Is It Time to Reboot Your Content Marketing Strategy?

October 10, 2013 Mark Sherbin

Like any good superhero movie, your content marketing may require a reboot from time to time. Doing so will force you to face some hard realities.

Scary though it may be, asking the tough questions is something successful marketers do on a daily basis. If your content marketing isn’t producing the results you want, it might be time to consider a new approach.

Rebooting your content marketing strategy can be a frightening proposition. It’s also an exciting one. If you were the architect of the original program, it gives you the opportunity to start fresh with what you know now about content marketing. If someone else started your program, you get a chance to do things your way.

Whatever the case, a content marketing program that doesn’t produce as much as you put into it needs a serious reevaluation. It’s never too late to start fresh. But how do you know when it’s time?

How to tell if things have grown stale

A stale content marketing program can be tough to recognize, especially if it’s your baby. Here are three pretty strong indicators that you should start tearing down and rebuilding.

1. Is more than ten percent of your blog content company-related?

When corporate blogging burst out of the gate, people weren’t quite sure what to write about. Content marketing as a strategy was still taking shape. As a result, quite a few companies filled much of the space with announcements and other company-specific content.

Company-related content has its place. Customers may care about certain kinds of news. Some content helps put a human touch on your brand. In general, you should be posting company-related content less than ten percent of the time you post blog content.

It may be time for a reboot if you’re still in the rut of lots and lots of company-specific news.

2. Are you actually converting readers into followers and customers?

A mature content marketing program measures more than just its readership. If you aren’t converting readers into customers, what’s the point?

Content marketing that doesn’t convert is the “writing on the wall.” It’s a hard truth to accept, but it means a low return on investment. Executives won’t tolerate a program with a low return on investment for very long.

You could have a loyal readership of 40,000 strong. If they aren’t buying, then your program is failing. It’s time for a reboot.

3. Can you identify significant differentiators between your program and your competitor’s?

Competition in business has always been about differentiation. A product or service that’s wildly superior to those of the rest of your industry means nothing without a positioning that shows why you’re different.

Apply those same principles to your content marketing. In its early stages, lots of businesses saw what the competition was doing and sought to replicate it. Doing the same thing as your competitor does little to get you ahead. Most of the time you’ll find yourself playing catch-up.

If your program looks like your competitor’s, it’s probably time to start thinking fresh. Rebooting can be pretty complicated. Where do you start?

Where to press reset

Rebooting your content marketing program doesn’t mean starting from scratch. You can salvage pieces of your program. But fundamental elements must change. Below are 6 common places your content marketing may need a refresher.

1. Distribution Channels

Are you a B2B brand still actively using Facebook to distribute content? Are you missing out on Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn? Ineffective content distribution may require a major shift in how you approach social as a content distribution method.

2. Data Collection

Are you measuring the percentage of your audience that converts? Is your analytics platform so simplistic or underutilized that you don’t have the numbers to use as benchmarks for success? Data collection represents a huge opportunity for renewal.

3. Content Management

Does your CMS give you the ability to deliver customized content? Is it tough to optimize websites for mobile? You may want to consider a new content management system, one outfitted for cutting-edge features like personalized calls to action and simple device optimization.

4. Design

Is your website design or e-book template dull? Are there too few pictures on the page? Do users have trouble figuring out where to go next after they finish reading an article or watching a video? A simple design refresh can go a long way for revamping your content marketing.

5. Format

Do you spend an overwhelming amount of time on blog posts? Have you ever experimented with e-books, videos, or pictures? Your audience may be more interested in consuming content in a different format. Consider allocating more time to these formats.

6. Content Type

Is your content too technical for your audience? Are you writing about topics you find interesting without considering if the audience is interested? Topical writing is totally dependent on what your audience finds valuable. You may need to reevaluate your approach here.

Have you rebooted your content marketing?

Where did you need to make changes? What were the results? Share your experience with us in the comments.

About the Author

Mark Sherbin is a freelance writer specializing in technology and content marketing. He shares occasionally insightful information at Copywriting Is Dead, where he promotes authentic communication between organizations and their audiences. Say hello on Twitter: @MarkSherbin.

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