The world of content marketing is an unglamorous and sometimes unrewarding place. We spend hours poring through analytics to determine high-performance keywords and the online habits of our target audience in order to create better and stronger blogs, press releases and emails. You write, rewrite and send your content off to editorial. Once cleared, you send your hard work out into the world…and then you wait.
Hours and days go by and you begin the slow process of analysis; watching and studying in order to see just how accurate your original planning was and how appealing others find what you have created. You have now entered the hardest part of being a content marketer – evaluation. Writing can be so personal for many, so waiting to see what others think and determine how well it performed can be agonizing.
But then the stats come in and you see you were on track. After a quiet moment of celebration, you begin the process again by creating new content that will build on the moment of this most recent piece.
And thus is the day-to-day reality of so many content marketers. But how is it that some brands appear to have figured out the secret sauce of social media success while others still struggle to create content that performs well and connects with their target audience?
The truth of the matter is that the road to social media success is different for every brand. Every brand has its own unique map to success. The key ingredient to their secret sauce, though, is that they understand how to read the cryptic feedback and directions they are receiving from their analytics and turn them into a championship guide for brand content marketing success.
Grab Your Caddy and Hit the Links
Believe it or not, content marketing is the golf game of online user engagement. Some days, your game is off and your content fizzles away into the black hole of cyberspace. Other days, you continue to hit hole-in-one after hole-in-one with content that delivers a punch and expands your reach through viral, grassroots efforts. It’s this success, just as in golf, that keeps us coming back for more.
Content marketing is a game of patience and one that we must practice daily. It’s not just something where you can pick up a club for one day and simply expect to automatically remain under par. It takes practice and commitment. It takes an appreciation for the game. It takes years of working with and understanding the course.
Over time, just as with golf, your understanding of the game will increase and your performance will improve, garnering you better page rankings and a stronger online reputation.
Appreciate the Best Practices of the Game
While you’ll never have a guarantee that your content will go viral, there are things you can do that will ensure a better performance and increase the longevity of your pieces. Following these tried and true tactics is the first step to any successful plan:
- Know your target audience – Take time to get to know your target audience, where they hang out and what their “hot button” topics are. This will guide you in creating a roadmap for your brand’s content strategy.
- Freshness is key – Ensure you’re putting out new content on a steady and consistent basis. Your audience will come to expect it and look for it, and your rankings in the various search engines will rise.
- Variety is the spice of life…and content marketing – Mix up your formats and spread your brand message via blogs, emails, videos and infographics. This gives your content additional channels to travel and increases your probability of sharing.
- Let your audience be heard – Add social sharing icons to your content to make it easier for users to share, but also include an avenue by which they can respond directly to you. Let them share feedback on your content, your brand and your products. This not only gives them the chance to connect with your brand, but it will also give you insight into what products and services your audience is seeking.
- Know your game stats – Review your content performance on a daily basis and work with your team to adjust your strategy on a monthly or weekly basis so your game stays fresh and on target.
Is Your Brand Ready for Your First Set of Clubs?
Being able to perform well in the game of content marketing requires skills and a deep knowledge of the game. Just as with golf, working with a pro from the start will help your brand to develop a strong swing and appreciation for the game.
The Haley Brand Intelligence team is full of pros – we’ve studied user behavior and engagement for years; we’ve practiced our swing so that we are able to hit consistently long drives down the online fairways; and we know how to drop it in for putt. Wherever you want your brand’s game to go, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the guidance to get you there.