A new year is on the horizon, and with it, the desire to be our best selves. While that can mean buying a gym membership or kicking off a juice cleanse, don’t leave your content strategy off your 2019 resolution list. A brand new year is a great time to roll out new initiatives, set annual goals, and examine what has—and hasn’t—been working.
Here are five ways to shake up your content marketing and experience strategies to make 2019 your most engaged year yet.
1. Make SEO and Content Strategy One
For those new to the online content game, achieving good search engine optimization for your posts may resemble wishful thinking more than an actual strategy. But while writing about topics that are genuinely relevant to your audience is always best practice, you’re missing out if you’re not using your landing page keywords to inform at least part of your content planning.
If you aren’t already, it’s time to get familiar with Google’s Keyword Planner tool to identify the best keywords for your top converting landing pages, and then establish strategic link backs, both through your own content platform, and by connecting and collaborating with high-quality domains relevant to your audience.
For example, as a real estate brokerage, two of Zoocasa’s high-priority keyword terms are houses for sale and townhouses for sale. We set up high-quality link backs to these specific landing pages by creating relevant real estate data infographics to host on our blog. Not only are we linking internally via this targeted content, but these posts are also shared and linked to via our content partners and media outlets, supporting both our inbound and outbound linking strategies.
2. Rethink Your Usual Format
When it comes to content, variety is the spice of life. If you tend to use the same content format over and over, now is the perfect time to integrate something new. For example, if your blog is predominantly made up of short-form, listicle-based posts, try investing in a longer-form piece with investigative reporting, expert interviews, and in-depth summaries. If your content is predominantly made up of “evergreen” pieces on the basics pertaining to your industry, try providing commentary and opinion on current events.
It’s also important to package your content in new ways, keeping your readership’s desired method of content consumption in mind. A few ways this could work include:
Repurposing a highly trafficked evergreen or basics post into a video
Illustrating statistics-heavy content with a visual, such as an infographic
Including links to podcasts and webinars to provide further commentary on particularly relevant topics
Including conversion points to download ebooks and white papers to further expand on concepts you’ve introduced on your blog
3. Plan a Good Ol’ Fashioned Blog QA
Like all of us, your blog could likely benefit from a checkup to ensure all is working as it should be, whether or not you utilize a hard-coded publishing platform or a ready-made WordPress theme:
QA your user flow with a simple click-through. Are all navigation buttons functioning properly? Are any links broken or leading to 404s?
Do new readers have an accessible starting point to consume your content? Ensure popular and evergreen posts are prominently featured, whether in sticky posts, or with sidebar placement
Head into the back-end and clean up any broken or outdated plug-ins
Reassess the layout of your sidebar. Is it visually cluttered? Does it provide clear navigation, easy access to popular content, and sign-up for your newsletter?
Have your categories and tags been crafted effectively? Remember that external-facing categories can act as a “table of contents” for your blog and should cover topics you write frequently about; top questions posed by your reader base is a great starting point for determining this. Clear out any outdated or redundant categories, and ensure each post is accurately categorized in the front-end and tagged in the back-end
4. Optimize Your Content Calendar
While spontaneity can have its rewards, that’s rarely the case with content—it’s well worth the time and effort to plan out a backbone of topics and themes to roll out throughout the year. Key to this process is establishing good content cadence, and that starts with your site’s user personas and customer journey. What are the top questions or needs your users have? Is your messaging created with those needs in mind? Does the tone of your content resonate with these needs, while still being engaging and entertaining?
Next on your list should be determining the most effective publishing frequency and post hierarchy to keep your readership continuously engaged. Articles need not be one and done; crafting serial content that creates a logic flow along the most common concepts and questions in your readers’ customer journey is a surefire way to create repeat visitors.
5. Empower Your Team
If you’re trying to expand the reach of your content and social media, your efforts should go beyond just the marketing team. Having coworkers across your organization share your content can effectively bring in fresh eyeballs, but getting them to champion it can be a challenge. At Zoocasa, we mobilize our best resource—our in-house team of real estate agents—by taking the guesswork out of sharing. Providing pre-written Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram post copy makes sharing our content a snap, and ensures social outreach is always aligned with our messaging.