businessman writing2015 is a new year, which means content marketers have the opportunity to start fresh with their content strategies. In fact, 50% of marketers say they have a content strategy but it is not documented, and as we create more content this year (69% are doing so), there’s no better time to refresh our strategies. Below are 5 ways marketers can reboot their content strategy in 2015. Hint: an overarching theme is personalization, which – thanks to the availability of increasingly advanced data – allows marketers to create and deliver more relevant content to their customers.

Write Your Content Plan Down

It may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to put pen to paper and document their content strategy. It’s easy to get swept up in the flurry of the New Year and planning, but detailing your strategy from the get-go means you know what you’re working on, when you’re working on it, who you’re working on it for, and how you’re going to measure it. You inherently build accountability within your business and are better able to provide your customers thoughtful content. These are just a few items to keep in mind when planning:

  • Goals: Is the ultimate goal for our content to drive conversions or education and awareness? If conversions, what does that represent to our business?
  • Formats: What kind of content do we need to create in order to reach our different audiences?
  • Topics: What topics will be relevant to our customers? And how can we extend the lives of some of these topics?
  • Calendar: Do we have initiatives to align content with? Otherwise, with what frequency does it makes sense to disseminate content for our business?
  • Success Measures: What represents ROI on content for your business? Is it a download, a phone call, a sale?

Curate Your Content

One piece of content can go a long way. In the New Year, focus on ways you can expand the life of the content you put together. Taking existing content and repurposing it in various formats helps you stay on track with the plan you have outlined and goals you have set – and makes your content work harder for you. Added bonus: you free up some of your brainstorming time by repurposing content in different formats.

Content curation is especially important with the way customers consume information; it can vary on an individual basis. Breaking down a larger piece of content into a variety of formats helps you reach deeper into your customer base and is a simple way to incorporate personalization into your content strategy. It’s important to remind ourselves of this as we plan for 2015 – it not only helps us work more efficiently but also helps us engage (and reengage) our customers.

Align Content With Your Sales Funnel

Customers are going to respond to content differently based on where they are in their path to purchase. Delivering relevant content when your customers need it (and before they even know they need it yet) epitomizes personalization. While an easy-to-digest infographic may be a good way to draw in prospects, a white paper serves to nurture existing customers by providing them more in-depth information on a topic relevant to them.

Content marketers should be helping customers in their buying process, not just trying to sell them. Aligning useful, relevant content with your sales funnel helps establish you as a partner and resource to customers. This then leads them to a predetermined desired response, whether a download or other action (which you’ve already outlined in your strategy).

Place Your Content Strategically

It’s no longer enough to simply create great content and push it out into the vast ethers of the Internet, hoping it reaches your customers or draws interest from prospects. In 2015, content marketers need to focus on the strategic distribution of the content they create. Think about different audiences, channels, or devices – each offer a unique platform to engage your customers. Strategic placement optimizes your content (by varying where, when, and how you deliver it), driving a personalized content experience and greater engagement.

Thinking about the way different content will render on desktop vs. mobile devices is especially important for your content strategy. Take smartphones: smaller screens have led to people digesting content in streams of quick-hitting information. It will be more strategic to deliver content such as blog posts, infographics, and other easy-to-read content on people’s mobile devices. And why not get creative? Content marketers don’t have to sit on the sidelines of emerging technology (beacons, for one). This kind of innovation can help us drive strategic placement and personalization for customers through geographically-relevant information.

Measure, Measure, and Measure Some More

As focus continues to be placed on content marketing in 2015, we can’t lose sight of measuring the ROI of everything we’ve created. Only 23% of marketers feel they are successful at tracking the ROI of their content. Understanding how well our content engages people, and what platforms are the best for distribution, is the only way we’ll be able to accomplish all of the above – and know enough to personalize both the material and delivery.

The standard opens, clicks, downloads, etc. will give you a good foundation for understanding where, when, and how people are engaging with your content. But, as previously mentioned, with more content being consumed on mobile devices (and content marketers who are strategically placing it there, right?), tracking the calls driven from our content on this platform will be just as important as measuring the standard metrics.

If you’re interested in learning about the ways you can generate more leads from your content and improve your content marketing ROI, check out our white paper, “Marketer’s Guide to Proving (and Improving) Content Marketing ROI.”