Delivering a high-quality content experience is at the root of all successful content marketing organizations. In order to do this successfully, though, brands must be diligent about meeting consumers’ expectations for relevant digital content experiences that have been set by Internet leaders like Amazon, Google, Netflix and others. These are the brands that will stand out from the rest and earn consumers’ precious attention and dollars.

But building a successful content marketing program requires a lot of strategy, planning and resources, which are all areas in which marketing teams continue to struggle. Content Marketing Institute reported 49% of marketers surveyed cited strategy issues as the leading factor contributing to their organization’s stagnancy in success in 2016, followed by lack of time devoted to content marketing (48%) and content creation challenges (37%).

The Principles of a Stellar Content Marketing Brand

To overcome these challenges, many organizations are hyper-focused on building their content marketing strategies around four core principles.

1. Developing a personalized content marketing strategy
Your audience has many choices today. They choose the topics that are interesting to them, the types of content they want to consume, the formats they prefer and the channels they use. These days consumers are hungrier than ever for brands to cut through the clutter and provide truly personalized experiences—and content’s role in how brands deliver on that experience is growing in importance.

Email, search and social continue to dominate the content landscape, as a majority of consumers cited these channels as the ones they use most to discover the content that is relevant to them. Marketers must create the right content, for the right person, on the right channel, at the right time, in order to deliver a truly personalized content experience.

One brand leading the way when it comes to personalized content is Nestlé. Readers who visit the brand’s Very Best Baking content hub can peruse more than 2,000 recipes and explore by category, occasion and skill level. The site serves up recipes based on user characteristics and interests, making the content personalized and relevant to each viewer.

To get started with your personalized content marketing strategy, focus on the goals and intent of your target audience. Determine how user behavior aligns with your business objectives, and then develop your content marketing program (content, technology and metrics) to align with those objectives to deliver a personalized content experience.

2. Honing your content marketing technology stack
Identifying the right technology to help you execute and optimize your personalized content marketing strategy is critical to building your content marketing program. The most sophisticated content marketing brands are committed to getting the technology integration right and building the right marketing technology stack to bring their content programs to life.

As you start investigating technology options, it’s important to remember that content marketing is not confined to any one channel or solution. It takes place wherever your customers are. Think of your technology stack in terms of how to deliver a great, relevant experience. Also consider what data you need and how your solutions work together to deliver on those requirements.

3. Identifying and aligning content marketing stakeholders
One of the most crucial factors when implementing a content marketing program is having a team that can pull it off. If you’re starting from the ground up, the key content marketing roles you need to hire for may vary based on your organization’s maturity, audience and distribution channel strategy.

Some of the best content marketing powerhouses have invested primarily in their people to get where they are today. For instance, Red Bull employs 135 people just for its media house, and Nestlé has almost 20 community managers and designers producing content daily. While you may not have the need or the bandwidth for such large content marketing teams, it’s important to build your team with expertise across the touch points that matter most to your audience.

4. Proving and understanding content marketing ROI
While stellar content marketing brands are focused on delivering the right content to the right person at the right time, they really excel at using sophisticated metrics to measure how users are engaging with content and the impact those engagements have on the business. They are obsessed with tracking ROI and proving the value of their content marketing efforts.

There are lots of things your organization could track to measure impact. Start with the original objectives for your content marketing program and identify the best KPIs you should measure.

Need help aligning your content marketing program to these principles? Get a demo of OneSpot’s personalized content marketing platform to see how you can make content personalization work seamlessly across channels and measure its ROI.