As the new year approaches, now’s the time to think about how you can improve your content marketing in 2019. If you’ve been guilty of putting content marketing on the back burner, or (possibly worse) making a half-hearted attempt at it when you get around to attempting it, this is your perfect opportunity to start getting your content marketing strategy right for 2019. Taking some insights from the CMI’s annual B2B Content Marketing, Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends Report, and pairing them with our own experience, we look at what you should be doing to get your content marketing right next year.
First Things First…
Getting the basics right lays the foundation for everything else. This is where you really need to start. Have a long hard think about what went well this year and previous years. Then use this to write a solid content marketing plan – make sure all departments receive it, know it and understand it. Everyone needs to be working towards a common goal and this can incite new content ideas when other departments contribute their input.
Think a content marketing strategy is a bit overkill? You need it to prove content marketing’s worth to rest of company – lay it out with that in mind – why is it important, what’s the aim, how can you measure its success?
Almost half of the respondents to the CMI’s survey are currently focusing on the measurement of their content marketing success. It might seem challenging to determine the content marketing ROI in a tangible way, but you can still focus on smaller objectives based on annual goals and specific campaigns to be more specific with your data.
For example, according to CMI’s report, these are the most popular goals among marketers when it comes to content marketing in the past 12 months:
- Awareness 81%
- Educate audience 73%
- Build credibility / trust 68%
- Generate demand 68%
- Nurture subscribers 58%
You’ve created the content, so it needs to be seen. You’ve invested time and money into creating content, so a sound distribution strategy will help with this. Data mining will help you build this. Take into consideration the answers to the following questions:
- Which channels get you the most customers?
- What’s the customer journey to get to your site?
- Which devices do your audiences use to consume content?
- When is your audience online?
- Which messaging works better to promote your content?
- How often should you be promoting content?
Then focus on your best performing channel. Don’t feel you must be everywhere at all times. If Twitter is taking up too much of your time with no discernible results, leave it. And don’t be led by what competitors are doing – it might not be working for them either.
Narrow Your Audience
Large audiences aren’t always the aim. The scatter gun approach of yesteryear isn’t going to yield results – there are far more opportunities to understand your audience and measure success, so aim for quality, not quantity. It all comes back down to justifying the need and potential for content marketing – ROI.
Listen to your audience. Find out what questions they are asking and answer them. If you’re changing your target audience in the upcoming months for a new product launch you’ll need to factor this in. Spend time getting to understand your audience and their needs. Look out for changing behaviours and emerging patterns. Things change and people’s needs change. Successful companies are those who adapt to these changes.
What You Should Be Doing
Going back to the idea of ‘quality not quantity’, don’t churn out endless content for the sake of it. Why not refresh great content you already have – embellish and add to it? Update last year’s most successful blogs for 2019. This will all help your SEO too.
Try out new things next year. We never know which new platforms are going to be the next big thing, so it’s always worth having a try if you think a new channel might perform well and get your content to your target audience. Research is key. Emerging technologies. Allow time and budget for this. Experiment and measure success.
What are your aims for the new year? How can you achieve them through using content marketing as part of your strategy?
If at all possible, increase your budget for paid methods of distribution. You’ll have a strong argument for it when bosses realise that this is exactly what competitors are doing.
Paid advertising can help marketers expand the reach of their post. Organic promotion is not enough anymore and more marketers seem to acknowledge the benefits of boosting their distribution methods.
Why are they using paid methods? There are various reasons, outlined in the image below. Attracting a new audience is one of the key reasons that paid distribution is used, followed by generating traffic when organic search doesn’t cut it.
Social media networks can be very helpful when distributing your content. That’s how it gains a more significant role in a content marketing strategy year-by-year. We seem to be moving away from the thinking that social media is mainly about vanity likes and followers embracing a holistic strategy that makes the most out of each channel.
In fact, social media can nowadays be used across different objectives in your content marketing strategy, from awareness to lead generation and conversion.
Long Form Content
Who said long-form content is dead? The chances are you’ve been told to write short, snappy content and that users have short attention spans. But this is rarely the case.
It truly is worth investing time in long-form content, whether it’s in written form or even video content of longer length. What really matters is creating interesting, engaging, and relevant content for your audience without getting hung up on the ideal length of that content. If the subject matter requires something short and snappy, don’t pad it out, and contrariwise, don’t be limited to word count on something that could be a really in depth and useful long-form article.
SerpIQ ran a study charting the top 10 results in search queries by content length which strengthens the argument for long form content. It seems that Google really does favour content rich sites. You’re more likely to achieve backlinks with long form content, as users want all the information in one source, not looking for answers in dribs and drabs from multiple articles/videos. You’re going to get bookmarked if a user realises that they can refer back to your content to answer all their questions.
Challenges in 2019
What are the challenges facing all content marketeers in 2019? Unsurprisingly, there are fears about staffing issues, using content marketing as a revenue centre and changes to SEO/Search algorithms. But data and safety issues are also a challenge facing us all as we move into 2019.
Overcoming these factors will determine whether your content marketing will be successful. What will help you in achieving different goals through content marketing? Budget, maturity, adaptation, measuring ROI and above all, COMMITMENT. We wish you the very best in your content marketing endeavours and would like to remind you that Broadplace are always happy to advise you on a range of ways we can help with your content marketing strategy in 2019 – whether you need extra content creation, paid search help, social media advertising or SEO help. Get in touch today!
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