You worked hard to develop an effective content strategy that works well for you and your target market. Perhaps you have spent countless hours examining various content marketing tips to help you take your strategy to the next level. However, the old saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” may bounce around in your head as you read those tips – especially if you have experienced success with the current strategy. Even if your strategy is not “broken”, should you change it?
Think About Your Car
It may seem a little awkward to think about your car while discussing your content strategy. Despite what you may think, these dots are connected in quite a few different ways. How so?
Go ahead and think about your car for a moment. It may have worked well for quite some time. In addition to successfully getting you from Point A to Point B day after day, it may even have a style and appeal that gives you a sense of pride and joy. The question that all car owners must ask themselves, though, is, “How long should I wait before I replace my car?”
You more than likely do not want to replace it for an upgrade too frequently, because that may not be the most feasible or fiscally responsible approach. On the other hand, you do not want to wait too long. Those with the “drive ‘til the wheels fall off” mentality may unexpectedly find themselves stranded on the side of the road.
The same principle applies to your content strategy. It would not be feasible to replace or “upgrade” it excessively, because that may cost you more in the long run than you think. Obviously, you do not want your content strategy stranded on the side of the road as you watch your competitors drive right past you. Many of the best content marketing tips will advise you that change is an essential part of your growth as a content marketer and the future success of your brand. The key is when and how you decide to make those changes.
Master the Art of Timing
You must master the art of timing to determine whether now is the moment to change your content strategy. How long have you used your existing strategy? What results have you been able to generate from it over the past 7 days, 7 months or even 7 years?
Chances are you have made minor modifications to your content strategy over time just to keep it relevant and up-to-date with your competitors. When was the last time you gutted it out and started from scratch? Go back to the car scenario. There are only so many tweaks and modifications you can make to your car to keep it looking good and running before you must opt for a full replacement. The same applies to your content strategy.
Focus on the Structure of Your Strategy
Does your content strategy have structure? You may have the best intentions for creating and marketing quality content. However, intending to do something and doing it are completely different concepts.
What is the setup of your current strategy? If you had to type it out in a document, would it make sense to someone else reading it? It is easy to have the mindset that “I know how it works and that’s all that matters.” However, if you keep these “only-me blinders” on when it comes to the development and structure of your content, then you may be closer to getting stranded on the side of the road than you think. If your content strategy structure does not make sense on paper, why do you think it would make sense to your audience?
Dissect the structure of your strategy to analyze each individual part of the puzzle – such as:
Average length of posts (word count)
Backlinks, authoritative sites referenced, etc.
Social media engagement
Marketing protocol (organic exposure vs paid ads)
And so much more!
When you focus on taking an outside look at the structure of your content strategy, you will be able to clearly see your strengths, your areas of improvement and the emerging fires that you will need to extinguish immediately.
Analyze the Current and Go with the Flow
The digital age is always on the move. Complacency is not a comfort anyone can afford when it comes to their content and overall online presence – regardless of your niche, market or industry experience. You must be able to see the direction of the current and make the necessary changes to your content strategy to ensure your work goes with the flow. Just because it may have worked for your target customers last year does not mean it will work the same way (if at all) this year.
Study the trends and other changes occurring within your industry. Make sure your content strategy specifically targets those changes, because that is what your customers and prospects will expect from you. It will also help you to better understand how you can make your own mark and establish an undeniable edge on your competition due to this type of up-to-date insight.
Embrace Feedback from Your Target Audience
When was the last time you asked for feedback from your audience? Some people may say you should never read or pay attention to the comments posted about your business or your brand online. There is some truth to this statement, but many people have misinterpreted it in recent years. It is true that you should steer clear of the “trolls” online – the people who intentionally want to ruin your reputation with baseless accusations and horrible comments with the primary goal of sparking a reaction out of you.
However, as you have likely learned from high-quality content marketing tips, not every negative comment or post about your brand is from a troll. There may be some legitimate concerns from your target customers referenced or alluded to within the feedback you receive from them. By embracing and accepting that type of honest feedback, you will be able to see exactly how to effectively adjust your content strategy to address those concerns in a timely fashion.