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Today’s guest post is by Jill Kurtz, owner and principal strategist at Kurtz Digital Strategy. She works with businesses to to develop digital marketing and social media strategies that reach business goals.

 

Marketing online means sharing content in a variety of platforms. This is often referred to as content marketing. To be effective, you need the right content. How do you know?

Standing out with your content takes planning and effort. Content marketing requires that you focus more on the target audience rather than the brand. You need to deeply understand your audience and what they expect. Then you need to deliver on those expectations.

Content marketing is most effective when you focus on the intersection of your online marketing goals and the needs of your audience. Here are three tips to get the most from your content marketing efforts.

 

#1 Have a Strategy

A content marketing strategy defines your goals and keeps you focused on them. There are many things you can do online – only the ones that move you toward your goal make sense.

Your strategy must be written. That enables you to revisit it and to share it with everyone who plays a role in implementing it. A written plan gives everyone a clear road map to follow.

Your strategy needs to document:

  • Your goal
  • The things you will do to reach your goal
  • The ways that you will measure progress and success

Your written content strategy is the first step to a more efficient and productive content strategy.

 

#2 Integrate Content with Business Goals

Content marketing is part of your digital marketing and sales processes. Your content strategy should support all stages of engagement with your audience, from first introduction, to relationship building, to ongoing interaction.

Content can work towards awareness, engagement, or conversion. Take time to define how each piece of content relates to your business goals. Make sure that the content is considered as you assess progress toward those goals so you can adjust as needed for the best impact.

 

#3 Create Conversational Content

The rise of Alexa and Siri are just some of the indicators that people are increasingly getting conversational with technology. Searches are now questions. We expect stories and dialogue-like exchanges as we gather information.

Your content should support this desire for conversation. More, it needs to present your brand personality. Yes, your brand needs a persona that people can engage with. It needs to be clear, consistent and attractive to your target audience. No small task!

As technology evolves, it will become even more important to be authentic while delivering an interactive relationship-based experience. Your content needs to leverage voice search and other trends to provide people with content that with meet their expectations.

 

Start and Then Refine

These three tips will help you start or refine your current content marketing efforts. The process of generating content is ongoing. Along with that, you need to constantly assess and refine your strategy. Be sure to make periodic assessments to determine what’s effective and what’s not.

Some ideas will prove to generate the intended impact, while others will not. Get the most value by doing more of what works. Set aside ideas that aren’t performing.