If you do a search on the web for “content marketing cycle” you’ll likely get several definitions. But essentially, it’s the entire cycle from start to finish involving content from its reason for existing to the results you get. Each part of this cycle gives you, as an entrepreneur, different pathways for creating a profitable business.

Research

Ideally, this should take place when you start your business and create a marketing plan. You need to understand your audience, who your customers are, what customers you want to attract, and how to create a useful and relevant content for that audience. This will take knowledge of how keywords work, and how search engines work to help drive traffic.

Many entrepreneurs start with creating audience personas for their customers based on the research. They use that information along with product knowledge to create a publication and marketing plan for their business. This plan will include titles of articles, plans for videos and more related to your business, depending on what type of content your client is searching for. A mixture is best.

Create

Once you have the information garnered through research and a plan of action, you may create the content yourself or outsource it. Once you have a good plan and a content calendar created, it’s easy to outsource. You’ll provide the writer or other creative persons, such as audio, video and graphic designers with the information and a deadline, and they will provide you the end product that you’ll then use for your business

As an entrepreneur, consider outsourcing a lot of this, because you’ll be able to take on more clients if you outsource the creative parts of the work. Otherwise, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough time to create the amount of content you need.

Optimize

It used to be that content optimization was all about keywords. Today, it’s much more focused on ensuring that the content is created for a specific audience because you want to ensure that trust is built between you and your audience. That means that you’ll want to have titles that include keywords but aren’t clickbait. In other words, every headline you create should not trick the audience into clicking. Understating the intent of your audience helps.

In addition, you want all the content created to be well-written, using proper grammar, spelling, formatting and so forth. You want it to be easily digestible so that the reader can stay focused and understand the information you’re trying to relay while establishing authority for your business. Also ensure that you create a call to action for every piece of content whether that’s read more, sign up now, buy now or something else entirely. Finally, today a highly optimized piece of content also includes important visual elements such as images that help explain your story.

Notable Stat: Kissmetrics found that content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views.

Publish

Once the content is created, you’ll need to have a plan for publishing it. Most of the content that you create (or have created) should be published on your online real-estate, such as your website, blog or social media platforms. But, some content will also be published in other places such as Amazon Kindle, YouTube, Slideshare.net or LinkedIn and as guest blog posts on other people’s sites.

You’ll want to establish a good mixture with the most important pieces always being published first on your blog or website. Outside of the blog you’ll need informational pages on your website, newsworthy pieces, shareable social media content, video content, infographics, eBooks, and more that all start with being promoted on your website or blog.

Promote

In some ways, this part of the content marketing cycle should be all in bold because it’s one of, if not the, most important aspect of your marketing plan. This is what is going to get you the most bangs for your buck. Every single piece of content that is ever created and published must be promoted. The days of just publishing and sitting back to wait for traffic are over.

The way in which you promote content starts with creating content that is specifically made for your audience, is optimized with appropriate keywords, images, and titles, but then is also made available for them to read by promoting across all online channels via social media marketing. If a blog post is published, it should then be shared on every social network with a blurb and an image that inspires your audience to click through to consume the content.

Measure

Your job, or the job of your content and social media manager, is to keep tabs on the metrics. You’ll use various products to do this, but it usually starts with Google Analytics and native analytics in your social networks. Each time you publish anything, check at least quarterly for the results. You’ll start seeing a pattern after time with content that is getting better results than the others. Aggressively promote the content that gets higher results.

For example, if you discover that your audience engages more with video, start doing more videos. This is the perfect time to understand the 80/20 rule, which states that 20 percent of the work you do gets 80 percent of the results. When you identify that 20 percent that’s getting the results, you will want to do more of that and less of the other things to improve your statistics even more.

Reuse/ Repurpose / Repeat

All this content creation can become overwhelming at times. But the more you learn about content marketing and social media marketing, the more you’ll realize that you can reuse and repurpose content across all channels. For example, if you have a blog post that is getting a lot of attention why not repurpose it into a YouTube video or vice versa?

If you work this hard to create the right type of content, and market it, you’ll soon become a thought leader in your niche and receive huge returns for your business. Not only will you feel good about what you’re doing, but your target audience will come to depend on you for your knowledge and skills.

Read more: Use Content Marketing to Engage the Right Prospects