Before you lock 2015 away in your business archive and start knocking back the Prosecco, set yourself up for an epic 2016 by casting an eye over your content creation from the last 12 months.
With a few simple questions I’m going to help you discover what you need to do more of, less of, or completely differently in the New Year.
For each content type I’ve given you some questions to prompt your analysis - then the information gathering and conclusion making is up to you.
Which posts got you found? These are the posts that first brought you to the attention of your audience. Look for posts that were shared on social media and/or are landing pages for people arriving via search engines (see your analytics data).
Which posts strengthened your relationship with your audience? These are the ones that added value and built up your credibility. Usually, these posts got likes, comments and extended viewing time (see your analytics data).
Which posts are still highly relevant but could do with an update?
Which emails generated responses? What did your readers like about them? Can you use more like that this year, or use the email content as inspiration for a blog post?
Did any emails cause a spike in unsubscribes? Do you know why? Sometimes it may be that you clarified your message/brand and lost some of the ‘wrong type of people’, people who just weren’t a good fit for you and what you do.
Did you always send your emails out on same day and time? If not, did you seen any variations in open rates that might suggest an optimum mailing schedule?
Are there any pages with a very short viewing time? Why do you think that is? Is the message unclear, or very quickly understood?
Are there any services you get asked for clarification on? These pages will need improving.
Does your website content need updating to reflect the evolution of your business?
Your testimonials - have you been updating these as you go along? If not, it's time to give them a refresh.
Have you got a list of all the places where you guested in 2015? If not, make one now.
Have you highlighted on your site all these fab guest posts?
How can you measure the response - some hosts may tell you the number of views. You should be able to see for yourself the number of comments and shares.
Have you made arrangements for future hookups in 2016 for the ones that served you well?
Social Media Content
Look through your history of what got liked, shared and commented on. Don’t be too hasty when judging your social media content. Time of day, day of week, weather, what else is going on in the world, what you had for breakfast (OK maybe not that one), but there’s a heap ton of stuff that can affect how your social media content performs - some of it you can control, plenty of it you can’t. Be sure to share the same content 2 or 3 times (spread over a few weeks) so you can test the response according to day/time. I’ve also noticed a pattern on Facebook that photos without links usually perform well and when I’ve had a good performing post, everything after that tanks for a few days. Might be true for you, might not be - go do your own research and find out.
Content You Haven’t Created Yet But Should
This year, what have people asked for your help with? If there is something you find yourself explaining time and again write it up in a blog post. It’s obviously something your audience wants to know about so it’s sure to be valuable content, plus it will save you time, effort and sanity as you won’t need to keep repeating yourself.
Need More Tips?
You should now have a fairly solid foundation on which to build your 2016 content strategy. For more content ideas remember to investigate notable dates and events, review these three simple questions to unlock an avalanche of ideas and consider whether you can create a quarterly/monthly/weekly rolling theme to help pad out your content schedule.
Right, that's enough work for me this year. I'm off to celebrate the festive season with as many mince pies and glasses of wine as I can force down my neck.
Happy Crimbo, New Year's and 2016.