As we head into 2016, the content marketing (CM) train keeps on picking up steam. More people are getting on board and spending more time and money on it. (Check out this study which shows that CMOs are planning to spend more money on content than advertising.) Accordingly, CM continues to provide companies with more opportunities. At the same time, with your competitors and others targeting the same audience fighting for mind share, it is important to understand that your customers and prospects are getting even more messages each day. With this in mind, here are a few things to consider when looking at your 2016 content marketing plan.
Revisit Your Strategy
A content marketing strategy can have many elements. Here are a few things that are worth revisiting at least once a year:
- Do we need to make changes to the content strategy given any changes to the marketing strategy?
- Does our content approach need to change? (The answer in this lies in your engagement metrics.)
- Are our competitors producing better content than we are?
While you are taking a look at your strategy, also check that your content strategy is available and shared across the enterprise. One of our clients heard from another department that saw an opportunity to repurpose content that has already been created and paid for.
Reconsider What to Measure
As we wrote about previously, many companies are not measuring the right metrics at the right time (most are evaluating their content initiatives based on revenue before building trust). When determining what to measure, consider the pathway of a typical content marketing initiative:
- Build audience (e.g., email opens, page views)
- Build trust and value (e.g., average time on site, shares)
- Get readers to take action (e.g., sales, registrations)
Consider New Opportunities
Content can be used throughout the buyer’s journey. For example, from what we have seen, most companies are getting into a good groove of producing content for top and middle of the funnel. For these companies, the bottom of the funnel, while perhaps the most challenging part of the funnel to produce content for, can have the greatest benefits in accelerating the buyer’s journey.
Audit Your Content Sources
Are your content providers:
• Generating new ideas that go beyond the obvious to break through the clutter (extremely important when targeting SMBs!)?
• Bringing new ideas to the table (and are you updating content providers on your initiatives)?
• Making your job easier or harder?
I am really excited and looking forward to a successful 2016 year in the world of content. I hope you are too!
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