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Best Practices for Content Marketing in 2017

content-marketingContent marketing is a key component of business-to-business marketing. By maintaining a steady outbound stream of high-quality content, businesses improve the chances of the company website ranking high in search engine results as well as building the brand in the mind of the customer. If handled well, content marketing can build familiarity, increase affinity and deepen trust with both existing and future clients. But as 2017 approaches, search engine indexing is changing and consumers are beginning to read less content due to the overwhelming volume of it. As a result, content marketing must become less volume-focused and more customer-focused. Here are best practices for building your content marketing in 2017.

Create a strategic content map

Start by creating a content map. To be successful in reaching content marketing goals, businesses must have a clear guide that helps them produce content that will have the most impact. In fact, according to a content marketing study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2016, 54% of successful content marketing campaigns began with a clear written strategy. Why? Because current competitors may introduce new products and new competitors can come into the market and you need to be ready for that. In addition, the marketplace can experience a sudden change. By writing down the content marketing strategy, plans can be made to address changes in the market, competitive moves and new product introductions as well as your own new services and support packages.

Develop a content creation calendar

A marketing strategy is only as good as the content that supports it. Developing a content calendar ensures creating content that cohesively tells the story of the brand over a period of time. While there may be changes and modifications along the way, the fact that it exists instills a sense of direction in achieving the desired results. The content calendar should align with customer purchasing cycles as well as offer direction for suitable themes based on events like trade shows and conventions. In addition, the calendar can be shared with the sales department so that they know the content production schedule and can fit their strategies around it.

Create an interesting mix of content

The content that comes from a business must keep the attention of the customer as well as build the brand. Businesses therefore need to generate different types of content on different topics that relate to the business. Some of the content that can be used for marketing is videos, info-graphics, articles, blogs, newsletters and user guides. In addition, content should be developed that answers questions of buyer at each stage of the sales funnel. As potential client move through the sales process, they will want content that has more depth (as opposed to general information) so they can make a smart decision.

Write for your customers, not the search engines

For a long time, the focus of creating content was for search engine optimization (SEO). This can be a good thing because websites that are ranked highly get more traffic. But it can also be a hindrance when the content is not customer-friendly. Today it is evident that customers want to read engaging, informative and relevant content. Effective content marketing establishes trust with customers by providing them content that they want, when they want it. In addition, Google is focusing their ranking strategies more on intent of the search, not just keywords. By providing content that the customers want, the website will be ranked more highly.

Content marketing is an important part of the entire marketing picture. Invest the time to do it well now in order to build your brand in the marketplace. If you would like to learn more about effective content marketing, contact KEO Marketing, an award winning inbound marketing agency, or call us at 888-702-0679.

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    About Sheila Kloefkorn
With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.

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