Last time I talked about how to stop and evaluate your commitments so you don’t waste time and money on unproductive marketing efforts—otherwise, you could be marketing yourself silly and making zero impact. If done incorrectly, one of these time-stealing and money-zapping initiatives could be your content marketing.

Content marketing (email newsletters, blog posts, articles and social media) can be a powerful asset for your brand. Any time you put content out about your company, it should be serving a very specific purpose: letting current (and prospective) clients know about the many things you do, and sharing your expertise.

Want to ensure you’re sharing something of value? Keep it simple, and follow these tips:

  • Only speak to your target audience. As with all marketing, understanding who you are trying to reach affects the message, tone and ways you market. Based on your ideal clients’ demographics, you should be able to pinpoint where, how and what information to share.
  • Pick your platforms — not ALL the platforms! No, you don’t have to do Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. What are the pros and cons of each? What results do you get on the ones you currently use? Pay attention to the responses you get on each platform—and if the stats don’t provide enough information, go with your gut instinct.
  • Use content in multiple ways. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel over and over. Most topics have lots of miles on them, but many businesses don’t take advantage of this. Focus on one subject for a while, and share it via every outlet you use. For example: If this month, you’re introducing a new type of candy heart, that’s all you focus on. Find different ways to talk about it, share images, share facts, share customer experiences—but keep it all about the candy heart.
  • Brand, brand, brand!  Remember what your branding elements are—not just your logo. Visuals are an important piece of your content. Keeping your visuals consistent will increase the likelihood of your viewers associating the material you share with your brand.