Are You Using Content Marketing Effectively?
Are you uncertain about how much content marketing is contributing to your bottom line? You’re not alone. Even though 91 percent of marketers are using content in their strategies, only 24 percent feel confident that it’s moving the needle on their goals.
The Content Marketing Institute recently released its 2018 report, and it sheds some light on what the most successful companies are doing to get great results from their content.
Here are the secrets of the most successful content marketers this year:
Secret #1: They are committed to the strategy
89 percent of marketers who have the most successful content marketing programs are extremely or very committed to their strategy. Compare this with 27 percent of marketers who have the least successful content marketing programs who say they’re just committed.
It’s clear that you have to be invested in your strategy. If you’re “just testing it out,” you aren’t going to see great results.
Content marketing results begin and end with the strategy.
If you want to see results, spend time developing the plan. Put your ideas on paper and build out a calendar with:
- The types of content you plan to produce
- Your promotion strategy
- The audience you’re targeting
- Your goals and how each asset will support them
- The metrics you’ll use to measure them
When you put this much work into the strategy, you will have a clear roadmap for the future – and you’ll be a lot less likely to walk away from it.
Secret #2: They’ve been doing it for a while
73 percent of companies who have the most successful content marketing programs say their programs are sophisticated or mature. Compare this with 4 percent of companies that have the least successful content marketing programs who say their strategies are sophisticated.
The more mature the program, the more successful the team. That’s because content marketing isn’t about overnight results. It’s about a long-term commitment.
You aren’t going to see a huge influx of traffic and leads just because you published one blog. It takes time for that blog to earn ranking signals, to attract links, to gather social engagement metrics that drive it to the top of search results and generate traffic to your website.
When you have a mature content marketing campaign, you’ll see a couple of legacy posts become the workhorses of your campaign, driving results month after month. When you have more content and more experience under your belt, you can dig into the data to really see what works and refine your approach to become even more successful.
Secret #3: They’re consistent
75 percent of companies with the most successful content marketing programs say they always or frequently deliver content consistently. Compare that with 33 percent of those with the least successful content marketing who say they deliver content consistently.
Content marketing isn’t a one-off strategy. You aren’t going to hit it out of the ballpark if you just publish one blog post a month – or on an as-needed basis – no matter how good the content is. You have to produce content on an ongoing basis to drive consistent results.
Assess your resources and determine how often you can create content – realistically.
Then bake that scheduling into your content marketing strategy and follow through with it. It helps to create a schedule around your most important topics or goals, so you’ve got ideas ready to go and you’re not coming up dry when it’s time to produce your next piece of content.
If you’re looking for ways to make content creation easier, check out this blog post for some great free tools.
Secret #4: Their strategy is documented
62 percent of companies with the most successful content marketing programs say their strategies are documented. Compare that with 16 percent of those with the least successful content marketing who say their strategy is documented.
It’s hard to be consistent or generate results if your strategy isn’t documented. Yet, 63 percent of companies report they haven’t done this yet!
Document your strategy to …
1. Add layer of quality assurance
You can compare your content against your strategy to ensure it meets the criteria of what you want to publish and supports the goals you’re working toward. This also prevents off-brand content from slipping onto your website.
2. Stay on schedule
If your strategy says you publish content twice a week, then you’re a lot less likely to miss a couple of weeks because your team gets busy. It’s as simple as that.
3. Measure your results
At your quarterly review, you can easily present your results to supervisors. Show them how you’ve fulfilled the strategy and how the outcome stacks up to what you set out to achieve.
Secret #5: Measure content marketing ROI
55 percent of companies with the most successful content marketing programs say their teams are measuring ROI. Compare that with 18 percent of those that are the least successful content marketers who say they’re measuring ROI.
This goes back to the point above. Don’t just publish content and cross your fingers that it’s working. Make sure you’re tracking the results and measuring them against your KPIs.
Without tracking this data, you will never know if what you’re doing is working, or if you need to change your approach to be more successful. With this information, you can easily prove the value of your content marketing contributions to the business.