A new year, a new content marketing strategy. But here's the burning question: how do you create one that you'll stick to long after the newness of 2019 has begun to wear off? Follow these six tips.
1. Understand what everyone expects. And by "everyone," we mean the sales team and anyone from the C-suite you report to. The marketing department's goals must be in line with the sales department's goals, and those goals should absolutely be in line with what upper management expects.
Make sure you also understand how people will measure your work. Unique website visitors? Click-through-rates? Sales-qualified leads (SQLs)? A combination? Are you comfortable with the performance metrics? If not, speak up and suggest something else.
2. Focus on initiatives that will deliver results. Start by looking at what marketing initiatives delivered the best results last year. (Because there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel.) Build from there. Scale what you can. For example, if a PPC campaign offers excellent ROI, consider increasing the ad spend and/or launching a new PPC campaign for another service/product/offer.
That said, doing only the same ol’, same ol’ marketing is never a smart strategy for the long term. You should definitely try new initiatives as well (check out this article on developing creative marketing ideas).
At the same time, there are just so many hours in a day and a limit to marketing budgets, which brings us to our next point.
3. Be realistic. This is often the hardest advice to embrace, especially at the dawn of a new year. After all, January is such a bright and shiny month with so many possibilities. While there's nothing wrong with dreaming big, at the end of the day, you still need to deliver results. So, as suggested in point #2, focus on the initiatives that are going to achieve the agreed-upon goals while throwing in the occasional wildcard.
4. Break down marketing tasks into workable chunks. The writer E. L. Doctorow once described writing a novel like this: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." We could say the same about marketing.
Focusing only on the overall goal, like revamping a 100-page website, can feel overwhelming. Too often, the overwhelm turns into paralysis. But when you break down the big goal into smaller, manageable tasks, it suddenly feels less daunting.
Let's use the 100-page website redesign as an example. Make a list of all the tasks that need to happen. Now, chunk them out day-by-day or week-by-week. Then, using Doctorow's advice, focus on the three feet in front of you. Finish THAT task. Then, focus on the next one. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate. The most effective marketers know what they're good at and focus on doing those things. As for all the other stuff? They delegate or outsource.
For example, there's no shame in being a marketer who writes well, but who can't design her way out of a paper bag. That's what graphic designers are for. If you’re the head of a marketing department, you shouldn’t be the one tasked with inventorying the promo items in the supply closet—that’s what marketing interns are for.
In other words, you don’t need to do it all, and you shouldn’t do it all. (Psst. Click here if you’re looking to outsource your marketing in 2019.)
6. Remember this: accountability is your friend. Gyms and fitness centers often recommend exercising with a buddy since you’re much less likely to blow off that 6am workout if you know someone is waiting for you by the elliptical machine.
The same is true with marketing tasks. If you’re only accountable to yourself for the day-to-day or week-to-week work, it can make it challenging, at times, to meet internal deadlines. But if a sales manager or freelance writer (you get the idea) is waiting on something from you, suddenly you have even more motivation to get the work done (beyond the BIG goals, of course).
So work some accountability deadlines into your strategy for 2019—deadlines that you must meet, because someone else is depending on you.
Do you need help managing your content marketing strategy? We can help. Let’s chat.