The new year is here, and it’s time to take stock of what you’re doing—and how you can improve. At least that’s what we’ve been working on. Having recently revised our own strategy, we’ve been thinking about what we want to prioritize, what we want to let go of, and how we want to grow in 2021. As part of this process, we’ve made five major content marketing resolutions to keep us on track.
Since external accountability is a great way to stick to your goals, we thought we’d share these resolutions with you—and offer a few tips to achieve them if you share these resolutions, too. We hope what you find here will help you work smarter and get more done. Cheers.
1) Get healthy.
To get your body healthy, you need to go back to the basics: diet, exercise, sleep. The same goes for your content marketing. As you prepare for a new year, take a look at your overall content strategy to make sure everything is aligned.
- Refine your personas. If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, it will be awfully difficult to create the content you need to reach them. See our guide to create stronger personas to make sure the audience you’re targeting is the right audience.
- Strengthen your messaging. Whether you’re launching a new campaign or preparing for a big product launch, it’s crucial to get your messaging right. Try our framework to create the right messaging and turn it into compelling copy.
- Reassess your channels. Creating great content is one thing; getting it in front of the right people is another. See our guide to create the ultimate distribution strategy to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts.
For more ideas, here are 10 other things you can do to strengthen your content strategy right now. And if you think you need to rebuild your strategy entirely, download our free e-book How to Build a Long-Term Strategy in a Short-Term World.
2) Spend wisely.
Each year gives you the chance to look back at what you spent and determine if it was, in fact, worth it. Content marketing moves quickly, so you need to think about how much you have, where you’re spending it, and how you can increase ROI.
- Ask for more. Here are 5 ways to get the funds you need.
- Make your content do more. Try the divisible content approach to help your brand create a large batch of content with minimal effort.
Remember: Even if you have limited budget, you’d be surprised at how much you can do with the right tools. Check out these 100 content marketing resources that can help you work smarter, not harder.
3) Do less, but better.
There’s nothing more frustrating than sinking tons of time, energy, and money into a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work. This year, consider doubling down on your most successful efforts. The more you can invest, measure, and tweak, the better your ROI will be.
- Make sure you’re measuring the right stuff. Find out which metrics to use for your content strategy to determine what’s really working.
- Focus on value and connection. Even if you create a handful of pieces a year, if they are interesting and relevant to your audience, they’ll make more impact than a hundred fluffy blog posts. For more ways to do this, find out how to use empathy to make better content and how to create BS-free content.
You can also download our free e-book How to Maximize Publishing with Microcontent for more ideas to make more content that will catch people’s attention.
4) Try new things.
No matter how well-oiled your content machine is, it’s easy for your brand publishing to get stale. While it is important to invest in what works, you can and should still build in some room to experiment. Taking a risk can give you some surprising results.
- Mix up your formats. Some formats are better for certain channels (e.g., photo/video for Instagram vs. articles for LinkedIn). Learn about about how content like video, interactives, and infographics can help you tell your story more effectively. You might also want to explore these 5 creative formats.
- Dive into your data. Data storytelling can be a powerful way to uncover interesting brand stories. Follow our guide to find what interesting content is hiding in your spreadsheets.
- Tell fresh stories. It’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut when it comes to your content marketing. Use these 9 prompts to come up with your next great idea.
Note: Video is an increasingly popular format to experiment with. See our interactive e-book The Content Marketers’ Guide to Storytelling to find out how this format can benefit your brand.
5) Be more open.
The key to any good relationship is trust. How do you cultivate that? By being honest and transparent. Whether you’re trying to build relationships with potential customers, potential employees, or industry peers, being an open book is a great way to do that.
- Share your knowledge. Whether you’re sharing helpful tips or unique insights, sharing information is one of the best ways to help people (and establish yourself as a thought-leader). Consider contributing to an industry publication, creating tutorials, or sharing tips on social media.
- Take people behind the scenes. People care about who you are and what you care about. Social media is a great way to peel back the curtain and show off your people and your culture. If you need some inspiration, here are 5 prompts to come up with great culture marketing ideas and 10 great culture marketing examples.
How to Keep Your Brand on Top All Year
No matter how strong your content marketing is, another year brings a new batch of challenges. To make sure you’re staying ahead of the curve…
- Stay educated. Check out our newsletter for the best marketing tips and tricks.
- Optimize your content infrastructure. See our guide to make your production process more efficient.
- Choose the right partners. If you need some support, follow these tips to find a good content agency.