With no decline in sight for the importance of good content, 2016 will see content marketing activity continue to rise, resulting in high expectations when it comes to its quality. Although different aspects of content marketing will work better for certain industries, it is a tool that every business should be using efficiently in 2016.
Here are five principles that all businesses – regardless of size or sector – should take note of when planning their content marketing strategy.
1. Document your strategy
Research has shown that those who take the time to document their content marketing strategy are more effective than those who don’t. A verbal strategy is not enough to demonstrate that your business is taking a proactive approach to content marketing; it needs to be planned at the same level of detail as any other project – with clear goals, roles and outcomes defined. Without benchmarks and ownership, it is too easy for the plan to fall apart or be forgotten.
2. Embrace social media platforms
Social media is a valuable platform for supporting brand activity and should be at the forefront of a content marketing plan. It’s important to understand the subtle differences of each platform in terms of audience and content expectations for this to be effective. For example, each social media platform has unique tools to help distribute content, such as LinkedIn’s published posts and Snapchat stories. Furthermore, Facebook’s instant articles (launched in 2015) are thought to become more accessible towards the end of the year and could well become a powerful channel for marketers to adopt; and certainly one to keep a close eye on!
3. Add value by blogging
Companies with a regularly updated blog generate more leads than those who don’t have one. A blog adds value to your website and builds relationships with visitors. It also increases the chances of your services being found when people are searching online. The best blogs answer common questions their target audience has, and this helps to establish them as an expert in the industry. Don’t neglect your blog this year – it’s a valuable tool for you and your customers
4. Analyse the results
Measuring the results of your content marketing efforts is essential for marketers. In the past, content marketing activity has been executed without the backup of data to track ROI. As a result, it has been difficult to determine which elements have engaged customers. In 2016, analytics must be incorporated into marketing decisions to validate return on investment; and this is something all businesses should be able to define as part of their content marketing strategy.
5. Don’t forget about offline opportunities
It can be easy to forget about offline opportunities when planning your content marketing activity. However, print media and offline advertising remains effective for further engagement and brand awareness; particularly for companies who don’t have a large following on social media. Make sure you include offline options within your content marketing plan to ensure you maximise your potential reach.
The marketing landscape is always changing, but it’s clear that content marketing is here to stay. The brands who will succeed in 2016 are the ones who document their strategy, maximise online and offline marketing opportunities and continuously analyse the results, whilst keeping up to date with best practices and new technologies.
If you’d like help with your content marketing strategy, get in touch with Imekota for an initial consultation.