We are into the second week of November – can you believe it!! We have spoken about forecasted trends for 2017 and how to keep your employees motivated during the upcoming holiday season but the question is , How do you plan on getting a head start in 2017 in terms planning your content marketing strategy? If your goals are to build your customer database,increase conversions and build your brand identity,then having a content strategy is crucial. The world is a highly competitive war zone when it comes to content and we need to plan ahead and get a head start in our content marketing plan.
The key in 2017 will be achieving the right balance between the amount of content vs video, the frequency of it and most importantly the actual return of investment of content marketing. Content should “talk” to the consumers and instead of them reading streams and streams of unrelated content – content should be specifically targeted at the specified target audience to not only increase engagement but brand awareness too.
So where do we begin….
- Plan Ahead
The key to success is to get a head start on your competitors as customers can be snapped up right in front of your beady little eyes. During the end of the year when companies are in holiday mode this is a perfect opportunity to sit down with your content team and reflect on the year that has passed. Look back on campaigns and blogs that did well and ones that didn’t do so well and brainstorm and figure out why? Where did we go wrong? Was it the tone of the content? The type of content? a specific social media platform?. Compile a list of your companies strengths in content as well as the weaknesses , the whole point of this exercise would be turn those weaknesses into strengths and to ensure that your content marketing plan for the new year is better than the year gone by. When planning your content marketing plan for the new year ensure that your meeting includes decision makers – people who can actually put changes in motion and make them happen and getting your voice for your brand heard. By educating your decision makers about the content marketing challenges that your team faces and proposing solutions, you may have an opportunity to get your voices heard and make a difference. Once you know where you went wrong , the key is to resolve the problem areas and do better! The sooner we plan for the upcoming years content marketing plan – the better – before we know it the holiday season has come and gone and we are in a new year and still using the same old plans, strategies and content than the previous year.
- Content Checklist
Checklists are vital in creating valuable content that will not only increase our brand identity, keep users reading & interested in our content ,grow our customer database , increase visitors to our websites as well as our social media pages. As much as our customers need us , we need them too!!! In order to utilise the content checklist efficiently all members in a team need to utilise it together and make changes as they go along. Lets face it – we all want our content to be the best and to add sparkle onto peoples screens and in order for this to happen we need guidance – a checklist to ensure that we deliver valuable and valid content to our customers. This checklist can be introduced at the end of the year and revised in the new year. Lets take a brief sneak peak at a checklist created by Aha Media:
Is the Content:
- a) Findable: Can the user find the content?
Does it include:
b) Readable: Can the user read the content?
Does it include:
c) Understandable: Can the user understand the content?
Does it include:
d) Actionable: Will the user want to take action?
Does it include:
e) Shareable: Will the user share the content?
Does it include:
- Personalise and evaluate your content
Take a moment and ask yourself, ‘Is the content that you as a company are creating and distributing out there to your customers ,any different from your competitors?”.
Take a look at the content you have created through the year and look at your competitors content especially if you are selling a similar product or service. How does your content stand out from your competitors? Does your content speak to your customers or is it a long drawn out generic post?
The emerging trend that we had touched upon in a previous article was that in 2017 there will be faster and easier ways to link and optimise valuable and customised content that is used to market the business. As we revise our current content marketing plans and plan new ones we need to note the relevancy of our content and through personalisation – zone in on our target audiences to increase the effectiveness of our campaigns. We need to look at the message and image we want to portray to our customers and through content – make our voices heard.
- Content Versatility
As with all things in this beautiful world that we live in – content comes in a variety of different forms – infographics,interviews,how-to’s,video and text. Don’t restrict yourself with just one type of content, have a variety and test which ones work best with your audience.Look back on your content that has been utilised and see what types of content formats worked best. The type of content utilised will depend on your audience as well as the message that you want to bring across. Matching the level of content complexity and choosing the right content type is crucial as this could completely change the message that you want to bring across to your target audience.
Blogs are a really cool way to share your thoughts and create awareness for your company and the brand that you uphold. Take this time to look back on the blogs that have been created and how your audience has responded(checking your blogs activity statistics) – Were there certain topics that your audience enjoyed and received a lot of comments and shares? Were there blogs that were just thrown together last minute? Involve everyone in your creative team and create a calendar and list of interesting topics that would capture your audiences attention. Conduct regular meetings where topics are shared and everyone gets a chance to show their creative side.
2016 has been an amazing year in content marketing and 2017 promises to be an even better one. Content is an internal part of your digital marketing strategy and If your company is already invested in a good content marketing strategy, then focus on how you can maintain your strategy’s relevancy depending on the latest trends as well as your audience.
“Marketing is telling the world that you are a rockstar, content marketing is showing the world that you are one – Robert rose”