So you feel like something is a bit off with your content — you aren’t “liked” as much anymore, no one seems to be virtually “stopping by,” and you wonder: Was it something I said? It’s like an existential crisis but, thankfully, you only have to scrutinize your content strategy, not every decision you have made in the past ~10 years. Um … whew! But, like in an existential crisis, deciding whether or not to revamp your content strategy requires taking a loooong look at your history. How has the content on your websites, blogs, and social media platforms been performing over time? Hopefully, you’ll discover that readers have been deeply engaged (Yay!) but, if not (Boo!), you might need to make some major changes.
Is your content strategy is failing?
How to Keep Score
Like in sports, brands eager to know if their investments in content marketing are scoring victories need a scoreboard that can tell them whether their content strategy is winning or losing. That scoreboard is known as analytics and includes metrics like the number of people who visit your website, how long they stay, and how often they return (check out our blog on social media performance analytics). And everyone knows better than to argue with the scoreboard. A sober assessment of victories and defeats is about the best way imaginable to determine whether what a team is doing in the game is working or not.
Making Sense of the Stats
That analysis will give you a baseline from which to assess how your current content strategy is faring. In other words, are the numbers that matter going in the right direction? If pageviews and the amount of time people are spending with your content are on an upward trajectory, then your content strategy is working just fine. But you should still keep your eyes open for new technology and trends — and every two years is always a good time for a refresh. If your numbers are headed south, your strategy needs some attention.
In both cases, up or down, you need to dig deeper into the numbers to see what’s driving your success or causing your failure.
Before panicking, make sure that you’re still doing the same amount of promotion that you did in the past to get people to read your content. Also, take a look at the calendar and the world around you. Sometimes, big events — be it a major industry trade show or Ryan Lochte’s restroom antics — can sap the amount of time or interest people have in engaging with your content. Seasonality and holiday schedules can also harm those analytics.
When to Make a Change and What to Do
A month of deteriorated content numbers may not mean anything major — it could just be a dry spell. But if that dip lasts for 90 days or more, it’s time to do some additional investigation and make some changes.
Start by doing some of the same work you did when you initially developed your content strategy. That is, go back to your target audience and conduct interviews to find out why your content stopped resonating.
- Have you missed major industry developments?
- Is the content repetitive or stale?
- What insights can they provide to make your content indispensable to your target audience?
These steps will help you revise your content strategy to grab your target audience’s attention. Then you can go back to putting points on the scoreboard — swoosh!