Great content can be the defining factor that sets your business apart from competitors, but it can certainly be hard to find and create. Even the best marketing teams seem to struggle with the creation process.
Most marketing experts will agree that creating unique and valuable content is one of the most challenging tasks on their to-do list. One of the reasons why this is often so difficult is the high demand for consistently high-performing content in terms of engagement and quality. Fifty-one percent of marketing teams publish content every single day, which puts a lot of pressure on their writers to constantly come up with fresh ideas.
Chances are, even if your team is extremely talented, they have struggled with coming up with great new content over and over again. If your current content marketing isn't driving in the numbers you’d like to see, or your team's stream of ideas seems to have run dry, it may be time to rethink things.
1. Conduct a thorough SEO audit.
Creating content is more than just writing about something interesting or trending; it also needs to boost your brand's online visibility and searchability. Knowing the keywords and terms that your audience tends to include in search engine queries is essential for coming up with relevant content topics. But if your writers are unaware of the optimal keywords to use, it could hurt the effectiveness of their work.
Conducting an SEO audit is a great starting point because it not only shows your team the current status of the keywords your website content is utilizing, but it can also identify new ranking opportunities. It's a good idea to partner with an SEO agency to conduct this audit and analysis, because they will be able to offer unbiased advice and recommendations based on thorough research and expertise.
2. Try new content mediums.
Switching things up with your content can mean more than just writing about new subjects; it may be quite effective to totally revamp your content style by trying a totally different medium. Visual content like videos and infographics tend to receive higher engagement rates with audiences than traditional blog posts, but one of the latest content trends that many businesses can benefit from is vlogging and podcasting.
Vlogging (video blogging) is highly engaging because it gives your content a face and a personality through the people sharing it. This type of content is also fairly easy to produce, depending on the format you wish to use. It can be as simple as sitting a few of your marketing leaders down in front of a camera and filming them discussing a particular subject or reading off the highlights of a previously published piece. Podcasting has also been on the rise and is becoming quite a popular way to quickly consume content during commutes or downtime.
3. Look for missed niche audiences.
When it comes to targeting audiences, small is often better. Honing in on the niche segments within your business's audience is important for increasing engagement and building important connections with your customers.
If your team's content has been falling flat or engagement rates are simply not where they need to be, it may be time to reassess your audience niches. Your customers' preferences and interests can change and shift over time, and new niche groups may have formed since your last analysis. Be sure to regularly re-examine audience data and observe shifts and changes in important demographic areas, such as age groups, locations or overall interests. Finding these new audiences can help your content team come up with new topic ideas that speak to these niche segments and strengthen the engagement rates with these small yet mighty groups.
4. Experiment and track.
Trying out something totally new and changing the traditional approach that you've always followed may be just what your team needs for inspiration. For instance, your marketing team may want to give employee advocacy a try and encourage the entire workplace to share their thoughts and experiences on the business's content outlets and social media pages.
The important thing here is to actually give things a shot and give them enough time to determine whether or not it actually works. Just because your first video content piece doesn't receive a lot of views doesn't mean that it was a total bust. It takes time to figure out what works and what doesn't, and your team will find ways to adjust and improve their efforts over time. However, it is still important to constantly track important metrics, such as engagement rates, audience reach and conversion percentages to see if there is an upward trend.
5. Check out a competing brand's content.
While you obviously want to be extremely careful not to copy your competition, there is no harm in using their content strategies as inspiration. If a competing brand really resonates with an audience similar to your own, encourage your content marketing team to identify patterns in their strategies that seem to be working. On the flip side, your team may also benefit from checking out struggling brands and seeing what content approaches you should avoid.
A stagnant content strategy simply cannot support a growing business. Keeping things fresh and exciting is certainly a challenge, but staying inspired and finding ways to switch things up can help your marketing team create better and more engaging content on a consistent basis.