Whether it be by careful consideration or a lucky break, discovering content that your audience goes crazy for is always to be celebrated. However, it’s important to understand that while a specific content marketing piece worked at that time and for a particular audience, it may not be as popular the second time around..
The half-life of a specific sort of content is short. Trying to capitalize on it over and over, whether it be on social media, your website or other content marketing channels, will inevitably fail as your audience becomes bored (or grows to encompass more varied demographics), marketing strategies change and online trends evolve.
To protect your business from becoming a one-trick pony, your content marketing strategy should be varied, well-researched and flexible.
Keep Your Content Marketing Timely
No matter how interesting or well-crafted your content is, if it’s out of date your audience is not going to engage with it.
Incorporating recent events and news can help keep your content relevant and engaging.
For example, incorporating recent events, holidays and news within your industry can be a beneficial way to spice up your content marketing strategy. However, posting the same content after the holiday has already passed, the recent event is no longer recent or the news is no longer newsworthy is a near guarantee that it is going to fade quickly and quietly.
As said by the Content Marketing Institute, your content must either be current or it should be timeless. That is to say, if your content will miss the timeliness window, it’s best to save it for another time and post something that is interesting and engaging no matter when it’s posted instead.
This sort of content, which can be posted anytime, is not tied to a specific event or season and is relevant for longer periods of time, is referred to as evergreen content. A good content marketing strategy should include both timely and evergreen content.
For timely content, there are many strategies to ensure your business is making the most of each opportunity. Influencive recommends the following three:
This strategy focuses on piggybacking on unexpected current events or breaking news stories and linking them back to your brand. To successfully newsjack, a business must choose the right story, be timely and think critically to avoid creating content that could be previewed as offensive or tactless.
2. Research Upcoming Events and Holidays
Rather than waiting for a holiday or national event and scrambling last minute to create content, do your research ahead of time and include these opportunities in your content marketing strategy.
3. Lead the Conversation
When news breaks, it provides an opportunity for your business to lend expertise on the subject or post interesting commentary. Doing so can increase your brand’s credibility in addition to helping your content stay timely.
Don’t Overproduce Content
Ensuring that your team has time to properly consider and create each piece of content in your marketing strategy ensures it will be of high quality and resonate with your audience.
Reaching for a specific post count on social media, blog articles or other communication channels can, at times, be as detrimental as it is beneficial. It’s been proven time and time again that consistency is incredibly important for building an online following, but trying to meet a goal that stretches your creativity and resources too thin will backfire.
As iAquire explains, businesses in this situation often find themselves creating content that their audience no longer relates to or that no longer meets the same quality standards.
Instead, focus on quality over quantity, and ensure that your marketing team has ample time to develop and implement your content marketing strategy.
Stay Up To Date On Content Marketing Trends
Content marketing for digital audiences is a constantly evolving art, primarily due to the speed at which online technology continues to advance. To ensure that your content is hitting all the right notes and continues to engage your audience, it’s important to know the latest strategies. Social Media Explorer recommends the following methods to ensure your content marketing strategy follows current trends:
1. Follow The Right Blogs
By following industry leading blogs and setting aside time to browse through their articles every few days, you can keep abreast of new marketing developments and make sure you have ample time to adjust your content marketing strategy.
2. Meet With Your Peers
Networking with other content marketing professionals allows you to discuss new and upcoming strategies, and get a feel for what marketers in your area are doing.
3. Use Industry Leading Tools
Using tools that have a good reputation for results within the marketing sphere (and keeping an eye out for new ones) can ensure you’re paying attention to the right metrics. These tools include things like Google Trends and Google Alerts.
4. Pay Attention To The Big Brands
Large brands with good marketing reputations often lead the way when it comes to new trends and content marketing strategies. Keep an eye on what they’re doing and consider how you might be able to adapt it into your own strategy.
Do Audience Research, Constantly
One of the easiest ways to lose your audience’s interest is to create content that is no longer catered to them. We’ve talked a lot about targeting your audience when creating a marketing strategy, but it’s also important to constantly reaffirm your audience profile when assessing your content marketing strategy.
Neil Patel recommends paying attention to what your audience talks about online, who they follow and what content they’re sharing. These are easy ways to get a beat on your audience and ensure you still know what is important to them and what sort of content they will engage with.
Take Inspiration, But Don’t Copy
When a post or video from another brand goes viral, the first thing marketers will consider is how they can create something similar for their business that will create the same response.
This instinct, to assess and recreate, is not a bad one. Taking notes on what the competition is doing right and what lessons can be gleaned from it is a fundamental part of content marketing.
However, while imitation is the highest form of flattery, copying a previously popular post beat for beat will never create the same buzz and, more than likely, will hurt your company’s reputation.
Instead, try jumping in on a popular online trend and putting your own playful spin on it. A thoughtfully considered homage will go much further than a plain copy.
iAquire also points out that just because a specific type of content worked for another brand, that doesn’t mean it will also work for your audience. Instead, consider what your audience is interested in and how you can frame outside ideas to target them. Then, add it to your content marketing strategy.
Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content offers insight into your audience and can help you adapt your content marketing strategy.
User-generated content (UGC), which is anything that your audience posts to your communication channels, can provide a direct look at your audience, specifically what they’re thinking and what they want.
Comments, contest submissions, photos and videos sent by your followers online are all examples of UGC. The benefits of it extend far beyond just keeping your content relevant. UGC has also proven to boost social media reach and growth, raise your search engine optimization ranking and humanize your brand. Additionally, UGC offers insight into how your audience perceives your business and your products.
To encourage your audience to participate, Mavrck suggests using hashtags, asking questions and creating contests. Additionally, you can offer incentives such as prizes or the opportunity for audience members to be featured on your social channels.
Check Your Analytics
Regularly checking analytics ensures that you can adjust your content marketing strategy to reflect how your audience is engaging with your content.
Keeping an eye on content marketing analytics is an incredibly important part of producing relevant and engaging content.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed what analytics are the most beneficial to your content marketing strategy. By using these analytics, you can discover what your audience engages with the most and what sorts of posts resonate with them. Once you’ve discovered that, you can make adjustments to your strategy to remove content that is under-performing and adding content that will generate buzz.