Have you been wondering if you’re using the right content mix in your content marketing strategy? To a large extent, your content mix will make a big difference in how effective your content marketing efforts are. There are many alternatives, including blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, videos, and graphics. Here are the steps you can take to identify the right mix.
1. Match Your Intent to the Type of Content
Make a list of the reasons why you communicate to your audience. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you’ll undoubtedly find that your list includes some or all the following:
- Provide information: You have conceptual knowledge that you want to impart to your audience to help them make sense of the information that bombards them on a topic.
- Teach: You want to provide actionable advice to your audience.
- Persuade: You have a product or service that will solve a pain point for your audience, and you want to explain how it can benefit them.
- Entertain: Depending on your brand, you may want to provide something related to your industry that is light-hearted and can give your audience a reason to smile.
- Raise awareness: You want to point out a problem you can fix and ensure that your audience knows you have that capability.
Once you have the list, it’s easy to match your intent to the types of content. For example, you probably wouldn’t put a cartoon in the middle of a whitepaper. Providing actionable advice might work well in a blog post or video. Raising awareness is often effective in a case study because your audience can see how you helped others.
You’ll start to see patterns and understand how different vehicles can be used based on the intent of the communication. Varying your content mix is effective in reaching your audience in the way that will serve them best. It will also let you reach the part of your audience that prefers to absorb information from the written word and the part that prefers the interactivity of a video.
2. Set an Initial Content Mix
Initially, you can set your content mix based on the decisions you made when you matched the intent of your communications to their corresponding content type. This type of structure will help your content creation team to provide variety and focus on your strategic goals.
For example, you may decide to:
- Provide information twice a week using blog posts, videos, infographics or e-books
- Teach weekly using videos, e-books, or infographics
- Persuade once a month using whitepapers or case studies
- Entertain once a month in a blog post
- Teach weekly using blog posts, videos, e-books, or infographics
- Raise awareness once a month using whitepapers, case studies, or e-books
3. Track Your Results
The most important thing you can do to make your content marketing work hard for you is to track the results of your efforts. It’s far too easy to “set it and forget it,” but it happens all the time. Those campaigns produce very poor results. Content marketing can increase leads and support your sales staff, but you need to respond to changes in the market and your audience to reach that goal.
After you set an initial content mix, track your results. Determine whether you’re getting more leads from your blog posts or your case studies. Determine whether you’re attracting your targeted leads, if your messaging is getting off track, or if you’re not reaching your audience where they live.
Tracking your results can be done with social metrics. There, you'd track Reach, or the number of people who see your content. You can also track changes in your number of followers, comments, shares, click-through rates, and more. Google Analytics is another excellent tracking tool. It will let you track the number of visitors to your website, how long they stay, how many pages they view, conversion rates, and much more.
In addition, marketing automation technology allows you to see the results of your marketing efforts and identify when sales are being closed. All of these types of metrics and reports give you the ability to analyze and measure your results, which will help you make better decisions moving forward.
4. Update Your Strategy
After tracking your results, you’ll see patterns in how new business is generated. You’ll understand more about the types of content that are resonating with your audience. Based on that understanding, you can continually evolve your content mix to reach the right audience with the right message.
How Happy Are You with Your Content Mix?
If you don’t think your content marketing is giving you the return you need, you may want to consider updating your approach. Marketing automation is a technology that will allow you to make the most of your marketing dollars. Get in touch with our team to learn how we can help you use marketing automation technology to grow your business.