Last week, we looked at ways to prepare your social media marketing for the new year. To continue the trend of getting your online marketing strategy ready for 2013, in this post we’ll look at ways to make sure your content marketing is ready for a successful new year.
See What Content Did Best in 2012
To be successful in the future, you have to measure the results of your past efforts. Otherwise you will be blindly pursuing results in your content marketing campaign. If you used content marketing in the past year, here’s what you will want to do to analyze your success with on-site content..
- Measure the data for your on-site content. If you are using Google Analytics, you can go to Content > Site Content > All Pages. Change the date to examine data for the entire year. Now you will see the most popular pages / content on your website. Note bounce rate, average time on page, bounce rate, and exit rate. The content with the longest time one page and least exit rate is probably your best content in terms of keeping visitors on your website.
- Look at your conversions. If you have things like a mailing list opt-in or lead submission form on every page of your website and you set up Google Analytics to track it as a goal, then you can see which content led to the most mailing list signup / lead submission conversions by going to Conversions > Goals > Goal URLs. Content that leads to the most conversions should definitely be noted.
- Look at social engagement. If you don’t worry too much about your analytics, then look at the social engagement around your content. Content that receives lots of social sharing (tweets, likes, +1’s, etc.) leads to more exposure for your business.
When it comes to off-site content (videos on YouTube, guest posts, etc.), you will be analyzing different information. Particularly the following.
- Look at your traffic sources. When it comes to off-site content, you will want to know which opportunities led to the most visitors by diving into referral traffic in Google Analytics. Better yet, if you have goals set up, you’ll want to know which opportunities led to the most visitors who completed goals.
- Use Advanced Segments. One great way to see how different types of content marketing are working for you is through the use of Advanced Segments in Google Analytics. For example, if you have a steady video marketing campaign and you share your videos across multiple networks, add those networks to a segment for video marketing. Then you will see your analytics data based on just traffic from your video marketing. Do this for top sites you guest post upon, presentation networks, and any other content distribution networks that bring you traffic.
- Take advantage of outside analytics. Want to know how well your videos performed for your video marketing campaign? Look at your YouTube Analytics. Particularly note things like how long videos were watched vs. how long the videos are so you know the attention span of your target audience. Also, look at things like engagement, whether the video captures a targeted geographic audience, what sites embed your video, and other data that relates to your video marketing goals. For other types of content, like presentations, look at the main networks you use and whether the offer analytics. SlideShare, for example, offers premium plans with more in-depth data about how your presentations are performing.
Once you’ve done the above things, you should have a good idea of what works.
Create a Content Development Strategy for 2013
Based on what you found out in the above analysis, you will want to plan to do the following for the following year.
- Set up an editorial calendar. Think about the content you want to produce in the coming year: on-site blog posts, guest posts, videos, infographics, presentations, ebooks, whitepapers, and so forth. Then decide how often you would like to produce these pieces of content: three on-site blog posts per week, two guest posts a month, one video per month, one ebook or whitepaper per quarter, etc. Now put those items and their frequencies on your editorial calendar.
- Assign people in charge of your content development. Are you planning to have specific employees or outside resources handle content creation? Figure out who will be producing your content as well as who will be in charge of editing and publishing content.
- Keep a backup of your content. Websites come and go. If you are producing off-site content, be sure to keep a copy of it on file in case the site you submit to one day disappears. You can always update the content and submit it on a new website.
- Don’t forget about repurposing. The idea of creating all of the above mentioned types of content may be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Information within blog posts can easily be converted to other formats. Series of blog posts can be compiled into ebooks. Look for opportunities to use one piece of content in many ways.
Create a Content Promotion Strategy for 2013
Content marketing is not just about creating content. It’s about promoting that content so that it can become a valuable asset for your online marketing. Here are the top ways to promote your content, both on-site and off.
- Share it on social media networks. Be sure to let your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn followers know about your latest content. If applicable, also share your content within groups on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn for extra exposure.
- Send it to your mailing list. Don’t just send promotions and sales to your mailing list subscribers. Send them valuable content that demonstrates your expertise and you’re likely to turn subscribers into customers.
- Ask bloggers to get the word out. If you have built good relationships with bloggers in your industry, an occasional request for one of them to share your content in their next blog post (especially if they do curated roundup posts) never hurts.
- Encourage others to share your content. Be sure to have the top social sharing buttons on your website including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. And while you don’t have control of social sharing buttons on websites other than your own, you can still include calls to tweet your post and use free tools like Click to Tweet to make it easy for people to do so.
What other ways are you preparing your content marketing for 2013? Please share in the comments!