Content marketing is a precise art. It is an art because it relies on creativity for its successful consummation. It is precise because the right type of content, aimed at the right kind of people in the right type of place at the right time, will facilitate the achievement of your online marketing goals.

Content marketing is not rocket science, but it can appear so in the absence of a clear-cut strategy. It is all too easy to produce a piece of content and not really have a clue about where to place it to maximize its potential.

Without thorough planning, your content marketing machine will be firing on three cylinders instead of being the turbocharged V8 behemoth that it could be!

Point your machine in the right direction

Where do you want your machine to take you? What do you want it to do for you? If you think content marketing is about link-building, you need to change your ideas. Don't worry, links will be a welcome consequence of a good content marketing strategy. However, connecting with prospects via content that will interest and inspire them to share is primarily what content marketing is all about.

Consider the car insurance niche, for example. Car insurance is a pretty dull subject, and content about various car insurance products has as much chance of going viral as England of winning the next World Cup.

But how about if you apply a little lateral thinking, and create a series of instructional videos showing how to correctly perform the driving maneuvers one has to carry out in a driving test? You then have content that is likely to get shared by people learning to drive—future prospects for buying car insurance.

Before you set off, check your machine

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image of Alastair Kane

Alastair Kane is an SEO Executive at Strategic Internet Consulting, a Web development and Internet marketing consultancy based in the UK.

LinkedIn: Alastair Kane