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posted on September 4th, 2012

How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Business

BY Jason Howard in Articles ,

Any goal worth achieving is worth planning for and content marketing is no exception.  If you wish to implement any marketing tactics, you must go through a thorough planning process to help you meet your objectives. Unfortunately, this is where many well meaning businesses fall short.  While they have the motivation to achieve their marketing goals, they fail to implement them due to lack of planning.

Here are nine practical steps that will help you build an effective content marketing strategy for your business.

Step 1 – Determine Your Business Goal

The first, most important step in developing a marketing strategy is to define your goal and develop measurable objectives to reach that goal. What business goal are you trying to achieve with your content strategy? Your goal might be something like lead generation, increased sales, brand awareness, or another important goal that will help your business grow. Having a clear goal to achieve will enable you to focus on your strategy.

Step 2 – What Solution Can You Provide?

Now that you have set a concrete goal, it is very important to incorporate your target audience into your planning. Why? Because your potential customers don’t care about your product or service. They are concerned with how those products and services are of value to them.

Tailor your goal to the needs of your clientele, and clearly communicate how your business can help them solve a problem or improve their quality of life. By doing this, you are encouraging visitors to connect and engage in your content.

Step 3 – Search out Your Target Audience

People have preferences when it comes to choosing social networking sites on the internet. Depending on the demographic, some social media sites will reach your target audience more effectively than others.  Consider the age, gender, and interests of your audience.  For example, data indicates that women utilize Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at a higher percentage than men.  Are you targeting a corporate or professional demographic? LinkedIn would be a good choice. Additionally, conduct manual searches and peruse blog posts and forums related to your brand and services. Pay special attention to search results found in social media sites, as they indicate what the audience is looking for and can assist you in search engine optimization of your content. You can gain valuable insights by observing where industry-related conversations are taking place and what the topics of interest are to develop a targeted social media strategy.

Step 4 – Feed Them Their Favorite Content

In order to engage your ideal audience with content, it is very important that you offer them a content format they enjoy consuming. How do you figure this out? Take the information you gathered by observing the most discussed topics relative to your industry (from step 3). You’ll notice that the topics with most comments or participants in the discussion are a good indicator of hot topics.  Next, follow the conversation to see where the links lead. This could be a blog post, a video on a blog, a white paper or any number of other content sources.

With this information, you can take your time and search for the number of page views, comments or downloads. If much activity has taken place, you will have a good idea of what kind of content your audience gravitates to.

Step 5 – Connect the Audience to Your Content

After performing the steps above, you shouldn’t have any question as to how to get your content in front of your audience. To accomplish this, carefully study and learn various tips and tricks about the social media platforms you find to be most effective. Provide a consistent stream of valuable content to your audience, and you will be rewarded with a loyal following.

Step 6 – Incorporate SEO into Your Content

In addition to distributing your content on social networking sites and other platforms, embedding keyword phrases that your potential customers can use to find you online will improve your content search engine rankings and visibility tremendously. When you add relevant key phrases into your content, you are indirectly telling search engines what they should index your content for.

Step 7 – Encourage Your Target Group to Advocate Your Content

If your target audience finds your content useful and helpful to their pressing problems or needs, chances are that they have friends who would like to solve the same issues and would be happy to share your helpful content with them. To encourage sharing, consider adding sharing buttons to your online content.

Step 8 – Track Your Efforts and Effectiveness

After completing the steps above, you will want to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. This can be achieved by measuring your efficiency using Google analytics and other analytics tools. The feedback you get from your metrics should tell you what is working well and what needs improvement. Armed with this valuable information, you can fine tune your strategy by eliminating the components that aren’t working and focusing on the development of your more successful initiatives.

Step 9 – Keep it Simple

Aside from planning, executing your strategy is the most challenging part of your content marketing initiative. To keep it simple and effective, it would be helpful to build an editorial calendar to organize and distribute tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This allows everyone who is working on the content marketing plan to have a clear visual to follow.

With proper planning, implementing a content marketing strategy can be a simple process that produces both immediate and long term results for your organization. If you would like to find out how Cynexis web marketing team can help you plan and implement a powerful content marketing strategy, or require full service marketing solutions, please contact us at 866-530-6584.

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