Cheers to another great year of marketing hits — and even those misses. As you stare down a fresh set of stretch goals for 2014, here are some achievable content marketing resolutions to help you get there faster.
If 2013 was the launching pad for your content marketing program, congratulations on a year well spent! If you’re already deep in the trenches of content marketing, well, then you’re in great company. No matter where we are or where we’ve been, there’s no question that content marketing will be bigger and better (and potentially more complicated) than ever in 2014!
Here are some resolutions I believe all content marketers should be making to make this year even more successful.
7 Content Marketing Resolutions for 2014
1) Get More Focused
Content marketing advice is everywhere. While I personally couldn’t be more excited to spend countless hours reading (and I’m being serious) the “8 Reasons I Must Use Triberr” or the “6 Ways to Get More Business on Google Plus,” there comes a time when you just have to start making some decisions.
Take action, measure results, and commit to continuing a tactic or ditching it. I know that’s a simplified approach, but this year, trust what you know and try not to get too distracted by the 17 new ideas thrown at you on Feedly each morning.
2) Stop Talking about Keywords
Get over it. This is Google’s world and we’re just living in it. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but what’s even more dramatic is how insane everyone got with the changes in the algorithm this year. You can’t possibly believe that when you paid for sketchy links that they would always do positive things for your site, can you? Well, the same goes for keyword stuffing, link stuffing, junk stuffing and whatever other silly short-term fixes you’ve implemented over the years.
Start focusing on what you can control and stop obsessing about the things you can’t (ahem, keyword data).
3) Be More Analytical
Particularly in the world of B2B content marketing, we all need to get a better understanding of our audience. For the most part, your numbers aren’t going to compete with B2C giants who have seven different buyer personas and staggering page views. For a lot of you out there, your prospects are specific niche of a specific industry with very specific needs.
While it’s great you’re measuring traffic and bounce rate, how well do you know your audience? Now is the time to dig into how people got to you, what they thought about you while they were there, and where they went once they left.
4) Listen to Your Audience…Really Listen
As Google’s algorithm changes and our reliance on search data becomes harder to rely on, we need to become even more vigilant about listening to what our readers, prospects, or customers are saying about our content. What do they want? What do they like? What are they sharing?
And I’m not just talking about using metrics. You certainly need to hone in on the data that tells a story (see #3), but when’s the last time you held a focus group, conducted an in-depth survey, or made a conscious effort to build real relationships with your audience?
At OpenView, I’m starting even smaller with Google Plus hangouts with marketers in our portfolio to get honest answers about what they like on our blog and Labs site, and what isn’t useful. Feel free to get creative with how you connect with your audience, just be sure you do it.
5) Try a New Channel
We have a lot of work to do and a lot of places to share our content as marketers. It’s easy to get a rhythm down and settle for what’s working. But, what about all of the tactics or channels you’re using that aren’t working?
This year, resolve to try something different and take a risk (without getting too sidetracked). Do you have a little extra budget that you could spend on Facebook ads? Give it a whirl. It may be worth your while.
Do you share content in the same G+ communities just because that’s where you’re a member? Why not give it a rest for a month and spend those minutes or hours joining and sharing into LinkedIn groups instead.
It’s impossible to do everything all at the same time, so choose one month per quarter to test something out. The worst that can happen is you go back to what’s already “working” for you.
6) Turn Down Your Megaphone Volume
We may have finally reached a point of social media saturation and people are going to start looking for some time away from the their devices…at least sometimes. We’re snapping, instagramming, and vining our entire lives for everyone to see — and in turn, there’s just so much more to take in.
This year, I challenge you to be more thoughtful about your social strategy (I’m not saying you aren’t thoughtful now, just be more thoughtful). Be more targeted and instead of hitting a certain quota for how many times you’ll share a blog post or how many outlets you’ll update regularly, choose what you share and when you share it more carefully so that when you speak, your audience will listen.
7) Be More Human
Just, because. If we all just committed to this in the first place, we probably wouldn’t be making long-winded lists of resolutions in the first place now would we!