This is the time of year to reflect, plan, purge our junk (literally and figuratively) and think about how we want to be better in the new year. As you think about your New Year’s resolutions for 2017, consider going beyond losing weight and running more. Here are a few content marketing-related New Year’s resolutions for us all to consider for 2017.
1. Plan better.
When I work with clients, I emphasize the importance of planning. Editorial calendars, production schedules, marketing and content plans — these are the tools of a smart marketer. Yet, sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day and end up being more reactive with our communications. I get it. I’ve been known to blog on the fly for my own business too. But this year, I vow to heed my own advice and be better.
2. Honor strategy and quality.
At the end of the day, we have to create content. But are we pausing to think things through, or are we just churning out blog posts and videos and podcasts and reports without really thinking about their value? Let’s focus less on quantity and tactics. Instead, let’s engage in strategic thinking and produce high-quality content that helps our audiences.
3. Give people time to do their best work.
This goes with planning and strategy — to produce quality, we need to allow everyone on our team adequate time to do their best work. When we’re working too quickly, we will inevitably make mistakes — or simply fail to produce our best work. When it’s within our control, let’s work to give our teams the time they need to do the kind of work they’re capable of. We’ll all be happier (and more successful) as a result.
4. Stay up on industry trends.
It’s easy to get so entrenched in our own work that we forget the world around you. But as marketers, it’s important that we keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. We don’t necessarily need to adopt ever new platform that comes about (because, um, hello, we’d go crazy), but we should understand how the industry is changing so that we can have ongoing discussions with our team about our strategy and tactics.
5. Measure and report.
We creative folks love what we do. We pore over every word. We agonize over art direction. And we want our bosses and clients — and ultimately, our target audiences — to love what we produce. But we can’t forget to measure our impact. It’s not always easy, but we need to know if our work is … well, working. Whatever those metrics are, let’s make sure we’re tracking them and reporting on them.
6. Try one new thing this year.
We can all do this! Maybe it’s a new content management tool. Perhaps it’s a new writing approach. Organize your team in a different way. Don’t use the same annual report template this year. A/B test your subject lines. Whatever it is, consider taking a (calculated) risk, and try something new in your marketing efforts. You never know what you might learn — and the other benefits that could follow.
OK, that’s it — those are my content marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Suggest your own in the comments, and Happy New Year!