More bricks…less feathers!

Change has been on my mind a lot recently.

Often times good, but almost always painful, CMI is going through some positive change right now. We’ve had the privilege of working with Jay Baer (part of our content marketing consulting group) and his team to help shore up our overall strategy. Normally, this type of audit is what we help larger organizations with, but we (the CMI staff) all agreed it was important to get an outside perspective on something so critical to our business.

As part of the audit and setting new goals, we are focusing a number of key areas where we want to improve. Here are five key content marketing tactics that are really standing out for us, and possibly for you as well.

Review, Edit and Re-position Print Content for the Web

Traditionally, our practice for print content marketing has been to repurpose the content, barring some design changes, as is on the website (see CCO Magazine here). Unfortunately, this has led to under-performing content. What we’ve clearly found is that content that is fit for print is often times not fit for the web.

To combat this, we are working on a number of initiatives, including:

  • Planning for multiple-purpose usage of a printed article at the beginning of the planning stages, not after the article is written.
  • Making decisions that some print content isn’t suitable for the .com site.
  • Creating a process of heavy editing to turn print-oriented content into content that will be better engaged with online and on mobile devices.
  • Developing a total content process that integrates all content marketing under one person, regardless of channel distribution.

Identify Best Converting Content

We’ve been monitoring our best performing content, in terms of share-ability and analytics, for years now. We’ve suspected for some time that our most popular content is not necessarily our best performing content (in terms of the goals for the page). Through our most recent audit, we now know this to be true.

We’re taking steps to track every piece of content individually and mark the goal upfront as to the particular call to action we want. Once we set that process in place, we can now determine what content performs the best to drive the business in the right direction.

Navigation Should Mirror Goal Weight

In general, our site navigation for both Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World has been what we “thought” made the most sense. Unfortunately, we didn’t clearly run the site navigation through our goal set for the site, as well as for each individual type of content we create.

This means we need to adjust our site strategy with the following:

  • Create a site navigation that completely syncs with the goals for the site.
  • Begin looking at each page as it’s own and not blindly attaching a general sidebar to all pages and blog posts. This means we will start developing dozens (if not more) content templates for our content.

Not Just Photos, but Shareable Design

I’m sure we are not alone on this, but often our editorial team comes to the “choosing of the obigatory image” last when creating blog content. That means that many times we are not satisfied with the image, which in turn does not drive our share-ability goals for Facebook or Pinterest.

This is a longer-term process issue, but we are looking into the creation of our own art and design, moving away from stock art altogether if we can. Our best performing posts are often ones where some people share because of the textual content, and others share for the design. By developing a piece of content without a strong design component, we are missing out on number of social media opportunities. Stay tuned for more on this one.

More Bricks, Less Feathers

I’m completely stealing this one from Jay, who uses this analogy all the time.

There are two types of content: feathers (passing/common) and bricks (lasting/uncommon). We have lots of feathers, but not enough bricks.

Our content team is now tasked with baking more bricks.

  • Repackaging multiple feathers into bricks.
  • Analyzing current content opportunities (events, webinars, etc.) for possible brick creation.
  • Taking a look at old bricks to update into new and improved bricks.

Would love to get your take on these or any content marketing strategies that you are struggling with at the present time. Please let me know.