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5 Steps to Creating a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy

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In the last decade, internet and online marketing techniques have drastically altered the way in which we share information, introducing a profound impact upon the world of internet-related businesses.

Especially throughout the last few years, there has been a focus upon inbound techniques over outbound tactics, and more businesses than ever are discovering the advantages associated with publishing original content on a regular basis, instead of embedding advertisements into external content.

Never before in the history of the world, has the playing field been so level for companies everywhere. The advent of social media and blogging has completely democratized the business world, and opened doors for even the smallest of business.

By now you've likely heard the buzzwords -- cloud computing, big data and responsive web design, etc. Well the latest and hottest to join the bandwagon is "content marketing strategy."

It refers to the power of content and understanding of how you can create appropriate content strategy and market it for attracting the right kind of attention.

One of the fundamentals of a good content marketing strategy is that it should initiate a "two-way conversation." Not only should your content be shareable, but should trigger discussions and encourage followers to comment.

The basic strategy of content marketing requires you to have a clear vision of your business objective. This will help you create viable web content strategies for engaging both your target customers as well as search engines -- helping you generate better ROI by improving search engine rankings and ultimately the all important sales.

The essence of online businesses nowadays is to generate maximum web visibility and garner online reputation in the process. One of the basic rules is to provide your customers enough quality content for them to talk about and engage with.

To gain a deeper insight into this topic I recently spoke with Aaron Agius from Louder Online.

Over the past decade Aaron has helped some of the lead brands around the world built powerful online marketing campaigns by using an intelligent mix of Search, Content and Social tactics.

Some of the businesses he has helped online include Ford, IBM, The Star, LG, MLC, Million Dollar Woman, as well as a broad range of small businesses.

"The importance of a content marketing strategy cannot be understated. Content is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. A great strategy is needed in order to fuel social media activity, to create high converting landing pages for pay per click marketing, and to power increases in search engine rankings for target keywords.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a solid content marketing strategy. Small businesses have just as much opportunity as big businesses to reach an increased audience trough content marketing -- the key element that needs to be monitored is consistency. Consistent content creation and marketing is what sets apart businesses from the many similar businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon." Aaron Explain

In my opinion every organization today needs a digital marketing plan in order to be successful. And while they may be able to maintain or even grow their revenue without one, companies without a strong digital marketing plan aren't only leaving money on the table, they are loosing customers to those companies that do have a digital marketing strategy and plan in place.

Furthermore, Google's algorithm is continuously changing, meaning this pretty much guarantees that the quick win strategies that may have worked in the past will no longer work in the future. Now is definitely the time to develop a new type of strategy to garner links and traffic.
Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world, including the likes of Seth Godin and hundreds of the leading thinkers in marketing have concluded that content marketing isn't just the future, it's the present

Whether you already have a plan in place or been inspired by this article to design one, below Aaron shares his 5 steps you need to take in order to create a content marketing strategy that not only engages with your audience but ultimately into sales:

1) Focus your plan around being able to consistently create high quality content.

2) Ensure your content strategy covers a wide range of different content types. Text blog posts, advanced guides, infographics, images, video -- the more types of media you create the greater the potentially reach and the number of different distribution channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content.

3) If need be outsource your content creation, but only do so once you have developed strict guidelines around tone, style, voice, and the core messages that you want your content to speak towards.

4) Identify the problems in your industry, the questions people are asking and focus on being a resource that creates content that solves problems and puts you in a position of authority within your industry.

5) Don't forget the marketing in content marketing. This is the most important point. People are now creating endless amounts of content and thinking they are doing content marketing. You should be spending as much time in marketing the content as you are creating the content on the first place.

What's your number 1 tip when creating a good content marketing strategy?