The new year brings an opportunity to renew our approach to both work and life. For anyone whose job involves creating content, the process by which the content is created is as important as the subject matter.
As we look to 2023, consider the “how” of content creation along with planning for your editorial calendar. Develop a content creation framework that eliminates guesswork, ensures accuracy, and can drive brand-building results.
1. Review past performance
Just because the new year is a blank slate, doesn’t mean you should create content without thinking about the past. We want to fill the gaps in our current asset inventory with new content. It should also build on the success of well-made content. So spend some time exploring performance data and analytics before diving in.
If you already have solid content, take a look at what resonated with your audience. Check your website metrics, social media shares, and SEO performance. Identify themes across your high-performing content and consider what they are telling you. For example, if you’re in the financial industry, look at all the different financial publications to see which content performs the best. These media sites focus on creating compelling content. You might be able to learn from how their content works.
In some cases, it’s a trending topic thanks to industry interest and newsworthiness. Assets may also attract traffic due to format, readability, or discoverability. Pay attention to details such as images, videos, and link counts. All of these can be performance factors.
2. Set meaningful goals
Creating content is not enough. It is imperative that each published work is tailored to its purpose. Assign elements both old and new with strategic goals that the rest of the organization is working towards.
For example, if you want to upsell an existing client to a higher level package, identify the components that help you achieve that. Perhaps customers will be persuaded by case studies of other customers using your enhanced services to reduce costs or increase revenue. Or a side-by-side feature comparison might inspire you to jump.
Note that focusing solely on views does little to help increase revenue. Use click tracking and cookies (where possible) to monitor customer engagement and target content to match customer behavior. Review customer feedback data to identify potential pain points, paying particular attention to qualitative feedback. You can use what you learn to clarify your objectives and use it as a checklist as you develop your content.
3. Plan your content strategy
Creating goal-aligned content that meets customer needs and wants is only half the battle. Making sure they get there is the other half. To prevent your content from falling into the black hole of the Internet, you need to prioritize the delivery component of your content strategy.
Depending on the goals you set, you can publish your content through your own channels, third-party sites, or (most often) a combination of the two. A gated whitepaper for your website can be key if your objective is lead generation. You need to garner mentions with your stuff. Getting backlinks to that white paper from authoritative external sources will help you achieve both your lead generation and SEO goals.
So your content strategy should include what kind of content you create and where you post it, but remember it can be used in other ways. I can provide a copy of everything. See each piece of content as a framework for multiple iterations. This will increase your reach and get the most out of your content spend. Plus, leveraging pre-made content across multiple mediums can help you attract different persona groups.
4. Set deadlines to keep the momentum going
Deadlines make a difference in almost every aspect of life. A specific due date can spur results rather than “as soon as possible”. But deadlines aren’t just determined by how quickly content is developed. For example, if you work in a highly regulated industry, you need to build in time for legal review. Establish a deadline-driven review process that will keep you both compliant and agile in the new year.
Consider the stakeholders involved in your strategic goals and processes. Identify what types of content need to be reviewed, by whom, and for how long. Work with stakeholders to determine an acceptable turnaround time. This will help your content team plan accordingly. If a subject matter expert requires her three business days, the team knows when to submit a copy for review. Agree on what to do in the absence of a particular individual.
Have a backup plan for every conceivable variable in case the unexpected happens. Manage delays by banking evergreen content and identifying the types of content that do not require review. The more contingency plans you can create, the more consistent your content creation and delivery will be. Use team collaboration tools to assign deadlines and achieve accountability across departments. This keeps cross-functional teams on target and on schedule.
Deploy your content to grow in 2023
Content complements your business, but it’s also how you serve others. You may be striving to get more clients and generate more revenue, but your readers probably need answers or solutions to their problems. Align your content with your goals for 2023 Keep your readers’ needs in mind when doing so.
Using your subject matter expertise to address their problems will help you achieve both their objectives and yours. The more value he can offer, the more credibility his brand will have and his 2023 earnings.