By now, you know it's important for your company to have a content marketing strategy, but a strategy alone isn't worth much if you don't know how to execute it or if you're not sure when it's time to revisit it.
Companies that evolve with trends and achieve content success are the ones that know how to properly execute a strategy, monitor its progress, figure out what's working and what's not, and make the right changes.
It can be difficult to tell when it's time for your team to revisit your content strategy, but there are a few clear signs you can look for to help them identify the problems and get back on track. Here are five ways to know for sure it's time to adjust your content strategy:
1. The numbers aren't adding up.
You want to build trust with your audience, drive qualified traffic to your site, and increase sales and opportunity for your company. If your content isn't gaining traction, page views are stagnant, social shares are nonexistent, and you're not seeing a lot of tangible results, something is wrong.
To find the root of the problem, dive into your data. Use a customizable analytics template or tracking software to determine which pieces of content are performing well and which ones are falling short. From there, start by creating similar content that's more likely to succeed, and nix whatever isn't working to avoid wasting time and resources on content that's destined to fail.
2. You're not visible in search.
You want your content to be easy to find by as many of the right people as possible, so if it's not ranking well in search, it's time to rethink your SEO practices.
This takes time and you're not going to see amazing results overnight, but it's worth the effort. Look back at your goals and nail down exactly what it is you want to rank for. Be specific and realistic; you're not going to rank in the top spot for every single one of them.
Once you've figured out the right keywords and prioritized your best bets, be intentional about how you incorporate them into your content. Consistently revisit your keywords and linking strategy to make sure everything is working toward the same goal, and monitor your results to make sure your strategy is going as planned.
3. Editors are rejecting your content.
Guest-posting is a great way to get your content in front of a larger engaged audience, but it only works when you can get your foot in the door. If your content seems to always get rejected by publication editors, there's something about it that's turning them off -- and "The State of Digital Media" found that it's probably your own self-promotion.
Being overly promotional is one of the biggest problems editors have with guest content. Remember that editors want content that benefits their audience; they're not exactly here to look out for you and help you boost your brand. Scale back on the promotion, and deliver content that engages your audience.
4. Your social presence is stagnant.
Social media channels are some of the most popular ways audiences find and consume content, so you're on the right track if you're using your most popular channels to distribute content and engage readers. But if you're doing this and still not growing your social presence, you've got to find another way to get more out of your social distribution strategy.
Start by ensuring your strategy is in line with your goals. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to social, so it's up to you to decide which platforms you want to use and establish guidelines for each channel. Create a schedule so your audience has access to regular content, and follow up when your audience engages with you.
5. Your content isn't opening doors.
Not every piece of content you create is going to be a hit. That said, each piece can still create new opportunities for your company by enabling sales, attracting potential partners or employees, or at least helping you start conversations.
Content is a tool, and it's up to you to use that tool to achieve results. If you just push it out and then sit back and wait for the opportunities to roll in, you'll be waiting for a long time. Encourage your sales and marketing teams to work together to create content, and take a long, hard look at your bottom line to see whether your content is achieving what it's supposed to. If you take a proactive approach to your content creation process, you're more likely to see results.
Not every piece of content you create is going to be the best piece ever written, and that's OK -- but you should see more winners than losers. If you're not, it's probably time to rethink your content strategy to ensure you're getting the most out of your content. Content is constantly evolving, and to be successful, you'll need to evolve with it.