The universe of branded content is immense — and growing. A late 2016 report from marketing software company Beckon discovered that the average number of content pieces brands published during the past 12 months jumped three times compared to the previous 12 months. But just five percent of that content garners 90 percent of all engagement.
That’s not to say you should throw in the towel on creating content. Not at all. The report goes on to hypothesize what’s behind the discrepancy:
- Differences in the quality of content
- Differences in the amount of media behind the pieces that would help them reach a wider audience
If you’re focused on content volume at the expense of content performance, you’re missing out on your biggest opportunity yet. Here are four ways to get more bang from your content buck.
1. Expand your content creation process.
The content creation process shouldn’t end when you hit publish. To ensure maximum engagement, develop a more robust process that includes:
- PLANNING the pieces you’ll create, as well as what they’ll achieve, where they’ll live and how they’ll be promoted
- CREATING quality content pieces that address specific goals set out in the planning stage
- PUBLISHING the content on a consistent cadence
- PROMOTING the content through paid and owned channels
- MEASURING content KPIs such as engagement and traffic
- OPTIMIZING your content based on what’s working and what’s not
2. Consider an always-on paid distribution strategy.
Sure, short-term, campaign-driven push marketing efforts can drive sales and generate big spikes in traffic and engagement. But those spikes tend to lead to big drops after the advertising faucet is turned off.
Consider instead — or in addition — an always-on content marketing strategy that involves promoted social posts, native advertising and/or paid search. Putting ad dollars behind content doesn’t need to be a pricey endeavor; as little as a few thousand dollars a month could make a significant difference.
3. Don’t forget your owned channels.
Your greatest opportunities for promoting your content might be at your fingertips: owned channels.
Use your email list to deliver content to customers’ or members’ inboxes. You could create a weekly email with links to your latest blog posts and social content. Or you could send a monthly themed emailed — one month providing exercise information, and another offering tips for cold and flu season, for example.
In addition, look for high-traffic pages on your website to promote relevant content. Let’s say you just published an article on heart-healthy tips for women. Consider adding a call to action and link to the post from some of your cardiovascular services pages on your website.
4. Build on content that works.
Each quarter, review your content metrics for top-performing pieces. Piggyback on those successes by planning new complementary pieces and creating a cross-link structure for further engagement.
Let’s say your top content piece last quarter was a blog post on foods that can reduce cancer risk. Consider creating a content package around that post: a series of recipes featuring those foods and a video of an oncologist discussing proactive cancer screenings. Include calls to action and links to the new pieces from your top-performing page.
How are you taking the emphasis off volume and instead prioritizing performance?