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"Location, location, location" may have been the mantra for brick-and-mortar businesses in the past, but in today's content-driven economy it's "context, context, context."

Content marketing these days is more complex than ever before. A few moments on the Internet will show you that companies are creating massive amounts of content and distributing it across multiple channels, languages and geographies.

Surround-sound tactics and automation have been crucial elements of marketing programs for quite some time now, enabling marketers to reach new and existing customers across a variety of platforms and channels. One of the keys to scaling your content marketing program is using the right tools to help automate, standardize and streamline your efforts so that you're getting optimum results.

But having such tools in place is just one piece of the puzzle. With multiple departments publishing consumer-facing content all at once, there are numerous opportunities for inconsistencies in many areas – especially when many marketers are counting on sheer quantity of their output. Acrolinx research has shown that of 340 brands, only 31 percent exceed our benchmark quality impact score when it comes to content. That means a whopping 69 percent of brands are failing to adequately ensure that what they produce is high quality, consistent, accurate and written in one tone of voice.

But even when you have your content packaged up with the highest standard of quality, it's time to tackle the next step – getting your hard work in front of potential customers. How, as a content marketer, do you reach them?

Put them in context.

There are three dimensions of context every company needs to consider as it maps out its content strategy.

Context 1: Who Is My Customer?

Seems easy, right? But many products have multiple buyers, so your content must be on-point. A helpful tip is to create customer profiles to help personify customers and clearly map out who they are and what they care about. Take the time to adjust factors in your content to ensure that it resonates with each customer. For example, should your content have a formal tone or an informal one? Does it require an inspirational tone versus a practical one? These are things to consider, and are only learned through nailing down exactly whom you are trying to reach.

Context 2: Where Is My Customer?

Buyer journeys have been radically transformed by ubiquitous information and the always-on consumer. In today's content-fueled world, consumers are constantly trying to sift through and decipher everything that is thrown their way. Early in the purchase process, customers are more likely to need informative content, whereas someone further down the line will be on the lookout for content that focuses more on features and comparisons.

Context 3: How Is My Customer Accessing Information?

Organizations have to be sensitive to the devices and destinations where their audiences are consuming content. For example, don't send a five-page case study in an email, and don't expect your audience to watch a 10-minute video on your homepage. It's also not enough to just determine where your customer is seeking out this information -- it's important to ensure that once they access it, they're getting the most effective experience possible. This is key to determining whether or not your customer will stick around and engage with your brand.

Once you've nailed down your customer personas, it's time to ensure that you're creating the content to match. With the proper analytics, content marketers can make sound recommendations for strategies that will ensure maximum engagement. Pay close attention to those analytics – where prospects are spending the most time and how many of them have been converted to leads.

You know the old saying, "knowledge is power"? This phrase is especially true for content marketers. More and more we're seeing this knowledge stem from predictive analytics, which is helpful for content marketers when crafting and delivering content that will create and sustain engagement. There is tremendous value in looking to the past to determine how to plan for the future, and predictive analytics makes formulating multiple strategies -- such as increasing page views, social impressions and time on page -- that much more helpful.

Pairing these metrics with the ability to meet the customers' expectations in terms of delivering high-quality content will result in more effective, personalized content marketing tactics. With these strategies in place, you will begin to see increased engagement with your customers, proving that you don't necessarily have to work harder to improve your content marketing strategy. Just smarter.  

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by  kenwalton