When you are conducting a content marketing campaign, there are many factors that must be considered in order to ensure your success. The following 15 strategic questions will help you ensure that you are on the right track and that your content is exactly what readers want and need.

#1 - Do you know your core audience?

This is an important question to ask yourself because it is a core principle of your content marketing strategy. If your product will appeal to teenage girls, then your content should reflect upon their interests and include things that will keep them interested.

#2 - Where would these people be online?

Once you've determined your core audience, you'll need to figure out where these people will spend their time online. Almost everyone has a Facebook account these days, so part of your content strategy should include social media. Similarly, everyone uses search engines to find the information they need, so you should make sure that all of your content is optimized so that it can be easily found. Remember that a good content strategy will act as an inbound marketing tool so it is important to position your content so your audience will bump into it.

#3 - Why is your product better than others?

Content marketing is about much more than simple search engine optimization and determining a target audience. It is also about sales and making sure that your content effectively describes why someone would choose your product or service over similar products or services. The focus of your content marketing should be to always break the mold and not re-invent the wheel.

#4 - Does your product solve a problem?

You will need to add value to your product in order to get consumers to purchase it. To do this with your content marketing plan, it is imperative to explain exactly how your product solves problems. Will it clean floors better than other products? Is your software better than the competition? Is your cookware easier to clean? Let the content speak for itself. Let it be the voice of your product.

#5 - What words would you use to describe your product and the problems it will solve?

As an example, if you are attempting to sell a nutritional supplement that will help consumers fall asleep, you might want to consider words like "get a full night's rest", "wake up feeling rested", "a safe alternative" and things of this nature.

#6 - Is your content worthy of being shared?

You will need to construct your content in such a way that readers will feel the need to share it with friends and family either via email links, Facebook posts or re-Tweets. Content that isn't shared is content that doesn't connect with your audience. Your content needs to be able to wow your audience so they share it with their immediate community.

#7 - Is the content unique?

In order for your content marketing plan to work, you'll need to present something fresh within its related industry. As an example, in regards to your product you might state that your sleeping supplement contains an ingredient that is new to the market. When positioning the content make sure it is a topic that hasn't been beaten down over and over. Bring something fresh to the table or at least a fresh approach on an existing topic.

#8 - Is your video well-produced?

If the content marketing plan consists of a video, is it nicely shot and professional-looking? It shouldn't be dark, grainy, or narrated by someone who sounds monotone or 'drab'. Good video equipment is no longer a bank-breaking purchase. Most cell phones have an amazing video recorder built into them, a tripod is inexpensive and a little bit of beginner lighting will do the trick.

#9 - Could the content go viral?

These days, most of the content that goes viral is humorous in nature. If you want this possibility, interject some humor into your content marketing plan. The goal should be to make them smile or angry. Remember even an offensive video can sometimes spread its wings very wide.

#10 - Is your content passionate?

Your potential customers need to feel that you really believe in your product. You will need to convey this message in your content clearly without making it sound like a flat-out sales pitch in order for it to be most useful.

#11 - Will the content age gracefully?

A content marketing plan should also be developed in such a way that it will still be relevant months or even years down the line. Of course, you can expect that you will need to make some updates and adjustments here and there.

#12 - Is your content engaging?

Whether your content consists of text or a video - or even both - it should engage the reader. It should make them feel as if you are speaking directly to them and it should hold their interest until the very end.

#13 - Have you developed a plan to promote your content?

Once your content is live online, you will need to make sure that you can drive traffic to it. You will need to develop a plan such as using search engine optimization, paid advertisements or even blogging.

#15 - Will your audience connect with your content's tone?

Is your content written in such a way that the targeted reader will connect with it and understand it? You should be sure to use lingo and terminology that your core audience will appreciate.

#15 - Can your content help someone solve a problem?

In some cases, such as with a sleep supplement, you may want to provide some step-by-step instructions for achieving a goal. This will make your content helpful and educational - and it may also boost the possibility that it will be shared with others by your readers.

A content marketing plan is a great way to increase website traffic, sales and readership. The 15 questions above will help you determine whether or not your strategy has the potential to help you realize true success in your endeavours.