Okay, so I know I’m a bit late to the game, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has spent the first week of January a) trying to desperately catch up on work neglected over Christmas and b) mourning the end of the chocolate free-for-all and evenings watching movies and eating nibbles.
But now I’m ready. I’m 100% ready. To start 2015 anew and make those darn resolutions. I have to admit I’ve felt a tinge of guilt as friends start new healthy regimes while I’m still chowing down on a yard of Smarties, but this is only January and, to steal the adage, “it’s better later than never”.
The same goes for your content marketing plans for 2015. If you’re hoping to ramp up your strategy this year, take a look at these resolutions you should be keeping over the next 12 … well 11.5 months!
1) Spring clean old content
One thing I am early for is a spring clean, but there is no time like the present when it comes to going through old content on your site and giving it an audit. Thanks to multiple Google algorithm changes over the years, you may have copy on your site that is longer effective at improving your search rankings – in fact, it could be doing the opposite!
Typically speaking, the more content on your site, the better, as it shows you have a history – not only with your customers but with Google itself – and makes you look like an authority on your subject matter. However, if some of that content is laden with keywords and is not of good quality, it’s time to chop and change it. A simple edit could do the job and you may find it has a great impact on your monthly visits.
2) Get organised with your content
I love being organised. The idea of spreadsheets, timetables, calendars, filing and setting reminders gives me a bit of a buzz – but I also understand that I’m somewhat strange in this. It doesn’t matter though, because if you want to boost your content marketing this year, this is something you really need to do.
Firstly, come up with a content strategy – what type of content, how many articles, who you’re going to target and how etc. Once you have this in place, create an editorial calendar. If you plan your content methodically so that it is a) spread out evenly, b) in line with product launches, c) coincides with occasions that your readers will be interested in and d) includes important dates that are relevant to your business (conferences, events, sales etc), then you have a system upon which you can begin your content strategy.
You can then calmly start outsourcing copywriting services according to when you need it, without that urgent rush to get something written before the moment has passed. In short:
Planning ahead = getting a good writer in time = getting good content.
3) A picture is worth a thousand words… kind of
As a writer, I can’t 100% agree with this as the words used on websites have a huge significance in their success, but… images and videos will play a massive part in content marketing campaigns in 2015.
Any social media user will be familiar with posts such as “61 Things You Didn’t Know About Friends”, which a lot of us (guilty!) click on for the funny content, but also – let’s face it – for the images.
Video and image distribution will become even more popular this year, so it is worth considering what infographics, photos, cartoons or videos you can add to your content to encourage customers to share them with their friends – and hopefully, make your webpage go viral.
4) Measure your content’s value
I am constantly bleating on about how valuable content is in the success of marketing campaigns, but this year is the time to get serious about it. Be clever with how you analyse your content production and make sure you keep up to date with website analytics.
This will help you determine the return on investment (or ROI to you and me) from your content. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus your content strategy on what produces the biggest return and, subsequently, invest more in areas that work particularly well for you.
Let’s keep it simple – if you owned a cafe and your maple syrup pancakes regularly outsold your pain au chocolats, you would invest more in marketing and selling your pancakes, wouldn’t you? The same goes for your content. If, say, your blogs are driving a huge amount of traffic to your website but barely anyone is looking at microsite pages, invest in good-quality content on your blog to capitalise on this and boost website visits even more. Simples.
5) Most importantly – keep up to date with Google’s updates
Google seems to launch a new algorithm update all the time, which can be a bit confusing if you don’t make a big effort to keep up to date with it all. In brief, they’ve introduced the EMD, Top Heavy, Panda, Penguin, Payday, Pirate, Hummingbird and Pigeon Updates just in the last four years.
So that’s five resolutions to be getting on with this year. Of course, there are plenty other improvements you can make, but if you only do a few, make sure it’s these. They could make all the difference to how successful your online marketing strategy for 2015 pans out.
Now excuse me, I really must put down those Smarties…
Are you making any New Year's Resolutions for your marketing plans this year? Leave a comment and tell us what they are!
Read my thoughts and ideas on the latest search engine updates and copywriting trends that could improve your business marketing plans.