You can't read an article today about internet marketing without reading the words "content marketing".

If you're sick and tired of the content marketing hype — and want to know what you should be doing with your content marketing campaigns — this guide is for you.

Today I'm going to go over the 5 goals of content marketing, and show you exactly how to implement them.

Goal #1: Inform

One of the fastest ways to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry is to inform your target audience about the ins and outs of your industry.

No, you don't need journalists on the ground or breaking news to inform your audience.

You just need to position your site as a go-to for industry news and information. And you can do so simply by curating news from around the web.

In the SEO space, Search Engine Land is seen as one of the top resources in the industry thanks to it's up-to-date and in-depth reporting.

They actually have a daily feature, called SearchCap, where they break down the day's top events in the SEO space:

SearchCap

Think of how you can do the same thing in your industry:

Can you produce industry studies that shed new light on a topic your audience cares about?

Can you interview the mover and shakers in your niche to get the pulse of your vertical?

Can you curate the day's top news to save your target customers time and energy?

If so, do it.

It takes more effort than "5 tips for…" style blog posts, but this type of bleeding edge content tends to get better results.

Goal #2: Teach

On a tight marketing budget?

Then toss out the fancy inforgraphics and put your resources behind teach marketing.

Teaching is something blogs like QuickSprout do exceptionally well. Because the site's founder, Neil Patel, runs several companies, he learns dozens of business lessons every single week.

And he's able to teach his followers important marketing insights using real world examples and comprehensive guides, like his Advanced Guide to Link Building:

Advanced Guide to Link Building

You don't need to spend 6-figures to teach your target market.

Just find out what they want to learn how to do and teach them with your content.

Not only will this generate traffic to your site, but it will also brand you as a thought leader in your space.

Goal #3: Inspire

Whether your target market is made up of personal trainers or poodle groomers, they're struggling to meet their goals.

Oftentimes it's not a lack of resources or knowledge that holds them back: it's inspiration.

And if you can inspire them, they'll thank you when they put your insights into practice and get results.

Case studies are one of the most practical ways to inspire your audience. A well-done case study shows your audience that wild success if within the realm of possibility.

In fact, I just published a case study that was one of the most successful pieces of content I've ever published. It chronicled how a blogger went from almost zero to thousands of visitors overnight.

And because it showed people that anyone with the right grit and strategy could do the same with their blog, it's been heavily shared on social media and linked to from several industry-relevant sites.

Goal #4: Entertain

Entertaining isn't just for fun start ups and teen-focused social media sites.

Businesses like Red Bull generates millions of dollars of business simply by entertaining.

One of their latest campaigns — the Red Bull Stratos — was viewed live by people around the world:

Red Bull Stratos

(Image credit via Flikr)

The brilliance of this campaign was that it indirectly positioned Red Bull as a fuel for extreme lifestyles.

That's critical.

Unless your entertainment spreads your brand's messages, your entertainment is going to get you a lot of laughs…but no cash.

But if you can successfully weave entertainment into your brand's content marketing, you'll destroy your dull competition that's boring your customer base.

Goal #5: Converse

As you know, website is no longer a one way conduit of information.

The most successful sites online — from State.com to Quora – moderate conversations.

How can you do the same for your business?

  • Encourage people to comment on your blog posts. Look at the end of any post at Social Triggers to see how it's done.
  • Add a forum to your site (not sexy, but still effective)
  • Add an upvoting system for your content
  • Sprinkle in polls and surveys into your content…and reveal the results to your audience
  • Take a stand and write something controversial to get people talking

The huge upside to conversations is that you get people to invest in your content. It's one thing to skim a blog post. But to actually engage in a conversation is something else altogether.

Brian Dean

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