5 Ways to Revive Your Content Strategy in 2020
You’re already well aware that content isn’t static. You know that because to boost engagement, you need both variety and frequency. To capture and keep your audience’s attention, you have to publish often. Sometimes you have to mix it up—surprise your audience. All of this is to keep them coming back for more, over and over.
Your overarching content strategy isn’t static either. Your board voted earlier this year to launch a content hub, rebrand a newsletter and publish an annual that will hit in time for your conference? Great—but what are you going to do next year?
We’re not talking about re-inventing the wheel. But content strategy is an evolving thing, and it requires regular care and maintenance—just like any other component of your organization’s strategy. Here are five tactics to consider to shake things up and help ensure your approach to content isn’t growing stale:
- Deconstruct the data. There’s really no beginning or end to a content audit. Once your content strategy is launched, you should be regularly monitoring what’s working and not working based on the KPIs you put in place and the metrics you pull. Examining what content is getting consumed and what’s getting ignored can help you make incremental changes to your content strategy, adapting topics and tweaking formats to better match your audience’s preferences.
- Explore your frequency options. Do you know how often your members or others in your industry’s profession want to hear from you? Have you asked? Surveying the audience is one method for determining the ideal frequency of content distribution that can complement your examination of the data. Remember there are two components to frequency: how often you post new content, and how often you push it out. Take a look at—and, if necessary, make appropriate changes to—both of them.
- Assess your authors. An examination of audience metrics can help tell you what (and who) is popular among your audience. So can asking a sampling of your audience what they think. The fact is that sometimes contributors just get a little stale. If you have had the same members or industry figures contributing content for a long time, consider changing things up—or at least introducing new voices to keep the variety alive. If nothing else, rejuvenate your current contributors by holding brainstorming sessions to get them thinking about new approaches to the content they deliver.
- Tweak the design. Whether it’s a newsletter, an online content hub or a print publication (or all of the above), graphic design needs to be perked up occasionally. We’re not talking complete overhaul or redesign—just simple changes to freshen the approach and keep things interesting. Consider adding new icons, a new callout style, or even just a unique approach to headline treatment and cover design.
- Change your tone. It can be difficult to find the tone in your content that best resonates with your audience. Are you too conversational—or maybe too formal? Is there room for occasional humor, or does that have no place? As with most aspects of content, you’ll likely never know unless you try. Experiment and test various approaches, then query your audience to get their take. (That might be as simple as an email to an informal focus group asking what they thought of a recent article, podcast or video). If it works, try it again. If it falls flat, chuck it and try something else.
Sometimes the slightest realignments can make all the difference. Effective content strategy is not an exact science—it’s about always trying new things, measuring the outcome and making adjustments accordingly. Your goal should be to constantly engage, surprise and delight your audience. Don’t be afraid of change to help make that happen.
Jason Meyers is senior director of content strategy for SmithBucklin.
SmithBucklin Content helps you position your organization as an authoritative source of timely, relevant, comprehensive and engaging industry intelligence. Contact us to learn about partnering with SmithBucklin Content to create a customized content strategy for your organization.