Constantly pumping out content is a key to any successful content marketing strategy, but it can also become a burden on the people creating it. Having to be consistently creative can take a toll on any creator, which also means a suffering marketing strategy. Often, two things happen: either you see a dip in content quality/quantity, or they stop producing content entirely.
Does this sound like your website? There’s no shame in admitting it; this happens to everybody who creates content as part of their living. People burn out, get too busy, or simply forget to keep up on it. Yet, just because you’ve fallen behind on your content, or you feel it’s been suffering recently, doesn’t mean it’s all over. Jump starting your content strategy is completely possible, and will revitalize your marketing and help get your creative juices flowing.
Start By Looking Over Data
Whether you are looking to start fresh with an all new content strategy or hoping to tweak your existing one, start by looking over your available data. Wrangle up any and all relevant data, not just what’s easily accessible through Google Analytics, to help guide your decisions. Find out things like:
- Which blog posts got the most traffic
- What topics lead to the most conversions
- Which topics or posts got a lot of traffic but then died out quickly, versus ones that perform well over the long term
- Blog posts that rank well.
By going over the data, you get a better understanding of what content your audience wants, which topics you cover well, and areas you could improve in.
Don’t just look at your website’s data. Try to pull from other sources, too. Compare marketing against sales, customer service, or even against your competitors using website analysis tools.
Brainstorming with a Purpose
Once you’ve collected relevant data and dug through it for insights, start brainstorming new ideas. It’s a good idea to bring in other people familiar with your content/industry who also have looked over the data to participate in the brainstorm. More minds working towards coming up with new ideas means a better chance of finding something that will succeed.
Encourage everybody to come to the brainstorm with a few ideas to start with, and let the discussion naturally grow from there. Ideas can blend together, lead to coming up with new ideas, and get your creative juices flowing. Just make sure any ideas you decide to pursue further match up with the data you’ve gathered.
Making the Strategy
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Randomly producing content and hoping for the best is not the way to do content marketing. You need to make a strategic plan detailing out the goals of your marketing, how it plays into other marketing strategies, and what pieces of content connect to different parts of the marketing funnel.
Now that you have ideas for content, fit them into a content marketing strategy. How will each piece help your business, including what keywords it will help you rank for and how to entice visitors to move down your marketing funnel.
Having the right content strategy can help guide you in the future on what kinds of content to produce and attract the right target market. A good strategy should include your target market’s interests, types of content to pursue, and a content schedule for when upcoming posts will go up.
Setting Aside Time to Create Content
Whether you specialize in blogs or video, it takes time to properly create content. It’s likely you feel too busy to set aside time to make content, but it’s essential to do. Block off time, either every day or once a week, to work on your content. Good content marketing strategies require consistent publishing, meaning you need to be always working on new stuff.
You need to find out what you personally require in order to create high-quality content. Some have to break up content creation to avoid burnout, while others like to get a whole month’s worth of work done in a day or two. It’s also important to understand how long it takes you to create a piece of content. Set aside the right amount of time so you don’t feel overly pressured to finish and have enough time to produce high-quality content. With practice, the quality of content will both improve and take less time, but you have to consistently work on it to get those results.
Similarly, you need the right environment to create. Finding what works best for you is essential, so early on, experiment with different places to write and create. Some enjoy being in a coffee shop around others, while another might require complete silence and solitude. Find what works for you and utilize it for creating.
Keep Your Energy Up
Creative burnout is a very real thing. It might be the very reason your content marketing fell apart before, and it could do it again. Going into writing a blog post completely unhappy or bored will be reflected in your work. Before sitting down to work, make sure you are in the right mood for it. If you start to feel burned out, take a walk or do something to get you pumped up.
If you start to feel burned out over the long term, consider taking a break for a little while. If you have multiple employees, consider sharing the load with one of them, or do some extra work early so you can go a week or two without writing. That way, you can give your creative mind a time to recharge and hit the ground running later.
Experiment and Try New Things
Another reason people quit on content marketing is that they aren’t seeing growth or feel like it’s gotten stale. To avoid that, don’t be afraid to experiment with your content. If you feel like written blog posts aren’t working for you, try your hand at video or infographics. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to work with new topics or subjects and incorporating them into your strategy.
Only by trying new things can you truly find out what is the most successful. Additionally, diversity is the key to engaging with the largest target audience possible. Try new topics and formats, and not just one time. Work with a new format several times, both to improve your own skill at it and to really see if it’s successful over the long term.
When it comes to starting your content marketing back up, you need to be willing to put the work in. Starting it only to let it fall away a few months later isn’t worth the time. Dedicate yourself to the long haul, make plans to stay focused on it, and do what you can to stay passionate.