Does your content contain unwanted elements that are steering people away from your brand’s true identity?
As we continue our series on spring cleaning your marketing strategy, we’ve reached the summit of audience-engaging elements: your content.
You already know that you can’t let your content collect dust in the corner, but even the most skilled marketing managers can miss some vital things when their lives get busy with other tasks. With spring in full swing, it’s time for you to give your content a refresh. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Conduct a Content Audit
Figure out what’s working in your existing campaigns so you can build upon those successes. This isn’t a place to let guesswork take over – analytics will show you the way if you use the right tools. When you’re conducting your audit, ask yourself questions like these:
- Are shorter posts getting the most readers?
- Does your audience tend to gravitate toward listicles?
- Do image-heavy posts garner the most attention?
It’s also important to determine where readers are going from your blog. Are they going to a product page, another blog post, or are they leaving the website altogether? By tracking where a visitor goes after reading your blog, you can see their full journey, determine what interests them, and create a new list of topics targeting the products, services, or questions they may be asking.
Finding out what’s working best with your audience can help you focus your content strategy on the elements that will make your efforts most effective.
2. Examine Your Existing Content
Spring is a great time to examine the content on your site and get rid of anything that’s redundant or no longer relevant. Here’s what you should look out for:
- Weak Content: When examining your content, you might find that some of it is no longer relevant to your audience or some may seem weak when compared to more recent pieces. Refresh this content by expounding upon it or wipe it out completely in favor of something new.
- Duplicate Content – Duplicate content isn’t only obnoxious — it can significantly damage where you rank in organic search results. Google punishes duplicate content because it doesn’t want to display identical information when users search for something. Therefore, it’s important to remove any content on your website that isn’t unique. Going forward, consider running your content through a service that can check for similarities before you click publish to avoid a duplicate content pitfall.
- Missing Content: Have you recently moved content to another page on your website? If so, be sure to create 301 redirects to ensure that visitors and search engines can find the missing content. Without redirects, you’ll lose your inbound links and search engine ranking.
Once you’re done scrubbing your current content, it’s important to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Incorporating the right keywords into your content can boost your rankings and ensure that your site is getting the traffic it deserves. Run your pages through a service like Moz to see how they’re ranking. If they’re lower than expected, it might be time to ramp up your SEO strategy for future content.
3. Perform a Brainstorm-and-Plan Session
Get your team together – or simply brew up a few cups of coffee if you’re going solo – and brainstorm as many topics as possible before you build your roadmap for the year. The earlier you’re able to nail down the type of content you want to post, the sooner you’ll be able to put those topics into your editorial content calendar.
Proactive planning is an essential tool if you want to avoid scrambling for last-minute content. Aim to schedule your content out at least three to six months at a time, depending on how frequently you post. Whether your company is planning a product release, feature update, or there’s an even bigger project in the pipeline, this will ensure you have the content marketing materials you need to help promote and educate your target audience. Also, keep in mind that topics may come up down the road that you may not have planned for in your content calendar. Not to worry – if more important topics come up, you can always move topics around. Nothing is set in stone!
Content calendars are extremely helpful for developing a content marketing strategy. These calendars allow you to view your content as if it were a roadmap – they give you a bird’s eye view of what your content marketing plan will look like over the course of the year. They also help you to see how your content works together to tell a story or accomplish a goal. When you have this point of view, it becomes much easier to determine what doesn’t quite fit in with your plan.
Need some ideas for your content calendar? Play on these possibilities:
- Weekly What-You-Should-Know Posts – Designate a day of the week to talk about what’s happening in your industry, highlight special staff members, and discuss things that your readers will want to know about.
- Customer Success Stories – Case studies are a great way to advertise what your services or products can do for others. Take the opportunity to discuss how customers are using your products and explain the ROI and benefits it brought them.
- Infographics – People love visual information, and infographics are the perfect vessels for transporting difficult-to-digest data into facts that everyone can understand. Integrate these into fact-heavy content to keep the reader engaged.
- eBooks – Have you seen success with several different pieces of content on the same topic? Compile all of the awesome things you’ve had to say about a single subject into an eBook. These are great for communicating information in an appealing and accessible way and they are the perfect middle ground between education and entertainment. They are visually appealing, yet still maintain a feeling of professionalism and authority. eBooks also establish you as an expert – which is an important reputation to have if you want to be trusted in your industry.
- Blogs – Long-form and short-form blogs can be a great way to improve your search engine rankings and get more leads. In fact, companies who include blogs in their content marketing strategy see 67% more leads than those who don’t. This kind of content gives your business a voice and allows you to showcase your brand’s unique personality.
When planning your content calendar, pay attention to the desired length of your blogs. You should try to create as much long-form content as possible. Longer blogs encourage people to spend time on your site and provide you with more SEO opportunities. However, sometimes lengthy content can become overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to vary the word count of your posts. Short-form blogs are easier for readers to digest and can be just as effective at engaging your audience.
As long as the content you produce is accurate, unique, and useful, it doesn’t matter how long you choose to make it. At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity – long blogs won’t be effective if they’re full of fluff.
Don’t be afraid to get a little creative when you’re building out your content calendar – just be sure to keep the findings of your audit in mind.
Spring Clean with a Trusted Content Marketing Team
Overwhelmed by the idea of content creation and cleanup? You don’t have to be! Zero Gravity Marketing leads the way in all things digital marketing in CT. Our content team can help you create a content marketing strategy for the spring, summer, and beyond. Ready to learn more? Let’s talk!