Businesses are rightfully excited about content marketing as an effective strategy to grow their brand, engage with their market, gather research data, and increase sales. Early this year, Coca Cola launched a major, multi-million dollar content marketing initiative which Coca Cola Content 2020 builds brand and sales with aggressive and diverse content generationincludes the long-term goals of doubling their beverage business and making the world a better place to live. (Check out Coca Cola’s Content 2020  plan in their fantastically creative video.) Now, if Coca Cola can set their sights on outcomes like that, don’t you think you should be able to expand your audience a tad and sell a few more widgets?

Can you increase your business using a content marketing strategy? Absolutely… as long as there is an actual strategy. And it is a good strategy. And your strategy includes a plan with a comprehensive editorial calendar. And you truly stick to your plan (and strategy) and produce relevant and worthy content focused on your targeted market. And you respond to your audience, engaging and listening. And you monitor your progress, refining the plan as appropriate. And you do all of this on a consistent basis. OK, it  won’t happen magically on its own, and it won’t be easy. Like and strategy that truly works, content marketing requires skill, diligence and some sweat equity.

HubSpot’s recent report analyzing the effect of content generation on overContent marketing strategy is proven to increase traffic and leads. 7,000  customers showed a direct and dramatic impact on website traffic and leads from new website content and blog posts. (See Proof that Blogging and New Content Boost Traffic and Leads.) This is supported by many other surveys and white papers, but perhaps the most significant testament to the power of content marketing strategy is that companies like Coca Cola are investing heavily in it. They may have a lot of money to through at marketing and advertising, but they also spend a lot on research to ensure that they are getting good ROI from their promotional spend. So they tend to focus on areas that lead to results, and these days that points to a good content marketing strategy.

Hand-in-hand  with developing good content and regularly posting it on your website is making sure that people find it. Ongoing SEO tactics need to form part of your strategy, since successful search engine optimization is not a one-time thing.

One of the pillars of inbound marketing is blogging and content generation. It may not be sexy (that could depend on what you’re wearing), but posting relevant, informative, entertaining content on a regular and frequent basis is one of the most effective ways to engage with your market. The better you are at doing it, the better your results will be — so start practising and let me know how it’s coming along.