
- It is relevant for your target audience?
- Does it offer something new and useful to your audience?
More marketers are increasing the time they’re spending on updating their older content instead of creating new one. It’s a good way to maintain a good SEO strategy while updating your best performing content.
If you’ve created a very successful blog post earlier in 2018, you can review its relevance for 2019 and update it where necessary. This way you’re maintaining its good SEO performance, while you can add it to your new schedule of promoted content.
Evergreen content still takes time to stay fresh and successful so treat it as part of your strategy instead of just creating new content that might hijack your past success.
6. Allow time and budget for experimentation
It’s great to use most of the time focusing on your best-performing channels, but it’s still useful to allow some time (and budget) to try out new ideas.
Find the new emerging channels and promotion tactics that might be your next big parts of your strategy. There will definitely be good and bad lessons, but there may also be a big opportunity to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies.
Whether it’s about spending more time on voice technology, AI, Snapchat or anything else that could be relevant for your target audience, it’s worth the effort to leave space for experimentation.
7. Put your audience first
The best way to ensure that your content marketing strategy stays successful for the next 12 months is to keep listening to your audience’s needs.
If your target audience or your objectives changed over the last 12 months, then you need to reflect this changes on your content marketing strategy.
Spend the time to dive deeper into your data to understand your audience’s behaviour and what they need from you.
It’s easy to assume that we know as marketers what we want but sometimes we may end up being surprised. We may even notice that there’s a changing behaviour that we need to consider, whether it has to do with emerging technologies, new products or even new habits.
Where should I start?
The best way to get started is to go back to your content marketing tactics that you’ve used in 2018.
Bring your team together to analyse your past campaigns, whether they’ve met your objectives and what you can improve in 2019.
Find your best-performing channels and adjust your strategy towards spending more time on them.
Don’t stop listening to your audience and always be flexible enough to address any changing habits.