The key to content marketing success is developing a strategy that suits your goals and aligns with your brand.

When content marketing made its debut, brands in publishing and journalism-related industries were quick to jump on board. After all, it gave them a unique opportunity to showcase their writing skills while establishing themselves as industry leaders. But it didn’t take long for content marketing to become an effective tool across virtually every industry.

It’s easy to see why: compared to other forms of marketing, content marketing can be a much more cost-effective way to achieve your goals. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, “while content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.”

With this statistic in mind, it’s no surprise that many brands have implemented content marketing without first considering how and why it is useful. Establishing how content can specifically help you reach your goals ensures the most substantial returns from your efforts.

I’ve identified three of the most crucial, high-level outcomes that your brand can achieve through content marketing:

Industry Leadership

Producing valuable content for your target audience helps to establish your brand’s authority within a specific industry. When consumers search for a particular topic or question, they are looking for information that can help them solve problems or make better purchasing decisions. Determine what your target audience is seeking, and create engaging content to suit their needs. Brands that provide the most value to consumers will consistently come out on top.

One company that uses brand publishing to strengthen its authority is Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. This industrial supply company consistently produces content based on industry-specific current events to help potential clients stay up-to-date with relevant goings-on. Their content marketing efforts consistently demonstrate expertise, as well as an ongoing commitment to reporting on industry developments.

midwest blog

Brand Recognition

In order to attract and maintain a strong fanbase, your brand must be recognizable. Put your pursuit of sales aside and focus on creating a cohesive voice that encompasses your brand values and compels readers to keep coming back for more.

Every company offers something that differentiates them from the competition, and content marketing can help highlight those benefits to build a memorable brand. For example, ClearlyDerm — a Florida-based dermatology clinic that recently debuted a “Virtual Acne Program” — features blog content that helps patients with skin care tips while offering an alternative to traditional office visits. The more strongly your consumers connect with your brand, the more impact you’ll ultimately have on their purchasing decisions.

Lead Generation

By producing valuable, industry-specific content, you’re not just generating traffic; you’re gaining highly targeted traffic that is more likely to convert. Once you establish what your target audience wants, you can produce content that resonates with the consumers most likely to purchase your products or services.

Brand publishing is especially useful for companies in niche, technical industries, because it helps define their services to prospective clients. For example, Highjump — a company specializing in supply chain management software — consistently publishes interesting pieces on how things get from Point A to Point B on their SupplyChainX blog. By producing content that makes the supply chain relatable to both potential clients and the general public, Highjump extends its reach to those who could potentially benefit from its services, but may not even be aware that they exist.

supplychain

There’s no doubt content marketing is an effective tool for growing your brand; the only question that remains is how you can use it to reap the most substantial gains. Is your main objective to establish leadership, engage with your target audience, or generate leads? Establish specific goals and develop a strategy to help you accomplish them.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

This article originally appeared on Business.com.

Author Remy Bernstein

As L&T’s COO, Remy directs all internal and client operations for L&T. Since joining the team in the the summer of 2014, Remy has overseen the precipitous growth of the company’s full-time staff and client base. He works directly with every member of the L&T team to implement and operationalize new processes, manage client accounts, and produce exemplary content every day. A graduate of Kenyon College, Remy previously worked in the editorial departments at Publishers Weekly and Standard & Poor’s. He specializes in content quality management and scalable business strategies, and relies on his extensive journalism background to supervise dozens of branded digital publications.

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