3 Tips To Build An Effective Content Marketing Strategy Gary Parkinson October 13th, 2015 Long-term brand business objectives revolve around expanding the upper funnel and establishing reputations as credible sources of information for audiences. These objectives are met when brands are recognized as trustworthy, authoritative, and credible within their respective fields. These reputations help consumers feel comfortable relying on your brand as a source of real value.How do you build these reputations in the modern era of digital marketing? A practical and effective technique is to use content marketing solutions to tell the stories that audiences want to hear. Here are a few encouraging tips to make content marketing an integrated part of your digital marketing plans for 2015 and beyond.1. Survey Says: Content Marketing Is CriticalThe managers of Smart Insights conduct an annual poll that asks readers to state what they believe to be the most important digital marketing tactic of the year. Content marketing was the most popular response provided by participants for the third year in a row. The pollsters say that the gap between content marketing and other responses was even larger in 2015 than in previous surveys, suggesting businesses that do invest time and resources towards content marketing strategies are generating real value in return.The second most popular response in the survey was “Big Data.” Data-driven marketing tactics allow you to form an effective plan to achieve your desired business objectives. Data helps you identify trending topics, target influential marketers, build customized audience profiles, and measure the effectiveness of content that you publish.Use the insights obtained from your data to construct your own unique content marketing plan. Identify your business objectives and determine how you can use your data to achieve those objectives. Determine how content marketing can help you establish authority within your industry and use the types of content that are most likely to engage with your target audience, which you can ascertain based on your data.2. Consumers Are Motivated By Quality ContentInfluential marketer Patrick McFadden offers a unique perspective on what it means to be a “modern marketer” and how to use content marketing in the digital environment. McFadden says the consumer lifecycle is what ultimately defines the content marketing lifecycle. He encourages marketers to establish strategies from the perspective of the target consumer for the best possible results. This means using the insights gleaned from your data to produce the types of content that stimulate interest and engagement.McFadden says a successful content marketing strategy is about “building a journey that guides prospects and customers from awareness to loyalty and their commitment to a process.” This journey organically directs consumers down your funnel in various stages from:Suspect to ProspectProspect to CustomerCustomer to AdvocatePeople who trust the relevance and credibility of your content are more likely to share your work with their own networks of friends or followers. Set a target amount of content to publish in any given week and maintain that consistency as you build your brand’s reputation. When you routinely share fresh content with your network, your audience learns to rely on you and your team as reliable sources of new information. This helps you become a thought leader in your field.3. Quality Content Helps Audiences Find You In GoogleGoogle search is one of the first resources that people use to search for information on the web. People type keywords or queries related to a topic into the search engine and review the results that are indexed on the following page.The content that appears within these search engine result pages (SERPs) are the title and description tags attached to your piece of content. Optimize these tags by clearly summarizing what content is featured on the other side of the URL within the SERPs. This improves the user experience and reduces the potential for a high bounce rate on your site. People who arrive on webpages with content that is expected based on the tags in SERPs are more likely to remain on the page - and potentially click through to other pages on your site.