I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz over content marketing over the past several years, but is it just a fad getting ready to phase out? It’s similar to Alexa…almost everyone knows about Alexa but most don’t take advantage of the technological benefits. Those of us who are avid Alexa users can ramble on about all the useful and fun aspects that it has brought into our lives. Content marketing is similar in that you know about it, know someone who uses it in their marketing strategies but have probably failed to implement it yourself.

Before we dive any deeper, let’s define what content marketing means to us: leveraging your business’ solutions specific to your target audience’s needs by attracting them through relevant content published on multiple digital mediums.

Why use content marketing? First of all, it attracts the audience you are targeting based on the relevant topics that they are interested in. Instead of pushing your promotions it draws them in. The second important aspect is that it establishes your credibility as an industry leader through relevant visibility.

Here are the steps to generating leads with content marketing:

  1. Explore your target audience’s problems and questions as it relates to your business and inform them of your solutions. Getting to the heart of your audience’s unfulfilled needs as well as new ideas they might be looking for is key for drawing them in through content marketing.Think about asking your audience important questions and then offering insightful solutions through content marketing strategies.

  2. Share your brand story. This is where you can gain the most credibility by keeping it personal. You have the advantage of being able to develop personal relationships through your why — your story. Include bite-size information about your why in everything you publish.

  3. Logistics. Would you consider yourself or your organization disciplined in your marketing efforts? Be honest… if you think you’re going to struggle at all with execution, start by having a specific calendar dedicated to content marketing timelines and stick to the deadlines that you put in place. You may need to assign this role to someone or hire a writer to help develop unique, perpetual content.

  4. Use multiple platforms. Decide which relevant platforms/mediums to disseminate your content to get the furthest reach. Spend time liking or following other organizations and sharing their content and in turn, they will (hopefully) do the same for you. Another component to consider…how’s your website? You’re about to draw attention to your website so it needs to be easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing and relevant to your audience.

  5. Spread it like wildfire. Spread the word about your content on social media, through email blasts and by getting other companies interested in cross-promoting your relevant content. Online forums are a great place to start building credibility by reaching many organizations and individuals at once. When your target audience values the insightful content you’re publishing, they will look to you first as the industry leader.

Hopefully, these steps will help you get closer to implementing content marketing. This requires time, energy and diligence to get the results you want. Remember, the more effort you allocate to perfecting this strategy the more it will attract the attention of your target audience to your business’ solutions which will help increase your top-line growth.

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