5 Interesting Ways To Improve Your 2020 Content Marketing Plans

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Content marketing is so often the differentiating factor when it comes to top brands. You can optimize your PPC campaigns, target the right demographics on social media, and make your website a very welcoming place — but if you’re not putting out strong content that picks up attention and backlinks, you’ll struggle to compete.

With a new year approaching to wipe the slate clean, it’s a great time to start looking ahead and thinking about how you’re going to achieve more with your content marketing. Should you focus on quality over quantity? Absolutely. Commit a larger budget? Yes, very sensible. There are plenty of things you should do, but most of them are fairly obvious.

In this piece, moving past those obvious suggestions, we’re going to look at 5 content marketing tips that are interesting: not necessarily in the conventional sense, but in the sense that you might not otherwise think of them. Enough preamble — let’s get started:

Thoroughly review your old content

The main temptation with digital content is to keep your gaze fixed firmly forward. What do you need for the next piece? What’s trending right now? Barring exceptions in the form of hit evergreen pieces, digital articles tend to peak in value shortly after they’re posted — within days, or even hours, they’ve been swept aside by newer (and possibly shinier) posts.

Even so, if you want to make next year’s content better, you need to commit some time to reviewing last year’s content. Pay close attention to every relevant factor for every piece: how many visits it picked up, how many conversions it drove, how long it was, which demographics it reached, how many links it picked up, etc. You might find that you keep making the same mistakes, and you would have made them again with your next strategy had you not noticed.

Visualize your end goal

Yes, visualization isn’t the most rigorously-scientific practice, but such things in the motivational sphere should be judged on their efficacy. Take vision boards, for instance: regardless of what you think of universal vibration or laws of attraction, simply concentrating on the visual of what you want to achieve can radically change how you pursue your goals.

Think carefully about the overall point of your content marketing. To attract more business, sure, but what else? Looking back in 10 years, what will you be proud to have achieved? Do you want to prove your expertise? Make people laugh? Be a force for change in your community? Each of these things can be accomplished through content marketing at the same time as that primary goal — and if you make a concerted effort to visualize where you want to end up, you’ll find it much easier to make day-to-day decisions.

Start writing in your free time

How many content marketers actually know what it’s like to write for enjoyment and/or to hone their craft? Since many of them only started content marketing out of necessity, it’s reasonable to wonder if they view the writing process as dry, formulaic, and exceptionally dull. Is that a perspective that resonates with you? If so, you need a change of perspective — and that’s exactly what writing as a pastime can offer you.

If you’ve done a good job of getting content out so far, you might doubt the value of this. Why should you commit your limited free time to doing more of something that frustrates you so greatly during working hours? Here’s why: because it shouldn’t frustrate you so much, and that frustration can only lead to harder work and worse results. The best writing comes from a flow state, and that comes far more easily when you’re relaxed and engaged. Writing with no particular aim or deadline to hit might be exactly what you need.

Try different content types

Having just touched upon doing more writing, let’s go in a different direction and consider doing less writing — during working hours, at least. Regular articles and posts aren’t the only things you can produce: there are also infographics, podcasts, video skits, collages, slideshows, animations, and myriad other things besides. Why not diversify your plans?

It’s easy enough to see why people typically stick to basic text content. It’s simple, relatively fast to complete, and low-pressure (no one expects a great deal from a 500-word post), plus those other options can sound intimidating and expensive. Here’s my counterpoint: each of those things can be done surprisingly cheaply — especially with outsourcing — and you’ll only get good at them through practice. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.

Get more obvious with keywords

If you pay attention to the SEO world, your overriding keyword-related takeaway from the past few years might be something like “Stop concentrating on keywords” — and for good reason, admittedly. Keyword stuffing is more dangerous than ever, with search crawlers looking for language that seems natural and algorithms being ready to penalize any offenders. Yet I’m recommending that you get more obvious with keywords. Why?

Because just as the appropriate remedy for a complete lack of exercise isn’t running for eight hours every day, it’s perfectly possible to pivot from one counterproductive extreme to another, and the truth of the matter is that most people aren’t at risk of going overboard with keywords. This piece is about content marketing, and I could cram the keyword “content marketing” into it numerous more times without it being a problem. I won’t, but I could — because it’s justified in this context. And as long as your keywords are justified, you don’t need to dance around them in an effort to be cagey. Just use them where you see fit!

Do these 5 tips count as interesting? Well, that’s for you to decide, but I’m fairly confident that they’ll prove effective if you give them a try. 2020 could be the year to take your content marketing to the next level, so make a real effort. What do you have to lose?