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Building a Content Marketing Strategy from Scratch

March 29th, 2013 by

Marketing content is not as simple as posting an article on your website and calling it good. You must create a winning content strategy that will cultivate an audience for your content. It does no good for your content to be pushed into the shadows amid countless blogs and websites.

Building an effective content marketing strategy from scratch starts through incorporating these steps:

1. Set content goals

Define what you want to do with your content. What purpose does it serve? Do you want to promote a product or service? Is your content designed to make you an expert within your industry? Once you clearly define your content goals on paper, it becomes easier to discover ways to achieve those goals. The important thing to remember is to set attainable goals and adjust your expectations after you meet your initial goals.

2. Define a marketing plan

To market content effectively, you need the right resources. Identify what resources you have within your organization and define roles in content production. Can you handle marketing in-house or should you hire a content marketing agency? Are there subject-matter experts, writers and editors on staff who can handle content creation? Do you need to outsource those functions? Answering these questions can help you get a better idea of where to fill in the gaps.

3. Optimize content

Measuring website traffic is only a starting point in content marketing. You need to figure out what content and marketing methods are delivering the best results. Which social media channels are offering the highest level of engagement with your target audience? Which content is delivering you the most exposure through social media, backlinks and search engines? Enlist writers and bloggers who exert major influence to help fashion your content. Follow people who follow you on Twitter. Engage your audience by offering opportunities and provide comments and feedback.

4. Expand your content reach

Content only matters when you build an audience who wants it. You should always be looking for channels you can open up to share fresh content. On a simple level, you can spread content yourself through various social media websites. It’s not difficult to set up accounts at these sites and it’s even easier to start conversations where you can share links to your content. A more sophisticated option is to syndicate your content to other websites. You can do this through paid content syndication, banner ads and social media advertising. Build your reach with the method that makes the most sense in terms of time and cost.

5. Keep working at it

Never become complacent once you achieve a degree of marketing success. A good content strategy can always be refined down the road. Trends change. New technologies arise. You need to show flexibility and an ability to meet the needs of your audience. Finding ways to refine your strategy will help you stay ahead of the curve. Look for new content resources. Set new goals. Always look for ways to improve and build your reach.

John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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