Content marketing is an all-encompassing term that has peaked and fallen off in years past. But just because use of the term is on the decline, doesn’t mean that successful content marketing strategies are any less effective.
In fact, the companies that are succeeding with content are using it to drive more sales, more loyalty, more brand awareness, higher levels of community engagement, and more.
But too many companies are still wasting their time doing content for content’s sake. It’s time to take a hard look at the return on investment of your content marketing efforts. What is it doing for you? What value is it adding?
If your content marketing is barely moving the needle, you need to make some changes. And if you are not ready to throw in the towel for good, you need to test some new practices that have potential to improve your results.
Here are three things you can do to get more about of your content marketing efforts:
1) A/B Test Your Headlines
Just like we test different subject lines for our emails, in an effort to get more people to open and read them, we should test different headlines for any piece of content.
A good headline makes all the difference. The right headline grabs attention and leads a user to view the piece of content we publish.
And though there are countless resources for best practices when it comes to headline writing, the only way to know for sure what headline will attract more readers is to test them in the real world. A free tool like Google Optimize will allow you to test multiple headlines for every article and settle on the one that gets the most visits, clicks, reads, conversions, etc.
2) Make It Easy to Share
The sites that succeed with content benefit from engaged readers/users. As a company, there is only so much that you can do to promote your content by yourself. To get real results, you need to leverage the virality of the web.
Content that is easy to share is more likely to get shared.
Making your content easier to share is not hard. There are existing plugins you can add to your website that allow people to publish to their preferred social network with one click. And you can (and should) customize the way your content appears when someone adds them to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.
3) Invest in Media
Too many marketers treat content as a one-size-fits-all process. We write blog posts and articles and hope they get shared. But this outdated vision of the web is bound to fail.
Today, there are so many different formats to experiment with, that if you only write articles, you shouldn’t expect to succeed.
It may take more time and money to create engaging video content, live video, Snaps, images, and infographics, but this is exactly the type of content that gets shared. The content and the audience should determine the format, not the team you have or the budget you’re working with.
If budget and people are limiting factors for your company, perhaps you should invest elsewhere and ignore content marketing for now.