As a marketer, maybe you think “content” was so last year – and it was. But, keep in mind that it’s also “so this year” (trust me, a focus on good content is not going away) and the key for maintaining a successful content strategy in 2015 will be to take what you did last year and make it better by adding some new fuel to your content initiative fire.

So how do you go about adding fuel? You have to search for new inspiration, new ideas, and ways to innovate what has already been done. Besides being a super marketer and channeling the superpowers of the greats, there are a few things you can do that may result in the sparks you need to keep your content hot.

Here are three ways to stoke those content embers.

Review case studies. Review case studies from industry giants, mom and pop shop successes, and any company playing in the space that has seemed to have cracked the content code mystery. By checking out what others have done and what has worked for them, you can learn a lot and figure out strategic ways to tie their successful approaches into your own initiatives.

While I am not a huge fan of staring down the competition and drawing comparisons,  I do know how to take a company with 10 times the budget of a smaller company, analyze their successful case study, and find specific strategies that could work at a smaller scale.

Do an audit and get fresh eyes. No one really loves conducting a content audit, but it is a great way to take a look at your content from a different perspective. Look at the content that did well, content that didn’t, and see if you can pull together some quantitative (views, shares, etc.) and qualitative data (did this achieve a company goal?) that can drive future decision-making.

After completing the audit, get fresh eyes to read through the results. Find someone or (or a group of someones) outside your organization – or at least outside your department – and present the information and listen to the feedback. Often times this is where you will gain a better understanding as to how others view your content and you can start generating ideas.

Try something new. The companies who succeed in this space are often the same ones who have failed… but you can’t do either if you don’t try.

So, consider stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something that you haven’t done before and then tracking it to see how it works. The worst that could happen is that the strategy doesn’t work. And the best that could happen? Well, it could be your company’s name on the next successful case study. So take some calculated risks and try something new.

As mentioned, there was a heavy focus on content in 2014 – and 2015 won’t be any different from that standpoint. But, companies that do something different from the norm will be those with the brightest flames.

3 Ways To Apply This Information Right Now

  1. Spend time researching what other companies are having success doing; who would you like to emulate?
  2. Look back at what worked in 2014, and – importantly – try to figure out why.
  3. Be honest about what you’re doing well and what needs work.