The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is to specify why you plan to create content. You may be familiar with the potential benefits of content marketing, such as increased website traffic, greater brand recognition, lead generation, and the opportunity to establish key players in your organization as “thought leaders.” But this is the time to think bigger.

What are the goals of your business and how do you expect your content to support the achievement of those goals?

This is critical for one simple reason. Certain strategies (like search engine optimization (SEO)) take time to deliver results and there will be ups and downs. You need to get clear on the realities of your business and when you need things to happen so you can build a plan that will get you where you need to go.

So, for your first step:

Open a document and name it “Content Marketing Strategy.” When we’re finished, this document will contain your goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics (sometimes referred to as GOST). But, for now, we’ll focus on the goals and objectives only.

Jot down your mission (who you serve and what you strive to do for them). Then describe what you’ve achieved so far and your high-level business goals for the coming year. Perhaps you’re looking to grow your customer base. Or, maybe you wish to increase revenue from your existing customers. Most likely, it’s a combination of things and this will influence your approach.

Next, move on to the objectives:

This is where you can be more specific. Explain exactly how your content will help the company meet its goals. If your goal is to gain new customers for a training course, for instance, your objectives may be to increase traffic coming to your website from content related to that training by 50% and to improve that traffic’s conversion rate by 20%.