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Content marketing strategy essentials

By on Sep 5, 2013 in Search, Site, Social

To hit your content marketing target, you need to know what the target is.

To hit your content marketing target, you need to know what the target is.

Content marketing is a time consuming and fairly labour intensive form of getting your business known. It is, however, the most effective method as it targets strong leads directly by offering them the information they are searching for. That means that almost everyone who sees your efforts is actually looking for them. The job of the content creator is to make sure those leads stick around long enough to convert from browsers into buyers.

So how does having a strategy make a difference?

As with anything, planning ahead for your content marketing puts you in a position of power. You are able to set goals, get much of the work done well ahead of time and ensure each piece of writing achieves what you want it to. You need a strategy in order to meet the goals of your marketing.

You need to know who you are targeting

Your target market is a vital component of your strategy. Knowing who you are talking to helps you to decide what you need to tell them and in what way. For this type of marketing to work well, narrowing your target into a well-defined niche can pay huge dividends.

Targeting the correct people for your product or service allows you to tailor your content, educate them about the benefits of working with you over the competition, and start to build some brand loyalty.

You should know why you are using content marketing as a tool

Have you chosen content marketing because it is what everyone else is doing? Or do you have a specific idea of what it can do for your business? Unless you are clear in your reasons why you are using content marketing as a tool, you will not get the benefits you are hoping for.

Content marketing needs to have defined parameters and targets to meet, in order for it to help you to grow your business and improve your bottom line.

You need to know what you are marketing

This might seem obvious but, without a plan, you can easily find yourself going off topic, even if you really know the product or service that you are selling. Creating enough content to make an impact on your niche on the World Wide Web takes a lot of thought and planning.

If your product or service is very specific, there might be a limited number of things you can write about it. Therefore, you need to consider all the other relevant information you can add to your content marketing that will educate your learners, enhance their lives and place their trust in you as an expert. Your readers will know if you are just creating content for the sake of it.

You must consider where you want to put your content

Where you publish your content also makes a difference to how successful your marketing plan is. You need to have a blog at the very least and, for most businesses, the blog is usually affiliated to a website, which is where you are trying to drive your traffic.

Your own blog is not the only place you can put content, however, and expanding your reach will grow your business at a much faster rate. There are almost always other industry bloggers who will happily place your content, as a guest blogger, on their site, with links back to your own website or blog. This gives you exposure to their circle of influence, and also gives their blog or website exposure to your following. Content marketing is all about sharing.

You can also share content on social media networks, which further increases its potential to grow your business. As your online following grows, you will begin to build a database of interested clients and potential clients. You can send them a newsletter once a month to keep them abreast of happenings in your business and industry. This is also a great place to put out content.

You should decide when you are going to publish your content

Having a content publishing frequency provides you with a structure within which to roll out your content marketing strategy. Once you have decided on your frequency, you should stick to it. A languishing blog is worse than no blog at all, as it creates a sense of mistrust in your expertise and integrity.

If you decide to update daily, or three times a week, you need to do that continually – with well written, useful and engaging content – in order to build the trust you are aiming for, to make your content marketing successful.

You need to know how your content marketing plan is going to achieve results

Understanding the fundamentals behind content marketing will give you a head start when it comes to launching your campaign. Once you know that, having a clear idea of how you will use content to grow your business and increase your sales will ensure you set your strategy up for success.

If you launch into content marketing without a strategy that takes into account all of the above, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed, and will begin to wonder what on earth the big deal is about content marketing. With your strategy carefully laid out and written down, you will soon see the power that this form of marketing wields for businesses today.

Are there any other elements of a content marketing strategy that you use to improve results? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Jane Hendry is Writer-in-Chief for aXent Associates. Her passion for education has led her to home school her children, and she reads voraciously to quench her own insatiable thirst for knowledge. Follow Jane on Twitter or Google+. Visit her blog to read about content marketing and life-long learning.

Great content writing, combined with a marketing strategy based on decades of online marketing success form the foundation of a potent relationship marketing plan.