The Simple 3-Step Process for Creating a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

Strategy … we all know what it means, right? Just for grins, let’s look at a simple definition:
A plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
Clear enough. So why would the majority of content marketers have no documented strategy, according to Content Marketing Institute? And by “documented,” I mean a plan that you literally write down.
This is what happens when you document your strategy, again according to CMI’s research:

You’ll be far more likely to consider yourself effective at content marketing.
You’ll feel significantly less challenged by every aspect of content marketing.
You’ll generally consider yourself more effective in your use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels.
You’ll be able to justify spending a higher percentage of your marketing budget on content marketing.

For many small companies, the “marketing budget” is simply the time you allocate for content creation and promotion. And wasting time can often be more painful than wasting money, so let’s not do that, okay?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it
Before we get to the steps, we need an objective for our strategy. Our “major or overall aim,” per the definition.
The major or overall aim for commercial entities is sales.
Even if you’re a nonprofit or charitable organization looking for new or repeat donors, it’s dolla dolla bills, ya’ll.
“But Brian,” the voices in my head object. “What about branding, engagement, social sharing, SEO, comments …”
“Let me stop you right there,” I tell the voices. Which is awkward, because I’m in

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