New year, new opportunities to create content that shines. As we sprint headlong into 2019, consider turning over a new leaf (or 10) with regard to your content marketing efforts. Here are some outside-the-box suggestions to get you started.
1. Stop thinking quantity-first, start thinking quality-first.
We meet a lot of small business owners who get hung up on content volume—and while we definitely think it’s important to be consistent in your content development, we also think that quality matters more than actual quantity.
Did you know that, for many companies, the overwhelming majority of their online engagement comes through just five percent of their content? That’s because that one really high-quality, in-depth blog post you develop is ultimately way more meaningful than 10 micro-blogs you dash off in an afternoon.
Resolve to produce good stuff this year, as opposed to just a lot of okay stuff.
2. Stop guessing and start measuring.
It’s amazing how many businesses invest big bucks in content marketing, but almost nothing into measurement and analytics. Simply put, if you’re going to be investing in any kind of marketing channel, you should have some idea of how well it’s performing for you.
And this doesn’t have to be some big, technical, or expensive undertaking. Google Analytics is free and user-friendly. Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite come with their own built-in reporting features. Start paying real attention to these metrics today.
3. Create a way for your whole team to participate.
A simple strategy: Make a shared Google Document where all the members of your team can log content ideas they come across, or report on questions they are asked by customers—all of which can be invaluable inspiration for your next blog post or e-book.
There’s no reason at all why every person in your company shouldn’t feel empowered to suggest new directions in content.
4. Document everything.
Along the same lines, make this the year you actually keep track of your content marketing efforts—who writes what, how often you publish new content, etc.
Documenting your efforts can be an invaluable way to hold yourself accountable, but also to identify potential areas of improvement. And again, this is an easy thing to do: A Google Doc or a running Excel spreadsheet is really all you need.
5. Be consistent in the story you’re telling.
It’s all too easy to forget that the content you produce is really telling the story of your brand—and it’s important to keep that narrative clear and muddle-free.
Some things to think about: What’s your mission? What’s your value proposition? What problems do you solve, and what customer pain points do you address? And, why would a customer choose you over your competitors?
It’s worth it to not only ponder these questions, but also to document your answers—creating a brand narrative you can refer back to often, making sure all the content you create reinforces that central message.
6. Start thinking of yourself as a publisher.
Some of the most successful companies in the world have begun to think of themselves as publishers—and the result is that they convey thought leadership, command a large social media audience, and maintain total control over their brand narrative.
7. Unite SEO and content marketing.
We’ve all read articles about SEO and content marketing, and how they are really two sides of the same coin—but do you actually practice that?
One resolution you might make is to use tools like the Google Keyword Planner to generate some targeted terms for your content—deploying them for SEO effect but also using them as jumping-off points for your content topics. This is a simple yet effective way to make sure your content marketing and SEO efforts are working in cahoots with one another, not at odds.
8. Flip your formula.
How’s this for a creative exercise: If you tend to think of content marketing purely in terms of blog posts, take one of your most popular blogs and use it as the script for a YouTube or Instagram video.
And, if you prefer to use tools like Facebook Live, take one of your most popular broadcasts and use it as the basis for a downloadable PDF.
The point is to think outside your usual format—shake things up, inspire some new ideas, and give your audience something a little bit outside the ordinary.
9. Go live.
The thought of any kind of live streaming might be intimidating for you—and we get it! But remember, a live stream on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. In fact, the virtue of live streaming is that it allows for some candid, off-the-cuff interaction with your audience—perhaps in the form of a quick hello, a product update, or even an audience Q&A.
It’s something that can effectively humanize your brand, and it’s worth trying in the year to come!
10. Work with a content development team.
Finally, if you’ve been seeking a way to make your content production more strategic, more efficient, or more creative, maybe now’s the time to take a leap forward into working with a content writing team. That, of course, is where we come into play.
Whether you’re looking to implement these resolutions or simply want to know what your options are, we’d love to talk with you. Reach out to Grammar Chic today at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net. And oh yeah—Happy New Year!
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.