With all the blogs, social media posts, eBooks, whitepapers, and videos you create, how do you make sure you are achieving the right results with your content marketing?
You probably have a few metrics you’re tracking to measure how well your content is performing. You may also have a publishing schedule and a list of content topics and types you want to publish in the new few weeks.
But if you’re just publishing content for the sake of publishing, you’re likely going to find that your content isn’t delivering on your marketing objectives.
So how can you improve the performance of your content marketing efforts? Here are 7 ways you can improve your content marketing strategy today, from Entrepreneur contributor, John Rampton:
1. Document Your Content Marketing Strategy
Your content marketing plan doesn’t need to be a 100-page document. The most important thing is to clearly define and document your strategy.
According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 53% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. They get better results from their content marketing efforts compared with their peers who don’t have a documented strategy.
So how do you get started? I frequently advise teams to use this 8-step framework to help develop their content marketing strategy.
2. Meet With Your Team Regularly And Frequently
The same study from CMI and MarketingProfs found that effectiveness is greater among teams who meet more frequently to discuss their content marketing programs. 61% of the most effective marketers meet their teams on a daily or weekly basis.
Even if your company doesn’t have a dedicated content marketing team, it’s important to have regular meetings with everyone who is involved in executing your content marketing strategy, to make sure they fully understand their roles and responsibilities as well as talking through progress, results and areas for improvement.
Not sure what else you should cover in these meetings? Here are some potential topics you can include in your daily or weekly agenda:
- Since the last meeting, what new content was created? How did it perform? What could we do better?
- Looking a week or month ahead, who is responsible for what content that will be produced? What is the status on each piece of content?
- What are our competitors doing? How we can do better?
- Has anyone come across any emerging marketing trends or out-of-box ideas that can help improve our content and establish ourselves as the thought leader in our space?
- Brainstorm topics to cover in future content.
3. Determine The Business Goals For Your Content
If you don’t have clear, specific objectives for your content marketing efforts from the start, nine times out of ten you’re setting yourself for failure.
Whether your goal is brand awareness, lead generation, or improved customer retention and loyalty, or all of them, you need to write your goals down and refer back to them when planning your content.
When creating a new piece of content, always go back to see if it supports at least one of your objectives. If the content does not relate to any of your goals, chances are this piece is not a top priority.
4. Define The Metrics You’ll Track
Once you’ve identified the business goals for your content, you need to think about how you’re going to measure your performance. This helps you evaluate whether your content marketing efforts are helping you achieve your objectives or not, and which efforts are delivering the greatest (and least) value so you can adjust your content marketing plan accordingly.
You can’t measure your content effectiveness with one single metric because the reality is that there are many data points you need to be tracking to determine whether your content marketing efforts are working or not. You need an array of content marketing metrics to truly be able to measure your performance and ROI.
My friend Jay Baer, the President of Convince & Convert, has written this great post about the four types of metrics you should be tracking:
- Consumption metrics look at how many people have viewed and consumed your content, such as page views, downloads, visits, etc.
- Sharing metrics look at how often your content is being shared on social media, such as the number of tweets, likes and shares.
- Lead generation metrics measure how often your readers are converting into leads, so you’ll need to look at how often your readers are opting in to your updates, filling out a lead gen form, submitting request for a quote, etc.
- Sales metrics measure how often your readers actually convert into sales for the business.
5. Adopt A Customer-Centric Mindset
No matter how valuable your content is, your target audience won’t consume it if it’s not the information they want or need.
Developing a deep understanding of your customers, their pain points and business challenges, content needs and preferences, such as the channels they want to access your content and engage with your brand, at each stage of the buyer’s journey is crucial to your content marketing success.
6. Develop Your Promotion Plan
Content promotion is just as important as content creation. With so many individuals and brands producing new content every day, you can’t just publish and sit around and hope that it will get seen. You need to build a plan to get your content in front of your target audience.
A solid promotion plan should answer where, when and how you’ll distribute and market your content. Based on the insights you’ve gathered on your target audience’s content preferences in #5, your plan should focus on the channels they prefer, with the types of content they want to engage with on those platforms.
7. Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI
Perhaps your content is hitting all your marketing goals and metrics, does that mean your content marketing is successful? To your leadership team, not necessarily.
They will want to know how your results tie to your company’s bottom line in terms of revenues and costs. This is how they will evaluate whether your content marketing program is successful or not.
That’s why I co-wrote Content Formula. Because it’s crucial to measure your content marketing ROI, so you can clearly demonstrate the value and impact your content has on the growth of your business and brand.
The greater your ROI is, the more leadership support and resources you’ll receive to produce more quality content and achieve your marketing goals.
There are tons of calculations out there to measure content marketing ROI, and so it’s important that you use a calculation that works for you and stick to it. Here are some additional resources worth checking out, according to Rampton:
- A Simple Method to Measure Content Marketing ROI via CMI
- How We Calculate the ROI of Our Content Marketing via Contently
- The Ultimate Guide to Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing via NewsCred
What other tips do you have for building a successful content marketing strategy? Please share your ideas below!
Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook