To effectively implement content marketing, you must have a content strategy. It should go without saying, but we have all seen or worked at organizations where everyone works in silos – one arm is generating government affairs materials, another is pushing out academic white papers, and another is trying to make a social media campaign go viral. The reality is we are all on the same team, working toward the same goal. A common, coordinated content marketing strategy can amplify our voice and achieve success.

Using a roadmap analogy, here is your guide to develop your content strategy:

1) Define your goals. Are you looking to recruit members, promote a product, influence policy makers, improve media visibility, talk directly to consumers, retain members? etc.

2) Know the destination. What does success look like for each goal? Is it a 10% increase in membership, bloggers and reporters quoting your position, or improved content delivery to current members? Know what the end goal is so you know how to get there.

3) Pack the gear. What tools do you have and what tools do you want (i.e. blog, white papers, video, social media, etc.)? What human resources do you have – internal marketing, an engaged CEO, an outside firm, members, freelancers, academics, policy makers?

4) Draw the map. How are you going to get there? Create a publishing calendar that dates months into the future and covers items like white papers topics, social media campaigns, blog posts by subject, videos, media outreach, infographics and timing for each. When your tactics are mapped, you can see how they interact and complement each other. For instance, you release a white paper, which you announce with a press release, discuss further in a series of blog posts, and explain visually in a video.

5) Start driving. More details on this in a later post. Let’s just say it involves buckets and tools.

6) Reroute if necessary. Things happen. Landscapes change. Be willing to reroute, whether it’s just changing the map or starting over with new goals.

Strategy is key, but don’t let planning be the enemy of starting. Set yourself in the right direction (or any direction) and go. You will be better off than before.

This post originally appeared in ADG Creative’s Brain Juice blog,