Zero to One Hundred: How to Jump-Start Your Content Marketing Strategy in 3 Steps
Has your content strategy just kind of…fizzled out?
You’re not alone.
So many businesses embark on their content creation journey with the best intentions—“I’m going to write a new blog post every week!” “I’m going to set aside time to post on social and engage with my followers every day!”
Then, as time goes on, it gets harder and harder to stay on track. Once a week turns into once a month which turns into “whenever I get around to it.” Trust me, it happens to the best of us. That’s because content marketing is hard. It takes time. It takes effort. But, let me tell you this: It’s worth it but only if you do it right.
When you pull it off, content marketing is the key to building up your authority, increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty, and driving more traffic to your online channels.
However, it’s not enough to just post what you feel like posting when you feel like posting it. You need a strategy.
And that’s what we’re here to provide.
This jump-start guide is for brands that want to reinvigorate their content strategy and get back on track. In 3 steps, we want to help you restart your strategy and give you the tools to forge a sustainable path forward.
Step 1: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
First, of all, what exactly are you looking to get out of your marketing strategy?
Most people will say something like “I want more followers on social media.” Okay, but what is that actually doing for your business? How is that helping your business to grow? If you’re currently thinking of content goals just in terms of likes and shares and follows, then it’s time to reframe your perspective.
How will, for example, getting more followers on Instagram allow you to grow your business? It’s not an especially helpful metric when we put it in those terms. However, if your goal is to increase the number of clicks from your brand’s bio to the contact page on your website by 30%, that’s closer to a metric that may actually be useful in connecting the dots between marketing strategy and business growth.
Everyone knows what S.M.A.R.T. goals are, right? It’s a handy little acronym designed to help you create, well, smart goals. If you need a refresher, “S.M.A.R.T.” stands for:
Specific: Target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable: Quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Assignable: Specify who will do it.
Realistic: State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
Time-related: Specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Considering and, this part is important, writing down your goals is key to achieving success. Overwise, you’re just going to be taking a scattershot approach that’s unlikely to actually bring results.
That’s why, before you start planning the “how”, you need to properly establish the “why.”
Step 2: Perform an Audit of Current Content
“I don’t know where I’m goin’/But I sure know where I’ve been.”— “Here I Go Again,” Whitesnake
Even if you’ve been flying by the seat of your pants until now, you likely have at least a small backlog of content that’s been created over the course of your business’s lifespan. From social posts to eBooks to case studies to blog posts to photos, most businesses have at least some available resources from which they can draw. So, instead of leaving that content to collect dust, reusing and repurposing it will save valuable time as you begin to build out your new content strategy.
In this step, you’ll want to perform a full audit of available content, compiling your findings into an organized spreadsheet so you can refer back to it later. From there, you can start to brainstorm ways to repost and repurpose that content into your new content strategy.
For each piece of old content, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I break this down into smaller pieces of content?
- Is this content currently in the right format to share with my audience? Can I repurpose it into something more engaging/shareable like a quote card or infographic?
- What needs to be done to this piece of content before it can be published? (Sometimes this is as simple as adding a call to action, but sometimes this will require full revisions.)
Taking old content and making it new again is key to jump-starting a dead content strategy because it allows you to very quickly produce a good amount of content without a ton of extra work. You’re just taking what you already have and upcycling it back into your content stream. This will give you the buffer you need to start creating more original content without wasting additional time.
Step 3: Create Your Content Schedule
Now that you have some content to work with, it’s time to start plugging it into your content calendar. Just remember, this also requires some smart strategic planning on your part. It’s not enough to just slap a blog post up on your site and call it a day. You need to figure out how to promote and optimize each piece of content to give it maximum impact.
After all, it’s not enough to just produce high-quality original content. (You didn’t think it would be that simple, right?) You need to ensure it’s the right kind of original content, at the right time, with ample intelligence to disseminate it to the right audience.
Here’s where you’ll want to consider how you can repurpose longer pieces of content for social media and other promotion platforms. (See our this post for an in-depth discussion on repurposing long-form content for other platforms.) Can you turn this information into an infographic? Can you pull some interesting stats out of it? Can you make it a quote card? To which platforms should you share these pieces of micro-content? This micro-content should be working to drive traffic back to your cornerstone piece of content on your site.
Just keep in mind that you want to vary your content across channels as much as possible. Why’s that? Well, you want to encourage your audience to follow you on as many platforms as possible. However, if you’re always posting the same thing at the same time to all your channels, there’s no incentive for your audience to do that. Your best bet is to tailor each piece of micro-content to optimize it for each social platform (a quote card for Instagram, stats for Twitter, an infographic for LinkedIn, and so on). However, that’s a lot of work, and you can’t really be blamed for not going the extra mile, especially if social media marketing isn’t your full-time job.
So, the second-best strategy is to stagger your content’s release. For example, if you create a quote card for Instagram, wait a few weeks before scheduling it to post to Facebook. That way, your audience will be getting different content at different times, and your feeds will feel fresher and more engaging.
Keep the Momentum Going!
Remember, these 3 steps are only meant to help you quickly get your content strategy off the ground. Now you need to keep it running.
You’ve successfully bought yourself some valuable time by repurposing and reposting old content, but you can’t run on the fumes of your past creations forever. Eventually, you’re going to have to create something new.
That’s why, immediately after jump-starting your content strategy, you should be getting yourself ready for the next stage of the content process—creating from scratch. (But, hey, don’t worry. We’ve already created a comprehensive resource to help you quickly and efficiently produce new content in bulk.)
Or, you could let us do it for you.
Michaels Wilder is a full-service digital marketing agency born from a desire to find innovative solutions that make businesses easier to discover and impossible to ignore. We’re not like other agencies. With us, you get a full partner who is just as invested in your business success as you are. Contact us today to see what a Wilder approach can do for you!