Having a content marketing strategy in place is fundamental to success; the more you cultivate ideas that are backed by data and insights, the more chance you have of hitting your objectives, which means you can measure the success of your content retrospectively.
Here are four quick and easy fixes that you can implement to strengthen your content marketing strategy.
Measure yourself on Google Analytics
Measure yourself on Google Analytics to see how your current offering performs. This way, you can create a clear picture of what needs attention.
To distinguish whether your content is engaging and relevant, there are three main points to consider:
- Bounce rate should be below 40% to be considered of value; anything above that may be an indication mean that a visitor leaves straight away.
- Time on site helps to recognise whether your content is engaging and relevant to the audience. This will also improve bounce rate statistics so it’s important to consider content type that your audience will most likely connect and respond to.
- New users are important because you want to be driving as many new users and potential customers to the site, using relevant keywords instead of targeting the same people who your site’s regular users.
Dependent on industry, bounce rate, time on site and new user, results will present different averages. You can measure yourself against your main competitors to work out an industry standard by visiting Alexa.com, which can measure how to set objectives to become the market leader in these areas.
If you find that your results are poor, content flow is an easy fix to help increase these. Not everyone engages with the same types of content so we follow a Hygiene, Hub and Hero model (displayed in the diagram below). By adding a steady flow of these different content types, you allow yourself to keep your audience engaged and promote a brand as publisher way of thinking.
Below is an example of how to plan these pieces to ensure content flow:
Measure yourself on Coat (The Content Auditing Tool)
Analyse your functional content via The Content Auditing Tool – a function which measures how relevant your content is for your search keywords, where are the quick wins are, which of your web pages are working best and what the gaps are in your content, to find out the depth and relevancy of the content on your indexed pages.
Scores are presented in percentages and the optimum Coat score sits between 70 and 80%. This is what you should be aiming for when optimising category and functional content. Pages that are below or above these scores will need to be either optimised or de-optimised.
To optimise content, the keyword that you want that page to rank for should be included within the H1 and the meta title. The supporting category content above and below the fold should be extremely relevant to the particular keyword and it is also a good idea to include variants and synonyms of the keyword. If you are covering too many different topics on one page, you run the risk of not being deemed relevant enough.
If you find yourself above the 80% bracket and need to de-optimise, look at how many times you have used the keyword from the H1 and meta title in the supporting content. Duplicating words too much will seem like spam and appear unnatural.
We can see from this Coat output that the functional content on this site needs attention to achieve the optimum percentages.
Find your audience
To know what content should be created and when (Google Trends springs to mind!), you need to know who it is being created for. Tools that can help to distinguish audience include ComScore and GlobalWebIndex.
ComScore can be used to give top-level insights to the demographic of your audience. Categories such as age, sex, whether or not they have children and where these over-index when compared to the total internet, contribute to defining a clear audience. Once you have this data, more granular information can be found by using GlobalWebIndex to replicate the findings from ComScore, delving into the behavioural traits of this audience to find out what types of content they engage with and how.
You should aim to create three to five personas that encapsulate the demographics and behaviours from the data gathered; this enables you to bring them to the forefront of everything you do in your content strategy, from the the very first ideas to distribution.
Use GlobalWebIndex marketing touchpoints to find out where your audience are hanging out online and look at what content they are producing as inspiration for your own. Below, we can see that the audience are more likely to look at content on brand websites, review sites and recommendations on social media, so we can look at content types which are recurring regularly in these places – and then replicate what does well in terms of engagement and shares.
Have an untangled planning source
We all know that It’s hard to stick to anything without an agenda, and sometimes a the Outlook calendar invites just don't cut it. Online software such as DivvyHQ allows you to overlay marketing calendars to align content strategy with other means of marketing and advertising.
This view creates ease in planning and helps to ensure that seasonal plans are distributed on time to maintain relevancy and don’t miss the boat.
Abbey Jordan is Zazzle Media agency's content planner.