You’re Ready to Start Content Marketing. Now What?

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A strategic content marketing plan has the potential to help your business earn higher search engine rankings, get more website traffic, raise awareness and increase sales. When you recognize the power of content marketing and are ready to start using it as part of your digital marketing strategy, how do you know where to start?

Content marketing is a large industry with many tactics. The exact strategy you implement will depend on your brand and goals, but the following steps can help you start creating a content marketing plan.

Step 1: Identify Your Goals

First, ask yourself what you want to accomplish with content marketing. Do you want to reach a new audience or follow up with your target market? Or, maybe your content marketing goal is to get more leads or to create a social media buzz about your brand. Content marketing can help you accomplish all kinds of marketing goals, so decide what you want to get out of this strategy.

Step 2: Locate the most Beneficial Channels

Once you have identified what kinds of goals you hope to accomplish, you can choose which channels will be the most beneficial in helping you reach them. For example, if you want to reach a specific market, you can use the social media networks, websites or blogs that they are most likely to visit.

Keep in mind that while you may use a specific channel for other marketing efforts, that channel may not necessarily be the same channel you should use for content marketing. The channel you use will also depend on the type of business you have and the type of content you want to share.

Step 3: Create Quality Content

Of course, the foundation for your content marketing plan should be quality content. Focus on creating content that is geared toward your audience and that will help you reach your goals. Calls to action should be used wherever possible and your content should always be unique, helpful and engaging. Think outside the box and find new ways to get your audience’s attention and share your brand’s message.

Step 4: Measure Results

As you begin executing your content marketing strategy, measure your results. The things you measure will depend on your goals, but some numbers you could track include the number of shares or comments a piece of content gets, how much your audience engages with it, how many page views it has, how much it is shared and how many visitors respond to your calls to action. Some measurements are harder to track than others, but tracking the success of your strategy is vital to creating future plans that will help you reach your goals.

Step 5: Adjust Your Strategy Where Needed

Analyze the results of your content marketing efforts and decide if your tactics are helping you reach your goals. Then, determine if you need to make changes to your plan. You may have to try a few different strategies before you find the one that brings you the best results. You may also consider testing a few different strategies at the same time, so you can more quickly find what works for you. Your content marketing strategy will also likely change periodically depending on your current goals, your product offerings, your target market and industry changes.

Content marketing is a great marketing strategy that can help you build your brand and meet other business goals. The most successful plans are revisited often and adjusted as needed.