Looking Back and Forward – Smarter Content Marketing

It’s that time of year when I pause to reflect on what has been and what I want to happen in the coming year. It is an exercise I strongly recommend to all and one that I know I should do more frequently than once a year. Quarterly seems like a good idea.

I won’t go into all the lists and aspects of my life that I reflect on, but one I do want to share is about the goals I am setting for the online content I create or provide direction on. Content I put my energy into creating or distributing matters a great deal to me.

The past year really brought to light a few content marketing truths:

  • Do you know your client’s goals for content marketing? Is it lead generation or brand awareness? If you don’t know, make this conversation a priority. It is the foundation of the content you will create.
  • Have you set appropriate expectations with your client about what ROI looks like for them based on their content marketing goals? I have seen client relationships fall apart when goals, expectations and content direction are not aligned and reviewed periodically.
  • Do you know all of the “players” in your client’s sales funnel? Do you know each of their pain points? This is vital for creating content that speaks to either different people in the sales cycle or the same person at different stages of the buying process.
  • Content with a strong visual element has a higher rate of engagement, period.
  • Consistency and quality matter, a lot.
  • Make the time to think through tagging and hashtags; they can make a big difference with content amplification and reach.

Here is the list I am working through to improve the quality and meaning behind the online content I create or provide direction on in 2015:

  1. Think out of the box.
  2. Be helpful, be kind, and be relevant.
  3. Lose the ego.
  4. Stop talking about yourself so much.
  5. Know what success looks like.
  6. Understand relationships between purpose and goals.
  7. Know who you are talking to.
  8. Ask more questions.
  9. Listen more.
  10. Pay attention.
  11. Be genuine.
  12. Be witty and funny – people like to laugh.
  13. Be unique.
  14. Use more visuals.
  15. Don’t ignore the data.
  16. If you can’t explain value or intent to a client, you don’t know it well enough. Fix that.
  17. Know it is ok to aim for excellence, but there are times to accept good enough.
  18. If you want people to care about what you are putting out there, make the time for monchu.
  19. What is old can be new again.
  20. Have fun.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my brain dump on content marketing in 2015. My reflections and list are personal and relevant to the work I do at Witmer Group, but hopefully will give you some things to think about as you kick off 2015. Make it a year full of smart content! I know I am going to.