Content marketing strategy is heading in a new direction in 2015, largely due to ever-changing algorithms, mobile entry points and more demand by users for relevant content that meets their needs. There's no longer a single content solution or a single method of delivery that will lead you to success. Here are six do's and don'ts to see you through 2015.
DO Analyze and Adjust
A study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) showed that 77 percent of B2C marketers have a content marketing strategy in place. The 60 percent of these with a documented strategy considered it successful because they can track ROI and use their metrics to tweak content and delivery over the long term.
DO Encourage Co-Creation
These days, the audience is in charge. Users love to share opinions and interact, so your strategy should encourage user-generated content (UGC) via status updates, tweets and reviews. Mashable found that millennials trust UGC 50 percent more than brand-generated content. Make sure you talk with them, not at them: Users will bounce if engagement options are low.
DO Create Exclusive Content
Your products will appeal to a variety of readers at different stages of the consumer cycle, so consider who they are and what they want to take away from your content. Make sure your content stands out as authoritative, imaginative, engaging and exclusive to you. You can do this by adding informative videos, relatable consumer stories and even insider news that's ultimately tied to both their needs and your business objectives.
DON'T Put Quantity Over Quality
Google's algorithms are now too sophisticated to let you get away with posting low-quality content. A 150-word keyword-optimized (or stuffed) description won't win you any favors with readers or search engines. Social has changed content demand from filling spaces to increasing value and experience. Don't generate masses of generic content. Make it seem natural, and be informative and worthy of being shared.
DO Consider Mobile
Mobile is driving the Internet, and Mobify says that 1.2 billion people reportedly access the Web from their mobile phones. This means that your content needs to be tailored to ease of use and page load speeds.
DON'T Rely on Built Links
Traditional link building has gone out of style, and obvious link-building tactics will get you penalized. Instead, educate your customers. Audience engagement and relationship building will build brand loyalty and drive conversions. If your content encourages discussion, brand mentions will do more to build links naturally — which, in the long run, will naturally boost your site rank.
These content marketing best practices will pave the road to success. In 2015, you'll need to have a clear understanding of your content marketing strategy goals — whether they be generating traffic, building brand loyalty or awareness, or delivering thought leadership. From there, you'll know what to look for in your metrics and adjust accordingly. But the key now is to learn what your audience wants to read and to deliver it as original, creative information.