Creating content for your business blog is not enough. To truly succeed in today’s competitive world of business you must have a structured content marketing strategy in place. You can create blog post after blog post, but if you do not know how and when to publish your material your efforts may be wasted.

Marketing and advertising have evolved with technology. People want more than just a pretty photo or catchy tune; they want a conversation. They want to be involved and engaged in your product or service. If they are not, they will move on without remembering your brand.

You no longer have to deal with publishers or newspaper executives when advertising. You can make your business and advertising campaign exactly what you want it to be. However, with so much control comes a lot of work. And it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

1. LOCATE – Your Target Audience

The first thing you want to do is discover whom it is you want to reach with your product or services. What age are the people you want to connect with and what do their lifestyles look like? Defining your target audience is the first step in any marketing plan.

When working in the digital world of the Internet, you need to find these people online. Pay attention to what they are talking about and where they are talking about it. If you and your business are not already a part of these communities, get involved. Start conversations and get to know your target audience before you create any content.

2. CHOOSE – How to Engage Your Audience

Once you know whom it is you want to reach, you can begin to develop an overall content structure strategy. Before you begin creating any content, you want to decide what type of content you wish to publish. And keep in mind you want to inspire, educate, and entertain your audience.

Your content’s structure will set your brand’s tone and message.  And your digital footprint is important with regard to business today. Testimonials, video tutorials, special offers for subscribers, and interviews with staff are all effective ideas. Think about how they all tie together with your brand mission. And staff interviews offer a way for you to develop a more personal relationship with your audience.

3. DEFINE – Your Objectives

Structuring your content is not the same as nailing down your objectives. Perhaps you want to generate interest in your product or services through your blog, or maybe you simply want to provide better customer support and relations. Regardless of what your overall goals are, you want to aim to become an authority in your field.

Decide what your business stands to gain the most, and then decide how you will present this to your loyal fan base. Make an editorial schedule and stick to it. Commit to your blog and update it at least 1-2 times per week, if not more. Consistency is key in defining your authority, and you need to look at your long-term goals to achieve this.

4. BUILD – Your Promotional Strategy

Once you know whom you are creating for, what your business stands for, and how you want to communicate – it’s time to start publishing. However, one of the biggest challenges with online content is figuring out how to effectively encourage it. Your content could be top notch, but it will not matter if there is nobody to read and share it. This will be an organic process, and will take time, so be patient.

Many business use email list sign-ups as a way to gain like-minded viewership. Social media is another way to easily find your target group of people. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are all basic ways to start promoting your content and ideas. Social media will not be doing the work for you. Find where your target audience spends the majority of their time and start there. Look for the most viewed time of day and week, and publish in regards to their habits.

5. USE – Professional Proofreaders

Before you actually hit that “publish” button, you want to edit and proofread all material like a pro. Find and use a reputable service, like Essaymama, that can assure you that all of your material is 100% original and grammatically correct. These services can often assist in brainstorming and finding inspiration as well.

Nothing will ruin your business’s reputation like poor grammar and spelling, or publishing copied or stolen material. It may seem insignificant in regards to your product or service, but it’s the exact opposite. It’s of the utmost importance that your blog be correct and unique – or you chance being seen as a non-authority in your field and ruining your own reputation.

It’s simply imperative today to have a solid content marketing plan for your business. Without a well-organized and crafted strategy, your business will not perform to the best of its ability. And you will miss out on connecting with unlimited future customers. So use these five steps as your constant guide and start building more effective and engaging blog content today!

Kenneth Waldman is a professional content writer with over 5 years of experience and also a Designer at AskPetersen Reviews (read the latest SuperiorPapers Review). His expertise includes education, marketing, freelancing.