As 2012 kicks into high gear, I can’t help but notice the focus on content marketing has intensified.

If your company is just getting started with content marketing there are three things you must know:

1. Quality and consistency are key.

Content marketing is a strategy not a tactic. It requires goals, planning, scheduling, analysis and optimization. It’s not enough to create one blog post, one white paper or one webinar, add it to your website and wait for it to go viral. That’s just not going to happen.

First you must determine what your goal is. In most cases the goal is lead generation or direct sales. Then you must plan out:

  • What type of content you will create
  • How often you will create new, original content
  • How often you will launch new, original content
  • What signals you can look for to judge if the strategy is successful
  • How you will optimize the content to be even more successful

When putting together the strategy, consider your human resources.

  • Who will be creating the content and realistically
  • How much time do they have to spend on this?

These are the two most important questions you must ask because quality and consistency are key. If you are throwing this task on top of an already overworked marketing manager, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Quality content takes time, expertise and care to put together. Asking someone to slap something together every week will lead to poor quality and low engagement.

Additionally, putting together something brilliant whenever you feel like it (sometimes every week, sometimes every three months, etc.) will also lead to low engagement as your audience finds a more consistent source of information/entertainment.

2. Repurposing content saves you time and energy.

If you have limited time for creating resources, you’ll definitely want to add repurposing content into your strategy. For example, a webinar can be broken down into several blog posts, a slideshare deck, a podcast or even a white paper.

Translation services can be a very inexpensive way for you to quickly get the text needed to create written content out of verbal content.

Always be thinking about how you can get the most out of what you already have.

3. Creating and testing landing pages isn’t optional. 

Whether the goal of your content is to make a direct sale or generate leads, you MUST have landing pages. It’s not good enough to send your visitors to the home page or a category page. You lose sales this way.

Send your readers to a targeted, message-matched, distraction free landing page to increase your conversion rates. The team at WiderFunnel offers the L.I.F.T model for creating high-converting landing pages and landing page optimization.

Essentially, your content marketing conversion rate hinges on the answer to these questions:

  • Value proposition – How strongly does your value proposition come across to your visitors?
  • Relevance – How closely does the content on your page match what your visitors are expecting to see?
  • Clarity – How obvious is your main call to action?
  • Anxiety – How much does your copy, design or layout alarm or agitate your visitors?
  • Distraction – How many conflicting calls to action do your visitors see on your page?
  • Urgency – Why should your visitors take action now instead of later?

If you’re new to the whole landing page process, I highly encourage you to play the new ConversionSkills game. The game presents you with the different variations of a single landing page that were tested against each other to see which converts the highest.

You choose based on your best guess – and then you receive the full case study telling you how and why each version converted higher than the other variations.

It’s a perfect shot of inspiration for all the content marketing landing pages you’ll soon be creating!

Don’t wait any longer – get your content marketing kicking some serious conversion rate butt today!

Need more inspiration? Here are three other posts you’ll love:

And of course you’ll want to play the ConversionSkills game by WiderFunnel to pick up those landing page testing ideas!

Kristina Allen is an online marketer obsessed with content marketing and conversion optimization. You can follow her on Twitter @allenkristina.