20 Useful Content Marketing Tips You Might Not Be Using – But Should

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20 Useful Content Marketing Tips You Might Not Be Using – But Should

Content marketing is an integral part of any business plan. But what do you do when you’re just starting out—or perhaps encountering some areas you’re not feeling like a “guru” in?

Don’t worry. I’m here to help!

20 Simple, Useful Content Marketing Tips That Often Go Overlooked (But Shouldn’t)

Go from content marketing schmo to content marketing pro in no time with these twenty simple-to-implement content marketing tips.

Content Marketing Tips You Might Not Be Using Yet | SEJ

1) Look for Blog Topics Right in Your Email Inbox

You likely get a hefty stream of questions, comments, and inquiries about your business every day and, chances are, some of them keep popping up again and again. When you find yourself answering the same question from clients or buyers time after time, consider turning it into a blog post for your company’s site. In addition to acting as a one-stop-shop FAQ, this also makes your company more relatable, provides the consumer with valuable information and shows them you are thinking about their needs and concerns.

2) Embed Your Videos

Repeated studies have shown blogs with videos are more likely to get additional hits and shares than those without videos. That said, consider taking all of the promotional or educational videos your company has made over time and integrating them into blog posts.

In addition to providing customers with additional ways to consume your content, videos are also highly linkable, which means there’s a good chance your website will reach more people than just your existing customers.

3) If You Don’t Have Any Videos — Make Some

What does your company do better than any other company out there? What can you teach people? Is there a chance you could take that expertise and excitement and turn it into a video?

A company that sells fly fishing equipment could put out a series of videos on fly tying, whereas a content creation company could put together a few videos on publishing great blogs. There is a huge demand for knowledge in the world and when you share yours, people are likely to pass it around, driving more traffic and additional customers your way.

4) Compile a “Who-to-Follow” List

You’re an expert in your field and people know that, but people always want to learn more. Create a well thought-out “who to follow” list of other people who excel in your field to help them do just that. Doing this offers two distinct benefits: first, consumers will appreciate the fact that you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted source of information and, second, the people you link in the article will appreciate that you’ve directed traffic their way and are highly likely to return the favor.

A good portion of effective content marketing is developing a positive reputation. and there are few better ways to do this than by word-of-mouth and building relationships with other experts in the field.

5) Create a List of Facts that Supports Your Mission

People love learning new things and lists of facts are compelling and easily shared. To create a piece of content that has a high probability of being linked to, compile a list of facts that support your company’s main goal or mission statement and then publish it in a blog or infographic.

In addition to fulfilling the customer’s need for knowledge, this move also goes to show your company is thoughtful and has done its research.

6) Tell a Great Story

Anyone who has ever seen an Apple or a Subaru ad knows the power of those companies lies in their ability to tell a great story that moves their target audience. Take some time to consider what your company cares about and how that intersects with the company’s mission — be that sales or conversions — and then find a way to weave that into your content marketing.

If you’re selling a lifestyle product, tell a story about how the product provides happiness, comfort, or safety. By far the best way to gain customers is by tugging on their heartstrings and telling a compelling story.

7) Consider the Questions Your Customers Ask

When a buyer wants to purchase something, they almost always turn to the internet for advice and research purposes. When a person types a question into Google, they will be met with literally millions of answers and it matter whether or not your company’s answer is among those they see.

In today’s era of content, it is no longer enough to have a great product. People need to see it and rely upon it before they make a purchase and this requires a company to build authority right off the bat.

Consider what types of questions your customers are asking and answer them via your blog or website post. Doing this establishes you as an expert in the field and builds the consumer confidence needed to drive sales and conversions.

8) Make It a Date (Specifically)

While many companies offer ample opportunities for consumers to sign up for an email list or blog subscription, very few offer specific content at specific times. Author and lifestyle coach Tim Ferris often does this with astounding results.

By offering customers an invitation to tune into a podcast, webinar, or video conference in real-time, you build a more tangible connection than can be produced through an email list subscription. In addition to contributing to customer confidence, a move like this also helps build a community around your business or product and may well stem off into additional marketing opportunities, such as podcasts, down the road.

9) Put Promotion First

When a company goes to design a product, the first step is often making sure that there is a market demand for said product. If there is not, manufacturing the product has the potential to result in a huge loss of time and money. The same goes for content, believe it or not.

In order to employ great content marketing, think about how you will market your content before you develop it. If you can’t come up with a place to promote a given piece, it might not be worth the time and effort to produce.

10) Embed Yourself in the Community

Nowadays, there are hundreds of online forums and communities (Reddit being the best known) dedicated to discussing specific topics. Find a few of the communities that pertain to your businesses specialty and join in the discussion.

As you participate in the forum, mention that people can find more information back at your blog. In addition to further establishing yourself as an authority in the field, this approach also allows you to learn new things and gain a deeper understanding of your customers.

11) Upload Visual Content to SlideShare

SlideShare is a popular content-sharing platform that accommodates PowerPoint, PDF, KeyNote, and OpenDocument content presentations. Think of it as the YouTube or Instagram of slideshows.

The great thing about SlideShare is that once you’ve uploaded your content, the sky is the limit. Users can share, link and re-share your content to platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, which means more traffic for you.

12) Join & Use Pinterest

Often thought of as the place where mason jar inspired DIY projects go, Pinterest is an often overlooked social media platform that holds great potential to boost your business to the next level, with millions of active users and growing.

Create some great articles, link them with infographics or visuals and then post them to boards related to your niche. Pinterest allows users to share and re-share content, which means anything you create that is interesting and visually pleasing stands a good chance of being plastered over dozens or even hundreds of Pinterest boards, putting you in touch with new customers and expanding your company’s reach.

13) Recycle Content

For most companies, having a large content creation team is out of reach. For this reason, it’s wise to learn to recycle great content for extended use. Ways to do this include putting the relevant statistics from a blog post into an infographic or tweeting a previously published blog post’s important points throughout the course of a week. By learning to recycle great content in new ways, you save yourself from the burden of having to create great new content constantly without sacrificing

14) Aim for Evergreen Content

If you’re familiar with content marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “evergreen content.” Evergreen content is an important marketing tool that remains relevant no matter when it is published. This means that an article published today can be shared in five years without having to be amended.

This obviously does not apply to content that changes often, such as medical data or sales statistics, but can easily apply to how-to guides or informative content. By aiming to create evergreen content, you set yourself up for highly sharable content and backlinks that persist far beyond when the article was written.

15) Optimize Social Media

Nowadays, social media rules the internet and accounts for an estimated 23% of the total time consumers spend online. By optimizing your content marketing pieces for social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you increase your chances of being shared and passed around the Internet. Create an informative video to share on Facebook or create a killer infographic and send it out in Tweet form. No matter what you do, do not overlook the veritable content marketing gold mine that is social media.

16) Know Your Audience

Content marketing is a world in which you want to make things personal. If you don’t know who your target audience is, it’s nearly impossible to effectively customize content for them and even harder to get them to engage with your business or product. For this reason, it’s wise to spend some time with Google analytics or another similar tool to figure out who’s truly paying attention.

What do those people do? Where do they live? How old are they? What are their buying habits like? Chances are, you’re going to speak differently to an eighteen-year-old hipster than you would a 75-year-old retired nurse, and it’s important to tailor your content to fit the different sectors of your audience. One-size-fits-all content results in poor business performance and minimal customer connection.

17) Optimize Your Blog URL

This is a simple step, but it can be a big one in terms of accessibility. Before publishing a blog post, alter the generic URL to contain a keyword or relevant phrase rather than a string of letters and numbers. Always, always make sure your keyword is in this string. Your rankings will thank you later. In addition to giving new viewers an idea what the URL contains, this format also makes your URL’s easier and more attractive to share.

18) Opt for a 50/50 Split Between Text and Visuals

Content marketing research and the anecdotal evidence of those in the field has repeatedly proven that a combination of text and images is more effective than either text or images alone. This might explain why infographics are so wildly effective.

Instead of being too text- or visual-heavy in your content marketing material, aim to strike a balance between the two. Write a blog post that is broken up by relevant images or create an infographic that overlies a helpful chart or icon with brief text-based interpretations of the data. Doing this provides the most value for your customers and helps you consistently create high-quality content.

19) Utilize Active Reading

Active reading, or the process of actively picking apart a piece of content to discern things like the narrator’s perspective and unanswered questions allows you to build knowledge and fulfill the gaps in the market, further enhancing authority and content presence in the online world.

Although there is a lot of great content in the digital sphere, much of it fails to meet all of a consumer’s needs and, by actively reading what else is out there, you can learn to identify and then fill in the gaps.

20) Be Original

Ultimately, every company does content marketing a little differently and while there may be some value in taking a hint from the world’s most successful companies, there is no use in trying to imitate them. Dedicate some time to figuring out what makes your company special and unique and build on that. Your customers will appreciate it.


A thread that runs throughout nearly all my points is originality. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be original in all you do. Use storytelling and visual content. Think about who you’re talking to. Then secondarily, think about keywords so you can keep your ranking potential high when you publish your content.

For example: you read tip #1 and #20 and then go create a highly creative, original blog with a good title. Then you use #17 to place your SEO keyword as the main string of words in your blog’s URL.  That’s being original and creative foremost, but using SEO knowledge as well. You have to do both with your content marketing.

So, in conclusion, find your content marketing style and balance consistency, SEO implementation, and engagement.

Image Credits

Featured Image: weedezign/Shutterstock.com
In-post Photo: bleakstar/Shutterstock.com

Julia McCoy
Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster, and serial content marketer. She’s the founder of Express Writers, a... Read Full Bio
Julia McCoy
Julia McCoy
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  • R.Rogerson

    Interesting list – and lots in there too 😀
    But my favourite is the audience stuff … as it’s often overlooked, misunderstood and neglected.

    ! Know thy audience -> s !

    This one seem to catch so many people out.
    They think there is only 1 audience.
    I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone with just a single audience – ever!
    (I’ll use the word “convert” loosely to include sales, signups, specific goals etc.)

    Sure, you have those you intend to “convert”.
    But you may also have those that you have already converted.
    There’s also those that are currently converting elsewhere.
    There are those that have never converted, and those that have never even thought of converting.
    Each will have different questions, need different information, need different treatment.

    But you also have other businesses/sites of the same type trying to convert.
    And related or similar businesses/sites trying to convert the same sort of people.
    You have those that have no direct relation, but could be converted due to subtle references (see below :D).

    Lets take a … oh I don’t know …. hand crafted sofa company?
    They will instinctively target people that want a sofa.
    Perfectly natural.
    So you have your products … but what else?
    Buying guide? Sure (please include darn dimensions, and if larger than standard doors – Tell Me/Us! (I’ve had to remove windows twice now people!)).
    Does your buying guide include things important to the end-user? Such as suitable materials for those with animals/kids, or that live in hotter climes? How about sturdiness ratings? Care-ease ratings? Is it easy to hoover under/behind (anyone got a LazyBoy sofa and kids? Ewwwww!)?
    Think outside the box a little, and think of your users – you’d be amazed at what you (and your competitors!) have missed.
    One of my favourite conceptions was a drop-in image viewer … so you can look at your living room and see the new sofa (overlay image of their frontroom). That’s more than a little useful for a lot of people!

    But what about people that bought a sofa off them (or a competitor) a couple of years ago?
    Surely there is content you can create for them – like;
    care and cleaning,
    repairs (you do offer repairs, yes?),
    reupholstering (had to look that one up :D),
    how to get stains out of [insert material here]
    Videos of stain removal would go down a treat.
    You could do short runs on how to get that remote (or Harry the hamster) out of the sofa without cutting the material too.

    Then the audience most people miss – their peers (those in the same/related industries).
    Data, stats, infographics … these make people drool (customers generally don’t care).
    How about reviewing services/products you use (Such as wood suppliers, different finishes on nails/pins), different techniques (straight joins, cut-ins, tails, using biscuits etc.).
    How about what skills/knowledge you picked up you never thought you’d need?
    Things you’d wish you new before starting?
    The best stories from clients/customers (like the phone call asking how to get poor little Harry out, or when you had to get a 6 piece set up 15 floors with the worlds smallest lift).
    The worst injury you ever had from your job?
    How about humour/jokes? Almost every industry has it’s own little joke and pun pool … why not publish some?

    Then the side-lining content – the cross over to other professions. All businesses keep records and books … how do you cope with ledgers? What software do you use, and what tricks to keep you sane? You use design software? What shortcuts/tips & tricks etc.?

    See, tons of content, and only some of it is for the initial audience.
    And yes, you do want to target your peers.
    As I don’t remember the last time I linked to a company a bought a sofa off of!
    Nor my fridge, my freezer, my washing machine, my kitchen, the beds, the bathroom tiles etc.
    People don’t generally link to that sort of thing.
    So – you have to get links from your Peers (competitors or related industries),
    or from indirect/side-line sites (those where you have skill/software/service overlaps).

    Oh, and yes, for those of you thinking about it – that may mean 2 blogs (one for the public, one for the peers).

    sit back and think of your potential Audiences, who they are, and where you can find them.
    Then run through Julia’s list and see what you can come up with.
    Should help come up with a few more ideas 😀

    • Julia McCoy

      That’s a great comment you left, R.Rogerson! The “multiple audiences” is so very true – while so many (even the top) bloggers focus on that “one” golden audience, they’re missing out on the bigger picture you just manifested on. Content creators should be willing to talk to these multiple “audiences” walking in their door – as you explained very very well.
      This is really the style I consider when blogging on my direct site. We have clients who read our content; potential leads walking in who read; past buyers; then we have in addition to that an audience of writers, those who may apply to be in our team, or those just looking to grow their skills, find us useful/share our content.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • R.Rogerson

        I didn’t realise I’d typed that much … sorry for the mahusive posting 😀

        But yes, 100% targeting the “other” audiences is important,
        especially as you can get those few extra conversions, or the links, or the shares, or the brand etc.
        I admit, originally, the thought of creating content for competitors was a little unsettling, but, G forced it on us … and it works (and if you think about it, how else will you show “topical authority”?).

        Some of the other points you raised … I’ll have to dig deeper into,
        such as “story telling” – as I just don’t grasp the concept (sales had a trend a while back along the same concept lines, and I didn’t get it then either).

      • Julia McCoy

        Storytelling is quite 2015… I think it’s still new to a lot of marketers. And it’s also not for everyone. If it’s all about conversions, some businesses should be informing instead of telling a story 🙂 Such as the more technical oriented businesses. However, businesses in the marketing/digital agency sector could certainly benefit from telling a story.

  • Siva

    Hi Julia,

    Useful tips that you’ve shared,Content is king, but its very hard and pain full for it to draft. Most of hours I spend time on thinking delivering best and also it should be help full and clearly understandable to follow readers. Your tips, will helps in that. For recycle of content you have said about the info graphics, can you suggest the best tool to way make it out easily ? Optimize blog URL, its so true that including a keyword it results to rank higher, 8 out of 10 people decide whether or not to read your posts by just looking at your titles on the posts that is you have catchy headlines isn’t ?


    • Julia McCoy

      Hi Siva, Headlines are crucial – definitely spend a good chunk of your content writing time just in creating that (before AND after the post is written, analyze your headline). For our infographics, I repurpose these by sharing to RSS feeds and sites that take these as submissions.

  • Dorron Shapow

    Julia some great tips….and one in particular embedding videos is some super advice. What is especially important to me on the subject of videos is that they help establish relevancy. By keeping visitors on a specific page for more then a minute after being referred or found through a search result for a key term establishes relevancy. Because search engines track what behaviour a searcher does after they click on a search result the longer the time a visitor stays on that page or what is known as time on page increases thus that website is extremely relevant for that key term.

    Second what I find extremely effective for my organic seo clients is visiting sites like quota, Gumtree,yahoo answers and reddit you can get some great ideas of what topics people are interested in reading in your type of business to help develop an effective content strategy.
    One tip I typically watch is what are my peak visitor hours are to help stabilize traffic or attract more views …make sure to time your posts in your time zone either first thing in the morning and around lunch time or after dinner hours these are typically the peak hours or traffic.

    Content marketing is a great way to get organic traffic to your site and a great way to have a conversation with your visitors….great post and shared!

    • Julia McCoy

      Dorron, you sound like a great marketer! We’re focusing on Quora more and it’s pretty high up there in platforms driving traffic to our site 🙂 Peak posting hours are certainly morning for us, and we recommend that to nearly everyone else – I like how you tied looking at peak visitor hours to that. Thanks for reading/sharing!

  • Tanmoy Das

    Hey Julia, these are some awesome tips which can leverage our Content Marketing efforts . I just love your posts & follow you on social media ( Point #4 “follow an expert” 🙂 ) . I consider you an authority on everything related to Content Writing & Content Marketing. Thanks, for sharing these valuable tips with us ! Looking forward to your next post .

    • Julia McCoy

      Thanks very much, Tanmoy!

  • Alistair

    This is a great article, but. It seems to focus a little too much on content marketing from the perspective of someone who already has a reasonably large audience, and is therefore perceived as an “expert in their field”.

    What about content marketing for businesses who are looking to grow their audience and then strive to be that “expert”.

    Just a quick view on the post. But it’s definitely an interesting read! Thanks Julia

    • Julia McCoy

      True, Alistair – I usually think of the SEJ audience as typically an advanced one vs. a beginner reader 🙂 But you’re right! That would make a great post by itself. Will see what I can write on that!

  • Suresh Kumar

    My personal favorite is “Knowing Audience”. Figuring out what our audience is looking for in a website is one good method to win a great traffic. And that gives you leverage to choose your write. I think of it as one of the greatest talents every Content Marketer should have.

    • Julia McCoy

      Agreed, Suresh!

  • Anup

    Thanks for the insightful& helpful tips.
    Keep doing the good things.


  • Isaiah Bollinger

    Thanks for the ideas, its always helpful to get some third party ideas when you feel like your running out of content to write.

  • Manash Mukherjee

    Julia, you had mentioned awesome list of tips for content marketing and I am sure these will help us. I already using some of them like “Whom to follow”, Diversify content in different format like PDF, videos etc, but some aren’t aware so I will keep trying these all soon.

    • Julia McCoy

      Awesome, Manash!

  • Thiha

    Thank you so much for sharing these highly Awesome tips Julia. I learned so much and I really appreciate. I also mention this article on my blog post and encourage my visitors to read it.
    Kindest Regards,
    Thiha Min

    • Julia McCoy

      Thanks, Thiha! So glad you found this useful.

  • MarinaK5

    Hi Julia! Nice article, been following all your articles and you never fail me. Thank you for always sharing informative posts. I really find this post useful and my favorite is #20 be original.

    • Julia McCoy

      Awesome, Marina! That’s encouraging to hear 🙂 I agree – being original is definitely at the top of this list. I saved the best for last 🙂

  • Gary


    Thank you so much for all of the helpful tips.

    They all seem very practical but after reading the article my head is spinning.
    What does one do when they are just starting out?

    It seems like so much work when you have a small business and you are in charge of marketing, managing, scheduling, accounting and everything else. I guess, just like any other journey, it all begins with the first step. I just wish I was better (and faster) at writing.

    • Julia

      Gary, I totally get the “where do I find time to write while running my business?!?!” question… because our clients ask that all the time! Visit our Content Shop @ Express Writers.. it will give you an idea of what writers charge, what services to get from them, etc.

  • Tim Turner

    Excellent info Julia, Thanks for the helpful tips!

  • Olga

    Great article! I particularly agree with breaking the content with visuals – it always makes text to be more reader-friendly. That’s where videos come handy, too, by the way.