New Year’s resolutions for content marketers

January 14th, 2019

It is now the middle of January. So how are you getting on with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you still vegan, teetotal, popping down the gym every night? Also, did you make any professional resolutions? Planning to get ahead by reading more articles or listening to more podcasts?

Quite often the resolutions we make are too ambitious – in other words, we set ourselves up to fail. So to keep things simple and achievable here are four that I think are realistic and you can act upon now.

Continuous learning

A key theme for 2019 has to be continuous learning. The content marketing industry is, as ever, in a state of transition. In the last year alone we have seen major changes to Facebook, the introduction of IGTV, the massive growth of audio based storytelling and innovations in measurement and reporting.

One way to keep as up to date as possible is to commit to continuous learning. It is a concept that is central to the CMA. We believe in equipping our members with the knowledge they require to help them make informed decisions about all aspects of their working lives.

We recently announced our line up of courses for 2019, and you can read all about them here. Among them are sessions on podcasting, SEO and video strategy. The CMA also hosts Content Breakfasts where key influencers deliver their take on the most pressing industry issues. The programme for 2019 is here.

Spend more time on strategy

One topic that came up in many CMA breakfasts last year was strategy. And in particular how some content marketers still don’t spend enough time working through their approach, (identifying audiences, choosing platforms, harnessing influencers etc) before they start content creation.

In some ways, it’s excusable as many of us are so time poor. Yet, help is at hand as there are many tools now that can help marketers in everything from audience segmentation, keyword popularity/analytics and more. As so many CMA award winners can testify spending more time on the early part of a campaign clearly pays dividends later.

Get out and network more

I think one New Year’s resolution that pretty much applies to everyone, but especially to those who have desk-bound jobs, is to get out more. There are so many benefits to going to industry events and meeting your peers that it seems churlish to run through them here. But let me throw this figure at you. Fancy a new job? Virgin ran a survey recently and found that a whopping eighty-five per cent of jobs are filled through networking. Even if you love your current job and aren’t looking elsewhere, at events you are likely to meet people who will prove useful to you from a career perspective, maybe introducing you to customers, suppliers and people who may prove to be new business leads.

Meeting and sharing with your peers increases your knowledge and will almost certainly boost your confidence. The CMA has a busy and varied calendar of events, but a great one for networking is the CMA Summit in February which will look at how the content industry is adapting to new technology, as well as delving into whether technology is helping or hindering modern marketeers.

Experiment with new formats/platforms/tools

Although we lead very busy lives, and even more so with all the networking and learning we are going to do in 2019, it is essential to keep abreast of new formats. And the best way to understand them is to experiment with them. I think one of the key issues for marketers is that they haven’t yet fully understood the potential of the new breed of tools, often powered by machine learning, which automates processes. There is a big list of them here. It takes time to not only understand their offering but to get used to using them. Unfortunately, the only way to gauge how useful tools are is to experiment with them. A few hours spent working your way around unfamiliar interfaces now may end up rewarding you in the future, with lots of time saved by tools that are smart enough to simplify time-consuming processes.

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