Content marketing strategy is all about providing information to consumers to both educate them on a topic and pique their interest in your company. It is one of the most important elements of operating a successful business. More often than not, businesses aren’t working from a top-notch content marketing strategy. To make that even more complicated, a poorly executed content marketing strategy is actually worse than none at all. Here are five ways to immediately improve your content marketing strategy.
Leverage existing content in new ways
There is no denying that creating truly good content takes work. To provide your customers with value, you have to put in time, energy, and research. One way to maximize your efforts is to give new life to content you have already researched and created. This isn’t simply taking your old posts and regurgitating them. It’s finding a new way to communicate important information to your audience.
By converting your existing content into additional media forms, you multiply its effects. Turn an article into a video lesson filled with engaging visuals and corresponding animations. Or turn a video into a podcast so your fans can enjoy your training program while they commute. You need to put your content where your audience is, so the more media forms offered, the better. This type of diversification is key to a well-rounded content marketing strategy.
Curate content with a detailed calendar
Content curation is the best friend of content marketing. Just as you can use your old content and refresh it, you can use valuable content from other influencers to help your audience. You don’t know everything, and sharing the expertise of others with your audience demonstrates that you are truly invested in their education.
The key to streamlining your content curation is an extremely detailed content calendar. Include deadlines for writing, editing and publishing. Select the content form (or forms) and choose a topic, or even the title. Finally, decide on what platforms the content will be published and when. Depending on the scale of your operation, your primary editor should manage content curation in addition to reviewing it before publication. Even the best writers need an editor.
Maximize your promotion efforts
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is expecting content to stand on its own. Your content is like a living thing: It needs to be nurtured and supported in order to grow. This means your promotion efforts are just as important as your content creation efforts for a successful content marketing strategy.
Any and all sources you’ve used to create the content, whether curated or original, should be given the opportunity to share and promote it on their channels and within their circles. Just shoot them an email with a link and a request for their outreach. Provide any relevant tags or handles so they can link back to you.
Each piece of content can be shared to your social media channels more than once, within reason. Your audience isn’t all on each channel at the same time, so maximize your opportunity of reaching everyone by sharing the same piece a couple of times within a week or month. That said, you should ensure your various media platforms complement one another and aren’t in competition. Worst case scenario, you wouldn’t want to curate one blog post on Facebook saying that long email subject lines are most effective, then share a tweet saying that short email subject lines are best. Best case scenario, your Facebook page promotes your blog and website seamlessly (i.e., when it flows with the content and not in a forced way) and your blog promotes your Facebook page and websites equally effectively. All of your platforms should promote one another’s content and share a consistent, branded message.
A healthy, growing subscriber list is also important to maximize your promotion efforts. Unlike social media, this list provides a direct link to your audience’s attention. By growing this list constantly, you are ensuring that each piece of content you create will have a wider reach. A free incentive, like an eBook, can be very effective in encouraging readers to sign up to your email list and gain access to all your future content.
Constantly evaluate your strategy
You can only evaluate the effectiveness of your content if you’re regularly monitoring your marketing strategy as a whole. One Facebook post got 2,000 links and 165 shares. That’s great, but how does it line up against other posts? What was the focus of the post? Or, you’ve noticed a rise in subscriptions to your product — but what’s driving it? You’ll have to track link clicks and check other data to see whether those new subscribers are coming from email or from social, or even from organic traffic.
Refine your strategy
In addition to evaluating your strategy regularly, you need to refine it. The best way to ensure your content marketing plan is improving is to employ A/B testing. With A/B testing you gain statistical evidence pointing to the success of one tactic over another, whereas simply tracking your performance tells you how you are doing but not necessarily how to improve.
You’ll notice that each of these suggestions for content marketing is an ongoing task. Your content marketing strategy will always have potential for improvement. Excellent content marketing takes diligence, but with these tips, the process will be easier and the results will be more impressive.
Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, an online wholesale directory of over 8,000 prescreened suppliers; Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal with 300,000 members and over 100 free video lessons; and their parent company Doubledot Media Limited, which provides seven different training and software applications to over 500,000 customers worldwide.