Content is king – that’s a fact – but quantity definitely does not equal quality when it comes to content creation.
Top reads of the year
With the new year just around the corner, we decided to look back at our previous blogs to see what topics struck a chord, if we could spot any trends, and why top reads were – well – at the top. Our analytics ninjas ran some reports and found that you spent the most time reading these two blogs in 2020:
It’s not surprising that blogs about content marketing and social media saw the highest traffic since marketers are trying to adapt to a virtual business environment. By refreshing existing content, we can create relevant new pieces without having to reinvent the wheel every time – an approach you can apply to your creative process, too.
Keep it evergreen – and we don’t mean the tree
One of the most efficient uses of creative brainpower is to keep things “evergreen,” meaning the content stands the test of time, remains highly relevant to your audience and continues to see organic search traffic. We think this is why our top reads resonated so much – the information is still useful and accurate months after originally being published.
Ideally, evergreen content should align with your marketing and sales strategies, so you’ll want to answer a few questions before putting pen to paper.
What topics are most sustainable?
Partner and accounts director Amanda Farley says the ideation process always starts with research. She suggests identifying non-changing trends in your industry or questions that are commonly asked of your sales team and using that information to plan your content strategy.
Think: downloadable move-in checklists for the higher education industry, or blogs discussing misconceptions about assisted living facilities for the senior living industry. The goal is to answer the question before a prospect can even ask it.
What format should I use?
It would be great to have a one-size-fits-all solution, but that’s not the case. Once you’ve honed in on a topic, consider the most effective way to relay or demonstrate that information to your target audience. Here are a few common formats to get the gears turning:
- A (gated) blog post or landing page that collects contact information
- A digital download, whitepaper, or ebook
- A social media post or series of posts
- A video on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or other platform
How can I reuse and repurpose content?
Once your content has been out in the world and gaining traction for a few months, you can identify the top performers and the pieces that may have missed the mark. Turn that data into a refresh strategy for the following year and start thinking about ways to repurpose the content.
“Repurposing really just means giving your content new life by adapting it for different formats or objectives.”
If you’ve already published an ebook, pull excerpts out for blog posts and include a call to action, prompting readers to download the full piece. If you created a blog post on the various ways to use barn wood in your home decor, consider filming a how-to video of trending DIY projects and optimize it for both YouTube and social media platforms.
Whether you write a blog or a social post, you are essentially inviting review and conversation. Social media is a great tool for communicating, and it has become even more vital as we continue to consume more and more content each year.
You’ve got the content strategy figured out, so how do you get people to stop scrolling and engage with your posts regularly? Here’s a few tips to consider:
- Speak to the things your audience is curious about or interested in (better yet – run polls to collect easy data!)
- Stay on top of trends that you could leverage for your content and be conscious of ongoing social issues
- Look at your content through an empathetic lens and be thoughtful about your word choice or messaging
- Monitor channels to avoid negative messaging, conversation hijacking or employee chatter
- Decide on a content marketing strategy and be consistent so people know what to expect once they click that “follow” button
Follow the yellow brick road…
We know that marketers are already juggling a bunch of responsibilities and wearing dozens of different hats. Adding content marketing and creation to the mix may seem daunting. Is it hard to manage? At first, sure! However, smart planning and strategy at the beginning of the road can help you start painting those bricks yellow for the long run.