A closer look at the content marketing plan essential for the success of your business.

The popularity and budgets for content marketing only seem to be increasing. The reason? The multiple benefits including higher domain authority and search engine rankings, more referral and social traffic and increased conversion potential.

Yet another reason for its popularity is the powerful results obtained with minimum upfront costs. This means you just need an idea and a plan to execute it.

While content marketing can be done by anyone, not everyone knows how to do it well. Most content marketing strategies are ineffective because they are haphazardly planned, and companies and individuals ultimately give up on them. The truth is, you need a really good strategy to constantly produce, repurpose, and promote engaging content.

This article outlines the eight steps leading to a successful content marketing strategy.
Step 1. In-depth research:

Does your content fill a void your ideal customer faces?

Research includes studying your competitors and understanding the market and your ideal customer’s problems. Create content your customers demand instead of writing about what you think the readers want. The worst kind of content marketing starts with companies focused on showing how great their product or service is, instead of filling a void or addressing a clearly defined pain point.

The most effective content is never about your company, your products or yourself. Instead, it starts with acknowledging a pain point and the best ways to solve it (including your solution). Putting your customers’ needs above your own builds trust.

The folks at Buffer come up with in-depth research on every topic that they write about. Belle Beth Cooper, their earliest content creator, shows how to research efficiently in this article “How We Research: A Look Inside the Buffer Blog Process”.

Step 2. A strong headline:

A headline either draws in readers or pushes them away
As per Copyblogger, eight out of 10 people will read your headline. Two out of 10 will read the rest of what you wrote.

Use the ‘four-Us’ approach to write clickable headlines:

Make the headline useful to the reader — The Science Of Viral Content: Which Emotions Make Us Share?
Include a sense of urgency for the reader — Are You Losing Sales By Giving Customers Too Many Choices?
The headline should convey the benefit in a unique way – How I Generated 197,013 Visitors A Month Without Spending A Dollar On Ads.

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