According to research from, 68.7% of content marketers’ decisions come from other teams’ requests. The sales department wants to support the latest product rollout. Management intends to defend its year-end goals. Everyone has a finger in the pie.

To be successful, content marketers must do more than fulfill everyone else’s wish lists. By setting (and then sticking to) a well-defined marketing strategy, you can avoid this pitfall and keep others’ agendas from knocking you off track.

Here are six steps to creating a content marketing strategy that keeps you on task and gets results.

  1. Set your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Promote a new product line? Turn customers into brand ambassadors? Set specific goals so you can create the right content and stay focused.
  2. Determine what success looks like. How will you know when you’ve reached your goals? Hitting a specific revenue target? Gaining a certain number of new subscribers to your newsletter? Decide what metrics will determine success.
  3. Identify your audience(s). Who will read this content? You will craft messaging differently when talking to a young parent than an empty-nester.
  4. Target each audience individually. Is your content matched correctly to your target audience? You may have more than one marketing objective, with a different audience for each, so look carefully at your trove of content to ensure that it meets your goals.
  5. Pick your channels. Print, email, social media, or web. Each has its place in the marketing mix, so use each channel strategically. For example, use social media to encourage people to sign up for your e-newsletter. Use your e-newsletter to promote your new fall line. Follow up with trackable, barcoded coupons sent through the mail.
  6. Set a content calendar. Plan to stay on task. Decide when and how frequently to upload your blog posts, update your web content, and send your emails. Mail your newsletters on a set schedule. This helps you plan ahead and stay focused.

Content marketing doesn’t have to be a mystery. It just takes a strategy. What’s yours?