As we head into winter (it’ll be here before we know it!) when was the last time you took a moment to evaluate some of your business strategies? Have you had a successful year so far? How is your marketing content looking?
Sometimes maintaining consistency can be a challenge and feel like an uphill battle. But if you’re struggling to find new leads, improve website traffic or build noticeable brand awareness, it’s time change up your methods. Use these 4 practical steps for consistent content marketing to build your credibility and knock out some of those business goals before the year is done.
1. Plan for content
Have you ever sat down at the computer with every intention of writing the most stellar blog post to ever find its way on the internet? We know we have! However, upon sitting down, you face blank page syndrome. Without a plan in place to keep you on track, coming up with creative content on the spot is not the best use of your time and can often be met with serious writer’s block. Developing a plan ahead of time will save you the headache and help you stay on task. First, pick a few broad subject areas you would like to cover on your social media platforms. Next, decide on topics and potential titles and plug them into a content calendar or spreadsheet. Planning out each month will save you hassle of continuously generating ideas on the spot. A plan will allow you to use your time more efficiently and keep you and your team on task throughout the month.
2. Plan for distribution
Are you sensing the theme here? A solid content distribution plan is also key to your success. Content calendars not only help with planning your content, but allow you to keep everything in one place, including when and where you’ll distribute.
And scheduling ahead of time (as long as you know to un-schedule when appropriate) can help manage efficiency. There are a large number of programs that simplify the social media management process. To name a few, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Agora Pulse made it onto the list of 17 best social media management tools which can provide distribution and scheduling parameters across multiple digital channels (which is where the bulk of your content likely lives these days). These handy programs will also help you determine the best times for your posts to go out to reach your audience and provide analysis on which pieces of content are most successful.
Content marketing processes work best if everyone is on board with who owns which pieces and who is in charge of strategy, content creation, scheduling and/or monitoring. Bring your team up to speed and don’t be afraid to ensure that various aspects of your plan are assigned accordingly. By appointing each assignment, it will make it easier on you and your team. Everyone will have a clear idea of the expectations and what they are responsible for throughout the marketing process.
4. Stick to deadlines (but don’t be afraid of flexibility)
Planning, scheduling, and delegating are all productive steps towards consistent marketing and failure to meet deadlines can result in inconsistency, which can be frustrating and cause you to be late on meeting goals and benchmarks. Communicating the expectations of your team by having conversations and meetings can solve the problem of deadlines becoming “optional.” That said, know that content marketing is also a very fluid process and deadlines (and goals!) should be slightly fluid in order to keep up with your audience’s needs and provide relevancy.
A well-developed strategy will distinguish your business from your competitors. Think about your content marketing initiatives in small steps — be great at a few pieces rather than mediocre at a few — and follow the plan as best you can.
Want more tips? Check out our printable checklist with 7 ways to improve your marketing!