In the Key of Inbound

24 Hours To Improve Your Content Strategy

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 19, 2017 3:43:42 PM / by Victoria Greene

24 Hours To Improve Your Content Strategy

Content marketing is a huge online commerce driver, but is it feasible to improve your content marketing strategy in a mere 24 hours? What can you do if you’re pushed for time and need to focus on getting measurable results, fast? How can you create a content strategy that will stand the test of time? First off: stop throwing money at pointless advertising and bring things back to the people who really matter: your customers. Here are nine actionable ways that you can improve your content strategy in one day.


Review your attribution models

Are your attribution models as good as they could, and should be? Correctly attributing customer actions to content marketing is notoriously difficult, but it’s so crucial when it comes to justifying content marketing ROI. Without proper attribution, you will be left in the dark when it comes to the specifics of your content marketing efforts.

A good place to start is to review your content attribution model: are you using a single-touch, multi-touch, or linear model? What model you need comes down to your customers and your sales cycle. Are customers engaging with you across a wide range of sales channels? How quickly do your customers tend to convert? A single-touch model is the simplest one, but most brands will probably benefit from a multi-touch model as multichannel marketing becomes the norm.

Attribution modeling may seem quite techy, but it all boils down to aligning your content strategy with your sales funnel. In the ideal world, customers would be gently led down the funnel by the power of your content. That won’t always happen, but it’s a good ideal to aspire to.

If you have yet to decide on an attribution model, or even map your content onto a sales funnel: start now.

 

Get out the office for 30 minutes

The high-pressure world of content can engender stress and people ‘freezing up’ — breaks are key. Content marketing strategy doesn’t thrive under stress.

Let me explain: sitting at a desk all day, staring at a screen, is not the best way to get all those creative content juices flowing. Getting outside, enjoying some fresh air, and having a break, are great things to do just before a big content ideation session. Being out and about, and observing the world around us helps bring out the inner writer in us all.

Equally, content creators and writers should be allowed to work from home, or from coffee shops from time to time. Intensive writing days can help people with writer’s block, and bring more creative ideas back to the business.

 

Document your findings

Do you have a central place where people can go and share interesting content articles, tips, and tools? What about a resource library of best practices, or brands you inspire to be?

Content marketing isn’t just a reactive tactic, it’s a long-term business strategy. So give it the same amount of gravitas, by documenting the content marketing process and resources in one central location.

Whether you use a tool like Trello, or prefer shared folders on Google Drive — create a framework for the future by providing a space for documentation. This will not only help improve team cohesion, but massively cut down on training costs too. Improving your content strategy is often about improving your processes, as well as your content creation process.

 

Revisit your data

Analytics, both real-time and predictive, are there to be analyzed.

The best thing to do for your content strategy is to embrace the crucial role that data plays in your content marketing strategy. Take advantage of all the digital data that is being fed back to you from various sales channels and platforms, and use these insights to improve your content engagement levels.

Even if all you do is log into Google Analytics or Facebook Insights and take a deep-dive into how recent posts are performing: do it. You can never know too much. In a day, you should be able to gather some actionable data on the content that’s currently performing well for you. Then it’s just the case of using that data to inform and design future strategy.

If you’re an ecommerce brand, it’s worth investing in some powerful marketing data tools to help you find out exactly what customers are doing on your site on a granular level.

 

Get commercial

Have you got clearly-defined commercial goals that underpin your content marketing strategy, or is it just a vague sense of ‘we need to create content’? If you haven’t really clarified the commercial role that content should play in your organization, stop and start thinking about it. How much revenue do you need to make this year? How can content help you achieve tangible sales results?

When it comes to ecommerce, content marketing can be a huge traffic and sales driver. But even companies who are not working in a product-led business, can learn some lessons from ecommerce entrepreneurs who take their content marketing to a whole new level through savvy tactics like content curation. The success of the content curation methodology just goes to show how great content marketing doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.

 

Execute a campaign

Have you run a targeted content campaign? With measurable outcomes, tracking, and KPIs in place? If not, today is a good day to start. You can start with something very simple: a couple of new Facebook ads, or an e-shot that’s going out to promote a relevant blog post. Starting with a small campaign will help you see how easy it is to get measurable results with content marketing (and don’t forget to document the process).

While there are definitely some issues with being too campaign-led with your content marketing strategy, running a few campaigns, especially seasonal ones, will help you improve your strategy.

 

Spend one hour being inspired

Finding inspiration online isn’t hard: there are so many places to go and wander through a digital forest of images, music, and video. Learning from others, eyeing up the competition, and aspiring to becoming more like the big brands, is time well-spent.

Allow yourself about 30 to 60 minutes of free ‘research’ time, where you give yourself the freedom to look around, exploring the industry and content marketplace. Take a note of any interesting formats or ideas you encounter. Document your findings to help you inform future campaigns, and make this a regular thing.

Some inspiring places to start include visual platforms and sites like Pinterest, DeathToTheStockPhoto and Burst — explore how visual content can help you tell your content stories in a more interesting way: a few well-chosen photos can quickly supercharge a blog post.

Content marketing secret: replicate what someone else has done, but just make it better. Simple.

 

Invest in one good tool

Have you got any content marketing tools that you like to use? If not, it’s probably time to invest in at least one good tool that will help you get more out of your content efforts. From scheduling and content research, to design and data-mining, there is a tool for every single content marketing tactic.

Thanks to the freemium model, you can take advantage of free trials and free accounts in order to test tools out, settling for the ones that really help you scale and save time.

In today’s world where starting a business in 24 hours is possible, content teams need to think fast. Though 24 hours is not a long time in the grand scheme of things, high-level thinking and fast decisions will move the content needle for your brand or business in a day. Combine both the creative and technical elements of content in order to make the most of your time.

 

Download our 6 Keys to Planning an Inbound Marketing Strategy Book

 

Image credit: Wikimedia

Topics: Strategy

Victoria Greene

Written by Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is an ecommerce branding expert who loves to help businesses grow. She’s also a freelance writer and runs her own blog at victoriaecommerce.com. Big advocate of fast and furious content marketing that cuts straight to the point.