Content marketing is at its best when it has a solid strategy behind it. Your team has agreed-upon goals, a vibrant list of topics and mix of formats and a reliable calendar that ensures consistency. You might bump along for months or even years, enjoying high levels of engagement and an increasingly valuable reputation for expertise in your industry.
But what about when things aren’t going well? You might suspect that it’s time to pivot your content marketing, but there are a few signs that should point you in that direction:
- A steep drop-off in engagement, conversions or search engine rankings
- A plateau in your website traffic
- You’re moving in new directions: new target audiences, new product lines or an acquisition
Once you’ve established that it’s time to rethink your strategy, there are a few steps you will want to walk through to do it well.
Establish Your Baseline: Start by capturing where you are starting with your content marketing activities to see whether your pivot is achieving the results you want. Look at engagement, conversions and traffic metrics.
You should also look at how things have changed, or the behaviors that are acting as a catalyst for your new approach. Look at how your keyword searches have shifted and whether the social media platforms you’re investing in are still where your audience is spending time. Use Google Analytics to examine a variety of metrics.
Set Your Goals: Based on your assessment, which areas would you like to see improved by your new content marketing strategy? Make sure they are aligned well with specific goals and activities and are easily measurable.
Create the Plan: If it’s something as simple as adding an extra blog post each month or trying out a new social media platform, these activities can be folded into your existing strategy. If you’re planning a more extensive pivot, include the following considerations:
- Timeline: Include a start date, but also dates for implementing new formats or content items. You should also schedule check-in dates to see how things are progressing.
- Major changes: new target audiences, new product roll-outs or new messaging should all be documented in the strategy.
- Testing: Determine how you’ll conduct testing of new activities, such as with A/B testing.
- Accountability: Document who will be in charge of each aspect of your strategy.
Launch: Depending on how extensive your content marketing pivot is, you may want to communicate to your customers what you are doing and why. Share with them your launch date and what they can expect to see from your brand.
Content marketing always requires some tweaking, but there are times when a major pivot is necessary. How can you know? It’s easy; contact us at SJC Marketing and we’ll help you determine whether it’s time to pivot and then we will help you plan and launch your new strategy.