Content marketing: it’s more than just a buzzword. When you focus on your content marketing, you’ll often notice an increase in your leads and a corresponding increase in sales and conversions. In order to effectively increase your leads due to your content marketing, however, you must follow the right steps. Are you including these important elements in your content marketing strategy?

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1. Set Your Goals

What goals do you want to accomplish with your content marketing? Ideally, you want to see an increase in the overall number of leads you attract to your website, but content marketing isn’t just a lead generation strategy. You may also want to use your content marketing strategy to see an overall increase in website traffic, increase brand awareness, or convert leads into customers once they reach your website. Set clear, measurable goals for your content marketing efforts to see the best results.

2. Use Keywords Effectively

Before beginning your content marketing journey, do your keyword research. If you run a local business, that may include local keywords. If you’re looking for traffic from around the world, you may want specific keywords that relate to your industry. If you want to know how to generate leads, consider looking at the keywords others in your industry choose to use. Make sure, however, that the keywords you choose relate to your business, not just the industry as a whole.

3. Write Consistent Calls to Action

As you consider your content marketing strategy, make sure you include clear calls to action. You don’t just want to bring potential leads to your website. You want to encourage them to provide you with contact information–and that often means including that information directly on the page. Each piece of content should include a call to action that is clear and easy to understand and that directs your site visitors straight to the page you want them to fill out.

4. Establish Schedules

The timing of your content creation is just as important as the content you choose to post. In addition to creating a predictable timing schedule that allows your customers to predict when you will post so that they can visit for fresh content, you also want to create a promotional schedule that takes holidays and events into consideration. You don’t want to be the last business in your industry to start sending out holiday promotions or the one business that misses an important announcement. Instead, take the time to establish a clear content schedule. Then, create content ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to put your posts together. With a clear schedule, you’ll find that it’s easier to connect with your customers and ensure that content production doesn’t fall short.

5. Create Useful Content for Each Stage of the Funnel

As you consider the type of content you’re creating and designing your schedule, remember to create content for each stage of the sales funnel. You want customers to be able to move through the sales funnel with the information available on your website, whether they’re in the earliest stages of considering a purchase as a solution to a problem or looking for answers about the products they’ve chosen. Check your existing content library, then schedule posts, videos, and images that will help fill in gaps in that content.

Are you using content marketing as an opportunity to increase your lead generation efforts? Does your content marketing strategy help bring you more customers and even move them through the sales funnel? With these simple strategies, you can use your content to do more for your business.