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Look at the clock. No, seriously, look at the clock on your digital device and see what time it is.

We bet you are sitting at your desk eating lunch, and reading about content marketing at the same time.

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Or, it's really late and you're done with your normal business hours and just now getting to all the "stuff" that you need to do to move your business in the direction you want it to go.

You need to put together a content marketing strategy so you can get your nights and weekends back.

Remember nights and weekends?

How do you do that? Especially since you don't have a designated marketing person.

You need three things: marketing platforms, good, relevant, content and a plan.

Platforms are the easy part. Assess your social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and the rest) as well as your website, blog and digital marketing possibilities (emails, newsletters, guest blogging, etc.)

Make your list. Now, list your "old school" outbound marketing platforms. Which give you the biggest bang? All the other platforms and efforts need to drive your customers and prospects to the bang-- the place where they decide to purchase a product or service.

Now, since you don't have a designated person or full fledged marketing department, what next?

Collaboration. It's time to pull the team together and get the ideas for content, story, and content creation from them. How you do this depends on the communication patterns in your business. Are you face-to-face brainstormers?

Or, do your people prefer to fill out a brief survey with a few specific questions, such as: what are the top three questions you get about our service or product?

Next step, the actual plan. Who is going to write the content? You? A member of your team? A hired gun/marketing consultant? Content generation isn't a one and done, and "fitting it in" on your nights and weekends makes for inconsistent content generation.

Once you have the content written, and plans for future content (you should commit to at least 3-6 months to see if your strategy is effective), it's time to organize the content and get it out into the world.

There are various options: once a month blogging with a Facebook post and either an e-blast or a tweet about the blog is a good, basic, start. A blog that ends with an offer, or coupon, that can be printed and used at the counter, with the same coupon appearing in the other marketing efforts, is often a good cross marketing option.

Make sure you post consistently, such as the first Wednesday of every month for the blog. Any cross marketing (print and digital mediums) needs to be carefully scheduled. It's no good to have an offer appear in print a week after the electronic coupon's expiration date.

Still reading? Good. Look at the clock. It hasn't even been half an hour, has it?

What's on your content marketing to do list, now that you've read this?

1. Create a list of marketing platforms, both digital and traditional
2. Get content and story ideas from the team: Collaborate!
3. Designate a content writer.
4. Pick platforms, dates and times to launch content, for at least the next 3-6 months.
5. Figure out who launches, and how, and make sure the resources are available and working.
6. Get your nights and weekend back!