Content marketing is an essential skill if you want you, your organization, business or cause to be found online. Firstly, everything on the internet is content. It is just a case of what type of content. Content builds a brand, attracts traffic, and helps make sales.

In this article series on Content Marketing, we will be looking at why you need a content marketing strategy in order to grow your business, and how to develop an effective strategy that will help you meet all your business goals.  These strategies can be important to help you and your business finish strong.

Let's look first at “Three Things to Do Before you Create Your Content Marketing Strategy”

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There are several things you should do before you create your content marketing strategy. The best place to start is where you are now. In other words, where are you at the moment with your business and your content?

1. Evaluate Your Current Situation

If you are just starting out, any content is going to be better than no content. However, if you have been in business for a while, you should have statistics about what content has performed best so far. Look in your traffic logs to see what articles and other pieces of content are getting the most traffic. 

Similarly, on social media, look at the analytics areas for each social media network you are on. Determine how many likes, shares, and comments or similar interactions you are getting. Once you have analyzed what is doing well, plan to create more of it. 

2. Check Your Calendar

Most of the content you publish is going to be evergreen - that is, it will not go out of date. However, in many cases, something new and interesting starts to trend. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to tie in your products or services with that new trend. For example, people do booming business during Olympics years, or during presidential elections.

Seasonal and holiday-related content (i.e. content which is not evergreen) is also extremely important. For example, people are always looking for gift ideas, hints, tips, recipes and other things that will make their holidays better and easier. When the winter comes, people will also worry about their health and set New Year's resolutions. 

Grab a calendar and start penciling in important dates throughout the year. Once you have marked out all of your most important dates, you can start filling in the gaps.

3. Choose Your Channels

Your content marketing strategy will be an overview of all the places you need to publish content. Start with your site or blog, and your email marketing campaigns. Plan to publish content regularly, such as five days a week, so you can keep building your relationship with your site visitors and email subscribers. Once you publish this content, promote it via social media. 

Publish a range of content, such as images, videos and more. Promote them in the correct channels, such as images at Pinterest and Instagram and videos at YouTube.

Take these steps before you start drafting your content management marketing strategy, and this should make it a lot easier for you to grow your business and profits. 

Next time, we're going to give tips on how to take stock of your current content.