Change is inevitable when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
But you get to decide whether it is a good change or a bad one.
You know as well as we do that it can go both ways – the difference is in the decisions you make for your strategy going forward.
If you want to enhance your business value and stay up-to-date with the kind of content you put out, you need to take a step back and made amendments to your ongoing strategy.
But how do you do that?
You can take six steps to improve your existing content marketing strategy without fail.
What’s the catch?
You have to take this exercise as an essential, important activity, not something you can consider doing someday if you get the time.
Now that we’re clear on that, let’s get started!
Step 1: Analyze your current strategy
People often opt to get a third opinion on things of importance when they are too close a part of the situation.
Why is that a smart move?
Because when you’re invested in something, you’re unable to look at things objectively.
A content marketing strategy is no different.
When you have a strategy in place that you are making an effort to implement, it can be hard for you to see the flaws.
The benefits and the things that you are doing right will stand out because you are actively looking for those. And that’s great – you can build on those in the future.
But unless something catastrophic happens or you are seeing no forward movement at all, you won’t notice the things you are doing wrong.
And they are what you need to identify.
This is why analyzing your current strategy is a must!
Here are a few simple steps you can use to carry out such an analysis:
1. Determine what you want to achieve from the content analysis
In this case, that is simple – you want to identify flaws or problem areas in the strategy that you want to improve on, while also finding positives to build on.
2.Create a content inventory
This lets you get all the data you need to analyze in one place.
This could include the number and names of blog posts you created in the time the strategy was in play, for example.
Tools like Content Analysis Tool can help in this regard.
Next, you need to determine how well each piece of content performed. In the case of the blog posts, this can be judged by the number of likes, comments, and shares they received, inbound links, page visits, conversions, and so on.
At this point, you have all the data you need to determine which of your content has been performing well and which the readers are just scrolling past.
Analyze each against content characteristics such as length, topic, uniqueness, and freshness and try to find trends and patterns pointing towards why certain pieces may have done well while others didn’t.
Read more about these steps in detail here:
Step 2: Identify Areas of Improvement
Once you have the completed the content analysis, you will most likely have two categories of content – one that did well and one that didn’t.
This will help you figure out which aspects need improvement.
For example, you may notice that the posts you are putting up on Facebook are getting more shares than the ones that are going on Twitter.
Similarly, you may realize that longer, more comprehensive blog posts are getting shared a lot more than shorter ones.
What has this achieved?
In the examples discussed, you have noticed two problem areas – a lack of engagement on Twitter/better response on Facebook and a preference for longer content.
You will identify many other areas like this with potential for improvement.
Step 3: Re-Evaluate Your Goals
Next, you need to re-evaluate your goals.
If you are analyzing your strategy after a number of years, your business goals may have changed substantially. What you didn’t realize is that the goals of your content marketing strategy should have reflected that change.
So, now that you are reviewing the strategy, you need to update your content goals according to your business goals.
These new goals could include:
- Reaching out to wider audiences
- Enhancing the brand image through storytelling
- Ensuring increased loyalty among followers
- Encouraging conversions to meet your current sales goals
- And so on.
You can decide on your new goals based on your unique business requirements.
Step 4: Determine if the needs of your audience have changed
Who are you producing content for?
Your target audience – that was easy.
Who is your target audience?
Your customers and potential consumers.
Do you see where we are going with this?
You are creating content for people who are using your products or services or you want them to be.
So then, doesn’t it make sense that the content you create takes their needs into account?
Your content that is performing well evidently concerns topics your audience wants to consume. The content that isn’t able to grab attention may not be addressing things of value to the consumers.
The solution is simple – identify these trends and create content that is likely to entertain and educate the target audience.
You can also
- Ask your audience what they like or
- Analyze the content of your competitors who are reaching out to the same target audience.
We discuss this in more detail in this blog post (It’s the second tip!):
Step 5: Research the Current Trends
You need to know what is the rage at any given time so that you don’t get left behind.
Let us put it like this:
If you do not keep up with the latest trends, your content will start to appear stale and old-fashioned.
And we are not just talking about the subject matter of the piece of content – we are also referring to the content type, medium, time of posting, and many other things.
Some content marketing trends in 2019, for example, include:
- Conveying meaningful messages by way of storytelling
- Targeting very specific niches
- Putting brand image and customer loyalty above all else
- Investing substantially in creating content
- Engaging with audiences through interactive content
- Teaming up with influencers
- Using multiple – but relevant – mediums and channels
- Making use of technology to one’s advantage
Keep one thing in mind though:
You need to determine trends relevant to your particular niche and the audience you’re targeting.
Let us discuss this with an example.
If you make shoes for teenagers and young adults, your audience falls into the younger category. The younger generation on the digital age is into the following things nowadays, among others:
- Social Media live videos
- Music (the type of music varies from time to time)
What does this mean for you? These are the mediums and platforms you should be choosing to get the message across.
Keep up with the trends or be left behind!
Step 6: Make improvements in the strategy with all these factors in mind
All that is left now is to employ strategies that keep in consideration all the things we discussed above. We have already covered many of these throughout the blog post.
Here are some additional tips that can help you improve your strategy to a great extent.
The future is all about doing something out of the box. Be creative, be adventurous, and take risks – that is what will help you stand out.
- Use the latest tools
In an era of such immense technological advancement, it would be foolish to not let technology help you out. Use all the tools you can to make your job easier at every step of the process.
Click here to see which tools Neil Patel suggests you just cannot do without.
- Keep up with the trends
We dedicated a whole heading to researching the current trends – there is no point if you don’t apply that knowledge and actually keep up with what’s hot.
- Be consistent with your efforts
Don’t burn out early – moderately-paced (definitely not slow) and steady will win you the race.
- Focus on retaining your brand voice
Don’t lose the essence of your brand on the way to molding your strategy to achieve content marketing success – stay true to you!
- Try evergreen marketing – It doesn’t get old
If your content is as relevant now as it will be five years down the line, it will act as a consistent source of traffic and conversions – aim for that.
- Don’t Over-Do It
Trying to implement every technique on every channel with every content type will not work – you have to find what works for you and focus your energy on that.
- Don’t Rush It
Change takes time – if you think improving your existing content marketing strategy will solve all your problems immediately, you couldn’t be more wrong. Give it time to work.
This list can go on but you get the point – use the data you have discovered to make constructive changes to your content strategy and implement it smartly.
These six steps to improve your content marketing strategy will work wonders for you if you follow them properly.
And that, we know, you will.
After all, with 91% of marketers making use of content marketing to reach their goals, you can’t afford to do a bad job!