FFW2019: How You Should Adapt Your Content Strategy For The Next Year
Any marketer worth his salt will tell you that content creation won’t go very far without a good strategy in place. A strategy provides direction, defines measurable goals, describes an action plan, and distributes roles and responsibilities. Knowing the high stakes of content marketing, it makes sense to plan your moves carefully.
With the next year being around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about the 2019 iteration of your content strategy. Successful strategies evolve and adapt.
In this article, we will discuss different ways to adapt your content strategy to make sure that 2019 is the year where your content efforts bring the biggest results.
Review Your Current Content Strategy
A good place to start is to take a look at your content efforts so far and determine which areas you succeeded in and which ones you had trouble with. For starters, try answering these questions:
- Did you reach the goals you set?
- What feedback did your audience express?
- What pieces of content resonated the most with your audience, and why?
- What are pieces of content that you invested a lot in, but ultimately didn’t get much response? Why?
These questions will guide to. If you want to get the full picture of where you stand, you can conduct a comprehensive content audit.
If you are producing content without a strategy, now is the time to create one. According to the 2018 annual report released by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 67% of B2B marketers don’t have a strategy because they have a small team. But that’s no reason to give up strategizing because haphazard content creation will bring no tangible results. You don’t need a big team to come up with a sound strategy, and having one will put you ahead of many competitors.
Prepare Early for Next Year’s Content Strategy
Planning for the next year starts now. It’s vital to get the strategy right before diving into content creation. Poor audience targeting or a weak message will undermine the time, effort, and money that you spend on content. To help you figure out where your strategy should go next year, ask yourself these questions:
- How can I optimize existing content to increase engagement?
- What are trending topics that I can create content around?
- Can I afford to increase my content marketing budget?
- Should I invest in content formats that I’m not currently using?
- What distribution channels should I focus more on?
- How can I improve and differentiate my brand voice?
After deciding on which direction to take, write it down. Without documenting your content strategy, the parties involved in content marketing may lack a clear vision and it won’t be as easy to me your progress. If your strategy is not documented yet, 2019 should be the year where you define a clear content strategy.
Segment Your Audience
In most industries, audiences are not homogenous. While the people that make up a market share a common interest in your offer, they also have different characteristics: gender, age, location, income, means of communication, goals, lifestyle, interests… and above all: they are at different stages of the buyer journey.
If you treat all of your customers as similar individuals, you will just alienate many of them. The same message will not resonate with everyone. For example, a prospect who has just heard of a CRM software will not be interested in a blog post that teaches its advanced functions. Instead, it would be more judicious to identify with her current problems and frustrations.
This is why you should split your overall audience into distinct segments to create the right content for each one and publish it through the right communication channel. For instance, you may end up creating thought pieces for industry influencers, and how-to videos and articles for new clients.
Promote Your Content with Micro-Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a great way to get your brand and content in front of a sizeable audience. But you don’t necessarily need to reach out to industry gurus or social media celebrities. Sometimes, micro-influencers are more than enough to amplify your message.
This method is gaining more popularity due to its effectiveness. Micro- influencers have followings that range in the tens of thousands and post content on specific topics. Their medium of choice can be a blog, a YouTube channel, an Instagram profile, etc. Not only they give you visibility and credibility but they are also less expensive to work with than the bigger names.
Look for micro-influencers whose communication channel overlaps with that of your audience. Plus, their followers should match the profile of your potential clients. Once you have found suitable micro-influencers within your industry, engage with their content for a certain time before reaching out to them. Remember that they are pitched constantly, so take the time to create a personalized message that makes it clear what they get from working with you. After a micro-influencer agrees to feature your content – which could be a blog post, a video, or something else, be sure to nurture and maintain the relationship with her so that both of you stay open to future opportunities.
Repurpose and Amplify Your Content
To make the most of content pieces that you created some time ago, consider repurposing and amplifying them. The truth is that you don’t need to come up with new content topics at every step of the content creation process.
Repurposing is a great way to show your best pieces to people who have only heard of you recently. By taking an old piece of content and publishing it through a different format, you can reach more eyeballs in an efficient manner. For instance, a blog post can be turned into an infographic, or a webinar can take the form of a series of emails. A question you answered on Quora can become its own blog post as well. You can also take an article and break it into a bunch of social media posts, thus sharing it with those who never came across the original article.
What about amplification? Well, what we said above about working with micro-influencers is one example of amplification. With the internet getting more and more crowded, you need to increase your efforts to expand your reach. Take your successful or evergreen pieces of content and re-share them. Update them whenever appropriate and look for websites and platforms with established audiences, like Forbes, Medium, or LinkedIn.
By promoting your content in 2019 consistently and creatively, you will increase your chances of getting your brand found and engaged with.
Achieving business growth through content marketing requires resources, commitment, and most of all: a solid content strategy, the success of which rests on these three pillars:
- Audience targeting
- Quality content
- Relentless promotion
Analyze the successes and losses you experienced in 2018 and follow the steps discussed in this article to outline the next year’s version of your content strategy. Stay on the lookout for changes in the world of content marketing in 2019 and adjust your plan as necessary. Keep an eye on the competition’s efforts as well and you will be on your path to massive engagement and conversion next year.
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