9 Signs You Need to Work on Your Content Strategy

Some 90% of enterprises create content. But creating content isn’t the hard part: someone on the product team can blog, and an intern can post tweets or snippets on LinkedIn.  But don’t confuse activity with a strategy that drives results.  Let’s look at the top 6 ways you know your content strategy needs work. 


You don’t have anything on paper


Your content strategy needs to be created, socialized, and documented.  In some cases there’s an editorial calendar, which is great for showing what you plan to produce. But a content marketing strategy is much more than that. It should include:


  • Goals for your content – Awareness? Website traffic? Increased leads? 
  • Your voice and tone – what does your brand sound like?  
  • Your buyer persona – who are you targeting and what do they care about? (You can use this buyer persona template here.)
  • What topics you should create content about – what’s of concern in that market? 
  • Competitors – what are they talking about in their content, channels and formats? 
  • How you’ll distribute and promote the content 
  • How you’ll manage content creation and publication Your SEO strategy 
  • What you’ll measure to understand content performance 


You’re struggling with internal communication


Teams need to be communicating and collaborating to drive a coherent, effective content strategy.  For example:


  • Sales and marketing teams must speak.  How do you know what content the sales team needs and what their clients are asking about? They are closer to the client than you are. 
  • Senior managers and budget holders have to know what you are working on and understand the value of what you do. They might think you’re just an expensive cost center unless they hear from you about activities and impacts. 
  • Sales, support and product marketing teams need to know what content you are creating, where it is and how to use it (that’s sales enablement). 


Put mechanisms in place to ensure communication is happening.


Your process is ad hoc


People don’t think too much of winging it – it sometimes seems to be the path of least resistance — but I see crappy quality, missed dates and frustrated people when there is no logical sequences of steps in place.  Consider using Asana or Monday.com to document all the steps, assign owners, set dates, and keep track of decisions, action items and ideas.  You will never regret implementing a PM tool and generally there are mid-priced plans that will do the trick. 


You don’t have specialists on your team


You don’t need to increase headcount or hire people full-time to build out your content team, but you do need specialists. A professional writer knows how to create compelling copy that matches your buyer’s interests and is true to your brand, an SEO specialist can help you figure out how to draw people to your digital content, and a social media strategist can level-up your random posts to something that really drives engagement. Considering contracting these people. 


You don’t have buyer personas


How do you know how to target your top value customers if you don’t know who they are, what motivates them, their challenges, and what they are responsible for? You can use this template to create your buyer personas.


And to this HubSpot article for in-depth information about creating buyer personas.


You have no promotion or repurposing strategy


My guideline is to spend 15% of your budget budget creating, 15% repurposing and 70% promoting.  There is a lot of mileage in one good piece of content and a lot of money to be saved if you reuse it (chunk it up into different formats) and promote the heck out of it.  Don’t just create new pieces all the time.  (Be like the American Indians with a buffalo…)


You aren’t creating content across the buyer journey


If you back up and take a real look at this, you may not even understand your buyer’s journey and what kind of content (topics and format) are most appropriate for them.  This is where two things come in: buyer personas and content map. You need a research-based understanding of your buyer, and then and only then will you be able to create a map that outlines what content they want and need to have for what stage of their journey. 


You don’t have a content calendar


If it’s not written down it’s not going to happen on schedule, or at all. You may or may not having a writer finishing a post a week, or…whatever.  You also don’t have anything to share with your senior people if you can’t point to a schedule.  You need a content calendar. (Again, Asana or Monday.com are great for creating schedules with all kinds of views and levels of detail). 


You aren’t measuring the impact


Teams skip this because they simply don’t know how to do it. It doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated, or expensive (i.e. analytics tools) in order to be effective.  Google Analytics and free versions of various tools can get you the data you need. 


The most crucial content analytics include:


  • Traffic to website – shows the volume of your audience
  • Pageviews (blog pageviews are the most important) – shows what content is of interest to people
  • How people get to your website: social media, organic search, third-party websites
  • Average time on site and bounce rates – shows how interesting your content is
  • Social media likes, shares, comments, clicks – shows engagement
  • SEO position rankings, visibility, and site health
  • Conversions from content marketing efforts – shows effectiveness of content
  • Email opens and clicks


Are you experiencing any of these pains? If so, spend a couple days workshopping your content strategy. This is all it will take to get something solid in everyone’s hands, then review/refine over time. 

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