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If there is one thing you should do to grow your business in 2018, it is to develop a content strategy focused on building brand awareness. Companies with a strong content outreach plan outperform their competitors on everything from social media ROI to SEO. Everything from audience targeting to brand tone can influence the effectiveness of your content outreach; understanding how your audience thinks is just as important as where you publish your content. You don’t want to create content just for the sake of marketing; you want a plan and a purpose for maximum impact. The old adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is definitely true when it comes to content development.

But where do you start and what should be included in a powerful content strategy? If you are starting from ground zero, can you really strategize your way to increased brand authority online? Consider integrating the following 13 tips into your content strategy this year and watch your business soar:

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1) Use the spoke theory when you discover content topics your audience is responding to. With your main topic at the center, create spokes of content on related terms and link to your original post within secondary posts. This keeps visitors on your site longer and helps to build your online reputation (and SEO) as an expert on a particular topic. Use a resource like KeywordTool.io to find additional phrases on your chosen topic.

2) Offer content in a multitude of formats. You wouldn’t want to eat the same meal day after day; your audience doesn’t want to consume content in the same manner every day either. Keep your audience interested by offering content curation posts, vlogs (video blogs), infographics, how to articles, quote posts, and SlideShare presentations to name just a few.

3) Review your content marketing posts on a regular basis. Is all information still current? How well did your posts perform according to your Google Analytics stats? Consider updating the lead image on your post for a fresh boost on Google’s image search. Create a keyword optimized tweet prior to sharing your updated post for extra SEO juice (tweets are now indexed by Google). The more attention you give to older content, the better it will perform on an ongoing basis.

4) If you want local customers to frequent your business, don’t forget to include locally relevant terms in your content. Consider search terms locals might use and integrate those words and phrases naturally into your content. Search for your own business on a search engine like DuckDuckGo.com to see the information shown to searchers. Think of ways you can tweak your content (and your business listings) to make a better impression with local customers.

5) Landing pages are a great way to improve your content marketing ROI. Use a custom landing page whenever you create a new offer for customers or launch a fresh content marketing promotion (i.e. new whitepaper, ebook, or video course). Not only do landing pages improve conversions, they also give search engines a new URL to index for your company.

6) Content personas are essential to the success of your content campaigns. Know who you are targeting and what their buying motivations are. Successful content marketing is based upon a specific goal and an intended outcome; if you’re just throwing content online and hoping something resonates, you’re doing it wrong.

7) Analytics are another crucial component of a well-developed content strategy. Your efforts need to tracked and measured for effectiveness. You won’t know what is working unless you’re monitoring responses. Track everything from time-on-site to image clicks and popular pages.

8) Don’t be afraid to look for an audience outside of your core group of followers. Which industries are related to your business or have business needs in common? Brainstorm a list of related industries and you’ll have inspiration for a completely new set of content marketing ideas.

9) Use industry forums to fuel your content strategy. Understand the types of questions being asked and topics being discussed for a clear picture of what is going on in your market sector. Create content to answer forum queries. If a question is being asked in a forum, there’s a good chance it is being asked on search engines too.

10) Use a tool like Google Trends to measure interest on topics related to your target market. Pay attention to breakout topics and rising trends; if you are quick to publish, you might be able to get on the first page of Google for your chosen topic.

11) Planning is essential for content marketing return on investment. Don’t wait for inspiration before creating fresh content. Plan your content offerings in advance, leaving room for trending topics or news events. By planning your content output on an editorial calendar you can spot gaps in topic coverage.

12) Pay attention to your URL structure when publishing content. Use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to see how your URL will display on search engines. Ensure your target keywords are near the beginning of your URL for maximum click-through rates.

13) Consider integrating quotes from industry influencers into your content. Mention the influencer in your social shares to increase the chances they’ll share your post too. Influencers love to be thought of as industry leaders; pander to their ego and increase the eyeballs on your content at the same time.

These are just 13 of many tips you can use to improve the effectiveness of your content marketing. A well-developed content strategy is a constantly evolving creation; as you understand which components are working, you increase your efforts in those areas. As content continues to change (i.e. video-streaming, augmented reality), brands need to be prepared to adjust their content strategy accordingly. Will you be incorporating any of the above-listed tips into your business’ content development efforts?

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I’m the Founder and CEO at FullTraffic. Since 2005, FullTraffic has evolved to become one of the most important Traffic providers world wide for small to medium sized businesses. http://federicoeinhorn.com – Read more stories from .

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