It’s no secret that marketing has evolved into a data-driven process as a result of technological advancements and an increasingly competitive marketplace. The digital marketing landscape is ripe with opportunities to differentiate and expand businesses with insightful data. However, too much data can become overwhelming and lead you away from the original message of your content.
Under pressure to deliver results and reach growth targets, marketers can easily become distracted by the needs of the team, emails, and suggestions or input from colleagues or superiors. Faced with pressure from all sides, these distractions can lead to inefficiencies, and can potentially steer you away from the key message you originally intended to express in your content.
How do you separate yourself from these distractions and execute a successful content marketing strategy? We’ve put together a list of tips to help you get back to basics and focus on creating quality content that achieves your overarching objectives.
1. Don’t Shoot For The Moon
The primary function of a marketing department, and especially a content marketing team, is to increase awareness and interest in a brand to accelerate growth. Regardless of the size of your business, there will be immense pressure to deliver results and a myriad of opinions on how to do it. With so many opinions weighing in as you craft new content, it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in several different directions at once.
Sometimes to improve productivity, you have to put all of those opinions out of your mind and focus on what you know how to do. Remember, as a content marketer, your job is to create something of value for your brand’s target audience. Think about what you need to do to increase engagement, inspire social media discussions, and attract the attention of powerful influencers. If you focus on the primary objective of expanding your brand’s upper funnel, you will achieve the goals that are most important to your team.
You don’t need to be perfect; you just need to identify your most important goal, do your best work, and take a step towards achieving it.
2. Measure Your Performance
While some technological components can complicate your content marketing strategy, it is imperative that you use some form of technology to track and measure the performance of your marketing campaign.
To remain competitive marketers need technology that can optimize workflow and help build holistic content marketing strategies. There are five key components within the content marketing lifecycle, two of which are all about tracking the performance of content:
The final two pillars of the lifecycle focus on tracking how your content performs. You need to optimize by learning what elements of your strategy are working and what needs improvement . Once you have quantitative data that conclusively tells you if you are hitting your targets, you can deliver more qualitative material for even greater results.
3. Remember The Human Component
Marketing has recently become more data-driven, but marketers cannot rely solely on technology to deliver results.. There is a humanistic element to successful marketing campaigns that cannot be replaced by data insights alone.
Data science is essential to determining what works and what doesn’t in your content strategy. However, the core of your content marketing campaign is built around your brand’s identity and your target audience. Your content should address the needs of your target audience to draw them to your site for more information or convert them into paying customers. Content that drives people back to your site increases the size of your upper funnel and improves your brand’s reputation.
When you review the data from your analytics, look at the numbers from the perspective of your ideal customer. What did people respond to within your existing content? What should you replicate to reach more of this demographic? What social channels can you use to reach them? What encourages them to bookmark your brand as a reliable source of information? Once you understand your audience and listen to the data, you can optimize content that will continue to build a positive relationship with your target demographic.
4. Avoid Distractions
Avoiding distractions may seem impossible when they seem to be coming from every direction. Fortunately there are a few strategies that you can implement to reduce distractions and get back to work.
First and foremost – don’t look at your email every few minutes. Creating a quality piece of content requires focus and attention, which is next to impossible if you are reacting to emails that arrive in your inbox throughout the day. This doesn’t mean avoid your emails entirely. Instead, simply limit the number of times you allow yourself to check the inbox every hour or minimize the window to help you become more productive.
It’s also useful to set a daily priority to manage your workflow. If everything is categorized as an immediate priority nothing will get done (and certainly not to the best of your abilities). Prioritize your tasks and organize deadlines to determine what needs to be done first. Focus on completing that task before you start working on anything else. Put all of your effort into one priority at a time so that you don’t end up feeling like you are pulled in too many directions.
Finally, don’t be afraid to delegate priorities from other people in your department. This doesn’t mean dumping work on others or shunning members of your team. A successful marketing team is a supportive unit where everyone is willing to chip in on important tasks in order to get the job done.
5. Make Your Content Fun
Humour is one of the best ways to build a relationship with your audience. People respond well to brands that have a little fun with their content and find a way to laugh at themselves. Humour not only humanizes the brand, but also makes them more relatable and authentic in the eyes of the audience.
Not only will humour give your brand a human face, but it will also make your content more interesting. This strategy is especially useful for challenging or mundane topics that might not receive a lot of traffic otherwise.
You can also incorporate visuals and use videos or webinars to help tell your story. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your content, if for nothing else than to stimulate your mind. Your creative mind..
Read the latest release from Gary Parkinson, Content Marketing Manager at Rock Content. Gary is a firm believer in the co-dependent relationship between content and SEO in the digital marketing industry. These two disciplines work hand in hand, and are critical parts of a long tail strategy to increase brand awareness.