Content marketing can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

The key is doing the necessary work before you write a single blog post. That work consists of four separate but equally important tasks:

1. Get to know your audience really well.

  • What are their interests?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • What do they like to read about?
  • What types of content do they respond to?

If you can answer these questions, you’ll be well ahead of the crowd.

2. Understand the key benefits of your product inside and out.

In all likelihood, you know exactly what your product does, and I’d be that you can list all of its features from memory. But do you have a deep understanding of  how it makes the consumer’s life easier/better/happier/simpler? You must get to the bottom of that age-old question: “What’s in it for them?” Because that’s all your audience really cares about.

3. Take your knowledge of the above and start creating compelling content that your customer actually wants to read.

Learn how to effectively and powerfully communicate the benefits of your product to the right audience (that would be the one got to know in Step #1).

  • Keep your communications simple, relevant, brief and to-the-point.
  • Experiment with different communication styles (open/friendly vs.  buttoned-down/corporate, etc.) to see what resonates most with your readers.
  • Experiment with publishing schedules and frequency until you find a formula that works. For some companies, one blog post a week, a monthly newsletter, and  sporadic social media posts will do the trick. For others, great results come from posting several times a day on social media and publishing a monthly blog post. The only way to figure out what works best for you is to put content out there and continually refine your strategy based on the results you get.

4. Commit

Keeping in mind the knowledge you’ve gained from the previous three steps, and the resources available to you, you must decide what you can realistically commit to.

For example, if you only have one person to write your blog posts, and they have several other responsibilities, is it reasonable to expect them to publish three blog posts a week? It could be. But don’t guess or make assumptions, because you’ll be setting yourself up for unnecessary stress in the event your publication goals are not met. Make sure you have realistic expectations before implementing your content marketing program.

In the end, if you keep at it, and do a little bit as often as you can, you will be in good shape to steadily grow your content marketing efforts over time. There is no magic formula, and it will take work, commitment, and a fair amount of adjusting and readjusting course, but it will absolutely be worth it in the long run.

How about you? How did you come up with your content marketing strategy? And how’s it working for you? Let us know in the comments!