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Since it’s almost 2017, you may be finalizing your marketing budget about now. Maybe you can reallocate some of your budget to content marketing if you’ve already done your planning. But if you’re still working on it, here’s some food for thought.

Recently, cmosurvey.org reported that digital marketing spend continues to increase while traditional advertising declines. While you might still be reluctant to go all in on content and inbound marketing, other businesses are going full throttle to reach customers — some of them yours — online.

But it’s not just your direct competition that you have to worry about. Rather, there are plenty of people and organizations competing for your customer’s attention, too. Consider these statistics:

  • 571 websites launch every minute (Daily Mail)
  • There are over 350,000 tweets per minute (Internet Live Stats)
  • YouTube has over 48 hours of videos uploaded every minute (YouTube)
  • Over 2.73 million posts are published by bloggers each day (Quora)

Maybe these stats have you wondering if it’s even worth it.  But it’s no time to accept defeat. It’s time to make important decisions regarding your online marketing strategy.

Document Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2017

According to Content Marketing Institute, “Marketers who take the time to document their content marketing strategy are more effective than those who don’t.” Seems like a good reason to get your strategy documented, doesn’t it? You need to:

  • Create the business case for content marketing. Define the “why” and explain the vision for success. This can help you get executive buy-in for content marketing.
  • Develop your content marketing business plan. Set goals. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs). Create a content mission statement.
  • Research personas and create content maps. A content plan without personas can be pointless. You’re creating content for these decision makers, and the content should map to the various stages of their buyer’s journey.
  • Define your brand story. You may have already done this formally for your traditional advertising efforts. If not, take the time to document the messages you want to communicate.
  • Build your channel plan. Here’s where you identify all the platforms where you’ll share your brand story. Set goals for each one.

Further Reading On Creating a Content Strategy

25 Questions You Need to Ask When Creating a Content Strategy

Building a content marketing strategy for your company? Ask these questions at the onset and use the answers to inform your next moves. A successful content creation strategy takes more than a topics list and blogging schedule.

Developing a Content Strategy

Looking to create a content marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place. But, before we dig in, there is one critical distinction you should understand: A content marketing strategy is NOT the same thing as a content strategy.

Content Marketing Resources

Here are a few great finds from around the web that can help you gain clarity on developing your content marketing strategy and plan.

Content Marketing Trends

Check out the Content Marketing Institute’s annual study to learn what fellow marketers and best-in-class organizations are doing with their content marketing.

Social Media Platform Usage Trends

Social media will continue to be a key means of distributing and promoting content. Pew Internet Research released it’s Social Media Update 2016 on November 11, 2016. This information will help you understand what platforms are used by people in your target demographic groups.

Social Media Update 2016

Facebook usage and engagement is on the rise, while adoption of other platforms holds steady Over the past decade, Pew Research Center has documented the wide variety of ways in which Americans use social media to seek out information and interact with others.

The State of Trust from Edelman

The Edelman Trust Barometer gives marketers insight that you can apply to your content distribution and promotion strategy. As you can see, people have higher levels of trust in regular employees and people like themselves compared to companies, CEOs, government, and board of directors. This SlideShare presentation includes other data about peer recommendations and influence on purchasing and more. These data can help you build the case for an influencer marketing program or an employee advocacy initiative.

SEO Is Changing

For those of you who have stayed informed, you won’t be surprised to hear that SEO just ain’t what it used to be. Did you know that keyword ranking isn’t really as important as in days past? It’s all about great content that meets different SEO standards. Here’s an example of new considerations for SEO in 2017.

We Analyzed 203,900 Data Points to Answer the Question: Do Keywords Matter?

Every SEO knows what it’s like to do “keyword research.” The process goes something like this: Make a list of important topics. Write important keywords under each of those topics. Plug the list into Google Keyword Planner to get data and other ideas. Rinse, Repeat.

Ready to Get Started? Download Our Content Planning Template

Want to start on your strategy without doing all this research? Download our 2017 content strategy template to get you started!

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