By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights.

Content marketing plays a major role in growing businesses, promoting products, building brand awareness and more. Content helps make your business more visible to potential customers and generate more traffic to your website. However, randomly publishing blog posts and sharing videos on YouTube will never be a successful way to promote a business or generate enough return on your investment. You need to create content according to a proper strategy to achieve the best results.

I have seen first-hand how content marketing can help grow a business. In this post, I’ll explain why every business needs a content strategy and how to create one that fits a B2B brand or company.

What Is a Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy is the part of your marketing plan that involves creating different types of content, including blog posts, e-books and videos and then marketing them online.

Creating blog posts should take up most of your attention. They not only help make your business discoverable on search engines, but they are the most effective way to generate long-term organic traffic to your website.

Identify Your Target Audience

Before you even start thinking about creating a blog post, learn about the audience you’re going to target with your content. Start by creating a profile for your ideal client. This is called creating a buyer persona. Even in B2B marketing, you will be targeting specific people in a company. For example, if your business is related to selling office equipment, then you should be creating content that targets the person in charge of buying equipment instead of the company CEO.

Do your research to create a buyer persona personalized for your company and make it as detailed as possible. It will take a major role in your content marketing strategy.

Set Clear and Specific Goals

Your content strategy also needs to serve a purpose. It’s not just about improving website SEO. Set clear and precise goals for every blog post you create. For example, you can set a goal to generate 1,000 email subscribers within three months and create a content strategy with blog posts that help you achieve that goal. Remember to set realistic and effective goals. Don’t aim for goals such as getting more likes on Facebook or getting more page views. You should always aim for goals that improve your business, like generating more leads.

Research for Content Ideas

Now that you have a specific audience to target and a strategy with clear goals, you can begin researching for blog post ideas. There are many ways to begin the search. The best way is to start by finding the right keywords. For example, if you want to write about how standing desks improve productivity, search for that keyword in Google Keyword Planner to make sure it has a big enough audience.

Then you can use that keyword to search for content ideas. Tools such as Buzzsumo, Feedly and Quora will help you find trending and most popular questions related to your search terms. Use them to create relevant blog post ideas of your own.

Create Content That Converts

Your blog posts will help bring in traffic to your blog. The next step is to figure out how to make the most of that traffic and convert it into leads to grow your email list. You can do this with lead magnets, which include several types of incentives such as free e-books, free product trials, free email courses, content upgrades, etc., that you give away for free in return for the visitor’s email address.

Congratulations! You now have a content marketing strategy to help grow conversions and sales. Don’t forget to repurpose your blog posts to create different types of content such as YouTube videos and infographics. Creating a content marketing strategy is a long-term investment that will bring you results for a long period and make your brand and business more discoverable across Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Invest in it well.

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.