Whether part of a holistic demand generation strategy or a more focused communication campaign, effective content marketing is all about building and maintaining meaningful connections with your most valuable audiences. The goal is less about selling and more about authentic engagement — reaching people where they live, with information that matters, in ways that are consistent and measureable.
If your content marketing efforts have fallen flat, it’s time to prepare for a bigger and better 2019.
Six content marketing best practices to help you get started:
#1. Work together: Cliché alert: Teamwork makes the dream work. But it really is true; the most successful content strategies begin with a unified vision—a vision that’s driven forward by a content champion (or champions) and supported by team structures that promote efficient and effective development across departments. To maintain quality and improve results, key metrics should be established and owned by content creators or the team responsible for distribution.
#2. Know your audiences: Content that doesn’t resonate with your target audiences wastes everyone’s time and depletes your brand cachet. Use personae research to craft timely, relevant messages. Then, regularly measure audience engagement and make adjustments as needed. Remember, focus on informing rather than selling and stay true to your content strategy and messaging guidelines.
#3. Leverage existing and new channels: Adopt a channel-agnostic approach until you can measure, test, and refine your distribution strategy. Be prepared to reposition content, and make sure your team has a clear understanding of the metrics used to gauge success within each channel.
#4. Recycle successful content: Who doesn’t love an encore? Winning content should be reused as long as it’s relevant and produces measureable results. Don’t be afraid to sift through past content, put a new spin on it, and redistribute. And remember, successful content doesn’t always have to be written by a professional; enlist the help of staff who use channels daily.
#5. Measure, refine, repeat: Start with a simple and manageable plan to document goals and metrics for each channel. Once established, look for ways to automate reporting, and focus on metrics that will improve content creation and performance. Remember, metrics and accountability go hand-in-hand. Identify report owners, track KPIs, and monitor how well content is living up to your goals.
#6. Focus on the metrics that matter: Though some metrics are unique based on your specific objectives, web and social media performance are usually tracked via Reach (number of unique visits, device, geography, and demographics); Engagement (number of unique visitors, bounce rate, average time on page, and number of conversions); and Social (number of shares, follower growth, and number of comments).
From demand generation to content strategy and social media planning, Stamats helps colleges and universities across the nation reach, engage, and inspire their audiences. For more information on our services, please call me directly at 319-861-5054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.