The Content Distribution Matrix [#infographic]

Introducing a new tool to help marketers review and improve the best options for promoting content

If you’re a regular reader of Smart Insights, it’s likely you’ve seen, or even better, used our Content Marketing Matrix developed with First10. It has proved to be a popular infographic since it’s not just a nice visual of some interesting ‘facts and figures’ about marketing, rather it can actually be applied to get better results since it helps businesses brainstorm the best types of content to create as part of their content marketing strategy.

What is the Content Distribution Matrix?

This infographic is aimed at helping marketers to review the effectiveness of different types of Paid, Owned and Earned media to promote or distribute their content in generating site visits, leads or sale compared to the level of investment in applying the media measured as paid media costs or the costs of marketing team members.

Effectively promote your content with the content distribution matrixEffectively promote your content with the content distribution matrix

Note that the types of media plotted here are for one example business, so these will vary by company type and sector.

How to Use the Content Distribution Matrix

We hope that the example is more or less self-explanatory based on the labeling of the axes. We recommend you run a content review and planning session using this 3 step  approach which gives more details:

Step 1. Current use of media for content distribution

Start by marking up the current or past use of different paid-owned-earned media options for your business. Plot each media type on the horizontal axis based on its importance in the number of leads or sales you can attribute to it from a low-level of effectiveness on the left to the highest volume on the right. Next, consider cost-effectiveness on the vertical axis based on the time or money spent on promotion from the lowest cost (or better overall return-on-investment) at the bottom to highest at the top.

To take a couple of examples, in this case, long-tail SEO, shown in the bottom right quadrant, is one of the most effective techniques since it produces a high volume of leads or sales at relatively low levels of investment. Compare this to paid distribution options shown in the top left quadrant, such as LinkedIn Promoted posts which have a relatively low level of volume, but the highest costs/poorest ROI).

Colour-coding can help distinguish the techniques you use.

Of course, using the matrix requires businesses to be already set up to measure content marketing effectiveness as explained in our guide to calculating content marketing ROI and the 7 Steps guide to Google Analytics for marketers.

Step 2. Review promotion gap against competitor or sector use of content distribution techniques

This step is easier to explain but harder to mark up in practice. Here you review the full range of paid-owned and earned media options available to you, in particular. those you aren’t using now. You have to assess what you think they could contribute in advance of a test to prove or disprove your hypothesis.

In this step, you can also consider how other businesses are using content distribution in your sector. Since you won’t have access to their analytics, this can only be based on an assessment of the types of techniques you see them using and any results you hear them reporting.

Step 3. Select and prioritize new methods of content promotion

Finally, you can discuss which options could be worth trialing in future tests, based on your discussion. There will likely be several new options, so it’s a case of reviewing and setting up a schedule of what to trial and test. An additional use of this visual will be to consider new content partners who can be compared in a similar way.

Why create the Content Distribution Matrix?

Since we devised the content marketing matrix a couple of years ago, I have used it many times as part of breakout activities within in-company workshops to help discussions of how content marketing can be improved. It tends to work really well since everyone just ‘gets it’ and can swiftly move on to thinking about new ideas for content assets.

At the same time, I felt it needed a follow-on activity to help businesses do a similar type of gap analysis of how they’re promoting their content, or as many content marketing gurus call it, ‘content marketing distribution’. Content marketing distribution is aimed at getting the most from your investment in content assets by using different forms of paid, earned and owned media to enable you to reach your target audiences (see our Paid vs Owned vs Earned definition).

The Content Distribution Matrix was inspired by a well-established method of reviewing different digital media based on plotting the effectiveness of a media channel against the resource or media investment required.

You will see from our example, that there are many paid media social media advertising options now available, so this matrix can be used a reminder of what to test and if it’s not effective, then you can move on to test new techniques as they become available.

As with all of our infographics, we look to update them based on the feedback we get, so do let us know if there is anything that needs more explanation, or ideas you have for improving the Content Distribution Matrix. Thanks!

The 9 most important content marketing skills and tools you need to focus on in 2022

Today, content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Find out how digital and content marketing managers can boost their content strategies in 2022

Businesses are using content marketing as a strategy to reach and convert prospects. But are they getting the best results possible? To achieve these results, you need to focus on improving these 9 most important content marketing skills.

1. Content creation skills

Even though it’s obvious, very few content marketers can create the type of content that will achieve great results for their business. First, content writing is important for your blogs and other important website pages.

To improve content writing skills and eliminate blunders, a marketer has to learn about grammar. Grammarly is a tool that can assist writers to proofread their written content.

Content marketers need to improve their multimedia content creation skills to connect with their audience. This includes training on how to create basic visual content such as images or videos. With tools like Canva to help you though, it becomes easier to create these types of content.

2. Editing skills

Every piece of writing needs to be polished through editing before it can come out great. Even for great writers, it’s rare to have a perfect copy on the first try.

This is why content marketers need to learn how to edit their content before it’s published. During the process of editing, marketers can check for grammatical blunders in their piece of content.

Furthermore, editing ensures a piece of content has been successful in passing across its message to the audience. Is it clear enough for the reader and does it connect to their situation? How readable is it?

If you have a big budget, you can hire a professional editor. However, you can also train your marketers on editing skills.

If you’re looking for marketing solutions, why not book a marketing strategy consultation? Discuss your company’s strengths and weaknesses and identify new opportunities to grow your business, structured across the RACE Framework, our acclaimed 5-step marketing funnel proven to generate rapid results.

Omnichannel Marketing funnelOmnichannel Marketing funnel

Use the RACE Framework to inform your content strategy and fill your funnel with high-value, engaged customers.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

3. Deep understanding of sales funnels

Just like other marketing channels, the ultimate aim of content marketing is to turn your website visitors into leads and your leads into customers. To achieve this, content marketers use sales funnels which consist of different stages of the buyer journey. These include:

  • Top of the sales funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of the sales funnel (MOFU)
  • Bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU)

Sales funnel

Sales funnel

At different stages of the sales funnel, there are different requirements and audience needs. A content marketer needs training on how the sales funnel works and how content fits into each stage.

When content marketers have this skill, they can create pieces of content that will turn visitors into leads and leads into customers.

4. Planning skills

Achieving success with content marketing requires planning. Unlike some other forms of marketing, content marketing requires time and consistency before you get tangible results.

This means a content marketer needs to create pieces of content that fit into a strategy. To create an effective strategy, marketers have to understand their audience’s needs and how their pieces of content will meet them.

Furthermore, they need to create an editorial calendar that helps to publish content consistently. A tool like Trello can help marketers achieve this and collaborate with their team members.

Trello board

Trello board

By learning planning skills, your marketers can create pieces of content that will contribute positively to your overall marketing goals.

5. Research skills

Research comes into play at different stages of content marketing. First, a marketer has to carry out audience research. This will provide insights into their needs and the type of content that will provoke them to action.

Customer persona

Customer persona

Furthermore, content marketers need to research while creating a piece of content. As a result, they can find important pieces of information like studies, surveys, case studies that are available on that topic.

6. SEO skills

Search engines are one of the biggest sources of valuable traffic to websites. For instance, BrightEdge revealed that 53% of traffic to websites and 40% of revenue comes from organic traffic.

To capture more organic traffic, marketers need to optimize their content for search engines. And more importantly, optimize their content for keywords that potential buyers are likely to search for.

In light of these, marketers need SEO skills, especially as content marketing and SEO are so closely intertwined.

These include the ability to carry out tasks such as:

  • keyword research
  • Keyword placement in their content
  • On-page SEO
  • Competitor analysis

Businesses can hire SEO consultants or sponsor SEO courses to train their marketers.

Upskill yourself and your team, whilst prioritizing marketing activities that generate growth. Optimize a winning full-team marketing strategy structured around your customers’ experiences of your content and media, using the RACE Framework as your guide.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

7. Content promotion skills

Creating content is one part of the content marketing equation. But content promotion is the other part that few people pay attention to.

According to Derek Halpin, marketers should spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time promoting it. Even if you disagree with that percentage, it’s obvious that content promotion is vital – after all, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if nobody is actually reading it or seeing it.

Common platforms to promote your content include social media, blogging communities, and email. By promoting your content to social media followers and email subscribers, you’ll increase traffic to your content.

Another promotion skill marketers need is outreach. This includes reaching out to influencers who can promote your content to their audience or for guest post opportunities.

8. Data analysis skills

Today, many numbers show how effective your content marketing effort is. But marketers need to find the right numbers to analyze their performance.

For different content marketing campaigns, marketers need to understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to track them. For instance, what are the KPIs for brand awareness, lead acquisition, or customer acquisition campaigns?

A common tool that most businesses use is Google Analytics. Through this tool, marketers can find insights into how their audience behaves on their pages.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Apart from using numbers to track performance, content marketers also need the skills to track the ROI of their activities. How much are their efforts contributing to the business? Providing data analysis training to content marketers will help them track the effectiveness of their activities better.

9. Technical skills

To thrive in the present technological age, content marketers need technical skills. Because executing content creation and promotion effectively requires some important tools.

For instance, a content marketer might need to upload their content using a content management system like WordPress. Furthermore, they will have to draw insights from tools such as Google Analytics or other analytics tools.

Even more, some businesses now use personalization tools to personalize content for their visitors. In this case, a marketer needs to learn how to use those tools. It’s vital to train content marketers on how to use important tools for your business.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a growing channel to attract a bigger audience to your business and turn them into customers. Likewise, content marketers need to learn new skills to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.

And in order to achieve your content marketing targets in 2022, you need to train your content marketers to acquire these skills.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills


The 9 most important content marketing skills and tools you need to focus on in 2020

Today, content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Find out how digital and content marketing managers can boost their content strategies in 2022

Businesses are using content marketing as a strategy to reach and convert prospects. But are they getting the best results possible? To achieve these results, you need to focus on improving these 9 most important content marketing skills.

1. Content creation skills

Even though it’s obvious, very few content marketers can create the type of content that will achieve great results for their business. First, content writing is important for your blogs and other important website pages.

To improve content writing skills and eliminate blunders, a marketer has to learn about grammar. Grammarly is a tool that can assist writers to proofread their written content.

Content marketers need to improve their multimedia content creation skills to connect with their audience. This includes training on how to create basic visual content such as images or videos. With tools like Canva to help you though, it becomes easier to create these types of content.

2. Editing skills

Every piece of writing needs to be polished through editing before it can come out great. Even for great writers, it’s rare to have a perfect copy on the first try.

This is why content marketers need to learn how to edit their content before it’s published. During the process of editing, marketers can check for grammatical blunders in their piece of content.

Furthermore, editing ensures a piece of content has been successful in passing across its message to the audience. Is it clear enough for the reader and does it connect to their situation? How readable is it?

If you have a big budget, you can hire a professional editor. However, you can also train your marketers on editing skills.

If you’re looking for marketing solutions, why not book a marketing strategy consultation? Discuss your company’s strengths and weaknesses and identify new opportunities to grow your business, structured across the RACE Framework, our acclaimed 5-step marketing funnel proven to generate rapid results.

Omnichannel Marketing funnelOmnichannel Marketing funnel

Use the RACE Framework to inform your content strategy and fill your funnel with high-value, engaged customers.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

3. Deep understanding of sales funnels

Just like other marketing channels, the ultimate aim of content marketing is to turn your website visitors into leads and your leads into customers. To achieve this, content marketers use sales funnels which consist of different stages of the buyer journey. These include:

  • Top of the sales funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of the sales funnel (MOFU)
  • Bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU)

Sales funnel

Sales funnel

At different stages of the sales funnel, there are different requirements and audience needs. A content marketer needs training on how the sales funnel works and how content fits into each stage.

When content marketers have this skill, they can create pieces of content that will turn visitors into leads and leads into customers.

4. Planning skills

Achieving success with content marketing requires planning. Unlike some other forms of marketing, content marketing requires time and consistency before you get tangible results.

This means a content marketer needs to create pieces of content that fit into a strategy. To create an effective strategy, marketers have to understand their audience’s needs and how their pieces of content will meet them.

Furthermore, they need to create an editorial calendar that helps to publish content consistently. A tool like Trello can help marketers achieve this and collaborate with their team members.

Trello board

Trello board

By learning planning skills, your marketers can create pieces of content that will contribute positively to your overall marketing goals.

5. Research skills

Research comes into play at different stages of content marketing. First, a marketer has to carry out audience research. This will provide insights into their needs and the type of content that will provoke them to action.

Customer persona

Customer persona

Furthermore, content marketers need to research while creating a piece of content. As a result, they can find important pieces of information like studies, surveys, case studies that are available on that topic.

6. SEO skills

Search engines are one of the biggest sources of valuable traffic to websites. For instance, BrightEdge revealed that 53% of traffic to websites and 40% of revenue comes from organic traffic.

To capture more organic traffic, marketers need to optimize their content for search engines. And more importantly, optimize their content for keywords that potential buyers are likely to search for.

In light of these, marketers need SEO skills, especially as content marketing and SEO are so closely intertwined.

These include the ability to carry out tasks such as:

  • keyword research
  • Keyword placement in their content
  • On-page SEO
  • Competitor analysis

Businesses can hire SEO consultants or sponsor SEO courses to train their marketers.

Upskill yourself and your team, whilst prioritizing marketing activities that generate growth. Optimize a winning full-team marketing strategy structured around your customers’ experiences of your content and media, using the RACE Framework as your guide.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

7. Content promotion skills

Creating content is one part of the content marketing equation. But content promotion is the other part that few people pay attention to.

According to Derek Halpin, marketers should spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time promoting it. Even if you disagree with that percentage, it’s obvious that content promotion is vital – after all, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if nobody is actually reading it or seeing it.

Common platforms to promote your content include social media, blogging communities, and email. By promoting your content to social media followers and email subscribers, you’ll increase traffic to your content.

Another promotion skill marketers need is outreach. This includes reaching out to influencers who can promote your content to their audience or for guest post opportunities.

8. Data analysis skills

Today, many numbers show how effective your content marketing effort is. But marketers need to find the right numbers to analyze their performance.

For different content marketing campaigns, marketers need to understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to track them. For instance, what are the KPIs for brand awareness, lead acquisition, or customer acquisition campaigns?

A common tool that most businesses use is Google Analytics. Through this tool, marketers can find insights into how their audience behaves on their pages.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Apart from using numbers to track performance, content marketers also need the skills to track the ROI of their activities. How much are their efforts contributing to the business? Providing data analysis training to content marketers will help them track the effectiveness of their activities better.

9. Technical skills

To thrive in the present technological age, content marketers need technical skills. Because executing content creation and promotion effectively requires some important tools.

For instance, a content marketer might need to upload their content using a content management system like WordPress. Furthermore, they will have to draw insights from tools such as Google Analytics or other analytics tools.

Even more, some businesses now use personalization tools to personalize content for their visitors. In this case, a marketer needs to learn how to use those tools. It’s vital to train content marketers on how to use important tools for your business.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a growing channel to attract a bigger audience to your business and turn them into customers. Likewise, content marketers need to learn new skills to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.

And in order to achieve your content marketing targets in 2022, you need to train your content marketers to acquire these skills.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills


Applying the inverted triangle principle to content marketing

Stand out, get noticed and engage your audience with the inverted triangle principle

To attract an audience’s attention, start with the end in mind.

Brands embracing a content marketing strategy should study one of journalism’s key models: the inverted pyramid. This storytelling approach states that the most important elements of a story must come first, before tapering off into more detailed information later.

Inverted triangle

Inverted triangle

The inverted triangle also helps content creators structure stories so that the most important information reaches the widest audience, whilst the least important information goes at the bottom.

We see this all the time in newspaper articles. Consider this example:

Newspaper headline

Newspaper headline

The headline is clear, succinct and immediately captures our attention. The opening paragraph summarizes the essence of the story. Anyone who abandons the article after three or four paragraphs can still come away with a pretty good idea of what it’s about.

Brands vs. publications

Brands are notoriously bad at creating content. I can probably count on one hand the content I find reliably interesting/informative/useful from brands. The reason for this lack of success is primarily due to the mindset many brands adopt when creating content that is not directly related to a specific product or service.

An effective content marketing strategy means brands must think like publications. Success for any publication is dependent on its readership. In order to create a strong readership, publications must create content that clearly aligns with what their audience cares about.

The goal of a magazine or periodical, for example, is to capture as much of its audience’s attention as possible by selecting stories that are relevant, timely, and interesting.

The top of the inverted triangle

The top of the inverted triangle

Unlike publications, brands tend to be obsessed with themselves rather than their audience’s interests. A brand starts with an idea about itself (mission, values, products, services) and aims to sell this to an audience (the market). Brands are therefore very good at selling products via advertising, billboards, press releases, or paid search, but not so good at content marketing.

Attention and conversion strategies

Attention and conversion strategies

Content marketing is a very different beast to advertising. It is not a short-term, direct response medium and appeals to a much larger addressable audience that’s not immediately in the market for a particular product.

Brands must, therefore, shift their thinking and pivot toward an attention strategy. This is not straightforward, hence the limited success brands have had in the content marketing space. But if brands want to make an impact, they must think more like a publication and put their customer’s needs first.

Win more customers with an integrated marketing strategy

Our RACE Framework is a popular integrated marketing structure for marketing leaders looking to get more out of their digital marketing. Planning and managing marketing is made simple with the RACE Framework since you can scale it up or down according to your short-term and long-term objectives. Use the RACE Framework to ensure you drive the results you need for your business.

Omnichannel Marketing funnelOmnichannel Marketing funnel

Simply put, RACE guides marketers and managers through a 5-step process of plan, reach, act, convert, and engage, to acquire and retain more customers. Book your free 1-2-1 consultation call today to discuss the challenges and opportunities in your marketing strategy using the RACE Framework.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

Sell an aspiration, not a product

The biggest opportunity for brands is to identify and own an audience. Just as Wired (emerging technology’s impact on culture, the economy, and politics), Harvard Business Review (new ideas and classic advice on strategy, innovation and leadership for global leaders) and National Geographic (world leader in adventure, science, photography, environment, history and space exploration) own their respective audiences, brands must think more broadly about the space they can occupy.

Nationwide Building Society, for example, sells a variety of financial products, from current accounts and credit cards to savings and home insurance. Mortgages are the lifeblood of the organization and one of the biggest financial commitments most people will ever take on.

Mortgages are very complex financial products and are, therefore, difficult to generate sales for via traditional advertising. This is especially tricky online – even if a prospective customer is in the market for a mortgage, getting a positive direct response to a paid search or banner ad is a tough ask.

People don’t generally aspire to products. Instead, they relate to the thoughts and feelings that products produce. I don’t know about you, but the idea of a mortgage in and of itself never excited me. But the idea of owning my own house and creating a home one day was something I could aspire to. The data seems to indicate that this is a feeling shared by others.

Google Trends interest over time

Google Trends interest over time

For Nationwide, home ownership feels like a natural space to own from a content marketing perspective. There is a huge amount of potential interest, it aligns to the Society’s business model and there’s limited competition from elsewhere. Instead of selling a thing (a mortgage), Nationwide could sell an idea (home ownership) that’s adjacent to a thing (a mortgage).

Steve Bryant from Article Group sums this up perfectly:

“By capturing attention with ideas you own that idea. By owning the idea, you own the audience.

By owning the audience you can tell the audience what to pay attention to, and thereby define the marketplace”.

Plan, manage, and optimize a customer-centric marketing strategy

If you’re looking to optimize your marketing strategy, integrate your digital activities, or just need some help applying customer data to inform your user journeys, the RACE Framework can offer you a new approach.

Integrated across the lifecycle of reach, act, convert, and engage, our RACE Framework helps you identify and prioritize your key customer touchpoints and omnichannel experiences of your brand.

marketing lifecyclemarketing lifecycle

Our free 1-2-1 consultation calls are designed to put you in the driver’s seat and talk through your opportunities using the RACE Framework, so you can make an informed decision about the best strategy for your business. Book your call to find out more

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

Conclusion

The inverted triangle may be a tried and tested principle that publications have perfected over time, but brands operating in the content space still have a long way to go.

Content marketing is not a quick fix. It takes time, consideration and effort. Most importantly, it takes a certain discipline to identify and appeal to a specific audience. By owning an audience and creating content that aligns with their values and interests, brands have a unique opportunity to create content that genuinely resonates. This will, in turn, allow them to earn the right to ‘sell’ relevant products and services to a primed audience of a trusted brand.

 

Repurposing content: A short guide to strategic content marketing management

Repurposing content is an easy, often time-saving practice, that brings a plethora of benefits

Are you making the most of your content? Repurposing content – i.e. finding new ways to re-use your content – is an easy, often time-saving practice that brings a plethora of benefits.

From reaching a new audience to saving time creating new content and improving your search engine optimization (SEO), repurposing content is all about using data and insights to make your job as a marketer easier!

In this short guide, I’m going to show you how exactly you too can repurpose your content.

Set marketing objectives that align your content marketing with your company’s business vision

There are so many components in a marketing strategy, it can be easy to lose track. But, to make the most of your content marketing, marketers know that integrating your content strategy with your existing marketing activity goals is a sensible way to strengthen the impact of your channels and platforms.

Our RACE Framework is a simple, strategic structure for marketers to plan, manage, and optimize their marketing strategies, centered around customer experience and the customer journey.

Omnichannel Marketing funnelOmnichannel Marketing funnel

You can use the RACE Framework to set objectives for your content marketing, and align your marketing activity with your broader marketing strategies and goals. Book a call with a member of the customer team today to discuss your content marketing strategy in the context of the RACE Framework.

Book your call today to start identifying your current content’s strengths and weaknesses for reaching your target audiences, encouraging interaction, plus converting customers and keeping them engaged.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

Audit your content

If you’re going to repurpose any of your content, you should ideally start with the best, most popular pieces you’ve already created:

  • Blog posts and resources from your website
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Social media
  • And any other channels you’re using to create and publish content

Start by making a list of your most popular content; in order to do so though, you’ll need to check your analytics:

  • On your website: go to Google Analytics and follow this path: Behaviour – Site Content – All Pages; here, you’ll be able to see a list of your top performing content. Then, change the date ranges (at the top of your dashboard) to see what other top performing content you’ve had during other periods of time:

Google analytics top performing content

Google analytics top performing content

  • Email marketing: check your email marketing tool’s analytics to see what your top performing campaigns and newsletters are.
  • Social media analytics: which of your social media posts generated the most engagement/clicks? On Facebook, you can find the list of your most popular posts by going to your Page Insights and clicking on posts. On Twitter, it’s similar – just click on Tweets in Twitter Analytics and then on Top Tweets; like with Google Analytics earlier, you can change the date range:

Repurposing content analytics

Repurposing content analytics

If you use any other channels to publish content, repeat the process; then, make a list of all of the top-performing content on your different digital channels (not just blog posts and social media updates, but also any lead magnets on your website and basically any content you’ve ever created).

Once you’ve got that list ready, you can start thinking of ways to repurpose this content – although, you might not be able to repurpose all of it. In some cases, you’ll be able to repurpose almost the entire piece of content while in others, only small parts.

Here are some of the best methods of repurposing content:

Use data to update and expand older pieces of content

Some of the content you create can continue driving results over long periods of time (even years). These are usually evergreen pieces of content, such as how-to guides and listicles.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to repurpose content is to take these pieces of evergreen content (blog posts, resources) and update them and/or expand them with new content.

For example, if you’ve written a guide a year (or several years) ago that is, in large part, still relevant today – let’s say it’s a guide on how to repurpose your content – then you can make sure it’s 100% relevant by updating it and adding new content: are there any new and interesting ways of repurposing content? New rules that readers would need to know about?

Then, all you need to do is update the post and write down (preferably right at the top, under the headline) that the post has been updated, together with the date and re-promote the post to get more traffic, leads, and reach a new audience.

Find new opportunities for your content marketing

Identify your strengths, weaknesses and find new opportunities with the RACE Framework. Book a call to discuss content marketing solutions that work for you and your business. Find out more about the RACE Framework, and content marketing strategy tools covered in this blog. Book in your call to get started today.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

Turn a blog post into a different format

Another way to repurpose content is to turn it into a completely different format so that you can republish it (on the same channel) or publish it on a completely different channel. It would result in a new piece of content and it will help you reach a new audience. Here are some of the best ways to turn your blog posts into different formats:

Presentations

Turn a blog post into a presentation, which you can re-post on your blog/website and on other channels – particularly Slideshare, which can help you reach a whole new audience.

Use your best posts – for example, educational content, content with lots of interesting statistics (generally, evergreen content) – and turn them into powerful presentations to use on Slideshare, on your website as a blog post or a downloadable resource/lead magnet, in webinars, and so on.

Infographics

If you have any content with lots of interesting statistics, it’s a great opportunity to turn it into an infographic. Use tools like Canva or Visme to help you create your infographic. You can then re-post it on your website, share it with your email list, submit it to various infographic directories and other publications, and share it on your social channels.

E-books

Do you have several pieces of content on the same topic? If so, you could combine them into a short e-book, with some rewording to make sure it all flows well together. E-books make great lead magnets so you can create opt-in forms on your website to generate more leads through e-book downloads.

Repurposing content to create social media updates

Your blog posts and other content can easily be turned into great social media updates; for example:

  • Use quotes and statistics from your content and turn them into social media images (with the quote/statistic/interesting fact over a relevant, eye-catching image)
  • Turn a popular blog post into a short social media video – for example, you can use a tool like Wave to create your video
  • Re-use images that you’ve created for your content on your social channels

Repost your content on other platforms

One of the great benefits of repurposing content is that it helps you reach a new, wider audience. And one of the ways to do this is to repost your content on different channels:

  • Repost your content on different websites: BizSugar, Medium, Buzzfeed, Growth Hackers
  • Use your existing content to answer questions on Quora: Quora is a popular social platform when anyone can ask questions on any topic, and anyone (with an account, of course), can answer. It’s a great opportunity to grow your online profile, boost your influence in your niche and reach a new audience; plus, you can, on occasion, link to your own blog or website where relevant and generate more traffic. Search for questions on topics that you’ve written about and use relevant parts of your content to respond to them:

Repurposing content: Quora Q&A

Repurposing content: Quora Q&A

Repurposing content as a lead magnet

Some of your most valuable content can easily be turned into a lead magnet and help you generate more leads for your business.

Check the list of your top-performing content and select any evergreen posts that provide a lot of value to your target audience: how-to guides, educational content, useful listicles, and so on.

Then, simply create opt-in forms on your website to offer these pieces of content as downloads for your audience.

A very easy and quick way to do this is to turn this content into downloadable PDFs.

Strengthen your customer lifecycle with content marketing

Good quality content can add value at every stage of your customers’ journeys. But, to make sure your content is working hard for you within your marketing strategy, we recommend taking the time to map out which content is more appropriate for which stage of the lifecycle, and which media best serves that purpose.

marketing lifecyclemarketing lifecycle

After all, content distribution doesn’t have to be complicated, but for the best chance of success, you will need to be clear in terms of your goals and KPIs.

Looking for marketing strategy advice? Why not book a call with a member of the team to discuss your marketing strategy in the context of the RACE Framework? In your dedicated call, you can identify content marketing and other marketing channel options to strengthen your customer lifecycle, and win more customers.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skillsGrow your business and professional marketing skills

Repurposing content saves you time and money

As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can re-use and repurpose your content and generate more results from content that you already know, works – instead of constantly creating new content for your blog and website, social media, and other digital channels.

A starter guide to creating webinars

Webinars are great for generating quality leads, building trust with an audience, reaching more people, and converting more leads into customers

In an increasingly competitive market where consumers get hit with content from all sides, webinars allow you to offer them more value than other, more traditional forms of online content (blog posts, infographics, etc.).

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 43% of B2B marketers use webinars platforms, and 55% use webinars as a key content distribution vehicle.

CMI content distribution Ascend2, meanwhile, has found that webinars are the second most effective type of gated content resource for lead capture purposes, trumped only by download offers, and Demand Gen Report has found that along with research reports and emails, webinars are the most effective tactics for lead nurture.

If you’re looking to get started with this powerful content format, read on for a comprehensive guide to creating webinars:

What do you want to achieve?

Before planning or creating a webinar, think of what exactly you want to achieve with it. For example, webinars can be used to:

  • Educate your audience: product demonstrations for existing and potential customers, or other educational material
  • Generate leads and build your email list: people are much more likely to give their name and email in exchange for a webinar; in fact, 79% of B2B buyers said they would give their personal information for a webinar in according to Demand Gen Report)
  • Establish authority and credibility in your niche: showing your prospects how helpful your product is can be far more effective than asking them to take your word for it
  • Convert more leads into customers and make more sales: few tactics are as effective for building a relationship with leads than when they spend a good hour or so watching you talk about how your product can make their lives better

Most marketers use webinars particularly to generate more leads. That’s because, as I mentioned earlier, people are likelier to give away their contact details in exchange for a webinar as they provide more value than most other forms of content. On24’s Webinar Benchmark’s Report found that 29% of marketing webinar attendees convert.

What’s more, most marketers put a big emphasis on the quality of the leads generated – and that is exactly where webinars shine.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to determine what type of webinar you need to create to reach that goal. So, for example, if you were a business consultant looking to generate more quality leads for your business, you might hold a webinar that not only shows off your knowledge but also helps solve one of the big pain-points of your target audience.

Beyond that, though, you should also set clear, measurable objectives for each webinar. For example:

  • To get 300 attendees and a 65% attendance rate
  • To generate 100 new email addresses for your list
  • To make 5 news sales

Goal benchmarking is important, as it allows you to optimize future webinars. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right from the first try; by analyzing your results carefully, you’ll learn what you can do to improve results on your next webinar, and so on – until you become a master of organizing holding quality webinars.

What should your webinar be about?

As I mentioned earlier, your end goal will help you figure out what kind of content you should provide to achieve that goal.

Beyond that though, all you have to do is a little research:

  • Use a keyword tool to research what keywords your audience is searching for: For example, use Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner. This will help you understand exactly what your audience’s questions and pain points are, no matter what product or service you might be selling. Use the most searched for groups of keywords to come up with multiple ideas for webinars
  • Ask your list: you could do a survey or ask your list directly of what they’d want to learn more about; give them a few options and let their answers come in
  • Look at your blog: which of your blog posts were most successful? Some of them could be great for a webinar, where you can cover the subject more in-depth. Additionally, look at the comments you receive: what questions do people have? What struggles are they facing?
  • Look at similar blogs: whether your blog is too small, or just because you want to do even more research, you can use other similar blogs for your research. Just like with your blog, find out what their most popular posts are (and why), and read through the comments they receive to see what questions and pain points their readers have

Plan your webinar

Once you’ve figured out what your webinar will be about, start planning:

  • Preparing the webinar
  • Promoting the webinar ahead of the day
  • Post-webinar, analyzing performance and repurposing the content

In terms of preparing your webinar, you need to be as ready as possible; not only have all your hand-outs ready (any PDFs, checklists, tests, and so on), but you need to be very confident about the subject you’re going to speak about.

Plus, practice some common questions and how you would answer them; at the end of the webinar, a few minutes are left specifically for a Q&A.

Next, you need to get people to join your webinar; meaning, it’s time to start promoting it:

  • Create a landing page where people can register
  • Promote the webinar/landing page on your blog and website (pop-ups, opt-in forms, and buttons); plus, if you have a blog, you can write a post about it
  • Email your list to let them know about your webinar
  • Promote on social media

You must promote your webinars heavily and over an extended period. Research from on24 found that 21% of attendees register over 15 days in advance, 37% in the last 7 days before a webinar, and as many as 26% register on the day of the webinar.

Once the webinar is finished, don’t forget to measure your results, so that you can make better webinars in the future.

Here’s a rundown of some of the best webinar tools:

ClickMeeting

ClickmeetingClickMeeting is an all-in-one webinar tool that helps you through every stage of the process, before, during, and after the webinar.

You can use it to create a webinar room with your branding and:

  • Get people to attend with customized invitations, a registration page for the webinar
  • Hold your webinar in audio and video and show your slides and other documents, use a whiteboard to illustrate your points, and use screen sharing for demonstrations.
  • Add calls to action during your webinar and post a poll or survey at any time to collect information and feedback (plus, some very valuable customer insights)
  • Record your webinar and store it
  • Get attendee statistics to understand your performance
  • Share to social media

What I love about ClickMeeting is that it offers the full suite of tools needed to create, promote, hold, and measure your webinars’ performance, making it a perfect solution for those who want to integrate webinars into their content marketing strategy – something that you won’t find with many other major webinar tools.

AnyMeeting

AnyMeeting

AnyMeeting is a webinar and video conferencing tool; when it comes to webinars, you can use the tool to:

  • Create custom registration forms to collect attendees or your webinar
  • Connect with your email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tools through Zapier
  • Facebook and Twitter integrations for promoting your webinar
  • Hold webinars with up to 6 presenters
  • Take real-time polls during your webinar
  • Hold audience Q&As with the Q&A tool
  • Use screen sharing, presentations and share all kinds of files and media
  • Have up to 1000 attendees on your webinars

Sign up for Free membership

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is a tool designed to help businesses of any size and shape, create and hold a webinar:

  • Create customized registration forms to gather registrants and their relevant data
  • Send email invitations, confirmations and reminders, automatically
  • Customize your webinar with your branding
  • Add polls and surveys during the webinar to collect information and feedback
  • Hold Q&As at the end of your webinars
  • Record your webinars and reuse them anywhere you need to
  • Create pre-recorded webinars and the new Simulated Live feature will help the event “feel” live
  • Built-in reporting and analytics for your webinars

Conclusion

Webinars, as I mentioned earlier, can provide a wealth of benefits:

  • Build more trust and credibility with your target audience and your leads
  • Raise awareness of your business
  • Increase your authority in your niche
  • Generate more leads and make more sales
  • Create a new revenue stream – if you keep at it, it can become a very profitable revenue stream, for that matter.

Have you created any webinars yet?

How powerful is visual content in a marketing strategy?

Words aren’t enough, you need to step out of the box when it comes to engaging the audience

Do amazing marketing campaigns always come from huddling around a whiteboard as a team or working in isolation, or even worse staring at a screen for hours upon end – Agree or not? Definitely Not! I mean if this is the scenario, then how would every major social network, including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, make themselves better day in day out. You have to work on the go to come up with a fantastic idea.

If we talk about marketing in the earlier days, SEO was all about getting higher rankings by using all text, with no focus on visuals. This old school strategy no longer works. Words are no longer enough, you need to step out of the box when it comes to engaging the audience. This is where great visuals can really come in handy and make you stand out from the crowd.

It may quite interest you to know that around 65% of people are visual learners.

The following post help you will refresh your love-hate relationship with images from photographic to infographic, and even your love-hate relationship with GIFS. After all, we know this content type causes an innate psychological resonance with our audience, right? Let’s delve into the details.

The significance of Visual Content

  1. Numbers never lie: According to studies conducted by Visual Teaching Alliance:
  • Eyes can process 36,000 visual messages per hour.
  • The sense of a visual scene can be felt in less than 1/10 of a second.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Brain process visuals 60,000X faster than any text.
  1. Triggers Reaction: There is no denying the fact that visuals are processed better, and they produce much faster as well as a stronger reaction than any other type of content. Scientifically speaking, visual stimuli, and emotional response – such as surprise, shock, happy, inspired, confused – are linked together in the brain, which leads to making memories.
  2. Increases Engagement: A picture is worth a thousand words. Nothing works for humans like telling them a story. Remember how our grandmas used to create one? Quite similarly, businesses must come up with a story that is relevant to your brand, engaging and sticks to your marketing objectives.

Visual content types include:

  1. Images/comics/memes
  2. Videos
  3. Infographics
  4. GIFs
  5. Presentations

For instance: Target’s Pinterest strategy is a good example of using visual content in the right way. Target is a brand that serves as the best example by using sites like Pinterest to stand out. It has numerous Pinterest boards and uses different strategies for each board.

Party with Pinners

Pinterest is a platform where it can be easy for brands to come off as very generic and typical. Most of the time, brands happen to post images of their products, which might work, but that method isn’t always as engaging as a graphic that combines both images and text. Target’s ‘Party with Pinners’ board does an especially good job of sharing images that are fresh, fun, and engaging, as well as that share a message.

The Smarter Pinterest marketing guide for Business members helps content marketers make optimum use of Pinterest’s potential by taking you through the steps of creating an online presence or reviewing your existing approach with lots of inspiring examples of how businesses and brands are engaging their audience through their boards and campaigns.

Implementing your visual content marketing strategy

Not every kind of visual included in your content is the same, so they won’t work in the same way. Visuals are only successful when they are used in the right place. Adding a stock photo to your tweets, for example, doesn’t work these days, you need to be more interesting than that. Here are a number of techniques that can help visuals in your content be effective.

1. Including a featured image

Always include an image at the beginning of every blog post – preferably a relevant image that links to the topic of that blog. You should also try including the same image in the snippet section of your website’s main page. These visuals draw attention to your content and increase engagement, so you should ensure they are accompanied by words that let people know what the article is about.

So from now on, whenever you include an image on the top/left/right corner, do not forget to add fewer characters. By doing this, people will be able to make snap decisions about the content of your blog, deciding whether they want to read it or not.

2. Use a variety of visuals

There is still a broad misconception among many marketers that images are the only visual element that can be incorporated alongside text. However, it is now easier than ever to utilize other forms of visual content, giving you more options no matter what your budget. This means you can jump on trends that are big right now, including:

  • 3D charts and graphs
  • Stock images
  • Custom-made images
  • Infographics
  • Cartoons
  • Memes
  • Embedded tweets/Instagram or Facebook photos/videos

Mixing up the visuals you use can make all of your content more interesting, give you more assets to share across other platforms and increase overall engagement. On top of this, different types of visual content can make your site look updated without taking on a huge overhaul.

3. Make the most of social media

Social media has never had such a huge impact on the way a business interacts with its audience as it does today. Not only is it a great way to increase awareness of and improve engagement with your brand, but social media is also one of the platforms that gets the best results from visual content.

Slide Share, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube are just a few of the social media platforms that make the most of consumers’ increased engagement with visual content. From custom-made graphics to live videos or user-generated content, these platforms allow you to create and share a broad range of content so you can engage multiple target audiences.

Stunning Examples of Visual Content Marketing

Starbucks on Instagram

Starbucks on Instagram

If you didn’t fancy a coffee before, Starbucks’ social media presence will probably get you in the mood for one. Not only does Starbucks make great coffee, but it also positions itself as a lifestyle company – quite successfully too. Its Instagram profile is a great example of how the brand brings its personality to life.

The coffee company regularly mixes up the types of content shared on this social media platform, but each type of visual represents the brand, its values and the interests of its followers. It is all about good images, many of which are taken by its followers, that showcase the lifestyle it targets while still showcasing its products, but not in an overly promotional way.

AirBnB map

AirBnB map

While everyone is well-versed in Google maps, AirBnB’s map is a little bit different. The map represents the real-time occupancy of properties listed on AirBnB, showing users where is popular right now.

Presented in other ways, this information is likely to be far from engaging. However, the visual aspect of the map – alongside the interactivity – brings the information to life. It enables audiences to spot areas that fellow travelers are loving, as well as see what properties they might be interested in. Not only does the map show that AirBnB has a huge reach, it shows its audience that they can access it.

On top of this, the map is also an excellent idea for link-bait content, as it is likely to attract backlinks from news and travel agencies.

Domino’s Pizza Emoji

Domino's pizza emoji tweet

Dominos launched a unique campaign to change the way people order pizzas. To appeal to their Twitter audience, Domino’s made it possible to order pizzas via tweets, but it didn’t stop there. Interested parties simply needed to tweet the pizza emoji to get a delivery, making use of a visual element that everyone is able to access with ease via their smartphone.

Ultimately, the fun and interactive visual campaign earned a lot of attention proving that words aren’t always necessary for communication and visuals can be enough to get your message across.

Final thoughts

If you want to tap into the visceral psyche of your audience, provide exciting ways that they’re curious to explore and leave them awestruck. Visual content can do just this, but you need to remember that only a well-designed visual content marketing strategy will do the trick.

 

Olivia Diaz is working as Technology Observer at eTatvaSoft an Enterprise level Web and Mobile Application Development Company. Being a tech geek, she keeps a close watch over the industry focusing on the latest technology news and gadgets. Follow her on Twitter.

65% of marketers LOVE the new Google Search Console Insights

Google Search Console Insights combines Google Search Console and Google Analytics to introduce a new SEO platform for content marketers

If you regularly use Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console tools to evaluate and optimize your marketing (and if you don’t – here’s some starters for you!), you may have heard about this integrated new insights platform update from Google.

Google Search Console Insights

What is Google Search Console Insights?

Still in Beta mode, Google Search Console Insights is a new platform which allows content marketers an integrated overview of how their content is searched for/discovered (GSC) alongside insights about the audience and their behaviour (GA).

Pharma and healthcare marketing trends 2021

Accelerate your growth in 2021 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today

In their write-up, Search Engine Roundtable suggests the platform will help you answer these questions about their content and SEO strategy:

  • What are your best performing pieces of content?
  • How are your new pieces of content performing?
  • How do people discover your content across the web?
  • What are your site’s top and trending queries on Google Search?
  • What other sites and articles link to your site’s content and did you get any new links?

If you’re still unsure if Google Search Console Insights is for you, this summary and in-platform screenshots from Accuracast may be useful for you. In the meantime, let’s find out more about what marketers think…

Do marketers love Google Search Console Insights?

We asked marketers to weigh in on what they love (and don’t) about this platform. Hear below from three marketers who voted in our poll, two from the “I love it” camp and one from “I’m not impressed”.

SEO insight for businesses who don’t use Search Console

– “I love it”

“I think this tool will be great for business owners and internal marketing teams to get an insight into how their site is performing, without having to master the complexity of Google Analytics and Search Console.

I come across a lot of businesses who only use Google Analytics and haven’t set up Search Console, so are missing out on a lot of data. The new Search Console Insights will be perfect for businesses like this.

The only downside I can see so far is that the data of the past 28 days includes the current day, so it looks as though your traffic is down but the day is just not over yet. This may cause some unnecessary worry!”

Jen Penaluna, Senior SEO Manager, Bigfoot Digital

Photo of Jen

 

Eliminating the need for SME additional tools and trackers?

– “I love it”

“Google Search Console Insights is the new face of Google reporting, providing an extensive overview of marketing data, and not just for SEO!

“Insights” might not be such a big thing for the SEO experts. But for multi-stack marketers in small and medium businesses, implementing this platform may eliminate the need for some of their other additional tools and trackers – saving more money in the long run.”

Daraban Cosmin, CEO and Co-founder of gomag.ro

Photo of Daraban

 

The same essential Google tools, new “makeup”

– “I’m not impressed”

“I voted, “I’m not impressed” because in my opinion is more or less the same as the previous version, just a different “makeup”.

However, I consider it is an essential webmaster tool, that allows you to analyze and obtain data that can help you improve the organic positioning of your website.

With Google Search Console Insights you can:

  • Analyze the traffic on your website, in a different way to Google Analytics.
  • Monitor and analyze the performance of your website, both for PCs and mobiles.
  • Know which web pages are being positioned and for which keywords.
  • Identify incoming links and internal links.
  • Detect errors that affect your website.
  • Optimize the structure of your website.
  • Send new pages to be indexed by Google spiders.
  • Detect security problems on your website.
  • Remove URLs that you do not want to appear in search results
  • Find out which pages are the most successful on your website.
  • Test if the robots.txt and sitemap files on your website work correctly or have an error.
  • Know which pages have blocked resources.
  • Measure the conversion rate or CTR.”

Eduard Perez-Mañanet Lozoya, International Business Manager, Industrias Murta

Photo of Eduardo

 

4 types of evergreen content that you need to start creating for your business

With every company keen to climb Google’s search rankings, it is easy to lose perspective by simply churning out fresh content that seizes on the zeitgeist or otherwise meets current demand

It is difficult to overstate the importance of evergreen content for modern content marketers. With every company keen to climb Google’s search rankings, it is easy to lose perspective by simply churning out fresh content that seizes on the zeitgeist or otherwise meets current demand.

Evergreen content, though, doesn’t age the same way: it is, by nature, time-proof, as relevant if read in a year as it is today. While Google does like to answer searchers’ queries with up-to-date articles, it also rewards high-quality legacy content created many months or even years ago – particularly if you update it regularly.

Some blog pages have stubbornly hung on to a number one page ranking for eight or nine years now, bringing a constant stream of traffic to the page, as well as building trust (being the number one spot in search results will help make more people trust you and your business) and, consequently, boosting your conversions.

By creating evergreen content, you are both pleasing our Google overlords and providing solutions the customer will find valuable. By focusing on an article, infographic or video that stands the test of time, whether because its content is timeless or easy to quickly update, you can positively influence search engine ranking, traffic and lead generation. Evergreen content provides more value to the reader, and as a result, more publications are likely to link to it, resulting in improved page and domain authority.

Outpace your competition in a challenging SME market

Access a complete marketing survival kit to grow your business during a recession

Get Results, Fast

Access a complete marketing survival kit to grow your business during a recession

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about four types of evergreen content you should start creating for your business, along with tips and best practices for creating better-performing evergreen content.

Essential elements of good evergreen content

Before you start populating your editorial calendar with new content ideas, what makes a good piece of evergreen content?

For a start, it needs to provide real value to your audience: What does your audience get out of this piece of content? What is the value to them? In order for a piece of content to perform well for long periods of time, it needs to provide this value to the audience – usually, in the form of educating them and informing them about a subject.

Another hugely important factor is that it the information in your content is relevant for a long period of time – even if you might have to make occasional changes to bring it up to date. For example, a Facebook marketing guide won’t be relevant for long as Facebook makes changes frequently to their algorithm, along with adding new features; but, if you update the guide regularly to reflect new changes and features, then it will continue to stay relevant.

In terms of length, although evergreen content doesn’t necessarily need to be long, satisfying searchers often necessitates an in-depth piece.

As such, many pieces of content that cling to a page one ranking are on the lengthy side, having required considerable time and effort on the research and writing side of things. Compelling evergreen content almost always attracts a significant number of page views when it first appears and the effect gradually snowballs.

Best practices for creating evergreen assets

Before you start creating any new evergreen content, here are some tips to help you create better, more effective content:

Research keywords

This is one of the most vital parts of creating evergreen content. With thorough keyword analysis, you can identify the phrases and queries that searchers are using, then retrofit your content accordingly.

With a strong focus on keywords, particularly in the article title but also in subheadings and body copy, you’ll give yourself the best chance of driving traffic to your page – and perhaps just as importantly, understanding which topics are relevant to your audience over longer periods of time.

To help, you can use “traditional”  keyword research tools like the Moz Explorer or something like Answer the Public, which helps you visualize and discover all of the different queries and questions people Google.

Answer the public

Magnify and dissect specific topics

Although how-to guides are highly comprehensive, there is definitely a place for creating succinct evergreen content that zeroes in on a single subtopic or feature.

For example, you might be selling a piece of software. In addition to creating an authoritative long-form guide on the software as a whole, you should consider crafting a dozen or more short articles concentrating on particular frequent queries that your target audience might have. For example, definitions and explanations of industry terms, like this short article that pops up when you search for “what is SEO”:

What is SEO

Use short paragraphs, concise text, highlight elements

Some of the greatest writers in the literary canon penned page-length paragraphs to get their point across. Leave that to the old-timers: digital natives prefer short two or three-line paragraphs and understandable language.

Because modern searchers have a penchant for scanning content, their eyes alight on words or phrases which are highlighted. Not to mention, so many of us now consume content on our mobile devices – and a small screen makes it difficult to read long paragraphs.

So make it easy for your audience by highlighting key points and instructions in bold, as well as using short paragraphs, bullet points, keyword-rich sub-headlines, along with lots of imagery

The best types of evergreen content

Now that we’ve gone through the best practices for creating great content, here are some ideas of evergreen content that you can get started on:

Comprehensive user guides and tutorials

How-to guides and tutorials are exceptionally good examples of evergreen content. These long-form documents are just what searchers are looking for and are ideal for strategically deploying both short and long-tail keywords.

Think about it this way: people will always seek to find the best way of doing something, whether it’s building an extension or editing a home video.

If your content satisfies their curiosity and is sufficiently definitive, Google will sit up and take notice, along with other publications who will want to link to it; and your well-crafted article will continually attract new readers asking the same question or variants thereof.

While how-to guides might require some tweaking from time to time, they rarely require a significant overhaul. Just be mindful of where revisions might be necessary. For example, if you decide to create a how-to guide on Facebook advertising, you should be aware that it will require revisions pretty much every time Facebook releases an update.

Customer testimonies

Creating review pages of your products or services is a wise idea, as positive reviews stand the test of time. OK, consumers might not trust a decade-out-of-date review of a company that has since taken a completely different direction and replaced its board of directors; but for the most part, customer testimonies have long relevance and improve visitor trust.

Think about it: if a consumer is attempting to find out whether they can trust a company, Google will almost certainly feed them review pages.

Curated lists

Listicles help searchers make a better-informed decision. Whether you are ranking apps, blogs, restaurants, software or some other asset, such rundowns have terrific potential to become evergreen.

Just make sure your lists are useful, well-written and updated as necessary. After all, you don’t want to be touting an obsolete tool or defunct blog as number one. By the same token, you’ll want to make sure all links in evergreen content are kept up-to-date.

Checklists

Checklists are fun, easy to use and can provide a lot of value to your audience.

They tend to attract audiences as they’re so highly effective at making sure you’re doing something the right way – and they can be used by pretty much any industry or niche.

Do you sell financial services? Then a “personal finance checklist” will likely generate a lot of downloads from your target audience – and stay relevant for years.

Maybe you run health-based services? In that case, an “emergency checklist for seizures” will help you reach your target audience via search engines.

Whatever you’re selling, services, or products, there are always ways to leverage such checklists; and many of them won’t require much changing over the years.

Conclusion

All businesses can benefit from creating quality evergreen content, regardless of their size, budget, industry or conversion goal. Focus on crafting unique content whose value to readers stands the test of time instead of creating content just for the sake of it – even if the content is longer, more complex or requires more research. In the end, it will help you generate more positive results than any “regular” piece of content: more leads, more conversions, more traffic, and better SEO.

How to create a content marketing plan for 2021

How do you run content marketing campaigns for your business in 2021 when the competition is fiercer than ever?

Content marketing has been proven to produce amazing results for businesses. For instance, a good content marketing plan will generate you three times more leads at a 62% lower cost than traditional marketing. Coming into 2021, knowing that we face a difficult economic recession, now it’s more important than ever to leverage content marketing to improve your ROI.

Core Module

Selecting campaign types and ‘always-on’ activity

Selecting campaign types and ‘always-on’ activity

Part of the Marketing campaign planning Toolkit

Learn the main types of campaigns that you may need to use to achieve your different marketing goals.

Learn More

But there’s a little problem: how do you run content marketing campaigns for your business in 2021 when the competition is fiercer than ever?

Frankly, the first task you need to perform is to create a content marketing plan. With a good plan in place, you can take the first step to achieve content marketing success next year.

Unsurprisingly, CoSchedule found that marketers who proactively plan their projects or campaigns are 356% more likely to achieve success. So if you want to be among those who generate great results from content marketing in 2021, start by putting together a documented plan.

In this blog post, I’ll share seven steps to create an effective content marketing plan.

1. Carry out a content audit

To create a content marketing plan for 2021, you need an audit to determine your current performance and understand what works and what doesn’t. This knowledge will then help you plan your content marketing strategy.

While carrying out an audit, some details to check include:

  • Top-performing content
  • Low-performing content
  • Content publishing frequency
  • Ranking keywords

The more you understand your current performance – and the reasons behind your performance, whether good or bad – the more knowledge you’ll have to help you develop future content marketing plans.

2. Set your 2021 content marketing goals

As effective as content marketing can be, you most likely won’t get an ROI (return on investment) if you have no target. Without goals, your marketing activities lose focus and it becomes difficult to judge its success or failure.

In most cases, businesses use content marketing to achieve the following goals:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead acquisition
  • Lead nurturing
  • Customer acquisition
  • Sales

Whatever goal you have, you need to set those goals properly. Using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) method will go a long way in setting effective goals.

Of course, your goals will depend on the stage of the sales funnel you’re creating content for. Having said that, your goals will determine the type of content you create, how you promote your content, and other activities.

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

3. Carry out audience research

Another essential aspect of creating a content marketing plan is knowing exactly who you’re targeting with your content.

Who are you trying to deliver your content to? What type of content is their favourite? Do they expect a formal or an informal content style? What types of content should you create? What channels should you be using?

You capture these pieces of information and more by carrying out extensive audience research. After your research, you should have as many details about your ideal customer so that you can put together a buyer/audience personas for each type of ideal customer.

One way to go about your research is to build a profile of the types of individuals you want to convert with your content. Alternatively, you can look at your current customer base and build target profiles from your best customers/leads.

Here’s an example of a buyer persona from Alore to give you a better idea of what a persona should look like:

Persona marketing plan example

4. Determine the type of content to publish in 2021

Initially, content was synonymous with the written content. But over the years, various other content formats have grown in popularity.

A point in case is visual content, which has been especially popular. Unsurprisingly, many marketers find success using illustrations alongside text.

Images in content marketing

Apart from the written content, other formats include:

  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Presentations

The type of content you should go for will depend a lot on your particular audience. Ideally, you should use a few different content formats that perform best with your audience.

Use a different content mix depending on the channels you’re using, as well as your audience’s preferences.

Plus, it’s worth experimenting with different types of content to see how that affects your overall results.

5. Create your 2021 content calendar

While producing content to attract your audience, one of the main determinants of your success is consistency. It takes time to achieve results with content marketing and you need to consistently deliver great content experiences in order to grow.

With a content calendar, you can plan your content publishing at your preferred frequency.

Also, your calendar provides you with a visual overview of your content marketing activities. Team members can then easily follow progress on pieces of content, making the entire process more productive for your entire team.

Some details to have in your content marketing calendar include:

  • Team members responsible for content
  • Stage of the sales funnel
  • Content format
  • Due dates for content’s first draft
  • Publishing date
  • Promotion channels

To create a content calendar, you can either try Google Sheets and create it yourself, or you can use a specialized tool. If you need more functionality, a tool like CoSchedule will allow you to plan content across channels and automate publishing as well:

CoSchedule content marketing plan

Meanwhile, if you use WordPress, there’s a plugin called “Editorial Calendar” that shows your calendar in your dashboard.

With your content calendar, you can produce content consistently enough to achieve your intended content marketing results.

6. Have a plan for your 2021 content promotion

Creating content is one part of content marketing; another vital part is promoting your content.

Many experts will tell you to spend the same amount of time for the creation and the promotion stage. In fact, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers believes that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it.

While you have a plan for creating content, you need one for promoting it too. Of course, there are many platforms to promote your content and you should pick the best ones to reach your audience.

Some platforms to promote your content include:

  • Guest posts: these are relevant pieces of content on bigger industry sites that can increase your exposure.
  • Social media: share your content on social channels where your audience hangs out. This way, it’s easier to reach them.
  • Search engines: create and optimize content for keywords your ideal customers are searching for.
  • Emails: send emails to your subscribers to inform them about new pieces of content on your website.
  • Forums: here, you can answer relevant questions on forum topics and link to your blog posts that provide a detailed answer to the question.
  • Advertising: you can spend money to promote important content through social media ads. Another option is Google ads to bring searchers to a landing page where you have an attractive offer.

In your promotion plan, you need to include the frequency of promotion on each platform. It’s vital to note that each platform has best practices when promoting content on them.

7. Measuring your content marketing success and ROI in 2021

To get any result from content marketing, you have to execute a campaign. After taking action, you also need to track your campaign’s performance.

In reality, you need different metrics to track performance for your campaigns. Because when the goals for your campaigns change, so do the metrics used to measure the goals’ success.

To put it in another way, the metrics you track will depend on your goals. Which metrics indicate brand awareness? Which metrics show lead acquisition?

You need to specify these metrics in your campaign plan because this way, you can start following the results as soon as you start your campaign. By doing this, you’ll be able to quickly see if something isn’t working as it should – and optimize your campaign to hopefully improve your results and ultimately, achieve your objectives.

Furthermore, metrics can produce insights to improve the strategy for future campaigns.

Conclusion

Creating a content marketing plan drastically improves your chances of achieving your targets in a timely manner.

You need to know your current performance, understand your audience, use a content calendar, promote content, and track performance. By going through all of these steps and developing a quality calendar, you’ll be able to attract more leads and customers through content marketing in 2021.

Finance content marketing: How to create awesome content for the finance sector

What’s the secret to a successful finance content marketing strategy? Find out with our 8 foolproof tips.

The finance world can be a tough place for a marketer. Creating inspiring finance content marketing that communicates your brand’s messages, engages customers and keeps the compliance team happy is a tough nut to crack.

But fear not – there is a way to tick each of those boxes, and it’s all about taking a planned content-led approach.

Is your Financial Services business competing online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out. Use the RACE Growth Process to win more customers

Get started now

Learning Paths for marketing teams

Finance content marketing for brands

We’ve found that telling stories delivers particularly brilliant results for finance brands. Combining crucial strategic vision with user-friendly design opens up big possibilities for creative, shareable and high-impact finance content marketing.

Want to know how you can achieve this too? Take a look at our eight best-practice guiding principles when creating any kind of content marketing for a finance brand.

1. Directly answer customers’ financial questions

Using search insight and research data to find out which finance topics customers are struggling to understand is arguably the most powerful starting point when planning finance content.

Breaking down detailed financial information in a creative way means you can directly answer these queries in truly consumer-friendly ways – which is great for users and search engines alike.

Example: Interest Rates Explained infographic

Infographic content marketing for interest rates

Research carried out by the Money Advice Service (MAS) revealed that 75% of homeowners hadn’t considered how an interest rate rise would affect their mortgage repayments. We worked with the MAS team to create a question-based infographic that worked to fill a wide range of customer knowledge gaps to create a static infographic, which was also used by RBS.

2. Make complex financial information accessible

There’s no way around it – quite often, financial data or messaging can sometimes be mind-meltingly complex.

The big opportunity with visual content is to present a distillation of the technical, complicated or, dare we say it, sometimes boring in a way that’s instantly accessible. The best finance content marketing pairs clean, bright design with a clear editorial flow, visually guiding the user through the key points quickly and accurately.

Example: Remortgage Your Home infographic

Infographic content marketing for remortgage

With remortgages on the rise, the need for clear information about the processes involved is greater than ever. This linear left-to-right infographic for Google and the MAS succinctly presents the main steps to the complex process of remortgaging in a way that is intuitive and easy to digest.

3. Create interactive financial content

According to the Content Marketing Institute, interactive content provides ongoing support and ensures long-term satisfaction for existing customers, supporting retention goals. This highlights how effective interactive financial content can be for finance companies in communicating their key messages to customers.

We’ve found that interactive content marketing and tools can deliver impressive results in terms of finance marketing engagement. By its nature, the format draws the user into a branded online space in a personal way. For finance brands, this is an invaluable opportunity to positively connect and offer value to the customer, as well as an effective way to improve sentiment.

Example: Protecting Your World interactive microsite

Interactive finance content marketing microsite

This interactive visual tool helps people understand what insurance they need depending on their lifestyle and circumstances. After working through a series of scenarios, they’re then offered highly tailored advice on the policies that best suit them.

4. Plan to use content marketing assets across multiple channels

The key word here is ‘plan’ – ensuring from the very start that finance content marketing is created in a way that makes it easy to atomize and repurpose will (pun alert) pay dividends when it comes to distributing your message to users at different knowledge levels.

A long-form explainer piece about ISAs might be ideal for your website, for example, but don’t forget about creating a cut-down version that’s ready and waiting to post on social channels a week before the ISA deadline.

Plus, approving a suite of content along a theme – rather than creating it all individually – can make legal and compliance signoff go much more smoothly.

Example:  Save £3 a Day multi-format visual content

Finance advice savings content

Since 71% of people experience high unexpected costs at some point in their lives, this content was designed to help people save £3 a day for a rainy day fund. We contributed to a suite of aligned visual content for web, social, outdoor and print PR, centred on a practical, data-led infographic.

Core Module

Structure a plan using the RACE Planning framework

Structure a plan using the RACE Planning framework

Part of the Digital marketing strategy and planning Toolkit

Learn how to structure a comprehensive omnichannel marketing plan, using the Smart Insights RACE planning framework

Learn More

5. Tell short finance stories that are quick to digest

Let’s face it – many of us struggle to fully understand the more detailed side of finance, and that can make the whole topic seem overwhelming. But, whether about personal finance or the bigger picture, ‘short stories’ are a great tactic for delivering intimidating-seeming data in a bitesize snapshot.

We regularly use data cards to visualize key finance stats and figures – ultimately, to turn them into a story. These cards can be easily understood in seconds, and leave a high impact, especially on social channels – after all, people remember 65% of information in text and images three days later, compared to only 10% of information in text.

Example:  Housing Data Stories

Housing finance content marketing Halifax, BMSolutions and ONS

This series of data cards were developed for use across social channels. With UK housing costs continuing to rocket, especially in London, these cards visualize the latest data and trends in an easily consumable way that is particularly suitable for mobile users.

6. Use print in creative ways

To achieve impact in the physical world whilst also reaching less digitally-savvy customers, printed content offers a solution. But that doesn’t mean it has to be dull finance information presented in endless pages of text. Using original print formats that are attractive to look at – and even interact with – can really achieve cut-through. 

Example:  What’s your Money Goal? physical (printed) interactive content

Finance content marketing from moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Research by Asda, the Tinder Foundation and MAS showed that some of the UK’s least digitally confident consumers live in the North East. They asked us to create an interactive printed wheel that Asda shoppers could use in-store to help them plan their money goal.

7. Create topical content with PR potential

To drive up sentiment and brand trust, positive PR is an essential part of the mix for most financial brands, who often battle negative media on a daily basis. Topical visual content can be one of the most likely formats to be picked up by publishers, and can go a long way to boosting the volume of positive coverage.

Using exclusive proprietary figures or research about the financial hot topic within the content will make it even more compelling for publishers to reference, especially if it’s integrated with a PR campaign.

Example: Mortgage Checklist micro content

Mortgage content marketing example

In April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced tougher affordability checks on mortgage lenders. Working with the MAS PR team, we created a micro checklist explaining the new mortgage paperwork requirements.

The piece was featured on Rightmove and This Is Money, where it earned 137 comments, as well as the government’s ‘Housing Matters’ magazine. Facebook and Twitter versions of the graphic got 65,000 and 174,000 clicks respectively.

Advanced Module

Learn the latest social media developments

Learn the latest social media developments

Part of the Social media marketing Toolkit

Learn different options to support your continuous professional development and give your business an edge by keeping up-to-date with social media developments

Learn More

8. Establish clear visual content guidelines

Last but by no means least, it’s essential to work to content guidelines. This applies to all sectors, but especially for finance companies, where brand control and consistency is crucial in maintaining customer trust.

Having a set of content guidelines is also helpful for internal brand teams and agencies alike, making the content creation process simpler, faster and more likely to comply with brand and legal standards. Plus, it ensures that all of your content hangs together effectively, wherever it’s published.

Example: Money Advice Service infographic guidelines

Finance industry content guidelines

Content guidelines should include advice on typography, responsive grids, hybrid content and the style and labeling of data. All these ensure designers have the flexibility to visualize information on a wide range of topics, while keeping the same look and feel.

Key takeaways for your finance content marketing strategy

Ultimately, all content marketers put the customer right at the centre of their decision-making process. This frame of mind applies equally, if not more so, to content marketers in the finance industry, due to the high level of trust needed to form relationships. With these tips, you can create awesome content marketing for your business and convert and retain more customers, efficiently.

The Content Marketing Matrix

A content marketing planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences

We created our Content Marketing Matrix to help our members audit their content marketing assets as part of creating a content marketing strategy. It can also be used for content ideation, i.e. to brainstorm future content ideas to generate leads, nurture prospects, encourage sharing and generate backlinks for SEO.

Since we created it eight years ago it’s been shared many times and has inspired many ‘mashups’ in different formats as this Google search shows; great to see it’s been useful!

I think the CMM is a powerful mindtool for marketers since it’s a content mapping tool, structured to help you think through two key dimensions of which types of content will best support the path to purchase for your target audience. The two dimensions are:

  • 1. Awareness through to purchase conversion funnel shown on the horizontal axis
  • 2. Emotional to rational content engagement formats available shown on the vertical axis

Here is our latest version:

Smart-Insights-Content-Marketing-matrix

The two dimensions used in the matrix help you review how content can support the business to achieve its goals against how different formats appeal to different types of people.

As you read from left to right the matrix shows how different content assets can develop audience awareness and reach through the purchase process to nurturing and prompting purchase. More visual, interactive content to support emotional buying triggers is shown at the top of the matrix with more static content at the bottom supporting rational decision making.

If you’re looking to develop your approach content marketing, I strongly recommend doing so within a strategic marketing structure, such as the RACE Framework, which will help you tie together all your different assets, channels, and platforms. Find out more about our dedicated RACE content marketing solutions.

Omnichannel brand strategy

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

How to use this content marketing planning template

The recommended process we use for applying this matrix to companies or brands is:

  • Step 1. Review how you assess the value of different types of content. Define how you will evaluate your content marketing ROI.
  • Step 2. Review the current use of content within a company by plotting the different content formats you use now on the grid.
  • Step 3. Review competitor use of these content types through plotting on the grid based on the content assets they deploy on their website, social media, and email marketing
  • Step 4. Brainstorm future content types possible.
  • Step 5. Use your criteria from Step 1 to select new content types. When reviewing the potential of each content type, you should also think about its potential as evergreen content to attract inbound links and then organic visits to your site to help with SEO.

A more sophisticated content mapping approach will map content for each individual persona as shown in our persona template. We’ve also developed a Content Distribution Matrix which enables you to audit your use of digital media.

As always, all our content marketing tools and templates are integrated across the RACE Framework so you can confidently apply the most appropriate content techniques across all the key customer touchpoints in their decision-making journeys.

Omnichannel Marketing funnel

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

Credits – how we created our CMM

We originally published this article in March 2012 when I worked with Dan Bosomworth who was our marketing director at the time. Dan, now at agency First 10,  had this graphic on a Post-It note in our office for months and we worked together and eventually published it!

We thought it was a natural follow-on from our RACE inbound marketing funnel infographic. Today, a search for ‘content marketing matrix’ on Google shows it’s been shared many times and prompted quite a few mashups based on the original idea, which is great to see.  If you have found it useful, please spread the word by sharing it!

Content marketing plan: 4 simple steps to success

Learn the 4 steps to creating a content marketing plan, with our content planning template and the RACE Framework

To help you develop a content marketing plan or review existing methods, I thought it could be helpful to share some of the planning techniques applied in our Content Marketing Learning Path. Take these 4 steps to create a content marketing plan today:

  • Step 1 Review current use of content marketing. This is a classic SWOT analysis where we have given examples of problems with content marketing programs that are often forgotten.
  • Step 2 Content marketing objectives and KPIs This uses an efficient planning table I have developed for summarising digital plans on one page. Here, as the example shows, it links objectives, strategies, and KPIs across the customer lifecycle shown as the RACE Planning approach.Planning Content Marketing Campaigns
  • Step 3 Content Gap analysis This uses a new visualization of the Content Marketing Matrix that you may have seen before developed by Dan Bosomworth of First 10 and Smart Insights.
  • Step 4. Create a content plan timeline. Don’t forget the options for repurposing content assets during a campaign since often opportunities are missed where there is one central asset in a campaign such as a whitepaper, but it is not repurposed to give the campaign more momentum.

These 4 steps take you through the brief process of creating a content marketing plan. Join Smart Insights as an Individual or Business Member for access to the full Learning Path, including modules such as ‘A planned approach to content marketing’.

Core Module

Define a planned approach to content marketing

Define a planned approach to content marketing

Part of the Content marketing Toolkit

Learn how to define an effective content marketing process for your business and market

Learn More

Use the RACE Framework to hone your content planning

Content marketing plays a huge role in many parts of your customers’ experiences of your brand. The diagram below, based on our RACE Framework of reach-act-convert-engage, demonstrates just some of the typical marketing activities during the customer lifecycle.

Omnichannel life cycle

Our popular RACE Framework empowers marketers and managers to use data and key trends to inform their marketing strategy across their integrated customer touchpoints. If you’re looking to optimize your strategy, the RACE Framework is a no-brainer

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

ABC planning for content marketing prioritization

A simple process for weighting your content prioritization

The rise of always-on content marketing has led to a content tsunami, making cut-through more difficult, so teams need tools and approaches to balance their content priorities. In this post, I’ll share our ‘ABC process’ which we use to simplify the process of content marketing prioritization and planning the most effective content to meet our clients’ goals.

Marketing common sense ≠ common practice

It’s easy to get immersed in the joy of creating content and lose sight of the bigger picture. (I’ve been there too). The challenge is that when we as marketers put our heart into the job (and as much as we may know the truth is different) it’s easy to lose our heads and act as if our target customers are eagerly searching for what we have to offer.

withapologiestodilbert

The inconvenient truths of content marketing

There are some inconvenient truths that marketers need to face. We’re in a war for relevance and attention. There is a growing content tsunami out there. Our main rivals in this war are not other companies. Our rivals – if we ignore them – are every interest and concern in people’s lives.

As marketers, we cannot hope to win that war, because we are outnumbered. The content tsunami will continue to rise forever. Our only hope to avoid getting drowned out is to tap into people’s interests and concerns and to generate content that floats to the top because it has immediate relevance and value.

To help us maintain this focus, we have a simple model to help keep our content team aligned, and a rigorous process to put it into effect.

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

The ABC of getting your content priorities right

If the following model seems a bit simplistic, that’s because it was intended to be simple. It’s designed to help remedy a simple mistake that we often see even very smart marketers make – falling into the trap of selfie marketing. Sometimes, we also see the opposite problem, where marketers are creating (or curating) interesting content that doesn’t drive any kind of commercial outcome.

This simple content marketing prioritization model helps content teams avoid both extremes, and create a balanced content mix:

What action would you like to drive that brings people closer to your brand? What is the series of actions you’ll want to lead your user through?

What do you want people to know, think and feel about your brand? This is especially important for new brands, or for a brand refresh.

What are your target communities of interest communicating about? This is what people are talking about that is relevant to your brand, but which they’d be talking about even if your brand didn’t exist.

Deciding on a weighting

The ABC acronym helps our content teams to remember the priorities they need to balance, and we start our strategic planning with the action we want to help drive. (When it comes to content marketing prioritization, it sometimes helps to think in the order CBA [Comms, Brand, Action], to ensure that you tap into what your target communities are talking about).

Weighting for your content marketing prioritization
 content marketing prioritization

We like to encourage client-side teams to decide what proportion of their content and engagement will be aimed at each priority. Of course, this percentage will vary at times, e.g. when we need to promote a special campaign or event that is aimed at driving a specific response.

But it’s still important that project owners commit to a percentage weighting for each priority. Why? Because it helps to ensure that the content produced delivers comms value.

Remember to think well beyond your established brand community, because the Comms priority isn’t a question of what you’d most like to communicate – it’s about tapping into what your target communities of interest are talking about. Take a step back and listen. What do people care about and talk about? What value could you provide them right away, without talking about your brand?

Example weighting:

content marketing prioritization weighting eg

How would this 40:40:20 weighting affect Facebook posting frequency if you were running an always-on content program that included 5 Facebook posts per week? (The visual below focuses on frequency – the actual timing and sequencing of posts is a separate question).

contentweightingfrequency

Showing how your content weighting affects your posting frequency is important if you want to achieve full team alignment. When you take this additional clarification step, you may find that project teams want to rethink the prioritization. It’s important to have a full discussion and work it out thoroughly, otherwise you may find that your content mix, however inspired, isn’t generating the results you hoped for.

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

What happens if you don’t do content marketing prioritization?

Actually, successful content marketers are probably intuitively doing some version of this already. But if you’re not yet convinced of the need to smartly prioritize your content across ABC priorities, it may help to consider what happens if you put too much or too little emphasis on each of the priority areas:

content marketing prioritization abc

So, what is the right ABC weighting for you?

That really depends. Finding the ideal weighting between the ABC priority pillars will depend on a range of factors, including whether your brand is new or well-established. If you’re running a discount e-commerce business that is already well-known, you may put relatively more priority on Action, and put less priority on Brand and Comms. That may make sense for a company that issues regular offers that are well-received. But it would make less sense for a brand that isn’t yet well-known.

How the ABC of content marketing plays out across platforms

Certain platforms lend themselves more to Comms content, while others are more suited to building an understanding of your Brand proposition, and others may be best suited to driving Action.  However, the first step is to decide on the ABC priority ratio for your overall content mix.

ABC planning is not a once-off exercise

Experience has taught us that the above is fairly simple to understand, and that it’s a worthwhile exercise to do the above, because it gets teams really thinking about their content priorities. However, it’s important not to treat it as a once-off exercise. We actually do ABC planning as part of every content planning cycle – the first thing we do is map out our ABC mix over the planning period. We then decide on the topics for individual content pieces. This helps us ensure that we have a suitable mix of content that engages our target audiences while supporting business priorities

Need a plan to create a winning marketing strategy?

Get started today using a tried and tested step-by-step process to optimize your marketing.

Start Now

How to measure the ROI of your content marketing

You need better content marketing metricsones that your executive team really care about, calculate your return on investment (ROI) to demonstrate the value of content marketing

Data-driven digital marketing today relies on a lot more than just individual, unconnected metrics like click-through rates, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS). To justify investment, marketers must demonstrate to management and c-level decision-makers how these metrics translate to the bottom line. For content marketers, ROI measurement is more important than ever. But are you doing it right?

Keeping in mind the goal of marketing: to grow your business at the lowest possible cost. So, for brands whose growth depends on acquiring and nurturing leads, your content marketing (CM) metrics must align with that goal. Every activity you do, campaign you execute, or A/B test you run, needs to produce a solid return on your marketing time and tools investment – that is, generate a positive return on investment.

Business growth is an intended result of omnichannel marketing growth strategies, surpassing content marketing and individual channel tactics. That’s why, if you’re looking to generate meaningful growth, we recommend using the RACE Framework to measure and drive results at each stage of your marketing funnel.

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation today to discuss your company’s opportunities and challenges through each stage of plan, reach, act, convert, and engage

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skills

I’ll get into these ROI calculations in a minute. But first I’ll cover some content marketing measurement basics.

Content Marketing (CM) measurement basics

There are three aspects of any metrics you measure:

  • Deciding what to track
  • Measuring and managing the data
  • Turning the data into actionable insights

Let me walk through each of these in detail.

Deciding what to track

Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean that you should. So it’s best to start by first:

  • Identifying your top measurement priorities, and the underlying metric data you need to support these priorities.
  • Establishing performance benchmarks for your analyses.
  • Calculating the baseline costs involved in executing your content plan, so that you can ultimately calculate a return on this investment.

Specifically, you need to decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) to track as evidence of your content’s impact. You also need to make sure that the visitor actions that relate to each of these metrics are ‘tagged’ in your analytics tool. If you haven’t tagged it, you can’t track it.

The graphic below shows the most common KPIs for each category of content.

KPIs by category

Note that the vast majority of these KPIs (with the exception of Conversion Rate, Conversions and Sales) are simply indicators of performance, but not directly tied to revenues.

So you shouldn’t track all of these metrics just for the heck of it. Instead, you should seek to:

  • Discover which of the above KPIs have a high ‘conversion or revenue leverage’ (correlate with higher downstream conversions).
  • Track and analyze the data that allow you to calculate the revenues generated and costs incurred for each of your campaigns (because these will feed your ROI calculations).

Measuring and managing data

As you’re putting your measurement program in place, decide how frequently to collect data. Collect too often and you may not allow enough time for patterns to appear. But wait too long and you risk overlooking problems that could prevent your content from reaching its goals.

Jodi Harris of the Content Marketing Institute recommends tracking performance on a monthly basis initially, then adjusting your timeline later, if necessary.

Once you’ve chosen the metrics that are most meaningful for your business, you’ll want to track the performance of every content asset you publish against those benchmarks. Building dashboards is the best way to do this since you can see all your data in one place whenever you want.

If you’re looking for automated help here, Aham-Adi, of WordPress, provides a comprehensive list of 45 content tools for creating, curating and measuring your content marketing efforts.

Turning data into actionable insights

Google Analytics (GA) has become the defacto place to start reviewing site visitor metrics like page views and bounce rates. But these aggregated data only give you the ‘big picture’ of your content’s performance. To learn why certain content is yielding better results, you’ll need to measure the impact of your marketing on an individual level. This is the realm of marketing automation and CRM systems.

By integrating the latest generation of marketing automation apps into your marketing tech stack, you can track which content your prospects consume. Then, by correlating this content with the actions your visitors took before and after viewing it, you can discover which content pieces are most likely to result in a conversion.

You can dig deeper into these more sophisticated marketing technologies, including AI-based personalization platforms, in this Smart Insights guide.

The ROI of content marketing

Content ROI: The metric that grabs your exec team’s attention

The other KPIs are nice, but let’s face it, the metric your executive team (especially your CFO) most cares about is the ROI of your marketing team’s efforts.

This is where the RACE Framework comes into its own, since by measuring the customer journey you can pinpoint exactly where and how your key conversions are shaping your marketing funnel. Book your free 1-2-1 consultation today to start putting your plans into action.

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skills

To calculate the ROI, you’ll first need to estimate the baseline costs involved in creating, distributing and promoting content in your organization. You’ll need to factor in both average production costs — such as copywriting, design services, and marketing tools and technology — as well as team overhead and administrative costs.

A more straightforward way to demonstrate business value is by calculating the return on investment of each campaign. Rather than factoring in your business’ overall cost of delivery, simply calculate Marketing Dollars In (expenses) and Marketing Dollars Out (revenues). Then calculate your per-campaign ROI as:

ROI = (Revenue – Expenses) / Expenses

After you’ve done this for each of your marketing campaigns, consolidate the revenue and expense amounts across all channels to get your overall marketing ROI.

As your CM program gets more sophisticated — or after you add data scientists to your team — you can always build more rigor into your ROI calculations.

The folks at Express Writers, an agency that writes content for hundreds of clients who outsource their CM efforts, created an infographic that shows several sample ROI scenarios and calculations.

The article itself is a great example of ‘evergreen’ content — content that doesn’t become outdated over time. Your CM efforts should definitely include creating content that, over time, populates the ‘trunk’ and ‘branches’ of your content marketing ‘tree.’

Calculating the value of your leads

Some content marketers, as they coordinate with their sales teams, talk more in terms of leads, and the value of these leads. If this sounds like you, here’s how to calculate the revenue value of leads, which you can then feed into the above ROI calculation.

First, a couple of definitions:

  • A SQL is a prospective customer who has been researched and vetted, first by an organization’s marketing department and then by its sales team. These leads fit your target buyer persona and have the means (budget) to buy.
  • Most marketers actually have many more marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). An MQL is a website visitor whose engagement levels indicated that they are likely to become a customer. It’s the marketing team’s job to nurture this lead so that it becomes a SQL.

Let’s say you sell cloud-based CRM software and your marketing efforts have generated 500 SQLs for a given month. Each of these leads, if converted, represents $1200 (the average lifetime value, or LTV, of each customer). Historically, you only convert 4% of these SQLs into paying customers.

So, in our example, the revenue value of all leads is:

$1200 x 500 x 0.04 = $24,000

Or $48 per SQL.

Simply insert this value into the above equation, along with an estimate of your cost of acquiring these customers, to get your ROI.

The ROI of video marketing

If you’re doing video marketing (and you should be, because, in my experience, well-produced videos generate higher returns than copy-based content), the calculations are similar.

Video marketing ROI: a simple calculation

The most common and simplest way to calculate ROI for videos is to take the revenue generated by your video campaign and divide it by total video production costs. For example, if you acquired 50 paying customers worth $50 each, and the video cost $600 to make, you’d have an ROI of ($2,500 – $600) / $600 = 3.17.

This metric is a quick and easy way to compare the effectiveness of different video campaigns. If one video has a higher ROI than others, it would make sense for you to ramp up the traffic to the higher-performing video (and its associated lead-generation funnel).

Video marketing ROI: advanced calculation

A more sophisticated way of analyzing video performance is using lifetime value (LTV). This requires the following data points to calculate churn rate and average revenue per user. You can track LTV and measure how it changes over time for each video campaign. This analysis is really useful since it informs how you should allocate your marketing spend for future campaigns.

To calculate LTV for a given video campaign, divide your average revenue per visitor (ARPV) by your customer churn rate (the percentage of customers who leave you each year). That is,

LTV = ARPV / Churn Rate

For example, if your ARPV is $30, and your churn rate is 2.5%, then the LTV = $30 /

0.025 = $1200.

To calculate the ROI, subtract the cost of acquisition from LTV, and then divide by the cost of acquisition. Using the cost of $600 from earlier, the ROI based on LTV would be:

($1200 – $600) / $600 = 1.0.

In other words, this video campaign just broke even.

The previous example assumes that you only acquired one customer. If you acquire more than one, divide total costs by the number of customers acquired and see how that boosts your ROI. For instance, if you acquired five customers, the ROI would be ($800 – $120) / $120 = 5.67.

Video hosting and analytics vendor SproutVideo provides a handy ‘cheat sheet’ reference for these calculations.

ROI cheatsheet

ROI Calculator

If you have the revenue and cost (investment) for each campaign or aggregate values, you can plug them into Calculator.net’s ROI calculator. I hope you’re not annoyed that I shared this with you later versus sooner – I’m a firm believer that you first need to understand how the calculations are done before automating them.

Our downloadable guide for Individual and Business Members outlines a range of techniques for evaluating and proving the value of your content marketing.

Time to break with tradition and implement content ROI tracking

If you’ve noticed that the metrics you’ve used for years to measure the performance of your content marketing don’t measure real revenue gains, or capture the attention of your executive team, it may be time to break from tradition.

Return on investment (ROI) is what your company’s C-level executives care most about. So it behooves you to learn these calculations and, just as importantly, the tagging and data analysis you need to enable so you can present these ROIs (and their source data) in the most straightforward way. By sharing your high ROIs, you may make the case for investing more in the marketing tools and technologies that will convert more of your leads into customers.

Looking for marketing strategy and planning advice? We’ve got recommendations and solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. From channel tactics to growth strategy, thousands of Smart Insights members are using our marketing tools to win customers across the globe. What’s more, all our resources are fully integrated within the RACE Framework, our acclaimed digital marketing planning model.

Book your consultation today to discover and prioritize new opportunities for growth in your company’s existing marketing plan, and discuss your next steps with an expert

Need a winning marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 consultation to develop your new strategy with the RACE Framework

Book consultation

Grow your business and professional marketing skills