Did you know that 27 million pieces of content are being distributed on a daily basis?

That’s a lot of content. But not all of it is good. And it needs to be good – really good in fact – in order for it to be worthwhile to spend the time to create it.

It’s also not the quantity, it’s the quality and then what you do with it to ensure that your target audiences actually see your content.

Many businesses are leveraging content to enhance brand awareness and lead generation/sales, but most organizations don’t know how to create an effective content marketing strategy.

Effective content marketing requires advance planning, having a consistent presence with your target audience on social media, blogs and email marketing, setting measurable and attainable goals, knowing your target audience and a powerful, multipronged promotion plan.

Here’s how.

1 – Create an editorial calendar/publishing schedule

One of the first things you should do is to create a schedule for your blog posts, social media , and everything that’s related posts, news items, articles, thought leadership, videos, podcasts, press releases – and anything you consider as publishing actions. Try to plan at least a week in advance – but it’s best to have content mapped out in three month chunks and then you can fill in your content gaps and also fit it any timely pieces.

2 – Develop your content goals

Your content marketing strategy needs to short- and long-term-goals. Whether it’s increased visibility or more leads or becoming a keynote speaker or obtaining a certain type of client, setting goals like this will enable you to create content that is more aligned to focus on achieving them.

3- Better understand your audience

Without understanding who your target audience is and what kind of content they want, you won’t have a successful content marketing strategy. Being successful when it comes to content marketing is creating content that speaks directly to your readers, so make sure that you look at your analytics to see what content did well (and not so well) with your readers. In addition, always put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they want to read about.

4- Always deliver value
This should go without saying but it’s still important to note that all of your content should be created to deliver helpful information of value to your audience. The most important factor that influences the success of a content marketing campaign is the quality and value of the content.

The content that you publish and promote must contain useful advice, actionable tips and practical guidance. Without that, it will fall flat and won’t stand out from your competitors.

Always ask yourself is this content valuable, relevant and consistent that will attract and acquire a clearly defined audience and does it align with my brand values. If not, keep refining it until it does.

5 – Promote your content on the right channels

It’s one thing to create great content, but then it’s another thing to actually distribute it. You want to make sure as many people as possible see it, but that the right people are seeing it. And in order to do that, you need to make sure that your content is on the channels used by your clients and prospects. So that means posting content to the social media channels they use and making sure you have an effective email marketing strategy to distribute articles/alerts and a regular newsletter to them. In addition, you can find another creative ways to directly reach your audiences but the worst thing you can do is to just post your content to your web site and hope for the best. You will be very disappointed if you do that.

Content marketing can be one of the most effective, visible and least expensive ways to market your company and yourself today, but in order for it to work, you need to spend the time on creating strategic content with your audience in mind. It’s not hard to do if you are focused and creative. Reach out to me with any questions!