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When thinking about content marketing, we often have visions of SEO bliss and customers lining up to buy our products. But such thoughts fade quickly when we're down to the nitty-gritty of producing measurable results from our actions.

The problem isn't that producing high-quality content is difficult... because it isn't: There are lots of fantastic content creators out there, and even better tools to create with. The real issue is that most of the content we're creating isn't answering the questions our customers are asking. Our strategies are all wrong.

It's all too easy to go down the "we are amazing" path of content creation, producing content that's self-promotional, geared for driving clicks, or—worse—content that's not really valuable to your target audience. There's a huge difference between random people reading your stuff and a highly targeted tribe of consumers engaging with your content. Customers want what they've always wanted: someone they can trust.

That leads me to the story of how the "12 Tenets of Content Creation" infographic came to be.

You can approach your content strategy in various ways, and theories abound about which one is most effective in today's digital landscape. Deciding which tactics to use can be hard, but when you come across someone who walks the walk and has the stats to prove it, you pay attention.

I first crossed paths with Marcus Sheridan via his written content. He's passionate, direct, and not afraid to be human... imperfections and all. Through his quest to save his business during the economic downturn of the late 2000s, he discovered content marketing principles so simple and effective that every business can apply them and produce measurable results. It all boils down to what the New York Times calls "a revolutionary marketing strategy: answer customers' questions."

The following infographic outlines Marcus's strategy in 12 tenets, which—if followed—will have you creating content that your customers actually care about.

Marcus is also presenting at the upcoming MarketingProfs B2B Forum. He'll be speaking about "How to Form a Culture of Content Marketing and Dominate Your Industry." Join him online.

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12 Tenets of Content Creation [Infographic]

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image of Seth  Price

Seth Price is vice-president at Placester, a platform for marketing real estate online. He's a marketing strategist who helps companies tell great stories to accelerate growth. He's also a passionate content creator, marketing keynote speaker, host of the Craft of Marketing podcast, and an aspiring chef.

Twitter: @sethstuff

LinkedIn: Seth Price