Agile Content Marketing, as I like to call it, is the first step in the 7A Framework, which is a great technique for getting the right audience in front of the right audience at the right time. When you start to see the practical ways it plays out in your content marketing strategy, you appreciate how it can and does work.
Agility means being adaptable, flexible with your content marketing strategy from the start. Often, many companies and agencies come up with a strategy from A to Z at the start. This is considered standard practice and has been for eons. That’s not to say it’s wrong or doesn’t work; there are plenty of agencies who have built their successes on that approach.
But in this time when change happens at the speed of a tweet, a more versatile approach makes sense. Does it fly in the face of standard practice? You can look at it that way. A different perspective is that it’s as a listening/learning device that will help you with your engagement and overall impact in the long run.
Agile Content Marketing: What Is It? How Do You Do It?
Being agile in the content marketing space means taking an iterative approach. Basically, you start with content that’s your best guess of what your audience values. Then according to what they say, you adjust you approach to align with that.
You do more of what they want and less of what they don’t. Sounds like a straightforward, common sense approach, right?
So how can you put it into practice?
4 Simple Ways to Listen
(Lack of )Direct Engagement
This is the most obvious way to listen to your audience. Engagement comes in many forms such as comments, shares or likes. You can see how much time they spend on your page or move to other pages in your site for a deeper look. Or, and this is equally important, they can do none of that. I’m talking no engagement at all.
As disheartening as it is, lack of engagement after a long period is probably your signal to take a new look at your initial research. Perhaps you’ll need to take steps in a different direction. Take that as a part of the process and not a personal slight.
On the other hand, if you are getting shares and likes, check out which posts are getting them and see how you can expand on those topics. Then there are comments.
Those that go beyond the soft touch of “This is great” are extremely helpful because they provide mindful insight. Imagine someone saying, “This is great but…” Pay particular attention because you’re about to get some information that could spell a new article or post.
One of my favorite sections in Google AdWords is ‘Search Terms’ under the Keywords tab. Not only is it great for finding negative keywords (which are budget savers) but additional keywords that you may not have considered. Creating optimized posts around these words will attract more targeted visitors who may want to hear what you have to say. It’s a good idea to check the search terms section weekly and see what you can glean.
Social Media Insights
The platform I’ve chosen to focus on is Instagram. It’s a visual platform with strong active engagement opportunities, if you know how to work it right. I chose to start with marketing quotes set to graphics with an opinion caption. My likes and followers increased pretty rapidly but I wasn’t getting any comments.
I started posting certain marketing tips in addition to my quotes posts. Neither the frequency of the posts or the hashtags changed, just my content. I started earning more comments.
That level of engagement is more important to me because it means someone found the content valuable enough to take the time to comment. As a result, I’ve focused on providing more tip posts per week than quotes.
I adjusted because the feedback I was getting based on my new content told me I was headed in a better direction. Whatever your social media platform, take a look at your insights. See if you can map when and how your engagement changed or what you want to try differently to stoke more positive change.
Google Search Console
If you have your site connected and verified on Search Console (and you should), you have insight into your organic traffic. If there ever was a golden ticket, that’s would be it. This, by far, is the most important learning insight because you understand how your site is showing up in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
For example, your site is all about cookies (the edible kind). Chocolate, macadamia nut, white chocolate, oatmeal, cranberry, all kinds of combinations. When you check your search analytics, it shows that five people searched for gluten-free cookies. Your site, however, came up in position 27.
That piece of information tells you of the opportunity to create content around gluten-free cookies. You could even talk about the type of people who would eat gluten-free cookies. Crafting meaningful content around that topic earns you the kinds of visitors who could eventually turn into paying customers.
Creating agile content on its own is a smart strategy. If you know how to listen to what your audience is trying to tell you, the chances of increased engagement goes up. But it’s only one step in understanding the bigger picture of using the 7A Framework to your advantage.