5 Research-Based Actions to Improve Your Content Marketing

5 Research-Based Actions to Improve Your Content Marketing

Editor’s note: Because understanding what your fellow marketers are doing and what’s happening in successful content marketing programs is critical to success, Lisa Murton Beets has updated her 2017 article. Finally, evaluate how your audience is nurtured once they subscribe to your content. Get better at content creation to boost overall success Respondents to our eighth annual content marketing survey cited “content creation” (e.g., higher quality, more efficient) as the biggest contributor to increased content marketing success over the previous year. How you can use this insight Ask if your goals are realistic based on factors such as the size of your organization, its overall goals, management commitment, the nature of your industry and audience, total addressable market, competitive landscape, and available resources. Then, read this recent article for tips on explaining your content marketing project to the rest of your company in terms they understand. Make a commitment to content marketing and stick with it Year after year, CMI research reveals that commitment is one of the most important indicators of content marketing success. How you can use this insight If your organization has a solid commitment to content marketing, great. Keep the momentum going by keeping your company updated with success stories, reports on new things you’re trying (and why), and metrics demonstrating results toward your content marketing goals (be cautious when you use vanity metrics, as you’ll want to show impact versus effort). Check out our updated guide on how to get buy-in for content marketing. To make sure you get the results of the latest research on content marketing in B2B, B2C, tech, manufacturing, and other segments, please subscribe to receive our email updates.

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Editor’s note: Because understanding what your fellow marketers are doing and what’s happening in successful content marketing programs is critical to success, Lisa Murton Beets has updated her 2017 article.

A little over halfway through 2018, you may be looking for insights on how to maximize your content marketing efforts. Or, maybe you need some great stats to help you build your business case for content marketing.

Take stock of what CMI’s annual research with MarketingProfs revealed about the state of B2B content marketing in 2018 – and what you can do to focus your efforts for the best return. (And stay tuned for new research results this fall.)

1. Focus on building an audience

Across every vertical examined, the research shows a year-over-year increase in the percentage of marketers who agree their organization is focused on building an audience regardless of their overall level of content marketing success.

And that’s good news, considering the consent-based marketing approach now required by GDPR and other consumer privacy legislation. As Robert Rose recently wrote:

Data given, rather than scraped or gathered unwillingly, is simply more valuable as a marketing asset … Then it stands to reason that providing valuable content-driven experiences where the data is given willingly, trustingly, and actively is the way to not only comply but to thrive in this new business environment. Right?

CMI has preached this message for years. People who sign up to receive your content are people with whom you’ve been given an opportunity to build a relationship.

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How you can use this insight

Audience development is a key goal for content marketing. Check how your numbers look versus one year ago. Can you tie subscriber growth directly to individual content marketing initiatives? Do you have solid audience personas so you target the right people? (CMI offers a lot of great information on buyer personas; check out Robert’s recent post for new thinking and recommendations around this topic.)

Of course, the quality of your subscriber list is as important as the quantity. Read this post for considerations on why the occasional purging of your list may be helpful.

Finally, evaluate how your audience is nurtured once they subscribe to your content. Although the buyer’s journey is never linear, ensure that your subscribers are receiving a good mix of steady content.

One of the primary ways to nurture audiences is via email, delivered at a frequency rate that won’t overwhelm the recipients. See Jodi Harris’ tips for evaluating the frequency and content of your emails. And make sure you study the valuable lessons the GDPR panic taught about how to communicate with your audience.

2. Get better at content creation to boost overall success

Respondents to our eighth annual content marketing survey cited “content creation” (e.g., higher quality, more efficient) as the biggest contributor to increased content marketing success over the previous year. The No. 2 success factor was content marketing strategy (developing or adjusting).

commitment-overall-success-factors

How you can use this insight

Assess the health of your content planning and creation machine. Are ideas flowing and captured? If you’re stuck, check out these ideas for breaking a creative slump.

Are topics organized in an editorial calendar? If you need to push yours further than a basic spreadsheet, look for ideas here. Do you have enough resources (talent…

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