If your content marketing has slowed down or stagnated in 2017, all hope is not lost. The New Year represents new opportunities. It brings a fresh start to your content planning and strategy. Surely, there are practices that you will have to let go of. But there are also current and possibly novel ones that you will have to embrace.
To begin, get familiar with these 7 facts about content marketing that will help you create a fresh and better strategy in 2018:
Fact #1: Content creation does not equate to content writing
It’s as good as saying you should go beyond churning out blog posts and explore multiple formats next year. According to search engine optimization (SEO) expert, Neil Patel, hiring content writers will no longer cut it. You should account for a broad range of media types and channels. Patel lists video production and editing, communications and branding, and advertising and media buying as among the areas for which you should hire talents, if you haven’t done so yet.
Fact #2: Consumers are after building relationships with brands
As a marketer, you need to think about your company’s bottom line. However, you’re also expected to bridge the gap between your organization and its audience. Which do you prioritize? The thing is, you have to work on building a relationship before selling to the latter. Understand what your target segment’s most pressing questions are and use social media to provide them with answers. Be available on Twitter chat or host a Facebook Live session.
Fact #3: Big data and analytics are not going anywhere
These two subjects are still going to take center stage in 2018. Not only will they be helpful during decision-making times, but they will also be instrumental in generating marketing Return On Investment (ROI). As such, your team should be able to express value numerically. This 2018, train your staff to become more familiar with big data and analytics. You can introduce tools like Cyfe, which describes itself as an “all-in-one business dashboard”, if you are after the seamless integration of all the areas (social media, web analytics, marketing, etc.) your people need to monitor.
Fact #4: Automation can be the answer
Time management remains one of the biggest challenges for marketers. However, tasks that consume a big chunk of your staff’s schedule may differ from others. So instead of relying on a template, seek a solution that is specific to your circumstances. In other words, automate those parts that will work with minimal input. Then focus on those that matter to your strategy the most, like content creation, key performance indicator analysis, and audience engagement. Try tools that help you streamline processes such as BuzzSumo for content curation, Buffer social sharing, and Mention for monitoring.
Fact #5: There will be more than 5000 technologies in the New Year
The rapid growth in the number of technological tools available to marketers is astounding. In 2011, there were around 150 to choose from. By 2015, there were more than 2000. In 2018, you will have to decide which among the 5000+ are right for you. Pick those that require minimal central administration and work for your loudest naysayers. The key here is to find simple solutions and prioritize people and process over technology. And do not over analyze, says Marcia Riefer Johnston of the Content Marketing Institute.
Fact #6: Sales and marketing have more overlapping tasks than both teams recognize
Sales needs to know where marketing is headed in order to align its strategy and goals with the latter’s. After all, both teams make up the revenue team. Letting salespeople know what to expect from marketers should be a regular part of your 2018.
Fact #7: Consistency is still key
Finally, do not worry if you felt your progress was slow in 2017. It is not just that the New Year brings a fresh start to your company, team, and strategy. There is actually a logical reason to continue doing what you have begun.
According to Neil Patel from earlier, 60% of B2B marketers saw better improvements and ROI in 2017 than a year ago. That meant that many experienced the positive effects of their content strategy after a while. Good things take time. But if you don’t stop, you’ll get the results you have been working to achieve. Perhaps it is this year. Are you ready to take on the challenge?