3 Questions for a better content strategy

 

The new year is still fresh, and you’ve probably got goals and resolutions galore – personal and otherwise.

This is the time of year for intentionality.

We set our intentions for our businesses, our personal lives, our health, our finances …

We shift into big-picture mode.

What do I want this year to look like?

It’s all so … existential.

Maybe this is why I also see a lot of marketing strategies go awry this time of year.

We get so big-picture focused, we forget that the big picture is made up of small, consistent efforts over time.

“I have the whole year to create content! I can take one month off. No one reads our content in January anyway. Or maybe I’ll take two months off. I mean, who reads content around Valentine’s Day, right? Heck, I’ll get back to marketing in Q2.”

Really? You sure about all that?

Whether this is happening in your own business, or you have a client who’s skating into 2017 on beliefs that may or may not be backed by evidence, it’s time to start asking questions.

Before you decide NOT to write content, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What do your metrics say?
  2. What do your customers say when you ask them about it?
  3. What are your customers doing online this time of year? Are they maybe searching for a different kind of content than you’ve been producing?

A profitable content marketing program doesn’t make assumptions.

This time of year, though, I see a lot of assumptions being made.

So I’m going to heed my own warning, and I’m not going to make assumptions about you.

You might be a content writing machine this month. In which case, I have three different questions for you.

These are questions a lot of content creators aren’t asking themselves before they start writing … but they would get much better results from their content if they would.

1. Why are you writing?

Are you writing to build credibility? Boost engagement? Grow an email list? Nurture leads? Sell a product? Change minds? Serve a cause?

What’s the emotional why behind your effort? How are you using this content to connect with your audience?

2. Who are you writing for?

Who is the one person you’re writing this content for?

How does this content serve a specific need or solve a specific problem your target audience has?

3. What is your desired outcome for the content?

What is your measurement of success? Increased web traffic? More email subscribers? Increased social media followers? Engagement metrics like comments, likes and shares?

If this content successfully achieved that success metric, what would – realistically – change for you? For example, if you’re writing content in order to increase your website traffic – does that result actually lead to more sales of your product or service? Or if you’re writing content to establish yourself as a thought leader, does this actually lead to you getting booked as a speaker?

If your success metric doesn’t lead to a desired outcome, you might be chasing vanity metrics. Consider question 3 carefully!

Putting Intention into Your Content Creation

You put intention into your yearly planning, your New Year’s resolutions, your quarterly goals. What if you take some of that intention and put it into your content creation? What’s the worst that could happen?

You could stand out in your industry …

You could gain followers when your competitors aren’t …

You could build relationships with your customers while others are bombarding them with self-serving messages like “Here are our company’s resolutions for 2017!”

You could be helpful.

 

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