The new year brings new opportunities to create content that shines.
As you launch into 2019, consider turning over a new leaf with your content marketing efforts.
Here are nine suggestions to get you started:
1. Stop thinking quantity-first; start thinking quality-first.
A lot of small-business owners get hung up on content volume—and though it’s important to be consistent in your content development, remember that quality matters more than quantity.
For many companies, the overwhelming majority of their online engagement comes through just 5 percent of their content. That’s because that one high-quality, in-depth blog post you develop is ultimately way more meaningful than 10 micro-blogs you dash off in an afternoon.
Resolve to produce good stuff this year, as opposed to cranking out a lot of OK stuff.
2. Stop guessing, and start measuring.
Many businesses invest big bucks in content marketing but almost nothing in measurement and analytics. Simply put, if you’re going to invest in any marketing channel, you should know how well it’s performing for you.
This doesn’t have to be some big, technical, or expensive undertaking. Google Analytics is free and user-friendly. Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite come with their own built-in reporting features. Start paying attention to metrics.
3. Create a way for your whole team to participate.
Here’s a simple approach: Create a sharable Google Document so everyone on your team can log content ideas they come across or relay questions from customers—all of which could inspire your next blog post or e-book.
There’s no reason why every person in your company shouldn’t feel empowered to suggest new directions in content.
4. Document everything.
Keep track of your content marketing efforts—who writes what, how often you publish new content, etc. Documenting your efforts can help you hold yourself accountable and to identify potential areas of improvement. Again, it’s easy: A Google Doc or Excel spreadsheet is all you need.
5. Be consistent in the story you’re telling.
The content you produce tells the story of your brand; keep that narrative muddle-free.
Ask yourself: What’s your mission? What’s your value proposition? What problems do you solve, and what customer pain points do you address? Why would a customer choose you over your competitors?
Ponder these questions, and document your answers—creating a brand narrative you can refer to often, making sure all your content reinforces that central message.
6. Start thinking of yourself as a publisher.
Top companies have become publishers, showcasing their expertise to a large social media audience while maintaining total control over their brand narrative.
7. Unite SEO and content marketing.
Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to generate targeted terms for your content—deploying them for SEO effect but also using them as jumping-off points for topics.
8. Go live.
The thought of livestreaming might be intimidating for you, but it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Livestreaming—be it on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube—allows for candid, off-the-cuff interaction with your audience in the form of a quick hello, a product update or even an audience Q&A.
9. Flip your formula.
Recycle a popular blog post as the script for a YouTube or Instagram video.
If you have an affinity for Facebook Live, use one of your popular broadcasts as the basis for a downloadable PDF.
Think outside your usual format—shake things up, inspire new ideas, and give your audience something beyond the ordinary.
A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.