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Content marketing is quite the buzz word, but it’s one of the best marketing strategies out there and there are many ways to do it. You can do organic content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and even paid advertising with your content marketing efforts. In this tutorial I want to teach you how to put together your very own content marketing strategy, so you get the most website traffic for your efforts!

Before we get started let’s talk about what content marketing is. Content marketing is where you create content (it can be text, infographics, audio, video, or a mixture of all) with the goal of attracting your target audience into your business. You can use content marketing to build your email list, establish authority, brand awareness, and even make direct sales.

Step 1: Who Do You Want To Attract?

The first step in creating your content marketing strategy is to know exactly who you want to attract. You’ve probably heard the term “customer avatar”, and you absolutely need one to do content marketing effectively. You need to define your customer avatar by age, gender, location, if they have money to spend, finding out what kind of content they want, their likes and dislikes, interests, what motivates them, etc. Depending on your business and goals will depend on what else you need to know to define your customer avatar, but this is a good start.

Step 2: Have A Goal For Each Piece Of Content

Once you know who you want to attract you need to define your goals. Every piece of content you create needs to have a goal. As I just said, you can use content marketing to build your email list, establish authority, brand awareness, and even make direct sales. But you must define one goal for each piece of content you create. For the remainder of this tutorial, we’re going to be using list building as an example goal.

Step 3: Become A Spy

Now at this point you need to become a spy and go see what others in your niche are doing with their content marketing. Search Google and social media sites for others in your niche and note down anything you see them doing successfully that you could do in your content marketing. This does not mean to copy them. This is just for you to generate ideas. By doing this you can see what’s actually working and get closer to creating content that works in your content marketing.

You can also do keyword research and find out what people are searching for so you can get more ideas for topics to create your content around.

Once you have put this work in, pick one idea that you will be using for your first piece of content you want to create for your content marketing.

Step 4: Plan Your Publishing And Marketing

In this step you will start planning out where you’re going to post your content and how you will get traffic to it. Ideally you will want to publish your content to an optimized blog, but then you need to decide if you’re going to use SEO for your content to get traffic, if you’re going to post it to social media so your following sees it and comes to consume it, and/or if you’re going to be using paid advertising.

What you need to understand is your content has a job (build your list, create brand awareness, makes sales, etc.) but you still need to get traffic to that content. So, in this step you need to define the marketing of your content so people actually see it. If no one sees it, none of your goals will be met.

Step 5: Who Is Creating The Content

Now it’s time to get to work and create that content. You need to decide if you have the skills to create the content for the idea you picked in Step 3 or if you need to hire someone to do it for you. While there are costs involved in having someone else create the content for you, you need to look at it as an investment because a professional content creator could get you better results than you could yourself and in turn, you’ll get more results from your content marketing efforts.

Step 6: Publish And Manage

Now once you have your first content idea created and you have your content then you need to publish it. As I said that’s typically going to be posted on your blog, but it’s up to you to decide on that. Once it’s published then you need to do the work to get it in front of people. That could be your SEO activities, social media posting activities, or setting up and publishing the ads. Whatever decide you’ve got to manage it. Reply to comments, answer questions, etc. If you’re using social media you’ll need to manage all of that too.

Step 7: Analyze Your Results

A few days after your content has gotten people in front of it, see how well it did for you. Is it working to meet your goal? If so, how well is it working? What can you do to make it work better? If it’s not working, then analyze it to find out why. You might need to bring in a content marketing professional to help you figure this out.

Step 8: Keep Going

At this point you will have taken your first step into content marketing. Now the real work comes in. You need to rinse and repeat this whole process over and over again. I highly recommend creating a content publishing schedule. How often will you publish content to use in your content marketing strategy? Once a week? Twice a month? Monthly? Whatever you decide to go with, stick to it, focus on creating super high quality content with a goal, and keep analyzing your results.

If you take what you’ve learned here and develop your own content marketing strategy with it, you could get all the hot targeted traffic you want, but it will take work and commitment from you!