Everyone starts 2015 with some kind of goal, New Years’ resolution, or general sense of what they want to achieve in the year ahead. Yet not many people will actually note them down and print them out.
However, according to Content Marketing Institute, documenting your content strategy is the number one factor that separates successful content marketers from their peers. Why should your goals for 2015 be any different?
So, taking the same path as the most successful content marketers in 2014, here are my top 7 content marketing goals for 2015.
- Focus on effectiveness
With so many demands on my time, 2015 could get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly! So, to cut out unnecessary tasks – those things you enjoy ticking off your to do list and keep you busy, but don’t add enough value to your overall strategy or company goals – I’ll be focusing on effectiveness.
What does that mean? It means keeping a very close eye on the ROI of all my marketing activities, and being ruthless about abandoning any tactics that are not playing a significant part in reaching strategic goals. That will then free up more time to focus on the high-performing tactics and ensure there is less time wasted.
An important part of this goal is to continually test things to see which are most effective and provide the best ROI relative to the time and cost of execution, so rigorous testing goes hand-in-hand with goal one.
- Make future-facing data-backed decisions where possible
Keeping an eye on effectiveness is great, and over time it can really help to create a lean, mean content machine – but even better is data that will help you future-proof your content before it’s created!
That’s one of my key goals this year – to future-proof the content marketing I produce as best possible. Using some amazing and relatively new tools like Buzzsumo, InboundWriter and KeywordKiwi along with industry standards like Google’s Keyword Planner, I’m going to be creating content based on as many indicators of success as possible so each piece has the best possible chance of being a winner – before it’s even written.
- Achieve more from less
You’ll already be seeing a theme emerge here – 2015 is very much defined by a quest for efficiency. So goal three is about achieving more from less, but what does that mean exactly?
It means consistently employing tactics like repurposing, curation and maximising distribution.
How will this be different to what I’ve done in 2014? Well, although I’ve widely done all three of the above, I’m going to double down on repurposing by structuring the content plan around pieces of hero content each month, which are designed and created with repurposing in mind i.e. planning for it proactively and not retrospectively.
The calendar will also have regular blocks of time for curating and updating high-performing content from 2014 to bring it up to date in 2015, keeping it fresh for readers (and Google of course) without having to start from scratch.
And finally, going back to the theme of testing, I’ll be experimenting to see how far pieces of content can pushed until they hit peak ROI by promoting them across all major channels (and trying out new ones) until they hit the point of diminishing returns.
- Aim for scalability and replicability
Yes, the search for efficiency continues into goal number four! This goal is about extending the production of content marketing beyond my own keyboard, because I can only type so much in a day, and I already have very flat fingertips…
So, to achieve the aim of building a scalable and replicable content marketing programme, despite being the only content marketer, I will be spending more time codifying and documenting what works, and then working more widely with freelancers and guest contributors to help create successful content based on those best practice principles.
- Include influencers for greater impact
This runs slightly against the grain of efficiency in some respects, but I believe it will ultimately result in more effectiveness. Why less efficient?
Well, the goal will be to include influencers in the majority of content pieces in 2015. That means identifying the correct people, reaching out to them, chasing up a response, getting sign-off and then sharing the finalised content too. A much more laborious process than dashing off 1000 words with no external sources included.
However what I lose in speed, I feel will be more than made up for in impact, with the aim being that the influencers share the content with their network, while their credibility will help the content perform better by making it more authoritative and therefore shareable.
- Everything should have a CTA
Goal two should make every post as successful as it can be – but all that is pointless unless they’re driving specific actions that align with my overall strategic goals. Popularity without purpose is taking the Kim Kardashian approach to content marketing, not the kind of direction I want to head in.
That’s why every piece of content should have a specific CTA, whether it’s to improve SEO rankings for key terms, be shared widely on social media or generate inbounds leads – the content has to exist for a reason.
- Guest post more
Last, but certainly not least, I’m going to challenge myself to guest post more. Despite averaging 10,000-15,000 words a month already, with some of the efficiencies I generate from the above goals, and consequently time clawed back, I’m going to write more about content marketing (and digital marketing in general).
Why guest posts? Because sites like Content Marketing Institute, Moz, QuickSprout and Copyblogger have – and continue to be – amazing resources for me to learn from. I’d love to give back to them and their communities by starting to contribute my own learnings in 2015.
If I can even achieve half of these goals it’s going to be a busy, challenging and rewarding year – I can’t wait!
What are your main goals for 2015?