Self-help for content marketers: 5 steps to a better you

Do you feel stuck? Creatively flat? Is your current content marketing strategy staler than the weeks-old remnants of your office’s Christmas buffet?

You decide your future. The power is in your hands. So, light a lavender-scented candle and get your favourite motivational playlist on: here’s how you can live your best content strategy in 2020.

Acquire knowledge

The path to self-improvement is paved with bricks of knowledge. How you approach this is up to you, of course. You might try meditating for a quick 45 minutes every morning, searching for content nirvana.

Alternatively, if you’re in a bit of rush, check out our ‘six steps to a successful content strategy’ article. And because we’re ultra-zen (and not at all jealous of their hugely successful content) we also like this step-by-step guide from HubSpot. For true enlightenment, it’s essential to seek inspiration from outside of your business. Ommmmmm.

Set goals

It’s hard to take stock while embedded in a day-to-day routine. Sure, you complete the tasks required of you in a timely fashion and to a high standard, but have you taken a step back recently to assess whether you’re going in the direction you want to go? It might be time to set some goals.

A new yoga regime, a daily thankfulness practice, a brisk walk in the park every lunchtime – they’re all good ideas, but they’re a bit… overdone. Maybe you’d like to try out a new style of content or a new medium in 2020? Maybe you’d like to reach out to a new group of people? Now’s the time to decide – set your goals for the year ahead and into the future, and make sure they align with your business’ wider ambitions.

After all, could Gwyneth keep GOOP’s content so inspiring without regular goal setting? We think not.

Move more

As the Dalai Lama probably once said: a goal without a plan is just a wish. Or something. But seriously: nothing will change unless you decide to do something differently.

That said, even when we know that it would at the very least be a good idea to try out something new (say an A/B test on a regular email), it can be very difficult to change a habit.

And that’s just as true when changing your content marketing strategy as it is when trying to increase your weekly workouts. There’s no point confidently writing ‘bikram yoga’ into your calendar three times a week if you then ignore those prompts, schlep out on the sofa and binge watch The Crown. You need to make a concerted effort until your new habit becomes your new normal.

Evaluate your progress

As we all know, January is the time to be the most cold, miserable, and poor best version of yourself. So, with the finest intentions at heart, you’ll create new spreadsheets filled with content ideas for the year ahead. And you might even maintain that effort.

But you also need to take stock of what’s working throughout the year. So you tried that webinar, that event, that interactive guide – what was the outcome? After trying something new, take time to evaluate whether the experiment worked. Is this something you could integrate into your content marketing strategy on an ongoing basis? How could you continue to improve results?

There are so many variables in a content marketing strategy that it can be hard to see what worked well, and why. But self-evaluation and continued improvement are part of our challenge as marketers (and humans). It might not feel very zen, but we need to be able to prove our worth to the rest of the business, and consistent measurement and record taking is invaluable for that.

Namaste away from boring ideas

At this time of year, it’s normal to think about self-improvement, whether personally or professionally. But we mustn’t forget the reasons we became content creators in the first place – often, because we love creating!

So, beyond improvement, make sure you have fun with your content in 2020. Above all, successful campaigns stem from creativity and great ideas. (We should know. We won a shelf-load of awards this year after we made a dating app for cows!)

So there you have it. The only thing that will be healthier than your content strategy in 2020 will be you after choking down your first (and last) turmeric latte.