How to Set Better Content Goals and Achieve Them

When I’m writing blogs every week, I learn new things all the time. While looking for an idea to write about this week, I stumbled upon a great article by Copyblogger about wide versus deep content. I’ve read a lot about creating content, but this article made me think about content in a whole new way. When you’re writing content, there should be many goals attached to it. Usually, you want to inform the reader about the topic you’re writing on, but what else are you trying to achieve? Gain your readers’ trust? Attract new readers? There are many things you can achieve when you create content. So how can wide or deep content help, and when should you use them? The following is a bit of Copyblogger’s article discussing these questions.

“Creating effective content is hard. I don’t want to deter you from crafting content for your business, but you need to set goals for everything you create.
Whether you produce content that is timely or evergreen, audio or text, knowing your goals will ensure you maximize the return on your time and resources invested in content marketing.
Each piece of content needs to be placed into one of two categories: wide or deep.
And each category has one specific goal:
• Wide content attracts new audience members.
• Deep content strengthens relationships with your existing audience members.
An effective content marketing strategy uses both wide and deep content, but an individual piece of content shouldn’t try to meet both goals.
Let’s explore each type of content goal.

Going Wide with your Content

When you create a piece of wide content, you attempt to reach the most readers, listeners, and customers as possible. In short, going wide is how to use content to find customers.
Wide content is not about immediate results. Instead, it positions your net to continually find new people who fill the top of your funnel.
You will notice a pattern with wide content: it’s perfect for repurposing. With a little planning and forethought, you will be able to repurpose wide content into different formats to reach a broader audience.

SEO Helps you Go Wide

The foundation of all wide content is built upon SEO, and Google is a top source of new traffic and visitors to websites.
Because of this, we need to consistently create useful and relevant content for our website visitors. It’s an excellent first step for all wide content pieces.
Our net spreads even further when people link to and share remarkable wide content.

Wide Content and Podcasting

With the recent rise in popularity of podcasting, content creators should utilize the reach of audio. Think of iTunes the same way you think of Google: it’s a massive search engine that helps your audience find you.
Starting a podcast does not have to be a daunting task. You just need the right platform.
In fact, podcasting is an excellent way to repurpose popular content from your website. If an article has been popular as a written piece, with minor alterations to the text, you may be sitting on a great podcast episode or two.
Cast your proven content far and wide, and craft audio content as you would any other content you publish on your website:
• Write engaging headlines for titles.
• Provide keyword-rich show notes.
• Keep a consistent publishing schedule.

Going Deep with your Content

When creating wide content, your goal is to reach as many potential readers, listeners, and customers as possible — but you shouldn’t try to reach everyone.
Always keep your focus on your perfect customer.
Going deep with your content nourishes and strengthens your relationships with those people you attracted with your wide content.
Deep content moves people from cold audience members to warm audience members, and then to customers. It’s like the second date and beyond with your audience.

How to Use Email to Go Deep

For years, people have been touting the death of email. Yet, to this day, email is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal as content marketers.
There is no better way to deepen our relationships with our audience members than through access to their inboxes.
Email content, when done right, is powerful value exchange. You’re able to provide multiple points of value to your audience in exchange for their attention.
You could:
• Write a newsletter.
• Curate content your audience will love.
• Craft a useful email autoresponder series.
All deep content marketing strategies need to include email marketing.

Is your email marketing lacking? Here’s the easiest way to optimize your email marketing campaigns.

Can Social Media be Deep?

Social media is often viewed as a wide content vehicle, but when you think about it this way, you overlook its deepest value.
For example, think about why you follow someone on Twitter. Are you there to see an endless stream of promotion, or are you looking for a behind-the-scenes view?
Of course, social media can and should be used to promote your content, but without interesting personal insights mixed into it, your social media presence will flounder rather than flourish.

Clarify your Content Goals by Going Wide or Deep

As with everything in your business, crafting content without specific goals will diminish both the short-term and long-term benefits of the work you are putting in today.
As a bonus, there is often an overlap between content created to go wide and content created to go deep.
For example, your goal may be to go deep, but the same content may also help you find new audience members. Remember that this is a side benefit and shouldn’t be confused with your original goal.
Always focus on one type of goal for each piece of content you create.
Your goal is to either find new audience members or form deeper connections with existing audience members.”

The Easiest Way to Optimize Your Email Marketing

You’ve created what you think is the perfect promotional email, but you’ve gotten less than stellar results. Or maybe you’re getting fine results, but you want to take your email marketing to the next level…what do you do?

Split testing (also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing) is a method of conducting controlled, randomized experiments with the goal of improving an email metric such as opens, clicks, or form completions. Split Testing allows you to test different versions of a single email marketing campaign to see how small changes can have a big impact on your results.

So where do you begin?

First you need to choose what you want to test. In an email, if you can change it, you can test it, but you should focus your attention on the things that are likely to have the biggest impact, such as: the subject line, any large graphic used, connected landing pages, and your call to action.

Then, make sure that before you start testing you have a clear idea of the results you’re looking for. You should already know your baseline result, which is the results you’re currently getting. You want to test option A and B against each other, but you also want to know that whichever one does better in the test is also doing better than your current results.

Tests need to be run simultaneously to account for any variations in timing. You can’t test one variation today and the other one tomorrow, because you can’t factor in any variables that might have changed between today and tomorrow. Instead, you need to split the traffic seeing your variations at the same time.

A/B testing is not an overnight project. Depending on the amount of traffic you get, you might want to run tests for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. And you’ll only want to run one test at a time for the most accurate results.

Accurate split tests can make a huge difference to your bottom line. By using controlled tests and gathering empirical data, you can figure out exactly which email marketing strategies work best for your company and your product. When you figure that one variation might work two, three, or even four times better than another, the idea that you would conduct promotions without testing starts to seem a bit ludicrous.

Marketing Plan Creation 101

The simplest way to create a marketing plan is to segment the population into categories and demographics.  The categories define what you are selling.  Then simply create marketing/ad campaigns that for each demographic within each category.

Separate campaigns should be created for digital and traditional markets.  Although there is overlap between the two, the materials you create will need to be modified to work for both markets.

Below is sample of a marketing plan for a fine dining restaurant that serves only dinner Tuesday – Saturday.  It is available to rent privately for dinner on Sundays.

Marketing by Category

Digital Marketing

  • Email Marketing
  • Review Management – You need to be the first to know what conversations are occurring about you online.  If you get a bad review you want to respond to it as quickly as possible.
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Website
  • Specialized Directories – You need to be listed and the directories will need to be optimized

Traditional Marketing

  • Brochure
  • Coupon Concepts
  • Detail Rep (see more below)- Trained to visit establishments and present marketing material.  They can often be paid a percentage of the events that they book.
    • Professional Offices
    • Hotels/Inns
    • Theaters
    • Identify Additional Venues
    • Events
      • Identify key events to attend
        • Bridal Expo
        • Charity Events
        • Fundraisers
        • Community Sponsored Events
    • Schedule events
    • Prepare for the event
    • Track the results of the event
    • Newspaper Ads
      • Define market area
      • Obtain rate cards
      • Negotiate rates
      • Theme Nights

Marketing by Demographic

Gen Y

    • 1980 – 2000
    • Ages 14 – 34
    • Market for:
      • Special Occasions
      • Baby Showers
      • Bridal Showers
      • Engagement Parties

Gen X

      • 1965 – 1979
      • Ages 35 – 48
      • Market for:
        • Celebrate special occasions (Anniversary, Birthday, Engagement)
        • Work lunches
        • Surprise Parties

Baby Boomers

      • 1946 – 1964
      • Ages 49 – 68
      • Market for:
        • Work Events
        • Work Lunches
        • Dinner (Regulars)
        • Bridal Showers
        • Baby Showers

– Also see our blog on marketing to Baby Boomers.

Seniors

      • Age 69+
      • Market for:
        • Pre-fixe menus
        • Lunch
        • Group Meetings

Working Professionals

    • Pharmaceutical Reps
    • Allied Healthcare Professionals
    • Market for:
      • Lunch
      • Hosted Lunch Events

Detail Marketer

If you have staff responsible for marketing then monitoring should be based on the function. For example: If you have someone who is responsible for increasing the number of baby/bridal showers they should provide you with a report of:

  • Who they are planning on contacting
  • When the contact took place
  • Who they talked to
  • What was discussed?
  • What follow-up is needed by when?
  • Your tracking system should also be able to determine if the marketing activity is increasing the amount of showers the restaurant is booking.
  • What was the investment in time?
  • What was the investment in revenue?
  • What was the outcome in terms of return on investment?

Without a marketing plan and a system to track the return on investment of every piece of marketing/advertising piece produced you are bound to miss opportunities, waste marketing dollars and generate significantly less revenue.  Will your business fail?  I can’t answer that question.  But considering that 80% – 90% of restaurants fail in the few years, I’d suggest you leave no stone unturned.