Like any other marketing activity content marketing requires planning and hard work in order to succeed. Most of the times lack of planning is the reason for failure of a content marketing strategy. So follow these 5 steps to succeed in content marketing:

  1. Planning: Even before creating content you must have a plan in place with clearly defined goals, time required, budget etc. Planning is the most important phase of any marketing strategy. A content marketing plan must be dynamic in nature. Over the course of time you will need to change many things in your original plan so review it on a regular basis. You can chart out simple goals such as number of blog posts, ebooks, white papers published every month and then make changes according to results.
  2. Define an Audience: Defining an audience must be one of your top priorities when planning a content marketing campaign.. This can make or break your campaign. Many times I’ve seen wonderful marketing campaigns not generating any results because they were promoting to the wrong type of audience. Try to think like your customer and ask yourself some questions. The first question is who will be reading/watching your content, why they are going to be interested in your content. Try to help your audience by providing an answer to their problem.
  3. Content Generation: You must decide in advance the frequency and quantity of content generation. Many people feel that in order to achieve success they need to publish in as many formats and as frequently as possible. Yes there are advantages of publishing content regularly and in multiple formats but this is not for every industry and business. In one industry whitepapers and research reports can help in getting leads and generating sales but in another they can be a complete waste of time. So plan the most important formats for your business and find the right publishing frequency. Let’s consider Pinterest. As we all know Pinterest is an image sharing platform . Now certain industries such as fashion, clothes, retailers have advantage if they promote their content on Pinterest but for other industries where image doesn’t plays a big role in sales cycle returns from Pinterest will not be high and they’d be better if they use any other social media platform to promote their content.
  4. Resources: A successful content marketing strategy identifies your current resources in terms of people within your organization who are capable of creating content and budget available. Many businesses believe that they can outsource everything but this is not the case normally. Organizations are restricted by the amount of money available for content marketing, time frame etc. Even if you are able to find the perfect content marketing agency it’s quite possible that they are already working on other projects. You will not be their first priority and this will result in time costing delays. In order to overcome this problem you can find talent within your own organizations and prepare a plan which will utilize your internal resources in addition to your marketing agency.
  5. Budget: There is a myth around content marketing that it’s free or low cost. But as most of the experienced marketers know there is no such thing as free lunch in business world. Content Marketing is no different, if you want to implement it successfully you need to account for money you will need for publishing content, videos, eBooks etc. There is a very big chance that at least some part of content creation you’ll need to outsource so decide how much budget you have for outsource these tasks.One option is to shift some part of your traditional marketing budget to content marketing.

By following these tips you can ensure that you achieve desired results from content marketing and there are no unpleasant surprises. Please leave your questions in comments and share this article if you enjoyed reading it.