Content marketing has been a hot topic for a while now, and for good reason. Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”


Are you ready to add content marketing to your online strategy, but aren’t sure where to start? We’ve broken it down for you. It starts by answering Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.


WHO are your customers? (Who is your audience?) Once you identify your ideal customer base, it’s easier to craft your message to speak directly to that audience.


WHAT problems are your customers trying to solve? As you define your audience, you will identify what questions they have, and what kinds of solutions they are searching for online. Addressing your customers’ questions is a perfect place to start developing your content list.


WHEN should you share your content? Create a plan for when you will share content, and use a content calendar to keep you on track. There are times of day and even days of the week that are better for distributing new content. Pay attention to your analytics to see when your content gets the most engagement, and adjust your schedule accordingly.


WHERE are your customers looking for information? Once you figure where your customers look for solutions online, make sure your business has a presence in those places. Understanding how your customers are asking for information (what they are Googling) is great for your keyword strategy as well.


WHY do you want content strategy in your marketing mix? Content marketing offers great benefits. It helps build your online community, position your company as an expert in its field, and lead the conversation taking place online about your brand. Of course, the ultimate goal is to get new business.


HOW will you reach your audience? There are lots ways to put valuable, relevant content in front of your customers. Email marketing, a blog, social media, infographics, videos, podcasts and whitepaper or ebook downloads can all be very effective. Answering the who, what, when, where and why questions above will help you decide which channels to include in your strategy.


Content marketing can be hugely effective, but to bring you more business, it must be part of an overall marketing strategy that includes a responsive websitesearch engine optimization, and a team committed to evolving content based on the developing needs of your customer.


Are you currently including content as part of your organization’s overall marketing plan? What seems to be working? What challenges have you overcome? Share your experiences in the comments!

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