There are times when a content marketing initiative’s results seem to plateau. Ideas grow stale, motivation might wane, or it may seem like all of the opportunities have been covered. This may happen with every online marketing program, be it content development, SEO performance, or building a presence in social media.
More importantly, this doesn’t just happen with unsuccessful strategies. In fact, some of the most productive B2B content marketing initiatives need the occasional refresh to keep things moving in an upward trajectory.
Here are some of the things I try to do when it seems like I’ve ended up “hitting the proverbial wall” with an existing B2B content marketing program.
There are so many new opportunities (applications, communities, articles) being released in the online marketing space that it is easy to get overwhelmed or simply off track. Take a step back and reorganize “free time” spent with research and execution.
For social media network development, dedicating fifteen minutes daily to a particular channel may be what is needed to get back on track and feeling productive.
For SEO-centric content prioritization, consider how you might reassess keyword research and focus, to better define topics and ideas.
Reorganization efforts may also provide a way to reassess missed opportunities or the effectiveness of existing tools and resources used for program management and / or execution.
Establish Incremental Goals
While lofty goals provide strategic motivation in the long-run, setting smaller benchmarks can provide the necessary fuel to sustain the day-to day tasks that deliver long-term results. This can be as simple as putting together goals for a set number of interactions or tasks per day.
For example, if building an improved presence amongst bloggers is a core strategy for content distribution, perhaps setting a specific goal for executing quality comments on reviewed blog posts (on others’ blogs) per week will help motivate the effort.
When struggling to develop a long-term editorial calendar, consider dedicating a short period of time each day to specifically research new ideas and topics to undertake.
Contribute To The Community
Sometimes you can get re-energized by just helping others solve problems in the community. Social media networking and online communities (forums, user groups, etc) can be great places to explore this opportunity.
Participating in weekly industry chats on Twitter (in our industry we have the #SEMRushChat and #BufferChat) or participating in a discussion within an industry-specific LinkedIn group can be great opportunities to learn, share, and inspire new ideas.
Make sure to listen first.
It’s not advisable to simply jump into a conversation without assessing known guidelines, policies, or having a basic understanding of the participants backgrounds.
Remember that a strategy refresh doesn’t need to happen solely online either. Attending a local networking event or offsite seminar might be enough to get the creative energy flowing as well.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Far too often we experience client discussions saturated with their own organizational jargon, “standard operating procedures”, and company-specific acronyms. While history and guidelines often provide support and reference, sometimes its advisable to expand out of one’s comfort zone.
For content marketing fatigue, this could simply mean evaluating great tactics from complementary industries and organizations.
For example, in providing guidance on categorical landing pages for a B2B e-commerce initiative, we looked at some of the top retail outlets as well as competitors, in an effort to provide a more comprehensive range of opportunities and tactics.
Offline networking can offer inspiration as well. Gravitate out one’s comfort zone to network and learn from others in complementary fields. This may provide new perspective and ideas to help build upon and extend already successful strategies, hopefully taking them over the top once executed.
Turn the Computer Off, Really
Finally, when all else fails, maybe it’s just time to get away from that computer screen. Spend some time offline and make sure the computer is nowhere in sight.
Get out of the house or office and take a breather, even if it’s only for a fifteen minute break because of pressing deadlines. A quick reprieve may be enough to clear one’s head and provide the necessary time to refocus and make adjustments.
Getting Over The Proverbial Wall
We can all agree that there is no room for complacency in the content marketing space. You have to keep moving forward and strategies and techniques that work should be constantly refined and can almost always be improved.
But oftentimes, programs need to be refreshed and looked at under a different light to maintain ongoing success.
What does your organization do to ensure your content marketing program maintains ongoing performance and effectiveness? I would love to read your thoughts and perspective via comments below.