Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires a long-term, strategic approach to not only build strong content assets, but get them in front of your audiences.
For these reasons, content marketing initiatives often fall on the back burner to accommodate more urgent obligations like sales or operations. However, you can’t expect to grow without delivering useful information that addresses customers’ needs and concerns, raises awareness of your products and services, and differentiates you from competitors.
If you’re questioning the sustainability of your content marketing program, use these tips to help you manage your to-do list.
Tip #1: Work smarter, not harder
Does your content marketing ecosystem function like a well-oiled machine or could it use a tune up? Many brands produce content without a strategy or editorial plan. Too often, this leads to wasted time and efforts, and likely won’t garner positive results.
At Muse, we believe quality trumps quantity. Therefore, if you're up against time constraints, it’s more important to create a few high-impact pieces (videos, trend reports, whitepapers, etc.) that give you a substantial bump in traffic. In terms of specific topics, a content audit helps you determine what’s worked in the past versus what’s not worth touching again. During this process, review key metrics such as page/video views, click through rates, downloads, etc. and see what rises to the top. You can also add some subjective metrics to the mix like headline, image and copy quality.
Once complete, you’re armed with a tool that allows you to rationalize your next wave of topics and priorities. Not only is it helpful for the marketing team, but helps you communicate decisions to C-Suite or board members.
Tip #2: Plan your content calendar quarterly
Structuring content development with an organized editorial calendar creates a more seamless process. Not only does it keep you organized and goal-centered, but it empowers you to delegate weekly or monthly responsibilities across your team.
We recommend mapping out a quarterly theme and planning educational topics that ladder up to that big idea. This helps you avoid content chaos and establishes your thought leadership in specific areas. It’s impossible to be an expert on everything, so this approach alleviates that burden.
Your editorial calendar document - whether it lives in Google Sheets or a tool like AirTable - should include your goals, quarterly themes, topic breakdowns, abstracts, deadlines, subject matter experts and more. Reference our latest editorial calendar guide for more support.
Tip#3: Repurpose old content
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and create brand new content every time. Old yet high performing content can easily become relevant again. You can reference new studies or statistics, tie in current events or offer an alternative perspective.
Just don’t forget to update the publish date!
Tip #4: Outsource to the experts
If time and budget allow, an experienced consultant or writer can help you build a robust content library quickly. Especially if your team is weighed down by other priorities, a writer can take these items off of their plate. They can interview team members or customers to capture the topic’s most important takeaways. The only thing for you to do is review the final pieces and populate content on the proper platforms.
Tip #5: Leverage partnerships
Partnerships allow you to extend your reach further than you can alone. It also gives you the chance to take advantage of their expertise, knowledge and network.
Perhaps you can team up for a social media Q&A or a webinar, like this one we participated in with a digital marketing agency partner, Web Talent Management. Or, you can exchange guest blogs for each other’s websites. For example, we’ve invited some of our clients and colleagues to participate in timely and relevant guest blogs, such as this one on How Culture Sets Your Brand Apart featuring branding and culture expert, Caroline Barni, CMO of Tech Elevator.
Regardless of what type of partnerships you form, make sure the benefits for each party are clear and achievable.
Set your mind at ease
Content marketing gives you a platform to engage your audience, become a continuous part of their lives and, ultimately, drive sales momentum for your business. While content strategy and development tasks can seem overwhelming at first, these recommendations offer simple ways to establish a successful and sustainable program.
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