How to Build a Smart, Sensible Content Marketing Strategy

Sales has changed.

You don’t just pitch your offering cold and shout “Buy Now!” Unless you have an infomercial. And then it better be damn good!

Many modern entrepreneurs offer creative, value-based work to discerning audiences who are not buying solely based on price, whether you put on events, sell cheese, write books, design websites or coach executives.

These audiences greatly differ, but they all expect you to take them out on a first date and court them before they invest in you. You must prove your value and expertise before anyone spends a dime.

Enter CONTENT MARKETING.

I’ve written about content marketing before and it’s not even close to new (remember free DVD’s and brochures if you “call right now?”) but technology has expanded the ways in which content can be created, delivered and consumed.

Good, consistent content will boost your visibility, attract your ideal customers and make your brand irresistible over time.

Content marketing helps you woo your audience so you can then ask them to marry you.

But where to start? And how do you do it right?

To make good content creation an effortless and integral part of your brand-boosting and marketing efforts, you must start with a sensible content marketing strategy.

Before going on any trip, you need a map to get you there. Don’t just dive into tactics without a strategy.

Start with your brand strategy and story. Clearly determine your audience, value and personality. Then build your content marketing strategy based on that.

A content marketing strategy lives above any specific vehicles, topics or dates. It should drive all of your efforts and align them to a consistent goal.

A sound content marketing strategy includes answering these questions:

  • What are my content marketing objectives?
  • What does my audience want? What do they need to know?
  • What will I create?
  • Will I have monthly themes or seasonal topics?
  • Which vehicles will I use? What does my audience want AND what do I enjoy creating?
  • How will I measure success?

Taking a step back before you start cranking out blogs, videos and newsletters to answer these questions will guide your efforts for the rest of the year.

A word of caution as you plan: Don’t go overboard! Are you really going to write a daily blog, post three times a day on Instagram, film a video every week and whatever else you dream up? I get it, marketing is fun, but you still have to do your actual work and sleep, eat, spend time with your family, etc.

Start small. Make it doable.

You want to make this easier on yourself, right? Take a few hours to unplug, pour yourself a latte and craft your content marketing strategy before you dive right in.

Spend the upfront time to draw your map - and you will reach your destination of success a lot faster, with less pain, hassle and wasted effort.

Ready to start reaping the benefits of content marketing to attract more clients, build buzz and create your thought leadership brand? Download my free Content Marketing cheat sheet with tips, tricks and creative ideas for how to build your strategy and execute your plan with ease.

NOTE: This article is an adapted version of a post that originally appeared on Red Slice.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
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