Content marketing can be explained as marketing online that does not explicitly promote a brand but advances it indirectly through videos, blogs, and a social media presence; it can be enormously powerful and effective. The strategy for content marketing is the plan; it details the who, what, when, and where. Knowing the target audience and which platforms work best enables the crafting of good, relevant content that will drive interest and discussion towards the brand. The ultimate goal is more potential customers and increased sales. Here are four easy steps to build a successful content marketing strategy.

1. Establish the Strategy Goals

Determine your main goal, and then break it down into smaller subgoals. If the ultimate goal is to attract more customers to a brand, subgoals are the decisions based on demographic research that can best achieve this. For each platform, what is the best approach? What tools are best for the given target audience? How will the content be developed and delivered? How often? These are all questions that should be addressed in the strategy goals. Use the SMART acronym to build goals; make them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

2. Determine the Target Audience

Know who will consume the content. Use good demographic research to reveal the trends of this target audience, how they work, and what they like. For example, do they respond to podcasts better than blogs? Which social media platforms do they prefer? Are they younger or older, primarily male or female, single or in families? What questions or needs do they have, and what content will best deliver this? Google Analytics is a great tool to help determine the target audience.

easy steps to create a content marketing strategy

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3. Use the Right Tools for the Job

The target audience determines what tools work best for them. Using influencers to help drive interest and discussion can be a very effective tool. They create active engagement by increasing likes, shares, comments, and reactions.

Online personas in blogs, webpages, or in podcasts are the faces behind the brand, and these should be carefully crafted. Email lists may be a good option and knowing how to build and properly use them with an email service provider is crucial. Plan carefully for email and newsletter campaigns by keeping content fresh, relevant, and entertaining.

4. Update and Adjust

No content marketing strategy should be frozen or locked into operating status quo. Constant research of results, costs effectiveness, and audience trends are essential. Know what content is trending on which platforms, and adjust accordingly. Keep content fresh and updated. Knowing the optimum frequency to deliver content is as important as developing it. Overdo the frequency, and it can be perceived as pestering; however, if you don't provide enough content, a brand can slide into oblivion amid the competition.

No business should go into content marketing without a plan and expect to be successful. An efficient and proactive content marketing strategy provides value to the target audience while building brand success.


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