It’s the start of the new year which leads us all to think about the year ahead and make resolutions, both personally and professionally. It’s also a time that many of us set goals for our content marketing in the coming year.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of goal-setting deadlines, mainly because they often force us to come up with “a solution” before we’re ready. Sure, we can amend our lackluster attempts later on while we enjoy the feeling of accomplishment for making our deadline. However, as my mother always said, “haste makes waste.” When it comes to setting your marketing goals for 2014, I advocate a slower, more methodical approach. In fact, I’m not unashamed to admit that I don’t quite have my marketing goals solidified for 2014. I will though. Soon.
The best way to achieve anything is to have a process, and I plan to use this “four-parter”.
First, look at the year in review. This is a no-brainer, right? Well, maybe not. If you were working without a clear plan in the past, you will probably notice a pattern of knee-jerk responses to possible opportunities throughout the year. If you had a plan, hopefully you can look at your KPIs (key performance indicators) to reveal your success or failure in each area. Either way, let the past be your guide as you consider your new content marketing goals for 2014.
Second, look at your target audiences and demographics. Did you reach them? Are you reaching them adequately? Have they changed over the years or in 2013? If you are now offering a new product or service, you must connect with a new audience by using existing channels of communication, or by putting new ones in place to do the job. To evaluate whether or not you have succeeded in reaching your audiences, you can check your social media or blog sites for increases in positive actions such as “likes” and “followers” and by checking the health and demographic information of your company’s database.
Third, evaluate your current marketing channels in place. Did they perform adequately for you? If not, what is missing? Do you need to try something new (and possibly scary) such as video, mobile marketing, social media or a blog? Sometimes this is a hard question to answer, and a marketing professional or professional content writer can guide you in the right direction. Making the jump to a new format can be scary but the results can be life-changing for any company. If the time is right, make it a goal in 2014.
Finally, set your goals! A company’s marketing goals usually include quantifiable projections for increases in sales, new products, territory, etc. In the case of content marketing, sometimes augmenting existing efforts rather than launching new ones, can make a powerful difference. For example, in the case of a content marketing strategy, you may have a blog but fail to post regularly so it is difficult to determine customer response. You may have a well-designed website but you are failing to capture visitor information. Is there an area of interest for your customers that you have not touched upon in your content marketing? It may make a worthwhile content marketing goal for 2014.
There are many considerations for setting goals for your 2014 content marketing. How do you do create yours? Leave me a comment and let me know. If you need help with your content marketing efforts in 2014, I’m here to help! Contact me.