Does Your Content Marketing Strategy Work? (7 Signs)
In content marketing, success takes time. Being consistent with your content marketing strategy is key. It may be frustrating to wait around and wonder if you are making the right choice in your content plan. Are my blog articles relatable enough? Is my distribution strategy on point? Am I using all the right tags and keywords?
If you are writing and managing content, these questions are quite familiar to you. As healthy as it is to always question your work and strive for improvements, being too skeptical and uncertain can have the opposite effect for your business growth. Instead of asking yourself a billion questions and still be unsure, ask yourself these 7 questions to recognise if your content marketing strategy is on the right track.
Even if you have followed all the tips & tricks on content writing and distribution, it does not mean that you have a free pass to success. That is why asking yourself the right questions about your content marketing strategy is very important. So, let's start!
#Q -1: Is there any significant change in your following count?
This might be one of the first indicators. With this measurement you can easily detect two things. First, whether your content is qualitative and entertaining enough for your audience. Second, whether you are distributing content through the right channels and with the correct means. Even though it will still take a longer period of time to really recognise a notable change in followers, you should start seeing a shift in the right direction after the first month of active content production and promotion.
#Q -2: Are you creating content for your audience?
You may think – yes, of course I am! Why is this even a question? Well, it is important to revisit this point, because it is easy to get caught up in what you see from your competitors and what you feel like you want to write about. No doubt, it is necessary to consider your competitors and your gut feeling, but don't get too far off your content plan. Keep your audience in mind at all times. Perhaps, your content strategy is not reaching the desired goals because you are still fluctuating and not keeping a consistent topic production, that you know your audience will love.
#Q -3: Is your content serving your goal?
This question ties close to the previous one. When you keep your audience in mind, never lose sight of the greater goal your content is serving. Whether it be educating your consumers and leading them through the sales funnel, building a strong relationship, stimulating engagement or all of the above, your content strategy must serve that/those goal/s. With an ineffective content strategy you may notice an increase in traffic or leads, but no conversions.
#Q -4: Is your traffic increasing?
Speaking about traffic, yes, that is one of the most obvious and important points. It's quite simple – if your content is appealing and distributed correctly, you will get an increase in traffic. If not, you won't. Perhaps you need to reflect and analyse why your traffic is not increasing. Have you implemented a SEO strategy? Are the right people seeing your content? Any shares, likes or comments?
#Q -5: Are your readers engaging with your content?
It may depend on what kind of content you are producing, but in most cases you should have a noticeable increase in engagement. Engagement can be measured and viewed in many shapes and forms – likes, shares, comments, DMs, etc. Obviously, it may take time for you to build an audience that will engage with your content, but over time you should see an apparent growth in engagement. Plus, a little tip: if you want your audience to engage with your content, don't be afraid to make the first step! Like, share and comment posts that are relevant to your topic and show your interest. What goes around, comes around.
#Q -6: Is your content ranking well in the search engines?
Going back to the SEO strategy. Is your content optimised for the web and provides a true value? Your ranking score on various search engines like Google will help you to determine that. If it is not ranking well, you should revisit your blog or news post. First, revisit the content piece and consider if it is actually relevant and valuable to your audience. Second, revisit your SEO strategy and see whether you have optimised your content and website properly.
#Q -7: How much time are readers spending on your articles?
In the older days of content on Web 2.0, headlines were everything. Now, for better or worse, it is not the case. To know whether your content actually works for your audience, is to see how much time they spend reading (or scrolling through) your article. If it takes 5 minutes to read your article and users bounce off the page in 1-2 minutes, it's probably not that interesting for them. There are plenty of ways to increase time spent on your content. For instance, include various visual components like video or images. Also, breaking large pieces of content into smaller paragraphs. Not to mention, adding more value in means of practical tips or knowledge.
After answering these 7 questions, reflect and analyse which aspect you need improvement in. Whatever you do, don't throw the whole strategy out of the window without considering all involved actors and aspects. It may be that your SEO strategy is off or you have just lost your way. When that happens, go back to the fundamentals. Do you know what are the 7 key elements to an effective content strategy?