your 2021 content marketing checklist
how to up your game amid the pandemic
It was a good few years ago when a ‘big bang’ jolted the world of communications as every writer, marketeer and PR/Comms specialist was singing the same tune: ‘Content is King’. Bill Gates first uttered these words in an essay published in 1996, but it was only more recently, when businesses around the globe really had to put in extra effort to carve out their unique space in today’s highly saturated digital world, that content – and specifically online content -suddenly become such hot stuff.
In 2015, marketing guru Seth Godin proclaimed that content marketing is “the only marketing left”. Fast forward six years, and the world has changed in the most unexpected ways, as businesses begin to struggle amid the coronavirus storm. And now, more than ever, is when the right approach to content marketing, alongside a long-term plan to drive business growth, is absolutely imperative. These days, content is beyond King. We like to call it the entire Royal Family of every single online campaign.
With individuals in all far-flung corners of the globe spending more time at home behind their screens than anywhere else, never have more eyes been fixated on the web: scrolling, searching, shopping, exercising, or just killing time. Content consumption on social media is particularly soaring. Facebook, for example, witnessed a 12% increase in daily active users on its app in Q2 of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
Twitter, on the other hand, reported a 34% year-over-year increase in Q2 of 2020, the highest quarterly year-over-year growth since it began reporting mDAU growth. In June 2020, Statista recorded a 21% increase in social media use since the start of the pandemic.
The numbers speak for themselves, but as Head of Content at Action Global Communications’ Cyprus headquarters, I have spotted a great deal of confusion about what it means, and what it takes, for a brand to up their content game. To help put you on the right track, we have narrowed down some pointers and questions for your 2021 content checklist, to ensure you start the year on the right foot, and truly up your game!
have you clearly outlined your step-by-step approach?
This is when you take the time to carefully identify what you want to achieve and how you will go about it. Almost every business wants to grow and increase sales, but how exactly is your approach to content going to drive revenue? It’s a step-by-step process that needs to begin with the most basic goals first – strategically increasing brand awareness, cultivating authenticity, fine tuning your company’s tone of voice, and promoting unique brand values via inspiring content. This feeds into building customer trust and loyalty – both hugely important in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Next up: gradually generating demand and new leads, as consumers are inspired to take action, which should, in turn, result in increased sales and revenue. Start at the very beginning and be meticulous; a methodical approach will reap far more benefits than a spontaneous and disorderly one. Map your content marketing ROI carefully and don’t expect a completely linear path-growth takes time, and once you’ve raised brand awareness and built trust, consumers will keep you in mind when they are ready to buy a product or request a specific service.
are you thinking about your content marketing strategy holistically?
You need to conduct the right research and analysis to set the right foundations for a holistic strategy.
You can’t just publish an awesome blog, no matter how interesting it may be, without setting up a solid strategic base beforehand. Because any blog published is just one tiny part of a vast wider picture, com prising a whole array of interconnected vital components.
For a start, what is your clear overarching brand message and how can certain key messages be adapted in times where a humane and empathetic tone of voice are more important than ever? What unique approach will you use to tap into consumer emotions? What’s your primary and secondary target audience (and is this even the right target audience)? What does this target audience crave and want to hear, and what needs have changed amid the pandemic? Conducting content gap analysis is also key here. What are your exact KPI’s? Yes, you may have decided you want to generate more income but we are talking about quantifiable analytics which help measure progress, analyze patterns and diagnose problems. And what’s your distribution strategy? Publishing great content is all well and good, but you’ve got to distribute your content the right way, to the right audience, across the right channels.
have you truly perfected your content & utilized the best technology?
This may seem obvious, but no matter how amazing your strategy may be, if your content is weak, you won’t get very far. And we’re not just talking about sentence structure, spelling and grammar. We’re talking about content that taps into the exact nuances of your industry and that utilizes SEO and SEM to your best possible advantage. And of course, perhaps most important of all these days, content isn’t just text.
Far from it, content is video (video content has increased across all social media platforms during the pandemic and stats show that roughly 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021), content is webinars, content is podcasts, content is often live and content is interactive. Beyond blogs and catchy social media posts, you will need to create content in the right format for the right channels if you want to amaze your audience.
have you found the right resources?
To implement a successful content marketing campaign, you will need a professional team of experts to achieve the goals that you’ve set. And you will need the right technology and software in place to streamline the work of your content team, measure your success, map out exactly how consumers are interacting with your content, and highlight areas for improvement. If you don’t have the budget for an entire in-house team, outsourcing is a great way to cut costs and make the most of outside expertise. Experts in professional content development and a wide range of strategic communications services, our highly skilled professionals at Action Global Communications can help guide you through the content marketing storm. Email [email protected] or call +357 22 873158.