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Time For a Content Strategy Pivot? Here’s How To Decide (and Get Started)



Time For a Content Strategy Pivot? Here’s How To Decide (and Get Started)

No matter how good your content marketing strategy is, you’ll need to change it at some point.

A content pivot – small or large – can ensure your content marketing stays relevant as customer behavior shifts. Executing a smooth pivot without losing your audience requires work.

What is a content pivot?

A content pivot changes the direction of your content strategy. It’s usually triggered by a shift in your target audience and/or its behavior. They may have been impacted by local or global events, an algorithm shift on a social media platform, or even an adjustment in your business strategy.

A #content pivot often is prompted by a shift in the target audience and/or its behavior, says Grace Lau of @dialpad via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Your content should be timely, high-quality, and valuable to your audience. When that isn’t the case, it’s probably time for a change. But how do you know when your content isn’t delivering?

In general, look for these red flags:

  • Decline in engagement
  • Lower rankings on search engine results pages
  • Plateau in web traffic
  • Drops in conversions
  • Low monthly search volume for target keywords

While these metrics are general indicators, you have to dive deeper to determine if a pivot is really necessary. Conduct a content audit. Look at how well your content assets perform. Does the content still align with your business goals? Could disappointing metrics be caused by factors other than the content itself? Is the content too long or not long enough? Are SEO best practices used? Are you posting enough content? Too much?

If you conclude that the content – how well it resonates with the audience and the business – is the problem, it’s time to pivot by following these steps.

TIP: You may want to pivot even if your audience is the same and your content is producing desired results. A new feature on an existing platform could prompt a pivot. For example, TikTok recently launched TikTok Now, which prompts users to share images or 10-second videos when they get the “Now” notification. If that’s relevant to your brand, a small pivot might be helpful.

How to implement a content pivot

Each content pivot has different motivations, financial requirements, and expectations. It’s helpful to know those parameters as early as possible, so you and the team have a clear understanding of the goals, timeline, and budget.

1. Document the start

Create a baseline, so you know if the content pivot is yielding results. Detail the performance of past content – engagement, traffic, conversions, etc. – that you want the content pivot to improve.

Begin to think about:

  • What do you want to improve? Consider the potential KPIs, such as traffic, conversions, brand awareness, etc.
  • How often will you assess progress?
  • Which channels are involved?

With those thoughts in mind, you’re ready for the next step.

2. Reassess your current strategy

Look at how your target audience’s behavior, preferences, and pain points have changed. For example, your keyword search reports may show a shift in them using the phrase “local calling in Canada” to “international calling from Canada” in search. If that’s the case, you can make a small pivot in your content marketing strategy.

Know where (and how) your target audience turns today for information about your industry. For instance, is their interest in a social media platform still the same? Are they obtaining the information on different devices?

Analytics tools like Google Analytics can help find the answers. You also could also send out surveys or hold focus groups to hear directly from your customers. Or talk to your colleagues in sales and customers for their insight.

TIP: Create a customer empathy map to understand what content will speak to them and resonate with their interests and issues.

Of course, changes in how the audience behaves aren’t the only reason to pivot. Your business strategy may have changed so the previous target audience isn’t the current target. A shift like that often requires a content pivot.

A change in business strategy may prompt the need for a #content pivot, says Grace Lau of @dialpad via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

A pivot by your competitors may present a great opportunity to learn about your potential pivot. What prompted their change? Do you know the results? What went well? What didn’t? These insights can inform your pivot plan.

3. Set a measurable goal

You need to set a measurable goal and KPI to track your pivot’s progress.

The best goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. For example: “To increase organic traffic to our website by 20% over the next year.”

Ensure the goals align with your desired audience behavior and your business strategy.

4. Create the pivot plan

If you’re making a small pivot, like introducing a new blog topic or adding a digital brochure, you can weave the pivot into your existing plan. If you’re planning a large pivot, such as overhauling your website content or branding, you need to start from scratch.

An effective pivot plan specifies the following:

  • Timeline – Include a start date and don’t forget factors that could affect the timeline, such as seasonality or product launches.
  • Evaluation points – Detail check-in frequency and results will be communicated.
  • Hypothesis – Create a testable hypothesis based on your audience research. For instance, “If we do X, we expect organic traffic to increase by Y.”
  • Target audience – Include any new audiences you want to reach.
  • Testing – Document how you plan to assess your pivot, such as A/B or user testing and who oversees it.
  • Implementation and tracking – State who’s in charge of the implementation and tracking of your strategy.

A #content pivot plan should test a hypothesis based on your audience research, says Grace Lau of @dialpad via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

A clear pivot plan will keep you and your team focused and help you secure buy-in from your colleagues and stakeholders.

5. Launch your pivot

You are ready to roll out the content pivot. If it’s a major change, you may want to do a trial with a pilot group with loyal customers to gauge their reaction.

Once the pivot is implemented and success is experienced, you should optimize or remove old content that doesn’t work in the new pivot. If you’ve given the pivot time to bear fruit and are disappointed with the results, don’t be afraid to make changes.

Move forward cautiously

The changes accompanying a content pivot can be unnerving or unsettling for the existing audience and even business leadership:

  • Keep your customers informed. Tell them what you’re doing and why, and listen to their feedback. Otherwise, you could alienate them.
  • Pace the pivot. If you change your brand overnight, you risk confusing and frustrating your customers. Instead, take the long view, and don’t let your short-term changes compromise your brand’s identity.

Content pivoting is an important skill that helps content marketers keep up with the times and stay relevant to their audience. To effectively pivot your content strategy, you need a clear goal, a detailed plan, and a KPI to track its success.

Sometimes, though, pivots still don’t go as planned. If that happens, don’t panic. Failure is a valuable learning opportunity. You can use them to revise your pivot or help shape future pivot strategies when your content strategy plan shifts.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads



3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.


If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?



Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]



45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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