How is your car? Does it run like it did on the day you bought it? What about your content marketing? Are your blogs still attracting readers? Wait… that can’t be right. Did I just ask you about your car and your content marketing in the same paragraph? Yes, I did. I promise you I’m not crazy, but you need to know that your car and your content marketing have more in common than you think.
I drive a Honda Fit. I would love to use this time to tell you about my fall from grace starting with my Acura and moving through my Ford SVT, that has resulted in me driving a 2007 Honda Fit. But we don’t have the time, and you know what? She might not be fancy, but she runs like a champ; partly because she’s a Honda but mostly because I am a scheduled maintenance fanatic. I regularly change my oil, rotate my tires and check my fluids. Additionally, when the time comes, I change my spark plugs, replace my air and cabin filters, and maintenance the transmission.
Do you have a blog? If so you need to be sticking to your scheduled maintenance. Look at changing your oil and posting new content to your blog as being the same thing. They both happen fairly regularly, and if you fail to keep up with this simple task, you will ruin your car/blog. For a lot of small businesses, posting a new blog every 1-2 weeks or 3,000-5,000 miles is standard practice.
Keeping an eye on your tire pressure is important. Not only do properly inflated tires help slow down tread wear, but that also improves MPG. The same can be said with checking your social media posts and making sure that you are rotating new concepts and ideas in and out of your posting schedule. Social media posts that have the same tone and hashtags for months at a time will start to get stale. Just as you might use different tires depending on the season, I recommend changing your approach to social media posting every three months.
You don’t need to change things like your cabin air filter often, but it still needs to be done. I view blog widgets and plugins to be similar to a cabin air filter. Keep an eye on them, make sure they are up to date and for the most part you can leave them alone. You only need to replace a blog widget when it no longer serves its purpose.
If you’ve made it to 100,000 miles, well done. But, today’s cars are capable of so much more. This is the time when you should consider changing your spark plugs. This is also the time where you might want to consider changing your blog and/or website’s look and feel. Just like how old spark plugs can make an engine idle roughly, an old blog template can start to drop weekly readers. If your blog template is more than two years old, it is time for a change.
The best way to keep your car running like new is to get to know it. Part of this is simple - make sure you are using the right fluids and not just the ones on sale. The same can be said for your content marketing. Get to know your ideal personas. Make sure that your marketing efforts are geared toward them and not just whatever is easiest or whatever was free.
In addition to knowing the technical details of your car, you should also take the time to understand its idiosyncrasies. What makes your car unique? My Honda Fit has a loose shift knob that has always been that way, and the automatic choke hangs up for a second when I start it in near-freezing temperatures. A blog is no different. You need to know what makes your blog unique. You probably aren’t the only company selling a particular product, so what makes your message different? Perhaps it’s the tone of the blog; maybe it’s your use of art. Understanding what makes your blog unique is a key step in understanding how to attract and retain readers.
You might like to blog and change your own oil. Or maybe keeping up with social media and maintaining your tire pressure is all you have time for. Either way, when you are feeling overwhelmed it is time to turn to the experts. Content marketing experts like the ones at SMA are here for you. Just like your neighborhood mechanic, we want to see your content marketing campaign cruise down the road for many more miles to come.
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