3 Aha Moments to Improve Your Content Marketing in 2018

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When you have been in any industry for awhile, it’s easy to feel a bit burnt out on the topic.

As the former head of editorial at CMI I’ve read thousands of articles, written hundreds of posts, and had countless conversations about content marketing. Still, I continue to have aha moments that impact how I approach content marketing.

This article is a potluck of my top lightbulb ideas in 2017 that I hope will help you evolve your content marketing programs in 2018. I’d also love to hear your favorite new ideas that will shape your plans in the coming year.

Quantity should trump quality (sometimes)

“How often should I publish?”

Marketers (including one of my clients just a week ago) frequently ponder this question.

I usually answer with the non-definitive, “It depends,” and throw in a dash of, “We all know how important quality is in the age of so much noise.” And then I point to our research showing that 75% of the most successful B2B marketers always or frequently deliver content consistently compared to 59% of the overall sample.

In short, create quality content consistently.

I was thrilled to read a recent article from Steve Rayson on {Grow}: New Research Answers: Is Content Marketing Sustainable?

While I suggest you read the full article, the summary is this: Steve looks at a wealth of data from BuzzSumo and hypothesizes, quite correctly, I believe, that marketers should look at how mature a content topic is when deciding how often to publish on that topic.

For instance, when the number of average shares per post is declining – as you see in the chart about content marketing – your “content market” could be saturated. When this occurs, it is – and will be – increasingly difficult to get attention organically.

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If you are in this situation, Steve suggests several options:

  • Increase content promotion, especially paid promotion. Instead of spreading your promotion budget over days or weeks, put the full budget on a single day for your best content to help propel it to the story of the day.

On the other hand, if you are in a space without a lot of competition – or you get more niche –ramp up your content creation efforts quickly to create “content shock” and become the market leader in that category.

Note: Of course, an emphasis on quantity does not give you license to publish junk, but understanding the need for speed can help you prioritize efforts. Though it should go without saying, you must have an empathetic, audience-first mindset in deciding what to publish. Having a distinct mission is also key to help you stick to your defined focus.

How this aha moment can shape your content marketing in 2018

Next time you are faced with the question of how much to publish, think about where your content is in its life cycle:

  • If you are in an untapped market – or you can move into one – you may find that the velocity and amount of content you are publishing is key (with a focus on content that is useful to your audience, of course.) In this case, it may make sense to publish more often.
  • If you are in a crowded space, don’t jump in with more content that will be lost in the ether. Instead, your mission is to create exceptional, original content that is promoted with a thoughtful approach. In short, you likely need to…

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