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Why your content strategy needs to change

Posted by Bethany in Optimisation | February 2018

One of the most common, yet easily made mistakes by in-house teams is falling into the routine of setting your annual digital marketing goals, and not measuring them until after the 12 months are up.

We’re already two months deep into 2018 – can you honestly say whether or not your team are on track to reach your content marketing goals for this year?

You may be regularly checking the performance of individual content tasks your team have delivered, but where does this place you in relation to your wider digital and content marketing goals?

A great content strategy is a lot of things. It’s thorough and detailed, it’s creative and tactical. But most of all, it’s reactive.

Reactive > Proactive

Keep your content reactive in more than one way. Deciding far in advance what topics your content marketing efforts will explore is not necessarily a great move. A better investment of your time is to have detailed brand guidelines and a concrete tone of voice that clearly manifests how you want your brand to be depicted.

Your content needs to be reactive by being as ‘real-time’ as possible. In terms of topic and nature, it must reflect the latest news, updates and developments in your industry, but also wider developments in the world of digital and social media trends.

However, a content strategy also needs to be reactive in the sense that your team can identify failures, shortcomings or underperformance of your content strategy and rectify it accordingly.

Mini Content Audits

By now you’re likely to be in one of two mindsets, either:

“How can I measure the performance of my content strategy?”

or

“How can I gain a quick insight into my content strategy performance?”

The answer to both of these lies in a mini content audit. You might already be conducting thorough, comprehensive, annual or bi-annual audits – but these can be condensed into more regular, shortened versions that still provide a brief data-driven insight into your progress.

Person pointing at Google Analytics screen

A more regular insight allows you to monitor what’s working and what isn’t, proactively address underperformance and ultimately prevent long-term damage to your content marketing efforts. Keep it simple:

  • Choose no more than three metrics in which to report on. Traffic, conversions or engagement? If you’re unsure, refer to your overall business goals and KPI’s – these are where you should be able draw your most important metrics from.
  • Export the following data from Google Analytics; page URLs and the three identified key metrics from around 50 of your webpages. Add columns in the sheet for ‘content type’ (e.g a blog post) and ‘additional notes/comments’.
  • Colour coordinate the rows, according to the performance. For example, green = overperforming, yellow = average performance and red = underperforming.
  • Based on their performance, leave brief comments in the ‘notes’ section on why you believe this page is performing/underperforming, then draw conclusions based on your findings, along with a list of prioritised actions to share with your content team.

I need help with my content strategy!

It’s crucial that you can spot the early signs of a failing content strategy and react quickly to prevent long-term damage and wasted time or efforts.
If your in-house team could benefit from expert insights into your performance, get in touch with our content marketing specialists for assistance with content audits and strategies on 01772 591100.

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