By Sweta Patel

Best Practice: Review the last six months of data to find the most popular posts and create a blog post titled “Top 10 Most Popular Posts.” Then create a content calendar based on your results. This will help you determine the topics, stories and posts for your content marketing strategy.

Audience and Goal Building

To increase your audience, build and nurture relationship before you need them. In other words, don’t go right for the ask.

Target Audience

Who is your audience? What is their behavior online? If a category of users is known not to like to read, how do you trigger them to opt-in to a landing page if they don’t read? To create a strategy you will want to know how often they want to be contacted. This will determine how often you publish content. Your main goal should be to drive email sign-ups.

To answer this, we interviewed 60 prospects, asking what types of content they wanted to receive from us, how frequently, what are some of their unmet needs, and what they would find valuable. In return we gave them a $15 Amazon gift card. This research will fuel the storytelling and purpose behind the content we supply.

Another way to capture data is by having specific advocacy alerts. When someone visits your website often, you can send them a special “Thank You” and ask them if they’d like to be involved with the storytelling aspect of the content strategy.

Qualified Leads

The best way to receive qualified leads is by sending testimonials and endorsements that relate to prospects’ current problem. Prospects see that the problem was solved for someone else and want that solution for themselves. You can also use event spotlights to build rapport. In addition, send prospects a series of unmet need stories to get them engaged and relate to your content and what you have to offer.

First-Time Consumers

This is where you have to educate them and shower them with case studies and more testimonials. These testimonials are long-form and dive into the problem. Then follow-up with a welcome series and success story emails will get them on-board with your content.

You want to focus on consumer sentiment, retain consumers and increase giving value here. The value can be in many different forms such as free customer service for a month, done-with-you program, or a season pass via Gbox.

Recurring Consumers

Put your top readers in the spotlight and reward them or even send them swag to show your appreciation. Your updates will demonstrate milestones and impact. Create a FAQ to go over items your audience needs support with. To keep customers coming back, help them build a case study based on a “done-with-you.”

The main goal here is to retain your current consumers and increase the number of views for your video content.

Best Practice: Get creative with your videos. The more personable and transparent you come off to your audience, the more they will engage. Create a series of four videos and promote them using Gbox. This will determine what type of content your consumers prefer and at what price.

The is the first of two columns about how to develop a content strategy with consumers becoming so engaged they become the content producers. Watch for the second part.

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Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.