Being good at something is…well…it’s good.

Being great at something is so much better though!

You probably already know the difference between good profits and great profits.

If you already have a pretty good content marketing strategy, you might not be thinking very much about how to improve it.

But what if you could multiply the good returns that strategy is bringing you, and make them great?

The biggest mistake most people make with any kind of marketing is becoming complicit.

What works right now might not work tomorrow, so you always have to keep improving.

Here are seven tips to help you make a good content marketing plan a great one.

1. Become a leader.

Easy enough, right?

In reality, all this means is that you need to have vision.

The greatest (and worst) leaders in the world all had vision, even if that vision was horrific.

In order to have a great content marketing strategy, you have to have something to say.

It doesn’t have to be entirely new, it doesn’t have to be entirely original, but it should be something.

If you aren’t willing to be a thought leader, even in what you might perceive to be a very small and/or insignificant sector of the market, then you are not going to be able to come up with content that readers find compelling, interesting, or important.

2. Know your audience.

This is a tip that you have probably heard a thousand times, especially when it comes to writing marketing messages.

It’s important to never forget that content marketing is marketing, but it’s also content. In order to make the content effective, you have to know who you want to read it.

Most famous novelists have a single person or a very small group of people that they write for.

He is their “ideal reader,” “the persona,” the person to whom they cater all of their writing.

Whenever they come up with an idea for a scene or start editing a chapter, they think,

“What does he want to read about?

What would interest him most?”

This is exactly what you need to do with your content.

Think first about your audience, and then about what you actually want to write about.

3. Don’t be afraid to be brutal.

Not to sound like your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving, but too many business owners today write generalized, wishy-washy content in an attempt to prevent giving offense.

If you are blurring the truth or generalizing what should be a very direct statement because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, you’re going to come across as vague and vanilla.

People don’t read Matt Walsh’s blog because they love how all-inclusive his posts are.

They read him for the controversy.

Either they strongly agree or they strongly disagree.

Either way, he knows he’s going to attract readers because people want to hear what someone with a strong opinion has to say.

It’s also important to be brutal with yourself.

Before you just post whatever you’ve just come up with, make sure it is actually something you are proud of and that your clients, customers, or patients would find useful.

4. Find the sweet spot.

Think of three intersecting circles.

The first is your industry or business.

The second is whatever in that industry or business you really excel at.

The third is what you really love.

The area where those three circles converge is known as the “sweet spot,” and it’s where the most valuable, interesting, and focused content is going to come from.

Why this spot?

Because it’s the area of your industry that you are most interested in and you have the most information about.

Whenever you are trying to come up with a topic for your content, make sure that it falls into that sweet spot.

5. You have to be consistent.

This is really what separates a mediocre strategy from a great one.

Consistency is key, and if you are not being consistent, then you are not getting the most from your strategy.

People who really want to read and engage with your content are going to expect your content to arrive on a regular basis.

This means that you need to make content marketing a part of your schedule.

It cannot be an afterthought or something at the very end of your to-do list.

It has to be something that you diligently plan and that you make a priority.

If your readers do not know when they can expect the next article, post, infographic, etc. from you, they will eventually stop watching for it.

6. Utilize technology.

If you’re not scheduling your social media updates and posts, then you are not taking full advantage of all the great technology available for businesses that content market.

One of the biggest complaints people have about content marketing is how difficult it is to sit down and write content right before you want to post it.

Thankfully, with technology like Buffer, it’s easy to schedule posts, which means you can block out one afternoon to do all of your content writing, and then schedule it for the next week.

There is also technology that helps you organize projects, remember to follow up with potential clients, customers, or patients, or stay on top of the freelancers you’ve contracted out to.

7. Don’t underestimate the snowball effect.

Have you ever pushed a snowball down a hill?

It gathers more and more snow and gets bigger and bigger.

Your content marketing strategy works the same way.

It might be a little difficult to get it going, but once you’ve developed some momentum, staying onto top of your strategy, improving it, and getting it to reach more people will only become easier and easier.

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