Tweak these behaviors today to see a greater impact (and measurable results) from your content.
It’s easy to fall into habits, especially habits that may have led to great results in the past. This can be especially true for your content strategy. The topics, timing and channels you used in your first campaign are likely shape your current efforts, but the dangers of habit don’t stop at missed opportunities. Stale content can hurt your SEO and turn your customers to competitors with newer insights and fresh ideas. Shake up your content marketing efforts to get better results by breaking these 5 habits today:
1. Spontaneous Posting
You probably didn’t start your business without a plan, and you likely have a written strategy in place for your overall marketing efforts, but it’s surprising how many companies launch content strategies without a calendar. Your content calendar doesn’t just organize your efforts and help you manage your time for each coming post; it also allows you to collaborate with your colleagues and keep track of new ideas. We recommend keeping a ‘living calendar’ in a shareable format like Google Docs with separate tabs for resources, ideas and stats you come across that you might like to incorporate into future posts.
2. No Call-to-Action
Great content marketing is great storytelling first, but without a way for your customers to reach you, you’ll never reap the benefits of your wisdom. Give your readers a reason to keep in touch — whether it’s with a demo, a free e-Book or a complimentary consultation. A simple prompt to sign up for your newsletter or visit your online store can boost sales and, with it, the immediate impact of your content marketing.
3. Writing Only What You Know
We’ve been taught since grade school to write what we know — and common sense tells us this is a good strategy to apply to content marketing. But to make a real impact on your consumers (and to answer real problems), you often need to reach beyond your own knowledge. Research industry trends and support your arguments with data that your readers can relate to and use in their own lives or businesses.
4. Posting Only on Familiar Platforms
The ability to self-publish has revolutionized marketing for many companies — but many can fall into the ‘blog trap.’ Posting only on your in-house platform (and sharing only on your established social media channels) and only to your established media list keeps you from finding new customers. Break this habit by shaking up your distribution strategy. Seek out industry publications and send well-crafted pitches to the editor (some sites even post guest submission forms). The once-common practice of trading blog posts has waned since spammy marketers began abusing it, but thoughtful marketers are resurrecting the original practice with genuine contributions. Limiting the number of outbound links helps both parties benefit from blog post swaps.
5. Engaging Only Whom You Know
Ironically, one of the core principles of business success — knowing your audience — can limit your content marketing success. If you write only to the audience you have now, you may be missing an opportunity to write for your entire potential audience. Skipping right to content production and distribution, many marketers ignore two vital steps in the content strategy process — using marketing research to determine your full audience potential, and analyzing the data behind your content (Which posts inspired action? Where do your customers live? What time of day are they online?) to shape your future efforts.
BONUS: The Power of Promoted Content
One of the single biggest actions that marketers can take for greater success with their content is to enact a targeted promotion strategy through Facebook. Creating powerful content is only half the battle; the other half is getting it in front of the right audience in a way that inspires action. Serving content to custom and lookalike audiences on Facebook with a persuasive CTA can make a notable difference to your content campaign, making the habit of relying solely on organic distribution worth breaking.
Breaking habits is tough, but the rewards of shaking up your content strategy can mean greater sales and more loyal customers. Need a little help getting started? That’s what we’re here for.