In this ever-changing digital marketing landscape, a couple of things are clear. People want great content and their attention needs to be grabbed – and kept – in less than three seconds.

As content marketers, how do we face this and leverage it to help grow our business? By using inbound marketing as our content strategy.

Start with the who?

First figure out who you’re speaking to, what their challenges are and where they hangout online. This can be done using real data to create personas – check out Hubspot Academy’ user guide – or through a Lean UX proto-persona exercise by Digital Telepathy. The latter can be extremely useful if you have little to no data, if you are a startup, or to get Executive alignment. Which reminds me, don’t forget to set goals early, track them and tweak them for optimum success!

Be at the right place at the right time

SEO is not what it used to be and PPC ads may seem passé. But, if done correctly, these tools can help you with Google ranking and make it easy for the right people to find you, when they need you. It’s all about putting the user first, having accurate and informative landing pages where the ads/keywords are aligned with your offering. And, when you ask for personal customer info, it should be of equivalent value to the content you are providing them with. Otherwise, why would they bother?

Tell an engaging story

Whether it’s an About page, a Contact page or a blog post, each page should tell a story, embody the voice of the company, and lead the audience through the site, social channels and blog in a way that feels natural. User experience is key, here.

Become the expert

Share expertise about the industry, not your business. Don’t just post anything for the sake of it or for the sole reason of generating more leads. The idea is to be better than the crowd by engaging your audience with relevant content and providing your prospects with concrete solutions. Basically, to become the voice that people trust.

As content marketers, we all know that we’re trying to build brand awareness, generate leads or increase conversions – we all have objectives after all – but it should never affect the quality of our content.