Content Marketing 101: Create a Strategy in 3 Steps by @DrRKayGreen

by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor

Content marketing is by no means a new concept. But recent research shows just how important it can be. For example, 70% of users would prefer to learn about a company through a blog post than through an ad. 47% of buyers view at least 3-5 pieces of content before contacting. Finally, 82% of customers have a more positive outlook on a company after reading custom content.

With data this compelling, it is no wonder that so many entrepreneurs and businesses are turning to content marketing to reach their audiences. However, it should go without saying that content marketing is not as simple as creating and maintaining a blog. Like any other business endeavor, there needs to be a strategy in place.

The first step in a content marketing strategy is the same as many other strategies: the creation of a clear goal.

When developing a content marketing strategy, it is important to consider what you are hoping to achieve. Are you aiming to get the name of your product, service or business in front of potential new customers? Do you want to network and connect with other professionals in your industry? Do you want to engage your current followers and deepen your connection with them?

Once you have decided on this, you should also take the time to consider what sort of image you want to portray with this content. Are you looking to be a voice of authority? A voice of a peer? This is something you should know before you begin creating your content.

Having these goals in place will be a great asset when you move on to the next step: deciding what kind of content to create. A blog is a great strategy, but not the only one. Webinars, white papers, videos, newsletters, podcasts and more are all valid forms of content marketing as well.

Deciding what is best for your business relies on a few things. You should take into account what is popular in your industry. This can give you a good idea of what your target audience may want and expect from you.

However, every audience and every business is unique. Do not be afraid to take your time with this step, and do plenty of research on what your target audience specifically responds to. This may take some trial and error, but if you do your research up front, you can minimize this.

Your goals will, to some extent, inform your decisions during this step. A newsletter is best for reaching your current audience, for example, while a blog may be able to reach newer, prospective costumers.

You should also consider what you have the time to take on. Things such as blogs and podcasts rely on consistency. Do you have the time, budget and/or manpower to put out a new piece of content on a regular schedule? If not, you should consider putting out a piece of content that can stand on its own — a white paper or even a book could be a solid tactic.

Once you decide what kind of content you will be creating, you should move onto what is perhaps the hardest step: finding topics to create content on.

When it comes to finding topics, your main focus should be on your target audience. What do they want to know? It can be helpful to browse forums related to your industry to see what kinds of questions people are asking. Find the ones that you are qualified to answer, and see how you can answer those questions with your content!

Once you have a list of content ideas, you may have to cut some of them if they aren’t true to your brand and its voice. Remember, any piece of content you put out is a direct reflection on your brand. You should take care that you’re focusing on the topics that align with your values and mission.

Finally, the best content is the kind of content that can help to facilitate communication. Talking with your audience instead of to them can help to create a deeper bond and inspire brand loyalty. So keep this in mind when choosing topics to create content about!

If you follow these three steps, you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build a content marketing strategy. However, your strategy should also be adaptable to ever-changing industry. If a new way to produce or distribute content arises, embrace it! This will ensure that your content remains fresh and relevant in the eyes of your target audience.

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Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.

Dr. KayDr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.

She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.

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