Content Marketing evaluationWhat with all this content we’re writing, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to take a step back to evaluate your efforts. Well, that’s one excuse anyway.

It’s never too late, though, and having just passed the halfway point in the calendar year, there’s no better time than the present.

We recently bit the bullet here at M2 Bespoke, giving our website an in-depth review, looking at the ways we could improve it in line with our content strategy. As you’d expect, it wasn’t a five-minute job, but the makeover has left us feeling a lot better about ourselves.

A website or content review isn’t just a vanity project, of course – it’s a way of ensuring your customers remain at the crux of your marketing strategy. In doing so, it also means you’ll be getting the most possible value from your endeavours.

In a recent blog for the Content Marketing Institute, Michelle Linn identified three ways brands can ensure their content marketing efforts are not going wasted.

Cull your old content

If your website is harbouring some tired, old content, it might be time to have it culled. At best it’s probably out of date, at worse it’s embarrassing, as it might precede the “era of content marketing” when the look and feel of things was not given as much emphasis.

If you’re concerned about what that might do to your search ability, consider what it might be like for an interested consumer to land on one of your dust-laden pages. Today’s consumers are time-poor , so they might not be inclined to see if the page they’ve landed on is a one-off and assume it is representative of your business.

Linn highlights the Customer Carewords website as an example of less being more when it comes to content. It cut the number of pages on its website from 36,000 to 944, only to see student inquiries rise from 477 per month to 855, as it enjoyed the advantages of remaining relevant.

For those that do not have quite as much content to play with, consider updating old articles or rewriting with the latest facts and findings.

Keep your tone and style consistent

Has your tone remained consistent since your brand’s inception? Likelihood is that it will have shifted somewhat along the way. Slight changes in tone will probably go relatively unnoticed, but drastic shifts in style won’t.

Take a look at how your content differs from your website: does it read like it was written by the same person? If not, it might prove pretty confusing for your customers.

For instance, they might have had their interest piqued by an engaging piece of content on your blog and decided they want to hear more about your business – only to be hit by a slew of corporate jargon on your product or services pages.

We’re not kidding anybody, bringing all written communication under the same stylistic umbrella is no mean feat. But think about how frustrating it can be for the customer to get to grips with your brand identity with no consistent tone or style to work off.

Categorise your content

So, your website is bursting with content, but can your readers easily go on to find the information they want?

There are few things more frustrating for consumers than not being able to find what they were looking for – in fact, it can be enough to close a tab down completely. We’re forever hearing about omnichannel marketing, whereby brands offer customers a seamless brand experience regardless of their channel, so make sure your website reflects this latest approach.

At the very least get some categories in place, so that if readers want to find out more about a topic – social media, for example – they can do so with ease and are not forced onto another website for the information.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, these aren’t quick fixes by any means and will likely take the best part of a year to implement, depending on the size of your team. But if you really want to get ahead in the world of content marketing, it’s these more nuanced elements that will make the difference.

Quality over quantity has always been the aim of the game in content marketing, but with years of written content now sitting on your website, you might be guilty of inadvertently suggesting otherwise. You’ll be surprised how much easier categorisation and consistency come when you’ve got less content to work with.

Ben Hollom

July 7, 2015