Despite its broad application, content marketing remains one of those things that many business owners fear. 'Am I doing it right?', 'How often should I post?' and 'Is this what my audience wants to see?' are some of the questions that they ask themselves.

There's nothing to be scared of. Content marketing is usually based on getting to know your audience's desires, as well as your own. Just ask yourself: 'What am I trying to achieve?' 

If the answer is something along the lines of web traffic growth, outstanding lead generation, building trust with consumers or creating brand awareness, content marketing will become your best friend.

It is a fundamental part of online branding.

Here are six ways to achieve an all-around effective content marketing strategy:

1. Create buyer personas

Conducting thorough research is the first step towards coming up with any sort of strategy. And when it comes to content marketing, it is vital for you to research your audience and create buyer personas.

Without any basic knowledge of your buyer personas, you will be targeting your consumers blindly. Think about it — if you're selling anti-wrinkle moisturisers, your primary group is going to be, for example, businesswomen over the age of 45.

If you don't target that particular group, your content might end up popping up on the screen of a 28-year-old man. It's needless to say that you likely won't be earning any money, because that man is not interested in your product.

2. Set your content goals

Again, ask yourself this question: 'What am I trying to accomplish with my content? Is it social media engagement? If so, get on your social media channels immediately and start asking questions through your content pieces.

Or are you looking to significantly increase your revenue? If yes, by how much? 15-20%? Again, to achieve that, you should produce relevant content.

You need to understand what you're aiming for in order to create outstanding content. Your thorough comprehension is going to fuel your desire to get to the finishing line. We're all aware by now that determination is key.

3. Determine what's relevant

If you're wondering how you're supposed to determine what's relevant, don't hesitate to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Through the analysis of their content, you will be able to spot which types of content work best.

For example, if you notice that their video content is doing much better on Facebook than on Instagram, take notes. Try to learn from others as much as possible, because not all content formats work equally as well for all social media.

4. Optimise your content

Content optimisation is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to web traffic. In case you've got no idea what SEO (search engine optimisation) is, it is necessary that you hire someone who does.

Choosing relevant keywords for each content piece is important and should not be overlooked. However, it isn't only keywords that are relevant here — localisation and wordcount are also some of the determining factors of your website's success.

If you'd like to learn more, check out these small business SEO strategies that act as an anchor in the endless seas of Google.

5. Promote your content

Once you've created some content pieces, it's time to promote them! When it comes to content promotion, there are several different approaches:
  • Use your social media channels to their full potential
  • Share all your blog posts and engage with your audience as much as possible
  • Email marketing is one of the oldest methods, which doesn’t mean it is no longer effective; if you have a team of excellent idea-makers, email marketing will work like a charm
  • Guest posting is another great option, especially since it improves your off-page SEO game
  • Targeted pay-per-click ads will never go out of fashion, and
  • Having a PPC Specialist on hand will ensure that your business keeps flourishing.

6. Measure your results

It's necessary for you to be aware of your performance at all times. Why? Well, because it will allow for making consistent tweaks that are going to boost the growth of your business.

For measuring purposes, we highly recommend that you use tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Google Analytics. These are essential for all online businesses. 

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*Image courtesy of Unsplash