Content marketing is by and large one of the most significant aspects of digital marketing today. Businesses that invest in content marketing have to discover ways to both produce and refresh their content over time.
For this purpose, auditing old content allows a business to craft future content to fall along the same grain as the best performing pieces on its website or social media. A proper analysis offers insight that can increase the visibility (and conversion) of current and future content.
To help, 15 members of Forbes Agency Council share some of the best practices a company can adopt when it comes to the management and analysis of its existing content.
1. Stay Focused On The Customer
Don’t give into the temptation to choose quantity over quality. Like all other marketing channels, your messaging should be well-thought-out and purposeful, not just plentiful. Plan ahead for coverage of important events or periods of increased demand in your industry, and stay focused on how you can provide additional benefits to your customers through sharing information they can use. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
2. Understand How People Are Exposed To Content
If you are writing content that people are searching for, your content needs to be optimized for the search engines. If you are writing content that will be forced into a social news feed, you need it to be quickly engaging. If you are writing a long-form piece in a magazine, it should be highly tailored to the reader and hold their attention for the duration of the piece. – Adam Draper, Gladiator Law Marketing
3. Deep Dive Into Analytics
Most of us take for granted or neglect the information Google has about our business, traffic and audience. Making sure your Google My Business page is well-optimized then paying close attention to the insights will help you make better decisions, as well as be able to respond to what clients are actually looking for and how potential customers are finding your business online. – Gary Vela, Web Daytona
4. Create Diverse And Relevant Content
Content is like whiskey — you know from the first sip whether it’s good or not. Content must be diverse, relevant and bring the point across while indirectly selling a product or service. You pay good money for a bottle of good whiskey because its quality speaks for itself. Look at your content the same way. Don’t accept anything average because people will know it and will not follow it. – Ally Spinu, USA Link System
5. Do More With Less
Make your content as multi-use as possible, so it can be tested on several distribution channels. Shoot (or create) a YouTube video, use the audio for a podcast, transcribe the video for a blog, use small segments of your video for social posts and Stories, etc. This allows you to leverage a single piece of content repeatedly and analyze its performance across multiple platforms. – Bernard May, National Positions
6. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
One of the most important factors in marketing and building a reputation is repetition. Repeating key points consistently and gaining ubiquity through frequency is paramount. Drawing an analogy to instructions found on most shampoos: The “lather” is the core message, the “rinse” is where the message may appear and the “repeat” is telling the story again and again. – Dave Wendland, Hamacher Resource Group
7. Test, Test And Test
As marketers, we do our best to come up with relevant and personalized content, but there is only so much we know about the consumers. Today’s marketing environment allows you to test a variety of content, provide a quick read on impact and support the ability to make changes in real-time. A/B testing of various content will ensure you are continually refining content and maximizing performance. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
8. Schedule And Measure
It’s important to always have a strategy before you create and post your content. Posting unfocused content creation erratically will not serve your company. After you’ve developed and executed a strategy, measure your results and make changes based on those. Take advantage of social media scheduling software and platforms, especially ones that integrate both scheduling and measuring. – JC Hite, Hite Digital
9. Set Realistic Goals
Setting up realistic goals, in the beginning, to keep up with regular content generation is crucial — creating a content calendar/schedule of how many times a week/month and assigning/determining which individuals are responsible for that content. Posting regularly, i.e. same day every week/month greatly increases the effectiveness — plus it’s great content for social media and e-newsletters. – Durée Ross, Durée & Company, Inc.
10. Identify, Simplify And Simplify Again
Step No. 1 (and this should happen with an agreed-to strategy before anything happens) needs to be audience identification. How do we know what to write if we don’t know who we’re trying to influence? Then, it’s imperative to simplify the content to avoid jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms. Write to the audience, not above the audience. – David Farinella, Farinella LLC
11. Focus On Actionable Content
Your content should be actionable — from a way to make a purchase, to downloading a white paper or even just simple engagement by asking a valuable question. Review your analytics. What received the most action? What did your audience respond to the most? That should be your key type of content. Give your audience what they want, but be sure that your brand is getting something back from them, too. – Rebecca Kowalewicz, Clearbridge Branding Agency
12. Make Sure It Connects
As content has gotten more technical to be effective in the digital space, it has lost its personality. The content you develop must fill both the technical requirements needed for relevance and provide the reader with a story that makes sense and drives action. Companies that focus only on getting the keywords right can lose out on connection. You can do both. – Bo Bothe, BrandExtract, LLC
13. Create A Story And Repurpose The Content
Create two to three content pillars that act as an anchor for any other content that is created from that. As an example, for a food delivery brand we chose three pillars that were, “food, family and happiness.” By using these content pillars and an anchor, we could then create a thematic description and topics ideas based around the “core” message. – Natacha Gaymer-Jones, SWOON MEDIA
14. Seek Customer Feedback
The most valuable opinion, when it comes to your content, comes from your customer or user. If they say the content is good, then it is. If they don’t respond positively to the content, then it is not. Getting brutally honest feedback from paying customers is critical to knowing whether the content is good or effective. – Andy Etemadi, EYEMAGINE
15. Invest In Promoting Your Valuable Content
You can spend a lot of time and resources to create purpose-driven work, but if there’s no one to see it, you can’t emotionally resonate with your audience or anyone at all. You need to put your valuable content in front of people who can benefit from it. In the age of algorithms, that can be harder to do than it was years ago. So, don’t shy away from making an investment to promote your content. – Fran Biderman-Gross, Advantages