The importance of content marketing is something that is often forgotten and overlooked, much like most of Pauly Shore’s movies. However, there is value in fine-tuning your content strategy to increase link building and achieve results with SEO.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2013 survey, 54 percent of business-to-business marketers have been looking to increase their content budget this year. To make sure your money is well spent, understanding the basics and using them to determine a strategy need to be the first checklist items under this initiative.

Ready, Set, Hmm…

Before your seat gets warm while creating the most compelling piece of content to ever hit the Internet, understanding where to start can sometimes be tricky. However, one important step is to get to know what people are even searching. This will help to assess your chances of being found and actually having more than one pair of eyes see it.

Using Google Trends, as one example of a resource, you can search terms to see what’s trending related to those words, along with their search volumes. You can also see how searching those terms has gone up or down over the years, as well as in which regions of the country they are being searched. In writing this blog post, I searched content marketing and found marketing content management to be at the top of the search results, hence why I chose the title of my piece. If I’m lucky, I’ll have many people in Massachusetts, Colorado or Utah — where the search volumes are the highest for this — reading this. If you are, give me a shout!

Be a Superhuman Mind Reader

When evaluating what people are searching for, consider a ridiculously simple format [insert another Pauly Shore movie reference]. People are constantly hopping on their smartphones, tablets and laptops to look up how to do something, which is where the power of the how to searches comes in.

If you are managing Web content for a client who does home renovations, you could write a press release about how to spray paint a piece of furniture, with the goal of having people who are searching that to stumble upon the press release, then your client’s business. Did your eyes just once again shoot to the beginning of my post where you’ve recognized all the thought that was actually put into my seemingly effortless and straightforward title?

Think in terms of writing as people would be searching. In addition, use this informative material to not only lead people back to your client’s website, but also to reinforce that they are the industry expert. This will hopefully gain repeat readers who are interested in more information about the industry and how that company’s services can help them.

Another thing to consider when coming up with topics for content is to not just think about what your client would appreciate, but also what their customers would appreciate reading about and therefore, for which they would search. And would they be more engaged in heavy, technical text or pictures, videos or another form of content?

Can Anyone Hear Me?

When it comes to content for SEO, it’s only valuable if someone is actually seeing it somewhere out there. When dealing specifically with blog posts, so many companies miss the potential to really promote and distribute them, which is via their various social media channels. Sharing a link to the latest blog post on a company’s website is so painfully easy and one of the most instantaneous ways to get thousands or more of people to see it. We all know how addicted people are to nonstop checking social media these days. Many can’t even go to the bathroom without taking their smartphones to check how unpleased Sally was with the long line at the post office – from which she Tweeted that of course.

Knowing that you have a large and often-diverse audience, you need to make sure what you’re feeding them is interesting and going to get them to think. A great way to do so is by generating conversation and hoping people comment on your post by ending it with a thought-provoking question.

Don’t be a part of the 54 percent who plan on giving their content marketing strategy a financial boost, but may end up wasting their money on the wrong tactics.

What have you found to be your most effective content channels?