Have you installed a chatbot yet? No? What about a podcast? Podcasts are really hot at the moment. Have you started one? VR. You really need to look into VR. No? Facebook live? 360 video? Vine? You really need to get on Vine. That’s the future of content market – oh, wait
Hurry up, you’re getting behind.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying any new content format or platform that comes up. It’s like in high school – everyone gets caught up in a new trend, and you feel like it would be social suicide not to go along.
But content marketing isn’t high school. Trying every new thing that crosses your radar will probably leave you with a whole lot of work hours wasted. So how do you decide if something new is worth your time? Here are a few tips to give you some perspective.
1) First is not best
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being first out of the gate. Let other people pay the “tuition” for early adoption. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious and taking things slowly. Keep an eye on things, let other people work out the kinks. Finding a balance between fatigue and novelty is critical here. Ideally, you should adopt a new format once others have managed to prove its efficacy, but before there’s market saturation and you get lost in the crowd.
2) Figure out the fit
Even if a format or platform starts looking effective, that doesn’t mean that you should just jump on the bandwagon. Now it’s time to evaluate: Is this right for the brand? Is this where your audience lives? There are obvious areas of dissonance – you probably wouldn’t use facebook live if you’re marketing cloud storage. But there’s nuance here as well – Snapchat and Instagram are certainly similar – but have vastly different audiences. Assuming you gave it some time to get traction, you should have a good general idea about the potential audience in a new format.
3) Set measurable goals
This may seem obvious, but you need to know what you’re trying to achieve before you attempt to achieve it. Of course – content marketing is all about a slow burn, where ROI is achieved over the long haul rather than immediately, but that doesn’t mean you need to ignore it. As we’ve written here before – engagement and performance are clearly correlated. Your goal could be something as simple as clicks over to your site, a social share, or just getting a user to the end of the content. You have no way to optimize if you don’t know what you’re optimizing for. Something is better than nothing. If you’re not able to measure impact, you may be making a bad decision.
4) Don’t be afraid to cut and run
Once you dive in, even with a lot of careful consideration, you may be met with failure. If we were all omnipotent marketers there wouldn’t be a need for blog posts like this one. It’s critical to understand when you should cut your losses and move on. Again – this is a question of balance. You may find that after a period of time you’re just not seeing results.You may realize it even earlier in the process. A couple of months back I had a brilliant idea – animated demo videos. I was sure this was the end-all-be-all. Cut to – two weeks later, 2 canceled Fiverr orders and a lot of time spent. I declared a time of death and moved on. I think I’d still be tinkering around with scripts as we speak if I hadn’t chosen to move on.
At the end of the day, caution is not a bad thing. Last week, I made the case for doubling down on content. The real trick is to double down with a plan in place, and having a true understanding of your limitations so you can work in your wheelhouse.
There’s no point in adopting new content formats if you don’t know how to measure the ones you already use. Find out how you can use TrenDemon to rock your content marketing measurement by scheduling a demo today.