Maybe your email campaigns are no longer delivering the results you’ve come to expect. Or maybe you’ve been trying to grow your email list, but new subscribers have been few and far between.

So you’ve given it a lot of thought, and have decided to try something different. You’re ready to go beyond the inbox, and add content marketing to overall marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start? Here are five steps to get you going:

1. First and most importantly: Gain a deep understanding of your target audience. Some key questions to ask yourself:

  • How well do you  know your audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • Which blogs or other content are they already consuming?
  • What do they want?
  • What are their problems, and how can you help solve them?

2. Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can start brainstorming content ideas. Your content should be targeted to your audience, and their problems and interests, but beyond that, don’t limit yourself. Think big in regards to the kinds of topics and categories you might cover. And don’t forget to consider the various ways you can communicate your work as well: blog posts/articles, videos, webinars, infographics…

3. Set up an editorial calendar to organize your content production strategy. We recommend looking at all of your upcoming marketing initiatives, and planning your content marketing efforts around them, so that you’re communicating consistent and related messages across all channels. This reinforces your messaging and ensures that your target audience won’t be confused about who you are or what you do. Advance planning is key to successful content publication (more on that in a future post).

4. If you choose, you can ask for content contributors from throughout your organization. This helps distribute the workload and will provide your readers with different perspectives, which can be a real plus. Just make sure you give your volunteers some guidelines around content creation so they have something to go on when getting started. In addition, you may need to edit their work in order to keep  voice and style consistent.

5. Analyze the results of your efforts and commit to continuously revising and improving upon your strategy. If you don’t measure your results, you’ll have no idea whether your efforts are paying off. Take the time to determine which stats matter most to your business, and then use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc. to measure performance. It doesn’t have to be complicated, especially at first.

We hope these  tips have been helpful. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for additional tips below!