You know you need to develop a content marketing strategy but you might not know where to start. The first thing you need to do is answer questions about the content itself. What kind of content are you going to create? Where are you going to distribute it? How are you going to measure the success?

Your content should be fueled by data about topics and audience wants, and then created with a laser focus on relevance and thought-leadership. Distribution of content should be done across multiple channels, including search and social on an ongoing basis. Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts by establishing goals ahead of time (more site traffic, brand awareness, leads) will ensure that you have an effective content marketing strategy in place.

Creating the Right Kind of Content

Successful content marketing depends on creating content people actually like and want to read. Regardless of whether you are a B2B or a B2C company, your end goal should be to produce creative, useful content for your audience. Here are some things to consider:

• Understand what your audience wants information about. Tailor your content to your audience. After all, to better understand your prospect is to better convert your prospects.

• Establish a voice and tone for your content and use that consistently.

• Create an editorial calendar so you can publish content on a frequent basis.

• See what your competition is up to and figure out how you can do it better.

• Crowd-source content ideas from internal sources to keep the content marketing pipeline fresh and full.

Creating Content Visibility

Effective content promotion means creating a dynamic mix of both inbound and outbound marketing in order to fuel content marketing efforts. Inbound requires a top performing SEO strategy, while outbound amplifies the best content with compelling search and social ads.

Optimize Inbound: SEO

Since 90% of smartphone users aren’t sure of the specific brand they want to buy when they begin shopping, you need to be present where prospects are looking: page 1 of a Google search engine results page. In order to optimize content for organic search, you need to do the following:

• Keyword research to discover what your audience is searching for.

• Assign those keywords to topics, and map those topics to actual content assets (such as web pages).

• Create quality, relevant and unique content that matters to your audience.

• Make sure content is optimized for search engine visibility. Include title tags and header tags, meta data, and image tags. Be aware of duplicate page content, page load time and text-to-code ratio.

• Share content across other channels, like social media, to increase the chances that people will link to and share it.

Amplify With Outbound: Social media, SEM, remarketing

Social media channels are an effective way for businesses to broadcast a wealth of information and reinforce their brand authority in their industry. But the content needs to be centered on the reader, not the company. It’s possible to leverage social data to craft more relevant content that drives potential customers to take action.

Remarketing is another technique that helps your top prospects engage with your content. Remarket to prospects that have already visited your website with paid social and search advertising. Up to 98% of your website visitors leave your site without converting and 69% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts mid-way before completing a purchase. Remarketing essentially gives you a second chance to convert those visitors with tailored ad messaging based on their previous actions.

Measuring Content Marketing Efforts

Now that you have a strategy in place, how are you going to measure your efforts? While analytics tools are great for lending powerful insight into the performance of content, success depends on what you want your content to achieve (traffic, leads, brand awareness, etc.).

Goals should be defined long before the content creation even begins. Then, these goals can be set up within your analytics tools so you know exactly how a piece of content is performing.

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