The opening up of the LinkedIn publisher platform is another symptom of a potentially unwell state of content marketing. Quite simply, we are drowning in a sea of content and some of it is just ain’t that good. From the recent Content Benchmarking Report we can see that inbound marketing takes up to 40% of marketers’ time and nearly a third of their budgets. A whopping 86% of marketers have been producing more content in the last 12 months. A trend that is predicted to continue. So, how do we create content that stands out from the crowd? And how do you ensure the audience you are looking to target aren’t just slapped round the face again with another content wet fish?

 

Don’t just create more

Take the time to do the proper planning. Audit what you have at your disposal. So often you will find content can be re-purposed and in the case of social in particular, broken down into bite size pieces and stretched out over a greater period of time.

Planning Grid

Plan

See a theme here? Take the time to properly plan. Know your audience(s), understand their challenges and pain points, understand their goals and aspirations. Is your content really useful to your audience? If the answer is no, then you need to plan a bit harder.

 

Plan some more

If you truly know your audience you’ll know exactly who and where they are. With social media in mind, you’ll know the networks and communities your audience frequents, what they talk about and what content they engage with. Then revert back to their pain points, the message you are trying to convey and try and create in that sweet spot.

 

Content Sweet Spot

Try something new

You have to stand out and that might mean trying something different. In social media we know that users have little time for lengthy, wordy pieces of content, but infographics are ten-a-penny. There is no substitute for doing your research here, look outside of the industry in which your company sits and look to others for inspiration. Remember, your B2B buyer is also a consumer so take inspiration from brands in this space too. In essence though, some of what you try just might not work, but that’s where my last point comes in…

 

Get your measurement right

If you are going to continue to invest in creating content (which is an expensive business) then you have to put yourself on the best footing to learn what works and what doesn’t. Take time to analyze the tools at your disposal to measure your activity in social media and what metrics matter to you (from top to bottom of the ‘funnel’). Link this data up with your web analytics, and match it all back to leads and sales. Not an easy feat, but doing this will allow you to truly analyse how your content is performing from awareness through to sales. If you’re there already (good on you!) then take your content optimisation to the next level and get right into the details of what works and what doesn’t…

Performance Matrix

Two little turns of phrase to conclude:

Quality over quantity – you owe it to content marketing.

Kaizen – the process of continuous improvement. Test, learn and optimise your approach from a base of good data.

If you want to find out more about squeezing the value from your social content then why not check out our recent webinar “smart social content for lead generation

Sources: Stats from Content Benchmarking Report

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