One of the savviest moves you can make as a business owner is to understand the importance of content marketing ROI. While some brands are churning out content in the hopes that something sticks, smart business owners are stacking the ROI odds in their favor. Knowing which steps to take to improve the success rates for your content allows you to double-down on the actions you know will work for your brand. If you want to learn how to improve your content marketing ROI, here are seven tips you should integrate into your inbound marketing strategy:

- Understanding the impact of SEO and SMO when crafting titles for your content marketing is essential. While those familiar with search engine optimization practices might want to include their target keywords at the beginning of a title, those hoping for increased social shares may find search engine optimized titles less than successful. Knowing how to craft a headline that is both search engine- and social media-friendly is an essential skill for today's content marketer.

- Having a clearly defined content marketing strategy is crucial for long-term success. If you want to increase your return on investment, it is imperative you refer to your initial content goals on a regular basis. It is easy to be drawn off course by the latest social media tools or content distribution interfaces. Making a consistent effort to revisit your initial plan of action will ensure you stay true to your original plan.

- Incorporating longer articles into your content creation plans is another must-do if you want increased return for your content marketing efforts. Google is placing increased importance on longer content pieces. Try to create evergreen content that is at least 1,000 words in length for improved SEO and increased social shares.

- Focus on one specific customer persona when you are creating content, and actively target their information needs. It is better to provide true value to one customer sector than to provide mediocre content to a broad spectrum of potential customers.

- Consistency is crucial for increased content marketing ROI. If you post on a regular basis, your online audience will look forward to your posts. Whether you post once a week or once a month, deliver content on a regular basis to ensure a steady stream of visitors to your website.

- Integrate a variety of formats into your content creation and distribution plans. Don't just rely on blog posts. Consider anything from an infographic shared on Pinterest to a slideshow on Slideshare. If you help customers discover your content on a variety of platforms, the reach of your brand building efforts will astound you.

- When you promote your content can have a huge impact on your ROI. Tweeting an URL or adding a post to your Facebook wall on a Friday night isn't going to send eyeballs to your site. Understanding when your audience is active on specific social media platforms is critical for ongoing success. Pay attention to social media interactions by date and time for each platform you use. Your Pinterest audience may be active on a Sunday afternoon while your Twitter followers might be more active on a Monday morning. Time your content marketing shares to coincide with your audience's preferences for increased exposure.

Content marketing is a formidable business growth tool for those willing to think long term. When you combine the benefits of evergreen SEO, brand authority, and social reach, you can't beat the power of content. Understanding how to improve the profitability of your efforts is an exercise in strategy you're not likely to ever regret. Will you be applying any of the above-listed tips to your digital marketing strategy this year?

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