It’s one thing to know that your business needs to come up with a content marketing strategy.  However, it’s another thing to actually know how to come up with a strategy that’s actually going to work!

No matter what niche you’re in or who’s in your target audience, you’ll never see content marketing success until you successfully complete these 5 tasks:

1.  Getting in the right frame of mind

At last count, there were more than 12 billion Google searches done every month.  Yes, that’s “billion”, with a “B”, and every single one of them represents a problem that someone’s trying to solve or a question that someone needs answered.

If you’re not establishing you, your products/services, and your website as the answer or the solution, your content marketing strategy is failing miserably.  It’s that simple.  Your target audience has specific questions and problems that need legitimate answers and solutions.  If you don’t adopt a problem-solver mindset every time you publish a new piece of web content, you’re simply encouraging people to go check out the competition.

2.  Building the right reputation

OK, so you understand how important it is to publish web content that’s chock full of important facts, insightful analyses, and interesting tidbits that make it fun to read.  But even ALL of that won’t guarantee you a good reputation.

That’s because your content is going to be judged by the stuff that’s surrounding it!

If you’ve given any thought to your content marketing strategy, you’ve probably considered publishing guest posts.  However, if you’re not publishing them on the very best, most authoritative sites in and around your niche, your guest posts could actually DAMAGE your reputation!

Let’s say you’ve published an article that’s insightful, informative, and all-around awesome — but it’s on a website that accepts any ol’ thing and, thus, is full of low-quality content.  Even though your article is genuinely great, it’s going to be dragged down by the gibberish around it.  After all, if you were REALLY an expert, you’d be publishing your content on great sites.  You wouldn’t have to resort to publishing content on a website that smells like yesterday’s garbage.

…At least, that’s what people are going to think.

3.  Motivating your readers

Got great content that’s being showcased on great sites?  That’s great, but your content marketing strategy STILL isn’t a lock to succeed!  If you want every single piece of content you publish to generate results, it’s got to motivate readers to take action.

Your content can motivate people in a few different ways.  For example, if it’s so informative and interesting that your readers can’t get enough of your insights, they’ll be motivated to head to your website to see more of your stuff.  Or, if you present hard-core facts in a way that’s easy to understand, your readers will realize that you really do know what you’re talking about — and they’ll be motivated to choose your product and service to solve their problem or answer their question.

Unfortunately, though, your content can motivate readers in a negative way, too.  For example, if you use highly-technical jargon, your content will make people feel stupid — which will motivate them to run away from you as fast as they can (after all, no one likes to feel stupid!).  Or, if your content rambles on and on without a clear focus, it will motivate people to avoid your stuff like the plague (after all, no one likes wasting their time!).

4.  Promoting the heck out of your content

Even if you get everything we’ve talked about right, your content marketing strategy could STILL fail if you don’t take advantage of the right promotion.  If you think that you can post a link to your newest article on Facebook or Twitter and call it a day, think again.  You need to know exactly where you can go in your niche to get people’s attention.

For example, my content is geared towards marketers and entrepreneurs, so I make sure to promote my own content on sites like BizSugar and the OPEN Forum.  I’ve also got my blog signed up with Repost, so that people I don’t even know can share my posts.  Find websites like these in your own niche so that EVERY piece of content that you publish can reach as many targeted eyeballs as possible.

5.  The follow-up work

Content marketing is never “done”.  No matter how much success you’re seeing from your web content, you constantly have to publish more and more of it.  If you don’t, your competitors are going to pass you by!