Consumers require specific types of information at different stages of the sales cycle. The process of creating regular content that fits each stage can be overwhelming. Many companies outsource all of their content creation or they simply pretend that the problem doesn’t exist and keep developing the same content that they’ve always developed. Neither of these strategies is appropriate for feeding the content marketing beast appropriately. It is possible to develop the content that you need without losing your mind or breaking the bank. Start with a strong topic Feeding the content marketing beast involves a large commitment for both budget and resources. Take your time researching topics, themes, and angles for your content. What sorts of topics are relevant for your target audience’s needs and preferences? If you’re not sure, ask them directly. Solicit feedback on social media to determine what sorts of information your audience is looking for online. Whenever possible, cover topics that are evergreen, which means that they will still be applicable for your audience one or two years down the road. Leverage premium content Some of the most valuable content is also the most difficult, time consuming, and costly to produce. This content includes, but is not limited to, ebooks, research reports, webinars, and case studies. The best way to maximize the value of this premium content is to collaborate with a firm that involves your marketing team at each stage of content development. They’ll share the data and insight that they gather along the way, such as interview notes and research results, and work with you to create additional shorter pieces, such as blog posts and press releases, from their longer pieces. Develop a long-term plan Before you begin to create content, put together a long-term plan that fits with your comprehensive company goals. Plan a full six months of content creation that details every step of the process from initial research to publishing. When you know what you’re going to create before you start working, you have a better idea how you’ll be able to maximize your content. For example, you can go into development for a webinar knowing that you’ll be able to write two or three related blog posts from it. This plan should include clear calls to action and tactics for publishing and sharing content (i.e., social media shares). Planning these aspects of your content in advance maximizes the effectiveness of the publishing and sharing processes. Set up a content delivery schedule It is easy to get caught up in developing as much premium content as possible that you want to share it all right away. Sharing tons of content can overwhelm your target audience and leave you with nothing to publish a few weeks or a few months down the road. Spread the content delivery out over the six months of your long-term plan. It can take weeks, and even months, to establish a schedule for regular content creation that works for your company. If the process of feeding the content marketing beast as often as it needs to get fed doesn’t fall into place right away, don’t get discouraged. Over time you’ll learn how to plan on a long-term basis that enables you to maximize your rich, high quality content.