Content marketing is widely recognized as an important method for boosting search engine ranking and driving traffic. Forbes reports that content marketing is the most important element in any inbound marketing strategy. Without its own individual strategy, your content marketing efforts are akin to shooting in the dark, and you may not obtain as much traction as you would like from your content marketing efforts.Regardless of how great your content is or even who your target audience might be, it is almost impossible to create content that will resonate with that audience until you understand what drives them. This means that you must take the time to identify your target buyers and understand what they care about. Furthermore, you need to understand the path to purchase that this target audience is most likely to take. Once you understand your target buyer’s motivations and role in the buying process, you will be much better prepared to create content that appeals to those buyers.Explore B2B points out the creating buyer personas is excellent for developing your content marketing strategy by learning more about your target buyer. Not sure how to create personas? Consider sending out a survey and emailing it to current prospects. You could even provide incentives, such as a drawing, to encourage users to respond. If you are a B2B company, take some time to browse groups on LinkedIn that are specific to your company’s target industry. This can provide you with excellent insight into the subjects that your target audience cares about. It is also a good idea to do some research on Twitter to find keywords that pertain to your particular niche. Twitter is also a great place to research common topics that may appeal to your target audience.You can also take advantage of a variety of online tools for identifying current trends within your industry, as well as the types of content that your audience will find appealing. Among those tools is Buzzsumo. With this tool, you can locate which type of content will perform best for specific websites and topics. Buzzsumo will also provide you with content ranked based on how it performs on various social channels.WoA well-rounded content marketing strategy should include a variety of content, such as blog posts, webinars, infographics, and social messages. Multiple types of content are vital for a successful content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that different individuals digest information in diverse manners. With the creation of various types of content, you will be able to meet each of those individual needs.Once you have created a library of content, it is important to focus on locating the right social media platform to meet the needs of your target audience. Automation software is an excellent tool for tracking leads to your website. As a result, whenever a user downloads content from your website, you will have insight into the path that the user took to get there. The type of social media platform preferred by your target audience will often vary based on the industry in which you are involved. For instance, if you are involved in B2B marketing, it is likely that the best social media platform for your target audience will be LinkedIn. Keep in mind that while the primary social media platform preferred by your audience should be heavily focused in your content marketing strategy, it is important that you do not ignore other channels.Finally, make sure you set aside time for measuring the performance of your content. Metrics are vital for determining whether the content that you create is accomplishing your desired goals, and the resources you are expending on your content creation are worth the ROI.It is no longer enough to simply produce content. You must also have a sound strategy in place based on a deep understanding of your buyer, and the path that he or she is likely to take. With a solid content marketing strategy in place, you have a greater opportunity to not only guide customers but also to provide them with better customer service.