Are you planning to integrate or upgrade your content marketing into your online marketing strategy? Not sure where to begin? Here is a basic rundown of how to create an effective content marketing strategy.


1. Establish Your Conceptual Target

An effective content marketing strategy must begin with this first critical step. The goal is typically pursuing new customer opportunities while preserving your core customer base. Understanding who they are, where their interests lie and how to get them to take action and engage with your brand is key to developing your content strategy.


2. Don’t be a One Hit Wonder

As opposed to advertising – which is driven by “The Big Idea” – to stay fresh and engaging, your content marketing strategy needs to offer a variety of premium content on a number of contextually relevant topics When content marketing teams are under resourced, they tend to gravitate back to the big idea and get boxed into a an approach that’s not scalable long term.


3. Use an Editorial Approach

Too many content marketing programs fail in the planning phases of the program because the a long term content strategy has not been fully thought out – so the content being developed using a shoot from the hip approach tends to be more episodic than strategic. The most effective way to avoid failure is to identify specific themes for your content strategy that align with the cyclical business or personal needs of your target audience


4. Be Contextually Relevant

The content you develop must be interesting, engaging and above all else, relevant. Your conceptual target should be able to quickly connect the dots between his challenges and the capabilities you can offer to overcome them – the more contextually relevant your content is to them the easier they will be able to make that connection


5. Process Driven Approach

Since content marketing is still a relatively new approach, a lot of companies are not investing adequate resources or the defined process that planning, managing and publishing an adequate amount content requires. Building a solid content marketing workflow process, and investing in the necessary resources to implement it – whether internal or external – are critical to your success.

6. Collaboration is Key

As with any emerging marketing channel – and social media is a good example of this -there is an internal struggle over which department actually “owns” it. Until that’s figured out, many companies will make it a shared responsibility between their PR, Advertising and Creative departments – passing the content baton from one silo to the next with no clear strategy. If you must borrow the resources, make sure there is a coordinated effort to collaborate as a team on the themes, goals and structure of your content marketing program.

7. Cadence and Consistency

When creating your content strategy, be sure to decide on the frequency of your content marketing so that once your audience is engaged, they stay engaged. Having a consistent and predictable flow of content that your customer can rely on is critical to establishing brand credibility.

8. Use the Right Channels

Instead of hoping your audience stumbles upon you, be sure to publish your content where they already are – in their own environment where they will be more willing to engage. Consider promoting your content on broader social sites like Twitter can make it go viral. If the content is what readers are looking for, they won’t hesitate to share – and that’s the holy grail of content marketing.

9. Leverage SEO

A solid content marketing strategy geared toward the right audience is worthless if it doesn’t reach that audience one way or the other. One of the most effective ways to leverage that content is to employ a strong SEO strategy to incorporate keywords that your customers are using to search for the solutions you are ultimately trying to sell to them