Content online can generally be separated into two categories: topical and evergreen. Being topical is a great way to join the conversation online about current events or trends. It may also earn you a short-term spike in traffic, which shouldn’t be discounted.
However, evergreen content pays off nicely over time. Typically this category addresses people’s ongoing, broad needs. Rather than being limited to a trending topic, it’s always relevant. To get meta for a moment, an article on tips for improving your content marketing is evergreen, as content marketing has been an important topic for several years and doesn’t look to be losing steam any time soon.
Evergreen content also has the added benefit of providing sources for future, related materials. You can re-purpose a blog and re-contextualize the information for a separate post.
Perhaps the most common mistake companies make with their social media accounts is failing to engage with their audiences. Whether you’re running a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other account, people expect you to not just post relevant content, but to follow up, as well.
Best practices dictate that community managers respond to people who engage with your content. In particular, thanking people who leave favorable comments is a great way to show you appreciate them. Social media is ideal for customer service, so you always want to put your best face forward and encourage responses around your content.
Promotional content is important. After all, you’re running a business, and your products and services aren’t going to advertise themselves. However, online audiences tend to be allergic to too much self-promotion. Over posting about your business in social media, or sending too many promotional newsletters will result in a steady decline of followers and subscribers.
Instead, the bulk of your content should provide value. Again, this goes back to the fundamental questions of what your audience wants to read, see and watch. In digital marketing, customers, not brands, drive interaction, so you want to give them information or an experience that’s relevant or useful to them. If you can prove yourself with valuable content, customers are more likely to invest in you.
Track Your Content
Creating compelling, useful content is crucial. Without it, your whole strategy will collapse. However, even the most incredible copy in the world is fairly useless if you just dump it online and don’t monitor it. You need to track the performance of every post, see what’s faring well versus what’s dying, and determine if your conversion goals are being met. Conversions simply refer to desired actions you want people to take (clicks, downloads, sales, etc.), and almost always result from the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.
It’s important to remember here that you probably won’t win big right out of the gate. Because content marketing is relatively new, there are no iron-clad strategies. But tracking your efforts will allow you to tweak your strategy, and bring you closer to your goals.