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Simply writing and publishing isn’t enough to create a successful marketing campaign. Follow the guidelines for Content Marketing below before you get started.

Social media trends and marketing trends change frequently, but content marketing is a constant that is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. This is true no matter what industry you are involved in or what type of subject matter you provide.

Providing a steady stream of interesting, informative content is a great way to create interest in a product or service. Not only does it help your audience find exactly what they are looking for, it also serves as a valued sales lead that can help improve ROI.

It sounds simple in principle, but implementing it is not easy at all. The easy part is writing the content, or having someone do it for you, and hitting “publish.” Where it starts to get a little tougher is trying to find ways to put the content you have created to work in a way that works for your website.

If you are thinking about creating a marketing campaign or giving a boost to one in progress, then you need to take a look at the items included in this checklist. Each one is designed to take you from start to finish with no steps left out.

Write content that is fresh and timely.

Writing all the content before a product launch is a strategy that many use, but it’s not always a good one. Putting together blog posts, e-books, and other materials on topics that are always fresh is a good idea. When your campaign is in full swing, you really need to pay attention to what is happening in your industry. You can use that to create material that is relevant to your target audience. This will let them know that you are someone that has their finger on the pulse of the industry, establishing you as a reputable, trusted source for information.

Putting together an editorial calendar is a great way to plan content around holidays, events, and selling cycles, as well as being a good way to stay organized. If you don’t have a calendar in place already, think about putting it at the top of your today list.

Optimize your content

Every piece of content you write should contain relevant keywords in your headline, opening paragraph, and meta description. Keep you target audience in mind when choosing the keywords, but be sure to use them in a way that sounds natural. You must always remember that you are trying to create content for people, not for search engines.

Make social media work for you

There is no point in writing great content if no-one ever gets to read it. One of the most effective ways to get people to read your content is to distribute it via social media. Be sure to remain active on all of your social media accounts that drive traffic to your site. Think about making use of tools like Dlvr.it in order to automate the entire process, which will help your content reach as big an audience as possible.

Don’t forget to add social sharing buttons to all of your content so that readers can pass on your work to people in their networks. It’s a well-known fact that Google delivers search results that come in part from social media signals. What that means is that the more shares your content receives, the higher it is likely to rank in the search engines.

Create useful content

There are plenty of sites where surfers can find the type of content they are looking for, which means you need to make sure that your content is interesting and accurate. Poorly written pieces will get tossed aside if you don’t deliver what the audience wants. Take the time to find out what it is that your target audience is after and then deliver content that addresses their needs and questions.

A good content marketing strategy is where you are able to deliver content that entertains your audience, but is also written in a way that will inform them. Your goal should be to help answer their questions, solve their problems, or find resources that can help them moving forward.

Find out what works and what doesn’t

One of the things you want to see from your content marketing is an increase in the likelihood of creating sales leads. One way to do this is to look back at some of your older content to see which particular articles led to high conversion rates. Use web analytics and visitor-level call tracking software to help you collect the data before analyzing which articles sent visitors your way, resulting in sales and leads.

Avoid too much sales jargon

While you goal in this type of marketing strategy is to increase sales, you do not want to turn every article into nothing but a glorified sales pitch. This usually ends up driving the customer away as opposed to making them buy. People want to feel as though they have come to a buying decision on their own, rather than feeling as though they are the victim of strong arm tactics.

The correct way to write an article is to make it totally natural, but lead it to a point where you indirectly mention the benefits of your product or service. It’s worth noting that not all content will be able to do that, which is perfectly fine. You should be looking at informing and entertaining your audience, as that will have a better long term effect on your business.

Contribute to relevant communities

You are naturally going to post your articles on your own blog, but you shouldn’t restrict yourself to that single avenue. You can guest post on other blogs in order to build your readership level. The more people that get to read your content, the more likely they are to want to read more, which in turn can deliver a whole host of new leads.

Following these steps should help you smoothly navigate the waters of your content marketing campaign, long after you have pushed the “publish” button.

Here is a bonus tip: Don’t ever forget that your content marketing strategy is a work in progress. Keep an eye on the analytics we discussed earlier so that you can tweak already published content to make it more effective. You will likely discover that there are certain types of articles that work well each and every time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new every once in a while.

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