With the calendar rolling, many people take a moment to re-examine their lives and make changes in the form of New Year’s resolutions. While some common resolutions involve personal health and well-being, they don’t have to be strictly personal. The new year can be an effective time to reevaluate what has worked and what hasn’t worked for your business over the past year. If you haven’t achieved the goals you hoped to achieve, it may be time to re-examine your company’s content marketing strategy.
But before you begin your 2022 marketing vision board, it’s important to recognize some of the pitfalls that come with resolutions. After all, a staggering number of such statements end in failure. In this article, I review best practices for creating lasting change in the year ahead, for both you and your business.
Building the scaffolding of an effective content marketing strategy
When it comes to setting your goals, it’s especially important to have accountability checks in place. It can be helpful to think of the changes you want to make to your content marketing strategy as building a building. Before you start installing floors and walls, you must first have a plan for what you want to achieve.
It can be tempting to start with the end goal. Maybe you want to expand your audience, sell a certain amount of products, or sign up a specific number of customers. But to follow the construction metaphor, it’s like laying the wiring before you put your foundation in place. Goals are an important part of making meaningful change in your business, but those same goals need a framework to build on. If you want to build an effective content marketing strategy, my suggestion is to do away with the traditional resolution altogether.
Instead, it might be worth considering a New Year’s theme. This idea was popularized by YouTube creator and podcaster CGP Grey. A helpful video describing the topic can be found here. To sum up, a theme can act as a compass, pointing you in the direction you want to take your business. Unlike a resolution, as long as you keep moving in the direction of your theme, you haven’t failed. This can be helpful because marketing your business is a time-consuming process. In fact, you can go months without seeing results. However, with a year-long theme to guide you, you can be sure you’re always making progress.
So what are the marketing themes that could work for your business?
- Year Down – This theme can be particularly useful for identifying areas of your content marketing strategy that are not working. Maybe that means looking at the platforms you use for your content creation. For example, Instagram, which is younger in terms of demographics, may not reach your 30-40 year old audience.
- Year of Consistency – One of the best ways to support your business growth through your content marketing strategy is to provide consistent and reliable content. This theme is useful because it can scale to accommodate a content creation schedule that suits your business. While some businesses may benefit from creating two posts a day, your business may not. This theme allows you to experiment with what works for you. If you find that your initial estimate of two messages a day isn’t working for you, you haven’t failed. You continued to move towards your theme of creating a consistent timeline for your content.
- Year of Optimization – Similar to Year of Minus, this theme can help you determine how your content marketing strategy is working and not working for your business. If throughout the year one of your strategies is not effective, acquiring this knowledge still moves you in the direction of your theme. As long as you continue to grow and learn from the results of your content creation, you are on the right track.
But what if these three marketing themes aren’t right for your business? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you find your own theme.
- What worked for you last year?
- What went wrong for you last year?
- What content marketing strategies have your competitors used?
- What demographics would you like your company’s content to reach that it’s not currently reaching?
- What would you like your business to look like by the end of the year?
Even if you have a clear idea of what your theme will be for next year, taking the time to answer these questions can go a long way in shaping your content marketing strategy.
Now that we’ve established a solid foundation on which to build your business, we can get to the topic of goals.
Create effective goals for your Content Marketing Strategy
I don’t think in any way that goals should be removed entirely. If constructed consciously, they can be effective tools for accessing motivation and recognizing personal achievement. When marketing your business, an objective can also anchor and specify what might otherwise seem like a general theme.
However, not all goals are created equally. To make sure your goals serve your content marketing strategy, it’s important that you get SMART about it according to Indeed. SMART stands for:
- Specific – When choosing goals, it is important that they are narrow. The steps to achieve your goals should be clear and understandable.
- Measurable – How will you know you’ve reached your goal? Whether it’s the number of subscribers you’ll gain or the number of blog posts you’ll create each month, having a metric you can view to mark your progress and know when you’ve reached is essential. your goal.
- Achievable – One of the most common barriers to achieving a goal is reach. When setting your goals, be sure to assess the steps needed to reach your goal.
- Relevant – This is where your theme is particularly useful. As you create goals, ask yourself how that goal will move you in the direction of the theme you have chosen for the new year. For example, if you choose to make 2022 the year at least, now is probably not the time to set yourself the goal of adding a new content creation platform.
- Time based – When do you expect to reach your goal? Take a moment to assess how long the process may take. When it comes to growing your audience, for example, it might not be reasonable to expect your audience to grow from 300 to 3000 subscribers in a month.
With this acronym to help guide your goals, you’re much more likely to see them through. Now that you have your theme and your goals, it’s time to get started!
Three strategies for your content marketing strategy theme
Meet your audience where they are with your content creation and you will see the results. Whatever theme you choose for 2022, here are some strategies to keep in mind to make this the most successful year yet.
- Keep your audience in mind throughout the content creation process.
Content types that will work for one audience may not work for another. As you progress through the content creation process, ask yourself if the content you are creating is something your audience will want to engage with. It can be useful to follow content creators that your audience follows. Immerse yourself in the topics and language used by your potential audience.
- Create content in a timely and consistent manner.
Even if your theme isn’t consistent, your content marketing strategy should include a consistent time when you’ll publish your content. Having a regular schedule not only trains your potential audience when to expect content, but also helps with search engine optimization and driving more traffic to your business.
- Interact with your audience.
Part of building a successful social media account is showing your audience that you care. Ultimately, people don’t come to social media to make a purchase. People come to social media to pass the time, have fun, and interact with like-minded people. If you want people to interact with the content you’ve created, you need to show them you’re there. When people interact with your posts, take the time to respond. Show them you’re more than just a business.