Now that we are already halfway through January, you may be looking at your list of New Year resolutions and feeling overwhelmed. We always start with the best intentions on New Year’s Day but somehow by the time the Superbowl kicks off, we’ve given up on our list and gone back to our bad habits of the prior year. This year, resolve to build better business practices, especially when it comes to your Content Marketing. Your goals for 2013 shouldn’t be simply to recreate your successes from last year. Here are 10 Resolutions for Content Marketers to help you step up your game:
1. Try Something New
Don’t be afraid to stray from your usual content creation path. There are so many content marketing tools available now (and more being developed each day) that you could try something new each month for an entire year: blogs, videos, photo sharing, webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, podcasts and case studies. Experiment with publishing on different channels: your website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. You don’t want to have too many balls in the air, but chances are, there’s a forum for your business that you haven’t yet explored.
2. Measure Success
Delving into unchartered territory doesn’t mean you do so blind. It’s imperative to measure the results of your marketing campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not. But often, the analytics is where marketers fall short. A recent eMarketer Survey asked marketers if they could effectively measure ROI. Only 47% of marketers believed they could measure ROI for email marketing, 41% for direct mail, 40% for online ads and the percentages continue to decrease. That’s why it’s important to have the right tools to measure your impact. So this year, resolve to actively use Google Analytics at the very least.
3. Go Mobile
Your customers are mobile, but is your website? This year, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online and users expect that mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience. In fact, 61% of customers say they will move on to another site if they don’t see what they are looking for in a mobile site. But only 1 in 8 small businesses has a mobile-friendly site, and the numbers aren’t much better for bigger companies. So, go ahead and build that site that supports the on-the-go needs of your customers. You can’t afford not to any longer.
4. Commit to Your Blog
You may be already a part of the blogosphere, but this year, commit to consistency for your customers. The more frequently you post, the more reason there is for people to return to your site. But be realistic about your goals. It’s better to blog once a week and meet that challenge regularly than promise to post once a day and never live up to that expectation. It’s also better to produce quality content over quantity, so make sure you can realistically keep up with the goals you’ve set or find help if you need it.
5. Embrace Video
Last year was a banner year for online video marketing, and experts predict that trend will continue in 2013. According to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey, 70% of B2B marketers are now creating videos. That’s a significant hike from 58% in 2011. In fact, video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic overall. New technology has made video production easier and more attainable for companies of all sizes. With the popularity of online video (YouTube gets 4 billion hits each day), it’s easy to see why more companies are becoming camera ready.
6. Clean up your social media houses
When you first joined a social media channel, you probably did so with gusto in an attempt to reach anyone and everyone. But now that your company has a substantial following, it’s time to clean house. Set up Twitter lists and Facebook subscribe options so you can segment your following among customers, industry, competitors and filter by what you care about the most. Update all of your social profiles and edit them for continuity and a seamless presentation of your brand. Also make sure your logo, company info and pictures are current and consistent.
7. Join the Conversation
You know you should read and comment on other industry blogs to build your brand and direct some traffic to your own blog. So this year, do it. Set aside 15 minutes a day to peruse blogs in your company’s niche and say something useful. Don’t waste your time and others who read your post by saying something like “Great post, Scott.” As the Blog Marketing Academynotes, “Every comment should be something worth reading.” Also, have a gravatar and be sure to use your real name or your brand name when commenting on another blog.
8. Listen to your audience
You may think you know your customers, but this year, find out if your perception is actually reality. Reconnect with your audience with email surveys, monitoring online review sites like Yelp and pay attention to what people are saying about you on social media. And if that happens to be negative, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The management of Zingerman’s, an Ann Arbor deli which has blossomed into eight businesses, understands that a customer complaint is an opportunity to connect with that customer and turn the situation around. They have been teaching “5 Steps to Effectively Handling Complaints” for 20 years to both their own employees and other businesses through their training business, ZingTrain.
9. Learn Something New
This year, resolve to improve yourself as you enhance your business. Sign up for that conference you’ve been considering, take a class or read a book. As a content marketer, you have plenty of choices, including many free e-books. One of our favorites is “100 Content Marketing Examples” by Joe Pulizzi and the team at Content Marketing Institute. If you are looking for new ideas or want to see what your competitors are doing, this is an excellent resource.
10. Know When You Need Help
The most important resolution of this year should be recognizing when you can't do it all. Whether that’s hiring another employee, creating a marketing team or outsourcing a Content Marketing agency, it’s important to get help to reach these new goals we’ve outlined above. Don’t be that person who resolves to get their Content Marketing in order… for 2014.
If you need help with your 2013 Content Marketing strategy, contact us to learn more about how we can help you tackle this resolution list and keep your content moving forward.