These tips have helped us grow our clients’ traffic values by over $90 million a year.
Content marketing is everywhere these days, and for good reason. With a variety of types and a litany of proven benefits, companies of all sizes are hopping on the bandwagon because of the results this type of marketing can have for their bottom line.
But in order to reap the benefits of content marketing, you have to have the right strategies in place.
Check out the following content marketing tips that will help you skyrocket your company’s growth.
Table of Contents
- Start with Audience Research
- Prioritize Efforts by ROI Frameworks
- Leverage Proven Buying Keyword Frameworks
- Create a Passive Link Engine
- Focus on Low Time to Value
- Build Visual Interest Into Your Thumbnails
- Evaluate for Freshness Distance
- Build Up Your Blog Index
- Use the PPB Formula
- Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
- Put CTAs on an Island
- Create Multiple Posts in the Same Category
- Remove Unnecessary Sharing Buttons
- Use Hybrid Title Tags for a High CTR
- Create Evergreen Content
- Think Outside the Blog
- Make Sure Your Content Solves Problems
- Promote, Promote, Promote
- Make Sure Your Content is Accessible
1. Start with Audience Research
One of the biggest content marketing tips that will make an impact on your business is to start with audience research. Of course, everyone wants their content to rank for the biggest terms, but if you start your content journey by conducting keyword rather than audience research, you risk targeting terms that are difficult to rank for and have relatively low conversion rates.
By starting with audience research, you’ll be able to get to know your ideal customer on a deeper level, find the keywords they actually use and even create buyer personas that you can map each piece of content to.
To conduct proper audience research, you can use tools like SparkToro or Brandwatch to learn where your audience hangs out, the hashtags and phrases they use most often and what media they consume to make sure your content matches their preferred style.
Focus on what your audience would actually search for in each stage of the buyer’s journey if you really want to create valuable and high-converting content.
Pro Tip: Your audience wants to see themselves represented in your content and walk away feeling that it was made with them in mind. Use diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) marketing best practices to accomplish this.
2. Prioritize Efforts by ROI Frameworks
When planning your editorial calendar, you’ll first need to understand how much it’ll cost you to create content and get links. This will help you determine what projects to prioritize because depending on your industry, some will have a higher ROI than others.
Consider the following frameworks for your industry to help determine what content marketing strategies to move forward with first.
Ratio of content creation
- Check out your competitors. How much content are they creating every month? Do you need to have a high-content ratio to bring in traffic, or can you lower your scope without risking your audience? If you see competitors doing well with a low ratio of content creation, you can follow a similar strategy.
Cost per link
- You can determine how much links are worth in your industry by dividing the traffic value of your competitors by their total links. You can then compare that rate to how much it costs to create link-worthy content. This ratio will help you understand if links have enough ROI to be worth investing in.
Keyword opposition to benefit analysis
- Here at Siege, we strongly believe that every content marketing strategy should start with a KOB. We break down how to do this properly on our blog, but the benefits are worth restating. KOBs can help set you up for long-term success, leading to faster rankings with a lower amount of effort.
3. Leverage Keyword Frameworks
The smartest marketers know that writing SEO content is about more than just keyword research. To truly meet your business goals, you need to create content that targets how people really search. Even if that means going against what the keyword research tools tell you.
The following keyword frameworks have been proven to drive traffic and leads in a variety of industries, because they target terms that readers really want to know.
If you pop any of these terms into a tool like Ahrefs, their low search volume (SV) may surprise you. While some may only have 5–10 searches a month, those searches are from readers at the bottom of the buyers funnel, and you can easily convert them by appearing at the top of the SERP.
By thinking ahead, you can rank for these types of terms before keyword tools even start to suggest them to you or show search volume for them (and trust us, SV is coming).
4. Create a Passive Link Engine
Securing links without conducting outreach is possible if you put your brand in the right position. This type of coverage is known as passive links, and you don’t need to be a unicorn startup to take advantage of the SEO benefits of free press. All you need to do is leverage the information you already have.
Proprietary data is a goldmine for creating passive links. By targeting keywords in your industry that researchers often search for (such as “statistics,” “data,” “roundup,” “trends” or “calculator”) you can get your internal data in front of those who will share that information with the public.
This is a much more powerful strategy than just collecting third-party data, because most journalists will link out to the original source anyways.
Once you get a few of these internally-driven posts live on your site, make sure to link them to each other towards the top of each page. This will create a passive link engine that helps churn out top-tier coverage in a variety of topics, leading to better brand awareness over time.
5. Focus on Low Time to Value
Picture this: you spend thousands of dollars and hours on a big piece of high-quality content, only to see it fall flat in conversions and page views. We’ve all been there. However, to really scale your content marketing efforts, putting a focus on lower lift and high-value content is crucial.
Low time to value content includes:
- Calculators with pre-filled information for ease of use
- Content with subheaders above the fold to make the answer easy to find
- Posts targeting keywords with high passive link intent
- Curated roundup posts to build relationships with other bloggers
The goal is to make your content as simple to understand and as interactive as possible, to boost user experience and keep them coming back for more. Check out an example of a pre-filled calculator below.
6. Make Thumbnails Varied
A blog hub best practice that’s smart to bake into your content creation process early is to diversify your thumbnails. While most brands just use standard stock images for their blog content, you can stand out from the crowd by bringing visual interest to your blog hub.
This can be done through illustrations, branded overlays, color blocking or even GIFS. Bonus points if you can tie each visual element to the topic at hand!
7. Evaluate for Freshness Distance
On most SERPs, new content has an advantage over older articles. That’s why keeping your content fresh by evaluating freshness distance — or the distance between the most recently updated and the oldest post on a given SERP — is so important.
If you’re seeing your content fall on the older side of your freshness distance scale, it might be time to make some updates.
While we recommend updating all your content at least once a year, this timeline can shrink if Google deems newer content more worthy, so make sure you’re watching the SERP behavior carefully.
By dedicating just a few hours to updating your older content, you can ensure your brand stays relevant and see huge long-term growth without much extra effort required from your content team.
8. Build Up Your Blog Index
Have you ever come across a blog index that only shows a few pieces of content? If so, you’ve likely felt the pain of having to click through dozens of pages just to read a few articles.
Don’t do this to your readers. Instead, build up your blog index to include at least 15 posts on the first page. You can even add an “editor’s pick” or “featured content” section to your blog hub to help your most important content stand out.
This strategy will not only improve user experience and engagement by giving them more content options upfront, but it will also help reduce click depth, an important factor in how search engines understand your page’s level of importance.
9. Use the PPB Formula
We all know how important introductions are for drawing in a reader. However, there are things you can do outside of the first line of copy to help increase credibility and time on-page. This is known as the PPB Formula, or Preview, Proof and Benefit.
First, you’ll want to give your readers a preview of what your content is about. You can do this in several ways, including in a subheader underneath the title or in your first line of copy.
It’s also important to show your audience proof of why they should trust you. This can be done through high-authority author bios or other E-A-T best practices.
Finally, clearly explain the benefit to your readers. You’ll need to explain what they’ll get out of reading your content and why they should care. From learning the ins and outs of a complicated topic to how your tips have helped others be successful, there are plenty of ways to show benefit to your audience.
10. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Outsmart the competition by focusing on long-tail keywords in your industry that are often easier to rank for while still bringing in relevant traffic.
This is an especially good idea if you see immovable objects in the SERP for your head terms (such as .org or .gov websites, local or image packs and shopping carousels). Because more often than not, you won’t be able to outrank them.
By taking a broad approach and focusing on the long-tail keywords that surround a given topic, you can rank at the top of the SERP and capture that same audience that you otherwise would’ve missed.
11. Put CTAs on an Island
Copy that stands on its own, stands out.
When writing CTAs within your content, it’s a good idea to put them on an island no matter if they’re located in the middle or at the end of your article.
This will help draw the reader’s eye and catch the attention of those just scanning your copy, meaning they’ll be more likely to click than they would if you hid the CTA deep in a paragraph.
Embroker does a great job of this, like in the example below.
12. Multiple Posts in the Same Category
To really show your expertise in a certain category, you’ll need to spend a lot of time talking about it. That can mean publishing several pieces of content within the same category, to make sure you’ve covered every facet of your industry.
Each piece of content should also target a short-tail keyword and multiple long-tail variations, also known as keyword clusters, to boost organic traffic and see faster ranking improvements.
The key to getting the maximum SEO benefit for these similar pages is to create a proper internal linking strategy. Similar posts should link to each other, both to increase time spent on site and to show Google what content is related.
It’s best practice to aim for at least five internal links in each article, and to have that same article backlinked on at least five other internal pages. This will ensure that your readers (and Google) are able to find every single one of your pages.
13. Remove Unused Sharing Buttons
Instead of including sharing buttons for every social media outlet under the sun, take a moment to consider where your target audience really hangs out.
For example, if you look at Google Analytics and discover that 99 percent of your social traffic comes from Twitter, why would you give readers the option to share on Facebook?
As marketers, sometimes we have to give our readers a little nudge in the right direction. And if you can help direct them to where these industry conversations are really happening while boosting your traffic and engagement, all the better.
14. Use Hybrid Titles For a High CTR
When it comes to writing title tags, how do you balance keyword placement with attention-grabbing copy? While it may seem crucial for SEO to include your target keyword at the beginning of your title tag — think again.
Over the years, Google has gotten hip to those trying to trick the system, and it now penalizes sites for over-optimization practices such as keyword stuffing. What does this mean, exactly? It means that you have to get smarter about your copy to solve for the reader and for Google all at once.
This is especially true for highly competitive SERPs, where you’ll likely have to include adjectives like “actionable” or “best” to help your post stand out to users. These adjectives aren’t naturally found in many keywords you’ll target, meaning you may have to bump your target keyword farther down the title.
But the good news is that Google will reward you for putting the user first, meaning a higher probability of moving up the SERP over time. Check out more information on title tags in our video “How To Write Title Tags That Rank” below.
15. Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content, or content that’s relevant and useful to readers for a long period of time, is a no-brainer addition to your digital marketing strategy. Unlike content that capitalizes on current trends or passing fads, evergreen content is information that users are always looking for, and can help your business grow steady, long-term traffic.
For example, you can create content that helps break down industry jargon, touches on a recurring event or holiday or even shows readers how to do something.
Another bonus? Evergreen content doesn’t need to be updated as regularly as topical content does, so you can hit publish without worrying that you’ll need to rewrite the whole post in just a few months.
16. Think Outside the Blog
While blog posts are certainly every content marketer’s bread and butter, a well-built marketing plan shouldn’t stop there. Content can take on many forms, but one tried and true strategy is to repurpose the same piece of content into multiple forms to help extend its usability.
For example, a long-form piece of content could get turned into smaller “bites” by sharing insights on a Twitter thread.
You could also take that same piece of content and create an infographic or podcast episode about it, capturing visual and auditory learners who may not have read your piece otherwise. Bottom line: make sure your content has the right V.I.N.E.S.
V.I.N.E.S. or Video, Images, News, Experts and Social is an acronym we created that helps highlight out-of-the-box research methods. By using these avenues when ideating content, you can expand your reach with ease.
However, it’s important to be strategic when repurposing content in order to capture the right audience.
You’ll likely need to make some adjustments to each piece to match what’s successful on every platform, such as re-editing videos or turning a long infographic into several smaller images.
By rethinking and expanding the content lifecycle, you can cast a wider net without sacrificing much more time or effort from your content team.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, visit our post on content marketing examples.
17. Make Content That Solves Problems
An important question to ask yourself when creating content is: “What problem does this content solve for my target audience?” If you aren’t sure, it might be time to take a second look at what you’re creating.
Good content should either inform or solve a user problem, and great content should do both.
If you’ve done step one well, you’ll likely already have an idea of the main questions your audience has in every stage of the buyer funnel. Use this information to create targeted posts that will help build trust with readers and get them that much closer to the buying stage.
If you haven’t done audience research, take some time to get to know your audience’s main pain points before you produce any more content to begin to see real results.
You can accomplish this by digging into Reddit threads, YouTube comments and Facebook groups in your industry. Or, you can just send out a customer feedback form if you want information straight from the horse’s mouth.
18. Promote, Promote, Promote
Once you’ve created a great piece of content, your work isn’t over. Now you’ll need to get eyes on what you’ve created, and there are plenty of ways to accomplish this goal.
Internal promotion options include:
- Internal linking in prominent places
- Social media
- Email list
External promotion options include:
- Manual outreach
- Guest posts
- Broken link building
However, it’s worth noting that you may need to tweak your content depending on how you promote it, to make sure your promotion is tailored to each individual audience.
For more information on the best external strategies to implement your business, check out our post on link building strategies.
19. Make Sure Your Content is Accessible
Making your content accessible is just good business. Not only does Google take accessibility into consideration when determining rankings, but you can also risk losing potential customers if your content isn’t easily understood by all potential audiences.
Accessibility best practices include using large and highly contrasted copy, descriptive alternative text on all images, proper content hierarchy, captions or transcriptions for all video content and a blog with a great UX.
Making These Tips for Content Marketing Work For Your Business
Truth be told, you don’t need to follow every single one of our content marketing tips to see growth for your business.
No matter if you’re B2B content strategy is brand new or a B2C company that’s been around for ages, the key to successful marketing is to focus on just a few content strategies and do them really well.
This will lead to a lot better results than trying to stick your hands in a hundred different pots, as focusing on too many strategies can lead to diluted results.
Need help determining what content marketing strategies to focus on to skyrocket your growth?
Reach out to learn more about our top-notch content marketing services that will help scale your business.