The great thing about a content marketing strategy is that it can always be iterated on and improved. Even if you have something that’s working today, you will need to implement new tactics in the not-too-distant future to maintain your momentum and keep customers clicking through to your pages.
While nearly two months of the year have passed already, there is still plenty of time to shake things up in 2021. Here are six tactics that you could start implementing today that could drive key metrics and increase your chances of sustainable success.
Promote your content
Digital platforms are the primary battleground for content marketing, so actually advertising or promoting your output more readily is key to increased visibility and engagement.
Social media management should therefore be prioritised in 2021 as you need to distribute your blogs, articles and videos across a variety of platforms at the right moment to reach consumers. Setting up a variety of social media accounts and potentially partnering with an agency to manage the whole process could give your content the extra push it needs.
You could also distribute your content on forums or attach it within emails. Another popular strategy in the B2B space is to send it to influential industry players or key figures who will find value in a whitepaper, for example, and potentially talk about it or share it with others.
Repurpose older content
The repurposing theme continues into 2021 as it makes financial sense and is one of the easiest ways to spin a quality piece of content into something that can gain traction quickly.
If you have published a video in the past on a certain topic and received a large number of likes and views, you could create an article that delivers the core message in written form. Having a piece in text to supplement a popular video is great for driving organic clicks through Google.
If social media is your favoured outlet, try to turn some of your well-received blogs into bite-size posts that form a longer Twitter thread that can keep followers engaged and boost those all-important social signals.
Refresh existing content
There are already ‘best’ and ‘top 10’ queries that feature the year 2021 in them in SERPs. This highlights how highly Google values content freshness for search rankings.
You are likely to have published content in the past that includes the years 2019 or 2020. If these have performed well in the past, they are now ripe for a refresh. All you need to do is update the copy and include an editor’s note about how you think the article or blog is now relevant for the current year.
Outdated content is one of the main reasons why organic traffic for certain links in search starts to drop off. Google always wants new things to index and rank. Going back through your posts to give them a new lease of life is an eminently affordable way to give Google what it wants and reap the rewards of increased traffic and conversions.
Go back and look at internal links
Linking strategies are difficult to master, but you should not view them as a ‘set and forget’ undertaking when you finally get them right. Internal links are an excellent tool for creating a site structure and supporting better SEO. They can increase the authority of content at the page level and make it more relevant.
Think of internal links as a kind of jigsaw. Google uses links to understand how all the pieces come together to create something bigger. Links provide context, and when deployed correctly, they can boost your rankings in search results.
If you don’t really know where to begin with internal links, there is software available that will list viable internal link opportunities. You can then use your content marketing materials (i.e. blogs and articles) to start weaving links together.
Identify target keywords
Ranking for valuable keywords is one of the main aims of content marketing. You have probably identified a few phrases that are applicable for your brand and product set, but it is always a good idea to return to keyword research regularly to see if there is anything you may be missing out on.
You can identify valuable keywords by using data and analytics tools to sort potential candidates by monthly search volume and then estimated monthly organic traffic. The latter is a better indicator for whether a keyword can really drive returns if you start ranking for it with your content.
Another factor to think about here is ‘business potential’ and rating the degree to which a keyword or topic is valuable for your brand. Ideally, you want content and keywords that align with something where you can provide the solution or at least help in some way.
Outside of the realm of organic marketing, sponsorships can give a much-needed boost to your general content output and messaging. Sponsorships are part of brand building and are very effective when used alongside other people’s events, podcasts and newsletters.
If you have a larger budget to pursue paid strategies, advertising and sponsorship may be a great option if you can position your brand and products with the right audience. Just a simple message can be enough to increase your exposure and many may turn to your blog as a first point of contact after hearing about you.
Here are several more tactics for 2021 that you could explore:
• Optimising content for featured snippets and rich results
• Optimising content for the Google Discover feed
• Guest posting on other publications
• Using automation for email marketing based on customer actions
• Exploring less popular channels and search engines
With the right marketing tactics, you can get more out of your investment in content and give yourself a better chance of ranking in the top positions in SERPs, which is then an inflection point for more positive outcomes such as higher levels of organic traffic, conversions and sales, all of which benefit your business.