Content Marketing Strategy and [Free Year-End Checklist]
A Year-End Content Marketing Strategy
For marketers – professionals who measure every metric in order to tell themselves and their clients what’s working – the end of the calendar year is a special gift: It’s time to measure what went right in 2015 and what to change and improve upon when defining your 2016 content marketing strategy. To make life easier, download your free 2015 Year-End Marketing Worksheets.
How do you measure success?
Let’s start with what went right. Start your measurements from the beginning of each campaign and note what it was designed to do:
- Generate more leads?
- Attract more visitors to your website?
- Convert visitors to subscribers?
- Get more email opt-ins?
- Make the cash register go ka-ching!?
If you were successful, do you know why? Continuous improvement is a mandate. What will you tweak the next time to get even more leads, visitors, conversions and opt-ins?
Share the news of your success with the rest of the company. Share it with the sales department. Toot your own horn to management. Celebrate your wins and take the opportunity to ask what their needs, goals and priorities are for the upcoming year.
With this feedback in hand, determine which content you can repurpose. Can that presentation deck to the industry association become a SlideShare presentation? (LinkedIn now owns SlideShare, so this can only help your SEO ranking) Can you turn that popular blog post into a content offer such as a Checklist or Infographic? Repurposing content you already know is good takes far less effort than creating brand-new content, so look to re-use popular content whenever you can.
Examine Each Channel
Next, conduct the same exercise for your social media efforts.
- Which channels performed best?
- Which deserve more time, money, and attention?
- Will you add new distribution channels in 2016?
- Will you drop poor performing ones?
Which campaigns were most successful? Did you take enough time to analyze which keywords evoked the most response and whether there was a pattern to the titles of your most popular posts?
Often during the year we will make an observation or ponder a hunch. Now is the time to look a little deeper at these ideas and, after examining the data, develop these thoughts into further plans. Which blog post was most shared? Which had the most comments? Which generated the most new subscribers? Who can you partner with and exchange guest blogs in 2016 to bring additional value to your readers?
Do the same for your website.
- Which of your website pages were most visited this year?
- Does each web page have a specific focus and Call-to-Action?
- Where did your website visitors come from?
- Can you track the page they were on before they came to your site?
You need to look at your website in other ways, too. The conventional wisdom of just a few years back was that you could simply design your site and let it percolate for several months or a year before making changes. Today, successful websites are the result of nearly continuous examination and adjustment to make sure your message is sharp and you are driving the behavior of those you want to connect with.
Do the same kind of examination of all your content: your videos, your email campaigns and webinars. (You are doing all this, right?) This represents a small subset of the million little things necessary to make marketing work. It’s worth it. Need help? Download your free 2015 Year-End Marketing Worksheets here.
Different objectives for each campaign, segment and project
Don’t flinch on determining which projects were a total flop. The data doesn’t lie. Sometimes the best decision is to scrap it and start over. Make an effort to understand why some initiatives didn’t work and how you can adjust in the coming year. Was the whole thing a bad idea or just poorly executed? Would it work better in a different format or distribution channel or targeted at a different audience?
Plan for the New Year
Now you are ready to restart the process. As every marketer knows, your analysis and planning is never done. It’s time to plan for the coming year with a list of goals and strategies for 2016. Save time! Download your free 2015 Year-End Marketing Worksheets now.
In order to improve and make 2016 an even better year, think about the best use of your time. How do you achieve the highest ROI for what you personally do? Consider utilizing outside expertise if it frees up your time to do more of those high-productivity tasks. For example; I can change the oil in my car. But if it takes me two or three times as long as it takes the quick lube joint down the street, and their work frees me up to create a content offer that people will pay for in the same amount of time (while waiting for the oil to be changed), then it’s worth it for me to outsource the oil change.
It’s the same for you in your business. If an outside expert in web development or landing page design, or copywriting, or A/B testing or accounting can accomplish the task more efficiently than you can, AND it allows you to spend your time doing what you do best, then consider it a worthwhile tradeoff.
When you complete your analysis, you might find that you were more successful than you remembered. Take a moment to celebrate! You did good work this year and no doubt learned many new things. Then move confidently into 2016.
Share your 2015 marketing success (and what changes you plan to make) in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments!
At Crest, we help companies:
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists