In 2019, the keyword “online buying” generated around 18,000 searches worldwide per month. In May 2020, according to statistics, that figure jumped to over 27,000 as lockdowns pushed consumers to buy even the basics online. Consequently, positioning your business in this rapidly developing digital climate and having a strong online presence with optimal content is more important than ever.
By creating good content, you generate more website traffic and more business. Furthermore, quality content helps you to build relationships with your customers, find new leads and increase conversions. Most importantly, publishing high-quality, relevant content regularly is also vital for better search engine ranking. For 2021, here are a few steps to take in improving your content marketing approach:
1. Review your content marketing plan
Content helps potential buyers and new prospects to find you and decide in your favor. According to Michael Brenner, CEO of the Marketing Insider Group, companies in the USA reported a return of $ 7.00 for every $ 1.00 they spent on content marketing in 2020. There’s a lot of competition in the content field, so it’s essential to stay on top. The first step here is to review your marketing plan every nine months. In doing so, ensure that you take a fresh look at the following elements as things change rapidly:
- On-page and off-page SEO
- Social Media Promotion
- Customer Journey
- SMART Goals
- Content Optimization
2. Put together a content marketing team and aim for content continuity
Form a content marketing team specialized in the creation and distribution of content. It’s a mistake to assume that content marketing and promotion of content requires only a couple of hours a week or, as is often the case, that someone can quickly integrate it into their already full-time role. Content marketing needs resources, focus, and continuity. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Trend Study 2020 from Statista, the Content Marketing Forum, and CMCX, B2B respondents in Germany said that they needed more continuity, planning, budget, and time to make their content marketing strategy more successful.
The key roles in the content team of a small organization could look like this:
- Content Strategist or Chief Marketing Officer
- Content Marketing Manager
- Technical/SEO Manager
- Content Creator
Several roles should be outsourced to specialist agencies, particularly in the area of content creation.
3. Audit your content and review your approach to creating content
Creating content takes lots of time and resources. It’s highly valuable and should be re-used and re-purposed where possible. The first step is to do a content audit of your main content hub, usually your website, to find out what you have, what is working and what you can ditch. Make a list of all the URLs with Screaming Frog and cross-check them with analytics to find out how pages are performing. Go onto your social media channels and have a look at what worked over the past nine months using, for example, Fanpagekarma.
Once you have your final list, brainstorm new ways to repurpose and freshen up this content. For example:
- Turning your annual report into an infographic
- Making the CEO press interview into a podcast
- Translating content into different languages
- Updating existing content with new data
- Re-purposing content for a new audience
- Ensuring older content is SEO-Optimised
- Producing a video from a blog piece
4. Measure your content marketing performance
When you created your content marketing strategy, you set some SMART goals that included several Key Performance Indicators or metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your content campaign. For example, if you are a B2C enterprise, your KPIs might be focused on engagement on social networks, growing the number of followers on those channels, and ultimately, if the campaign is affecting sales through clicks. For B2B businesses, visits to specific website pages may be an important KPI. Decide what tools you want to use to measure your SMART goals and aim to do a report every week.
5. Get your colleagues on your content marketing journey
LinkedIn, Xing and other social media channels work better if more people cooperate to promote your content, so think about encouraging your best resource, your team, and colleagues from other departments, to get on the content marketing journey with you. Of course, not everyone wants to be active on social media or wants to promote their employer on social media. This approach has great potential for increasing reach, but needs to be handled with discretion and respect for employees’ wishes.