Updated: May 22
Different content results every month? You're not the only one!
Many business owners are surprised by their content performances. They believe a post would be successful, but it ends up with a low engagement rate. The post they do not have much faith in usually does pretty well. In content creation, nothing matters more than the audience, not even the boss. The boss' gut feeling is not a good benchmark at all. That is why brands should continuously assess their content performance to see what works and doesn't.
i) Test and Learn
Many brands are committed to testing content. They produce heaps of content every month. But they don't learn from it. They only look at what has performed well, give themselves a pat on the back, and start fresh the next month. It is not the way to achieve continuous improvement.
Improve on what is underperforming. Don't abandon ideas that didn't work the first time. Use them as valuable tests. See if their performance betters by implementing elements shared by well-performing content. Play around with their visuals, copy structures, formats, and distribution channels. It will teach you a lot, resulting in a perfect formula for your brand to continuously create high-performance content.
Optimize those that have performed well. One way is to create them into a series, so you have a set of content that promises to achieve performance. Another way is to adapt them into ads. Since they already perform well organically, their performance is likely to grow exponentially with more reach.
Setting benchmarks. Know the average amount of impression, reach, engagement, and action you can generate every month with your content. Treat each of these metric numbers as your brand's benchmark. Instead of trusting global benchmarks, these numbers are specific to your brand and guide you in setting achievable goals.
ii) Stick to the plan
Many brands don't get to enjoy the merits of content marketing. It's not because they've done it wrong, but because they've given up too soon. Unlike advertisements, content takes time to prove its effects. Changing the content plan mid-way or abandoning it is no different than giving up on a whole house just because a single hinge on the door has come loose.
Plan your content at least a month in advance. That's how you can schedule out posts consistently and make sure there is a variety in your posts. Without having a content calendar to populate, it becomes very difficult to plan related content across different channels. If audiences become interested in a specific piece of content and want to find out more, likely, you don't have more content readily available for them yet.
Set your business objectives at least a quarter in advance. Because running a business is much like sailing a large ship. You can't just make a quick turn all of a sudden. You need to understand the path and create content that can steer you in the direction you want to go.
Know what business success looks like a year in advance. That is your north star and what all your content should collectively strive to achieve. Without it, your content is just achieving small metric goals at best.
iii) It takes time
There's no faster way to create good content. The brand needs to have its positioning, target audience understanding, and content pillars before content creation and distribution channels setup. Then, the brand needs to test, learn, refine, and assess its content. It is an ongoing process that combines science (data) and art (creativity).
Never guess. Because you don't need to. The data tells you what works and what doesn't. You just need to spend the time to understand it.
When in doubt, look at numbers. Because numbers don't lie. They might not tell you things you'd prefer, but they're always giving you the truth. It's up to you to decide what to do with it.
When you have questions, ask your target audience. Your audiences are your heroes. They know what they want. Listen to them and create content that solves their problems.
It's a lot of work! But there's a way to tackle them all.
Data analytics is crucial to creating content without playing a guessing game. Spotting commonalities between well-performing content and identifying the best performing content pillar signifies the content that needs to be produced to continually grow performance.
Important data points include engagement rate and click-through rate. However, the number of followers is not reliable data to measure content performance, as more followers do not necessarily result in a stronger engagement rate.
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