Last Updated on June 8, 2020

Content marketing can serve as a valuable lead generation tool for your brand. Content comes in all shapes and sizes, from 30-second videos to multi-chapter eBooks. While you may be tempted to jump in and start creating content to attract your target audience, there are processes that you need to follow to maximize your effectiveness. This guide will walk you through the steps to create valuable content and promote it in a way that drives leads and sales to your brand for several months after.

Develop a Target Audience With Specific Needs

Research is an essential part of content creation. With millions of blog posts published each day, brands need to find ways to stand out and provide real value to the audiences that they are trying to reach. Each piece of content needs a clear target audience and a need that should be filled. Not only will this make your content more valuable, but it will also help you better come up with ideas for what content to create and when.

Consider the various options available to you for content research. You can learn about your target audience in Google Analytics and use search terms and keyword research to identify their pain points. Some brands go so far as to create charts with audiences, keywords, and then ideas underneath that address their problems. After all, if your content isn’t creating value, then why are you spending time on it?

Related: How does Intellifluence for Brands work?

Top publishers rarely stray from the needs of their audience and continuously work to fill gaps in information and knowledge. Through your research, you may discover that creating topical news content fills a need or that your industry needs detailed tutorials. It’s also possible that you will test multiple formats until something sticks.

Develop Supporting Content for Your Message

The high-quality content that you create for your audience is known as “cornerstone content.” This is content that is valuable, in-depth, and draws people to your page. Cornerstone content may be pages that already rank well (that you want to give a boost to) or new content that you want to promote. The next step in your content marketing strategy is to create supporting content that boosts these cornerstone pieces.

Your supporting content comes in many forms. A few examples include social media posts that drive traffic to your pages, guest posts that feature the highlights of your cornerstone content and link to it, and supplemental blog posts that direct readers to the initial content. As you can see with this process, content marketing promotions require a long-term strategy. You’re not just creating content and hoping your audience finds it.

Partner With Other Bloggers to Spread Your Message

One strategy you can use to support your content marketing efforts is influencer marketing. This occurs when you partner with various social media accounts and blogs in your industry to point their audiences to your cornerstone content. While you may only have a reach of a thousand or so people, influencers can reach tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of internet users. You can get your brand in front of new audiences and turn them into fans of what you have to say.

The easiest way to work with influencers is through a service like Intellifluence. You can easily vet people by their niche, audience size, and requirements for content. This way you can find the right influencers to reach your goals. You can also quickly form agreements with what these influencers should post and how they will be compensated for their efforts.

Related: How are influencer blog scores determined?

With the right bloggers, you can drive hundreds of people to your cornerstone content who will find value in the posts that you created.

Track Which Content Strategies Worked

Content creation is a cyclical process. You create content, you promote content, and you evaluate how your efforts worked out. If you don’t stop to evaluate your work in this last step, you could end up creating content that doesn’t appeal to your audience or doesn’t drive the results that you want.

Make a note of what content your audience likes and try to replicate that success with similar formats. You may also need to expand upon ideas and develop additional pieces based on audience feedback. For example, if you develop a guide for setting up a pop-up shop, the next logical step could be turning a pop-up shop into a long-term business. This evaluation process can kick off the research for your next piece of cornerstone content so you can identify the target audience and problems that you need to solve.

Creating the right content is essential to connect with your target audience; however, without the right promotions, your hard work and great ideas will never get noticed. By taking a high-level view of your content marketing strategy, you can make sure your pieces provide a real ROI for your brand and help you grow.