By Andrea Moxham

6_content_marketing_rules_to_live_by

Content is the meat and potatoes of an inbound marketing strategy. While content marketing and inbound marketing sound very similar in definition, content marketing is actually a subset of inbound marketing. According to marketing platform, Hubspot, content marketing is a marketing program that centers on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience to attract new customers. Inbound marketing is the entire strategy involved with creating and sharing that content. The question is, with everyone jumping on the inbound train, how can we create content that's truly unique? Use these rules to when developing your content marketing strategy.

Know your audience.

Creating content shouldn’t be a race against your competition. It should be created specifically for your audience. Developing buyer personas should be one of the first steps in your inbound marketing strategy. These fictional characters will dictate the content you create. In creating your personas, you’ll actually find that the content you need is identified right off the bat. What is your persona looking for? What are their challenges? How do they like to receive information? The answers to these questions will equipp you with topics and distribution channels to use to reach your target audience.

Choose your channels.

Now that you know where your personas frequent to find information, set up channels which allow you to reach them on a consistent basis. A blog, social media, or newsletter allow you to create new content which can be targeted to specific personas and their current situation (talk to us to find out how!).

Don’t be pushy!

One of the major reasons inbound marketing works is because it does not rely on traditional interruption-based promotion tactics. Whether you’re developing content for an ebook, blog post, or social media update, focus on helping the reader rather than scaring him or her away with traditional “BOGO” or pushy content. Excellent examples of inbound marketing content include:

  • Tip sheets
  • Templates
  • Blog posts
  • Webinars
  • Emails to approved and relevant contacts

4. Create evolving content.

As your personas move through the buyer’s journey towards becoming a customer, their needs will change and so should your content. Content at the awareness stage can be high-level whereas content for a persona at the comparison stage can be a little more brand specific. Labeling your content as an awareness, consideration, or decision stage piece is a great way to ensure your content helps your personas transition.

5. Map out what you’re going to share.

Using an editorial calendar will help you create unique content on a consistent basis, and help you become more productive. Not only will you easily identify gaps in your content strategy, but you can also assign tasks to your team members.

6. Measure your engagement.

How well did your readers engage with the content you shared? Here are a few ways to measure:

  • Number of likes/shares on social media
  • Comments on a blog post
  • Downloads of an offer/PDF
  • General website traffic stats (views, clicks)


Knowing which pieces of content generated more traffic or engagement will help you identify what works and what doesn’t. In fact, there are no rules against repurposing that same content! Read this post for details on sharing refreshed content.


What are your best content marketing secrets? Share in the comments below!

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Andrea Moxham

About the author

Andrea Moxham formerly was an Associate Consultant at SmartBug Media. She takes an eager and proactive approach to digital and inbound marketing methods, to help clients grow their businesses. Read more articles by Andrea Moxham.

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