The internet is a busy place, and there’s a lot to see and do. Attracting customers’ attention among the noise has never been harder, with companies pushing out more content than ever to try and capture people’s interest. The growth in ad blockers has also meant that firms are increasingly reliant on content marketing as a means to draw consumers in. Despite this, many firms continue to put out garbage content that nobody wants to look at.
A decent content strategy is a difficult thing to build. If you put out a few poorly written press releases thinly disguised as blog posts, you have a content strategy only in the same way that if you spray paint a penguin brown and throw it off a cliff you have a bald eagle. There is far more to it, and we’ve set out five things to bear in mind when you build yours.
1. Explore Your Analytics
You need to have a firm idea of the popularity of your posts. This means looking at the analytics to find out which tags you used were the most popular, which social media platforms were most successful in terms of people clicking on links you’ve posted, and what sort of multimedia had the most impact - whether it’s videos, images, or blog posts. It’s also important to look deeper into the metrics, at things like how long visitors remain on the page and the bounce rate. While it’s important not to restrict yourself to just trying to emulate what has proven popular before, it’s also stupid to continually put out content that has proven time and again to draw little to no interest.
2. Document Your Strategy
According to the B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove, just 35% of companies have a content marketing strategy and document it, while 48% have one but do not document it. The survey also found that 60% of B2B marketers with a documented content marketing strategy say they are effective, in comparison to 32% of those that do not.
3. Optimize For Mobile
The way people consume content has changed greatly. There are now 3.65 billion unique mobile users in the world, and people are increasingly using their phones to visit websites while on the move. Google has even started penalizing websites that aren’t optimized for mobile search. Consumers expect sites to have responsive design, embedded videos, and for all of them to be working quickly and clearly, or they will go elsewhere.
4. Publish Frequently
How frequently do you publish new content? 42% of respondents to the CMI survey said that were doing so daily or several times per week. It remains the case that quality should always trump quantity when it comes to content, but at the same time, the more you put out, the more likely that something you publish will catch hold on social media, so a regular flow is always preferable, even if sometimes the quality is slightly sacrificed.
5. Don’t Be Boring
The most important thing to remember when creating a content strategy is that nobody owes it to you to look at what you are putting out. Similarly, you can’t force anyone to read your articles or watch your videos. The Clockwork Orange school of bombarding users doesn’t fly any more, and will only irritate people. Customers have to want to seek out your content and share it, this way it can grow organically. To this end, your content must either be entertaining or informative. You can’t just spout things about your company, because nobody cares. It also means publishing original material. Surveys, interviews, and anything exclusive that you are putting out is going to be of far more interest than simply regurgitating an article you found elsewhere.