The marketing industry, in general, has seen major shifts over the last few years. The biggest shift is one that may require a new mindset: the increasing importance of content marketing.

At the heart of this is the fact that marketers, like our sassy sales sisters, need to provide value to our audience. But remember, marketing is about educating your readers, not selling. If you haven’t already shifted your marketing efforts to today’s industry standards, it’s time to get back to basics. Welcome to Digital Marketing 101. Below we are sharing the four key pillars of content marketing to help you develop a foundation for a successful strategy.

The Four Pillars of Content Marketing

Content Ideation: using outside sources for better content creation and ideation.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating new content is to create it “just because”. In order for your content to resonate with the readers you are hoping to attract, you need to craft content they are interested in reading…and that requires some research.

Whether it’s from the data you measure from previous content, social media listening and interacting, following the industry news and trends or simply digging into your FAQs from your current clients, there is an abundance of ways to find new ideas for your content marketing.

Content Distribution: choosing the best distribution channels and unique messaging for greater impact and targeting.

As most successful B2B digital marketers know, marketing platforms and social media networks are not one size fits all. What works for one, may not work for you and vice versa. But that’s the great thing about digital marketing – there will always be somewhere for you to find and interact with your audience.

Take the time to find out where your audience is most active and has the most engagement and prioritize your efforts there. Also be sure to create unique messaging for each network, rather than blasting a generic, stale message across all platforms. Remember it’s about creating more than just a campaign; you have to create a conversation as well.

Content Experience: optimizing your content experience for your audience.

If you’re spending the time to research the right topics and platforms to reach your audience, why not go the extra step and optimize it for search engines to increase your reach and gain more eyes on your content.

Fresh, relevant content that is optimized with the keywords and phrases in your keyword strategy will not only help increase your readership, but it will also help increase your chances of being ranked for that certain key phrase. Take the time to do it right.

Content Performance: measuring what metrics matter so you know what’s working.

You can’t convince your boss that your content marketing efforts are working if you’re not properly measuring. Depending on the types of content you create and the platforms you use to market it, the metrics you measure may differ for each piece of content or campaign running.

Digging into your social media insights and website analytics will help you better understand what content is resonating with your audience and which isn’t.

Sometimes we all need to go back to the basics and remember the basic rules of digital marketing 101. Following these four pillars will help you spend more time creating content that provides value to your audience, and not just another voice.