A content marketing to do list for 2016

This is a great time of the year to take stock of what you’ve got, assess what’s working and what’s not. Here are some practical ways you can improve your content marketing strategy and creation in the coming year.

1 Own your own hub or platform

We believe that it’s important that you have your own base or platform to publish your content on. That way you stay in control. Don’t focus your efforts on building your profile solely on social, as you don’t own that channel. Social algorithms are changing all the time, which could potentially affect your reach overnight.

2 Hire storytellers

Hire people who can create content that speaks the language of a writer but at the same time understands the marketing needs of the business too. Your content should have an emotional connection with your audience. It should get people thinking and feeling differently. Scrap any copy that talks exclusively about your products and services.

3 Build an audience

Building an audience is the key to editorial success. Once you have an audience you’ll have dialogue and interaction. You need to set yourself a target – such as number of subscribers to your email newsletter/number of unique hits per week. Concentrate your content on meeting the needs of your audience, what are their pain points/what can you help them with? Don’t use your content to try and sell in the early stages, you’ll put people off from coming back to you.

4 Amplify your content

Great content is only great if it’s found and shared. The golden rule of content creation is promotion. For every hour you spend on creating content, you need to spend four on amplifying it. Of if you’re splitting your budget – spend 25% on content creation and 75% on promotion. Your aim is to encourage readers back to your hub to eventually increase your subscriber rate.

5 Don’t be afraid to pay

Social media platform have made organic discovery and traction almost impossible due to the regular algorithms changes. So you have to complement your organic strategy with a paid search plan too. Use your Google analytics to identify popular pieces (ones that people spend the longest time with) and then pay for services like Outbrain or Taboola to promote them on other, more high profile, sites. Remember to have a pay per click strategy in place to complement your efforts on Google, Facebook and other social sites too.

6 Guest blog

There’s still a place for guest blogging on reputable sites. You’ve got to look at your social influence and work out where is best for you to pitch ideas to. Your posts need to be impartial and follow the editorial code of conduct for the site you want to appear on. Another way to raise your profile is by blogging on LinkedIn and asking your network to share your piece. You can join ‘Groups’ in your field on this social network too, where you can participate in discussions being had. Only add in relevant or useful insights here.

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