There are as many strategies to content marketing as there are minutes in an hour. But how do you really identify which ones work? Apparently, not a lot of companies regard their strategy as effective. A recent survey by the It’s not about you, it’s about them Content marketing is not a thing so stop selling. If you subscribed to content marketing only to invest on pushing self-serving marketing messages about the company, then you got it all wrong. The number one tip on content creation process is to acknowledge that you don’t sell things, instead you sell values and information that are important to the customer. Again, important to your audience not to your company. The rule is: stop talking about yourself and start talking as yourself. A customer-centric approach will eventually lead to stronger brand anyway. Focus on the “why” before the “how” Some marketers take the shortcut and do not even recognize it. When ranged against initiatives and campaigns for a certain brand for example, the first question is always “how are we going to go about it.” That’s a fairly good question, but that can’t be successfully answered if you don’t know the “why.” Identify your goals and objectives. Why are we pushing this? Why are we creating this? Setting goals is essential to planning and making sure everyone is on the same page. Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and helped major companies grow revenue, said that if a content marketing strategy doesn’t have purpose, there will be no message, audience, impact or direction. In short, it’s a colossal waste of time. For him, having a purpose means knowing how content marketing fits into the overall vision of the company, how it will help grow the business, and how it can target specific objectives. Set a standard for quality You think hiring creative, skilled, and experienced professionals is expensive? Well, try hiring amateurs and we guarantee the costs will be higher. You have to set a bar with people and with results. You will be wasting a lot of resources, time, and energy if you would have to rewrite, revise, and edit mediocre and non-sense content over and over. Standards should be set and agreed upon from the get-go. One way to swiftly carry on with content creation and production is by having an editorial calendar. This is an overview of direction, execution, and expectations. Editorial calendars make sure everyone knows what is expected of them, what the deliverables are, what platform to use, and other relevant editorial requirements. No guessing please, understand your audience If you are thinking of ways to scale your content, then understanding your audience is the main key. No effective content marketing strategy will work without identifying who it is for. You need to understand your audience and what they want or need from you. In content marketing, user personas are important. You have to be able to identify ideal prospects. You have to know gaps in information that your content can fill. Once you have understood your audience, only then will you be able to create content and specify buying cycles. Keep it relevant and interesting You have to know what type of content works. Content must be relevant if you want it to matter. It must be able to pass the “so what” test. Content must be interesting, user-friendly, informative, and must have emotional triggers. It has been proven many times that emotionally-charged content gets consumed and shared the most. It also calls everyone to act. Don’t be a one-hit wonder, go for consistency If you plan, go the whole nine yards. Do not put all your eggs in one basket such as trying to come up with one viral hit. That’s good, but everyone knows it doesn’t last. You have to be consistent in creating good content in order to turn users and visitors into brand advocates. Say you were able to score a hit, make sure you know exactly how to follow through. In the same breadth, you have to know exactly how to react to a failed attempt. Get maximum mileage for content A survey by the CMI revealed that 76% of marketers plan to produce more content. There is nothing wrong about that. However, if you don’t know how to get mileage for each content, then you are just wasting your time. Try the Rule of 5 or using one piece of content in five distinct ways. This is a good way to scale your content marketing production. For example, a webinar may be too much for a platform like YouTube, so rehash it. If you have a really good article but it’s too long, split it then link one to the other for an information journey. You have to maximize the visibility of your content and plan for content scalability to get maximum returns. Learn how to measure Make sure you know how to track success and effectivity. Or else you wouldn’t know where you are. One tested method is developing Key Performance Indicators or KPIs that are consistent with the business values of your marketing initiative. Identify indicators of success or failures for that matter. Consider resources, capabilities, and expectations. There is fun in sharing An all-original content is okay, but bear in mind the resources and processes necessary in producing one. You can still remain credible and relevant if you share other’s content. Content marketing is also about curation. You collect, sort, and manage the data available to you. If one content is consistent with your goals, relevant to your audience and happened to be shareable, go ahead and share. It’s okay to take chances Of course, we are talking about eliminating gambling in creating content. But you have got to know which battles to fight and risks to take. For example, there are 900,000 blog posts published daily. How do you stand out? You have to consistently break the mold and do something unexpected. Do things differently. It should pay off sooner or later. Content marketing is a tough lover. Making a relationship work needs a lot of patience, studying, planning, and creating. Make sure you know exactly where you want to take this partnership for everything else to fall into place. Images “Content on typewriter / Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.