Just because content marketing is hotter than hipster glasses and harem pants does not mean it’s being done correctly. Actually, many businesses are going about content marketing all wrong, and it’s hurting them.

Some marketers see content marketing as a passing fad, something they need to muddle through until it goes out of style.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. You need to go shopping now…for a new content marketing strategy, that is.

The Elements of Content Marketing
Whether you like it or not, content marketing is here to stay. Consumers like transparency, and they like feeling like they’re choosing what to buy instead of being persuaded by pricey marketing campaigns and deceptive facts and figures. In order to have a successful marketing campaign, you have to give consumers data that explains why your business is better than your competitors without actually talking about yourself.

Content marketing is all about information. This means blog posts, social media, infographics, images, videos, memes – you get the picture. You have to employ all of these elements if you want your content marketing strategy to be cohesive.

The writing portion of your strategy needs to give information in a detailed, unbiased way. Explain a problem consumers in your industry experience, and then explain what solution is the best way to handle it. (And, you know, offer that solution through your product or service.)

Most businesses would tell the customer to choose them because of what they offer, but a smart content marketer knows that letting the client make the decision based on information is way more effective.

When it comes to visual elements for your online presence, you want them to be fun, informative and, most importantly, memorable. Today, people want their info fast, and they want to enjoy it. Have a little fun with your visuals. Use them to lighten up a serious subject or simplify a complex topic. There are tons of free tools online to create custom visuals.

How to Tailor Your Content Marketing Strategy to Your Business
The first thing you need to do when establishing a content marketing strategy is to create an editorial calendar. This is a short-term schedule, usually three months out, of topics you want to cover or ideas for posts. It should include the subject of each post, who will be working on it and a deadline.

A schedule also helps to keep you focused on your blog’s topic. It can be easy to throw up an unrelated meme or BuzzFeed link when you’re tired and just want to get a post up, but it confuses your audience. If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, which is one of the main goals of content marketing, you have to take the time to post interesting, relevant content.

A great way to get more content without working yourself to death is to encourage guest posts. Having someone want to write on your blog means they’re reading your site – and they like it enough to put their name on it. It also shows your followers that you’re a reputable source and respected by others in your field.

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