The resolution bandwagon is full of false hope and empty promises at the beginning of every year.
You’ve got the classic “I will lose X number of pounds before bathing suit season” and “I will save more money this year (and stop buying so many video games.)”
Sure, those resolutions are good hearted but many fall to pieces well before the Super Bowl. So with so many failed attempts, why do we still bother? Because we hope one year they might magically stick.
Unfortunately, magic has nothing to do with it. So instead of focusing on unattainable goals we hope we’ll achieve, why not focus on reachable goals and make this New Year count?
The following content marketing resolutions are more practical than anything else and they focus on your bottom line instead of your waistline.
Here are five content marketing resolutions you might want to adopt as your own:
1. I will have a means to measure the success of my marketing effectiveness
Desire to generate ROI isn’t a new thing for 2012. Many want to be able to measure the success of their marketing campaigns—because after all companies want to know where their money is going. In fact, 82% of execs expect every campaign to be measured. So how good are we at measuring our results?
A recent eMarketer Survey broke down different marketing types and asked US marketers which ones they believed they could effectively measure ROI. The results were pretty minimal: 47% of marketers believed they could measure ROI for email marketing, 41% for direct mail and the percentages continue to decrease. Measuring marketing effectiveness can be tricky especially with the growth of social media, but not if you have the right tools.
Google Web Analytics can be helpful with measuring your impact on the web. Start the New Year off right so your company (or personal ventures) can continue to grow. Focus on the metrics that truly matter.
2. I will focus less on bells and whistles and more on nuts and bolts
Gimmicks may get a person to your site, but a great user experience will make that person stay. This year, go back to the basics—advanced elements (if not executed to perfection) are more likely to distract and irritate customers than please them. Focusing more on the basics of SEO can improve your visibility and credibility via search engines.
While there’s no doubt that a presence in social media is necessary, a nuts and bolts focus on SEO can provide even stronger returns. Social media is less predictable than SEO; counting on traffic on any given day from these platforms is a gamble. Social media is a world of “what have you posted for me lately?” If you don’t publish on consistently, you’re unlikely to have content catch on. A properly optimized post, however, can generate traffic for years. Plus, success can be fleeting: 95% of all activity on a given Facebook post concludes within 22 hours and 92% of RTs on Twitter occur within the first hour.
SEO can provide long-lasting results and drive sustainable traffic. A 2010 study found that (of 1,002 respondents) 53% discovered products through search engines while only 8% discovered products through social networking sites.
Set goals towards SEO-focused actions this year, Google Webmaster Tools can help. Don’t let SEO sit on the back burner another year, little tweaks to your site and content can make all the difference.
3. I will learn from failed efforts
It’s hard to admit failure, but with failure comes important lessons. Andrew can vouch for me on this one. He recently talked about the 5 things he’s learned from his blog fails of 2011. Reflecting on the past year and seeing what you could have done differently, will make for a stronger 2012. And you may even see a chance to improve on current practices by trying new strategies and tactics.
2012 will be the end of sweeping stats that don’t justify your cause under the rug. It might even be the time to have some fun on the metaphorical playground—trying out some new (un-work related) content marketing platforms to get a feel of what works and what doesn’t and then applying this to your company’s site. Sometimes trial and error is the best way to learn.
4. I will use social media platforms to better engage my audience
Nearly 74% of internet users use Facebook daily and 35% use Twitter daily, according to AYTM. So it’s time to engage your audience where they hang out on the web. Recall resolution # 2 ….well starting out with great SEO tactics can complement a social media presence.
Use these platforms to create a conversational dialog with your audience and share interesting content they care about. The biggest challenge for content marketers has been producing engaging content. Don’t let this hold you back in 2012, here are some tips.
5. I will create a mobile design of my website
Don’t be the last one to become mobile-friendly. I’m sure you and almost everyone you know own mobile phones, so it’s time to make your site useable for these devices. Surprisingly, only 1 in 8 small businesses has a mobile-friendly site (and larger businesses aren’t doing too much better). Give your company a head start in 2012 and build a site that supports the on-the-go needs of your customers.
The New Year means more (and better) content marketing.
Get started off on the right foot and succeed this year. Don’t fall back into patterns of past years; make 2012 count with the best resolutions for your business.