Much like the chocolate chips in your cookie or the dressing on your salad, content is the stuff. It’s the thing that helps consumers distinguish your brand from the rest. In today’s digital arena, content marketing is one of the most prominent digital strategies businesses can employ to generate leads and build brand awareness. Social media, blogs, videos, imagery – all these elements shape, mold and define a business within its industry. Content marketing is also one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads without breaking budget, which is why 88% of B2B and 76% of B2C marketers integrate content marketing into their business strategy.


However, despite being a fan favorite, one of the top challenges companies admitted to in 2016 was producing more engaging content. To keep your consumers coming back for more, this guide will help your business outline a content marketing plan that will result in stronger content.



Always, always, always, Strategize


What is a content marketing strategy with no strategy? Last year, only 36% of B2B marketers discussed their content marketing plan on a weekly basis and a mere 32% of organizations documented it. In order to leverage all the benefits of a content strategy, your team needs to dedicate time and effort to its success. Sit down and plan your course of action and keep the conversation going.

Do you want to develop a website content strategy that includes blogging and social media? Hubspot, noted that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI. Blogging helps the SEO of your page because sites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages. Determine how you want your blog to impact your business.


Maybe your brand would benefit more from focusing on videos and imagery? A reported 71% of marketers use visual assets in their content strategy because it attracts consumers and actually increases their willingness to read a piece of writing by 80%. Videos are also trending across all channels. Syndacast even predicts by 74% of all internet traffic will be video by 2017. Decide where you want to focus your efforts and then write it down. Make a content marketing template to use for future use as well.



Do your research


Conduct extensive research on what’s trending in your industry. Uncover what your target audience gets excited about and what they respond to. Find out what colors, layouts, and mediums make your consumers stop scrolling and engage. How do they interact during different points of the day? What platforms are they using the most? Why do they favor some posts over others? Spend some time researching and learning more about your audience



Make a timeline


Make a timeline of your goals. Where do you want to be in 6 months? A year? Be realistic and determine how you will measure your success. More followers? Likes? Shares? Comments? Lead generation? Create realistic objectives your business can reach within a given time frame and stick to it!





Now that you have your niche defined, your research in order, your metrics aligned, and a timeline… the next step is to brainstorm. Think about how each piece of the puzzle you assembled so far fits together to produce a larger picture. Does your strategy affect other areas of your business like your copy-writing services? Do you need to change your voice or tone? Consider the other elements of your brand and how you may need to change them to increase the impact of your content.


What does your research show you about how to put together a video or an article for you audience? What are they attracted to? Find ways to integrate everything you’ve learned so far into your content marketing plan. Include a color scheme with vibrant colors or stick a minimalistic style to appeal to specific personas. Include exciting titles that will draw in your target audience. When you’re brainstorming remember to reinforce your content with statistics.

Neil Patel, who is a Twitter influencer and a columnist for Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur & the Huffington Post notes that “Your posts and content marketing must be data backed.” Make it relevant to current industry news and include updated information about your market. Most importantly, keep your ideas flowing because brainstorming is a continuous and integral part of producing strong content.


Content is creative

Developing a content strategy requires as much creativity as it does logic. Think about different ways to present your content to consumers. For B2B, one of the most effective content marketing tactics is events. How can your business utilize that practice and put a creative spin on it? Will you have gift bags with candy in your company colors? Will you host it at an unexpected venue? Maybe a surprise guest speaker revered in your industry? Go to different events and generate new ideas about how these occasions should be held. Draw inspiration from everywhere to keep your brand fresh and interesting.



But most importantly, be original!

The best way to draw in an audience and keep them is to develop content no one else can. If you’re continuously taking images, slogans, or ideas from other places without producing any of your own… consumers will notice. Your content marketing plan is unique to your business so what you produce must be unique as well. Take your own images, build your own community and conduct your own research. Why be a second rate version of someone else when you can be a first rate version of yourself? The same applies to your content!


The Takeaway

Strategize – your content will be better for it
Do research on different aspects of your industry
Create a timeline and stick to it
Brainstorm and think of new ideas your business can leverage
Be creative and draw inspiration from everywhere



Author Bio:
Kristina is a marketing experts, who has been associated with Aumcore for three years.
She has keen interest in writing and sharing news marketing tips and updates.
Her work with Aumcore has given her the experience and knowledge base to help provide valuable insights for brand awareness, social media, SEO and small business digital marketing.

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