As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead and make some changes. And when it comes to traditional content marketing, boy, do we need to make some changes.
So all you content marketers out there, please join me in counting down the top ten New Year’s Resolutions that will lead to easily creating excellent content, extending the reach of your marketing, growing your audiences, and restoring the sanity and efficiency of today’s content marketer.
#10 I will not make more content for the sake of more content
Content should go out because it’s excellent and what your audience wants, not because it’s Tuesday and your brand always pubs something (anything!) on Tuesday, 52 times in a row every year. Why? Because marketing philosophies of old dictate that you have to have a content hub that’s constantly growing in size to show how your brand’s an authority on your particular industry and customers.
But it’s the actual substance of the content that matters most to your audience. The quality of your videos, blogs, and podcasts are also what does the most for engagement and your bottom line. It’s okay to put out less content when the quality of each piece is high.
#9 I will listen to my audience and give them what they want
There are still companies out there that think that what they want to say the most is what the audience wants to hear the most. Maybe the product marketing team drives content and determines the best topics. Or maybe they’ve done some audience research on the most popular keywords for their particular industry.
The problem is that none of that takes into account what the receivers of all your content want. Your audience has to come first, very literally. If you build your content engine around what resonates with your audience — by gathering performance data and social media feedback — your content will absolutely engage your customers, your audience will grow, and your pipeline and conversions will rise.
#8 I do not have to be the expert on everything
Remember all those posts you had to write about stuff you didn’t understand? Yeah, that’s a problem.
A content marketer’s job is to create content, not be the resident genius on everything your brand wants to talk about. That’s what experts are for. So instead of madly googling just to get a basic understanding of complex and technical subjects and then desperately writing copy and hoping it passes for authority, seek out the real geniuses in your company and your industry, and record that conversation.
#7 I will harness the voices of experts
People are far more receptive to listening to two or more people discuss a topic naturally than they are to scripted monologues, which is what a blog typically is when a content marketer has to come up with all those words and ideas from scratch.
The best thing about recording a conversation between experts is that they drive your content, and once you’ve got that conversation captured, it makes it much easier for the content marketer to cut the source up and use it to fuel additional pieces of content like social media, emails, blogs, and short videos.
#6 I will store my content in one place for easy access across my organization
A lot of companies rely on a stack of point solutions to gather data and deliver content, and that often means you’ve got your content all over the place, stored in various systems that don’t necessarily talk to each other. So somebody on your team has to manually pull that data and compile it to make sense of how your content’s performing.
That’s where a single platform becomes so powerful. By housing everything your team and the rest of your company needs in one place, you solve the access problems you get with a bloated tech stack, and everyone’s aligned with the same messaging, the same content, and, ultimately, the same strategy.
#5 I will write for my audience over an SEO robot
It’s still commonplace for marketers to open up a spreadsheet before they open up a content document, a spreadsheet full of keywords ranked according to popularity with consumer searches. And while this sort of audience research does give you a general idea about the topics that interest most people, it does not tell you anything about your audience of real humans who want to be engaged like real humans by other human beings.
There is still a place for SEO in content marketing, but it shouldn’t be your first consideration when you’re creating content.
#4 I will not work in a silo
One of the greatest problems within a brand is alignment. Whether it’s messaging, strategy, or execution, your whole company has to be on the same page and use the same data and content. Otherwise, you’ll never get a complete 360-degree view of how your content performs and how your audience responds to it.
There are few things worse than a disconnect between marketing and sales, two teams that should naturally work closely with each other. Therefore, we must tear down the silo.
#3 I will embed audio and video clips in my text-based content
It’s a fact: People generally find content that lets them push Play and listen or watch easier (and more fun) to consume than something they have to sit there and read. That doesn’t mean text-oriented content is dead. No, it just needs a little invigorating.
The best way to draw your audience in to peruse your blogs and ebooks is to sprinkle audio and video clips throughout, and with all the easy-to-use embedding tools available, there is no excuse not to.
#2 I will measure performance and optimize my content accordingly
Marketers prioritize pipeline and conversions because that’s what their company holds them responsible for. But what about engagement? And brand awareness? How do you measure those and the impact they have on your bottom line, especially when the journey to conversion can be long and have multiple touches along the way?
Some brands measure all of these things to get a clearer idea of how their content marketing resonates with the audience, but it also takes some thinking out of the box to recognize emerging channels and formats that will put your brand’s name at the very top of the audience’s mind. Plus all these performance metrics will also help you make your future content even better.
#1 I will amplify my content across formats and channels
For every piece of content I create in one format, I will repurpose and reuse that content in all the other formats and channels my audience prefers. That means that a webinar or a podcast episode will be cut up and clipped to fuel a blog or two, dozens of social media messages, a newsletter and other email, maybe short clips on YouTube, or even an ebook and online courses. I will also promote older pieces of content, or better yet, update and refresh that content to ensure it’s relevant today.
To learn more about how amplified marketing can boost your content marketing and save your team’s sanity, check out the Amplified Marketing Playbook.
And if you’d like to see how brands are already seeing major improvements from amplifying content, take a gander at this post.