7 Critical Content Marketing Housekeeping Steps for the New Year
Whether or not your company already has a content marketing strategy, the new year presents a golden opportunity to make some changes. Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to establish yourself as an industry authority, build an engaged and loyal audience, and spread the word about your business. If you’re looking to refresh your content strategy or create one from scratch, here are seven steps you should take to get started.
1. Define Your Goals
No content marketing strategy can be successful without some clearly defined goals. What are you looking to gain with your content? Do you want to attract more leads? Establish your brand’s authority? Bring in more traffic to your website? Narrow down your goals first to help guide your content as you go. Be sure your goals aren’t too vague; after all, there’s no concrete way to determine whether you’ve met the goal “bring in more traffic,” for instance. Follow the SMART goals guidelines here: your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
2. Conduct Keyword and Topic Research
To make sure your content reaches its intended audience, you’ll need to be writing about the right topics. So, what is your target audience searching for? You can discover this by conducting keyword and topic research. Not only will this research help to give you topic ideas for your content, but it can also help improve your SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, performance. Having a solid SEO keyword strategy can ensure your content is showing up in high-ranking spots on search engines, helping to bring the right people to your website. Use keyword research tools, like the one from Moz pictured below, to get started.
(image from https://moz.com/explorer#index)
3. Look Over Your Past Content
If you already have some content on your website, now is the time to review it. What types of content have been successful in the past? Which posts receive the most traffic? Are there specific types of content that your audience has been requesting lately? By answering all of these questions, you can form a place to start with your new content marketing strategy and set yourself up for success from the get-go. Plus, in many cases, you can repurpose that old content (turning a previous blog post into an infographic, for instance), giving you brand-new material with less effort than starting from scratch.
4. Check Out Your Competitors
No matter the industry you’re in, you’re sure to have a fair amount of competition. The new year is a good time to examine your competitors and see what they’re doing differently. You can see what keywords they’re targeting and what types of content have been the most successful for them. Additionally, you have the opportunity to identify gaps in coverage and use them to your advantage. If your competitors aren’t covering a certain topic in your field, you can jump on that subject to set yourself apart. Semrush has a great guide on conducting competitive content analysis to get you started.
5. Find Your Writers
The time is now approaching for you to actually start creating content. But who is going to do that? You essentially have two main options: you can hire writers to take care of your content needs in-house (or assign those tasks to existing employees), or you can outsource the duties to a content creation agency. Creating content on your own can be quite time-consuming, but you do have total control over your material. However, if you don’t have much experience in this department, working with a content firm could be a worthwhile investment.
6. Craft a Content Calendar
One of the most essential tools to any content marketing strategy is a functioning content calendar. Your content calendar will help you plan out what topics you’re going to cover, determine what types of content you’ll create, and keep track of who is supposed to be doing what. If you fail to create a content calendar, you run the risk of becoming disorganized and lacking consistency in your posting schedule. All in all, these errors can lead to a lack of customer trust in your brand. Luckily, creating a content calendar doesn’t have to be complicated. Our recent blog on content calendars can help you get started.
(image from https://buffer.com/library/all-about-content-calendar/)
7. Launch Your Content Strategy
Now that you’ve done your research and planned your content, you’re ready to launch your strategy. Start crafting content and getting it out there to your audience! Throughout your content journey, be sure to keep up with your statistics and measure them against your goals that you set back in Step 1. This insight will let you know if you’re headed in the right direction with your content marketing strategy. Then, you can review your results periodically and adjust your plans if necessary.
As we head into 2022, you have a key opportunity to improve your content marketing and SEO keyword strategy. Are you overwhelmed by the prospect of creating and executing a strategy on your own? WriterArmy can help. Our team is experienced in content marketing for customers in all the most in-demand verticals, so you can rest assured you’re working with the experts. If you want to go a step further, we have nearly a decade of experience in content creation and can create the most effective and engaging material for your audience. To learn more about content marketing services from WriterArmy, contact us today for a free quote.