More and more these days I hear of marketing agencies focusing on a “new” form of marketing. The current buzz word? Content Marketing. I’m pretty sure anyone working in marketing for any length of time is well aware of the long and enduring importance of content marketing. This is by no means a new concept to marketing. However, as this has gained greater support I’d like to share 7 tips to help you make sure your content marketing strategy is done right.

To get us started I’ll provide a quick definition for those possibly less familiar with the term and idea of content marketing. There are of course other valid definitions but this one servers our purpose well for what we will discuss today.

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Based on this relatively standard definition (Thank you Google), here’s seven things you should consider to make your content marketing better.

1. Your Content Should Serve A Purpose

Content marketing is much more than merely putting words on a blog. Content marketing needs to accomplish a goal. You need to make sure you are serving a purpose. Think about the content you’re sharing and the reason why you’re creating it. If you can’t clearly define a purpose for your article then rethink it before publishing. Find a way to connect with your audience, be in tune with their needs and share something which will benefit them.

2. Make Your Content Shareable

This point is more similar than you might think to the first idea. In the first point I say to make sure your content serves a purpose. In this second point you need to make sure that your article is easily shareable so others can quickly send it to others. This is the flip side of the first point. Rather than thinking of the purpose of your content for your reader, think about how your content serves your purpose. Making content easy to share means you must make sure that when it is shared it’s going to help you accomplish your purpose. Consider placing common social sharing tools on or near your article to increase the usability and ease of sharing.

3. Don’t Ramble

Writing content requires time and thought. You can’t just throw words down on a page and hope they make sense. Nor can you write content without thinking through exactly what you want to accomplish. If you try to write content ‘off-the-cuff’ or ‘on-the-fly’ you’ll find you’re much more prone to rambling and getting off topic. When you begin to ramble you will lose the attention and focus of your readers. Staying focused in your writing and structuring your content around a theme or purpose will help ensure you stay true to the purpose you wish to serve.

4. Focus On Your Content Form

One you make sure your writing is serving a purpose (both for your own reasons as well as the needs of your audience) you should make sure your content is well-formed. The careful creation and delivery of an article should demonstrate your attention to detail and your desire to be polished in your approach. The form of your content should show your audience you’ve thought through your article and planned what you wish to share.

5. Be Original In Your Words

Be sure when sharing content you are doing more than merely repeating something already said. Write original and fresh content which serves a purpose and is easy for them to share with others. Be creative and avoid the use of over-used jargon and cliches. One easy way to keep your content original is to make your content personal. Share your experiences, successes, and failures and what you’ve learned as a result. Personal stories and those unique influences are a great way to be original in your content marketing.

6. Use Graphics

Content marketing is more than just words on a page. Content marketing is the use of a variety of techniques to deliver rich content. Sometimes it can be simple to think this rich content should be only textual. But if you think about those content items which you personally found most informative, helpful, or simply easy to share you’ll find the images and graphics used within the article were important in the way you consumed the information. Be sure you use appropriate images in your content marketing.

7. Think Before You Write

I saved one of the most important tips for good content marketing until the last although I’ve hinted at this idea in many of the preceding points. Strong content marketing should aways be done with great thought. A well thought-out piece of content marketing will demonstrate your purpose, will be clearly structured, and will accomplish your goals without rambling. Your audience will appreciate an educated content strategy which encourages sharing and is visually appealing. Think through every aspect of your content marketing and how each individual piece of content contributes to the greater long-term strategy of your business.

Many businesses can feel overwhelmed with thinking about their content marketing strategy and the path they should follow to be successful. These 7 tips should provide some very real methods to make sure your content marketing is effective. If you’re in a business where you are contracting someone else to specifically provide this service then these tips should help you ensure your contractor is doing a good job for you.

I hope these tips prove useful to you and encourage you as you continue engaging in content marketing. Your content is important and can serve an incredible role in the overall marketing strategy of your business. Don’t ignore this valuable resource but rather take these tips and make your content marketing better.