The adoption of content marketing practices is rising quickly, and if you’re ready to figure out how to use it for your business you’re in the right place.  Content marketing will deliver real benefits for your business such as visibility, brand awareness, and reputation. Take a look at these 5 ways you can get started as you launch a structured content marketing strategy.

Define your goals

To succeed in anything you do, you need to set goals. Your content marketing campaign is no exception; it should be aligned with your small business goals.  Before you start recreating content, you need to define what it is you hope to achieve through content marketing.  Goals often include raising brand awareness, increasing brand loyalty, educating and engaging your customers, and building connections. As you highlight your goals, it’s also vital to make sure you created a winning content marketing strategy.

Define metrics

Once your goals are in place, it’s time to figure out how you plan to track and measure the performance of your campaign. Each goal will have a different way to measure its success, but common performance indicators include the time users spend on your site, the pages per visit, the bounce rate, conversions, and social shares.

Create content personas

As you try to develop a content marketing campaign, you must take the time to figure out who your audience is. It’s essential to understand what your readers want and what type of content they will consume.

When you have solid content personas, you can better model your users buying behavior and target content at the various stages of the sales funnel.  Without personas, you will be mostly guessing what content your audience hopes for – so more than likely you will share content about what you know instead of what your audience is actively seeking.

Generate content ideas

Many marketers are like a deer caught in the headlights when it comes to generating new topic ideas for their content.  There is a high demand for one-of-a-kind, valuable content that will stand apart from the many posts that are like ten others already out there.  Some ideas to help you come up with posts include focusing on your passions and writing about areas you know.  Build off others content – take what they write and expand on it.  You can also ask your customers and social media followers and fans what they want to read more about.  Let their suggestions fuel ideas for new, innovate posts and capitalize on one of the many ways to grow customer trust and loyalty – through powerful content.

Develop a content calendar

Track your content creation with the help of an editorial calendar.  Calendars will help ensure the content is posted at the right time and offer insight into content personas, keywords and topics.

In smaller organizations, a content calendar isn’t too tough to oversee. If you have a business that has more than one department making contributions to the campaign, a content calendar becomes essential to manage them all.

Don’t let content marketing paralyze you – it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Implement key strategies to help you develop a content marketing campaign that allows you to reach your target audience, build a strong online presence, and stimulate interest in your products and services.