Lee Odden

29 Content Marketing Tactics to Attract, Engage & Persuade Customers

Content Marketing TacticsContent Marketing is a near and dear online marketing tactic and there’s been an explosion of attention and advice over the past year. SEOs and PR professionals are “seeing the light” if you will, of the value in creating and curating content that delivers value as part of their online marketing and public relations strategies. In an online marketing model with a defined strategy, goals and understanding of the target audience, what mix of tactics makes the most sense?

Many marketers limit themselves to a handful of content types and formats leaving substantial business to the competition. To be competitive, it’s essential to be open to a mix of content marketing tactics in order to provide relevant information discovery, consumption and sharing experiences for customers. This matters at the top of the funnel as much as it does after the transaction and into engagement and evangelism.

Here is a virtual smorgasbord of content marketing tactics for you to consider. Watch for our upcoming series that will drill down into each one of these tactics with an explanation, examples and creative ideas for implementation.

  1. Article Marketing
  2. Advertorial
  3. Blogging
  4. Case Studies
  5. Crowdsource
  6. Curate
  7. Digital Newsletters
  8. eBooks
  9. Email
  10. Images & Infographics
  11. Interactive Tools
  12. Microsites
  13. Mobile Applications
  14. Mobile Content
  15. News Release
  16. Online Conferences
  17. Online Magazines
  18. Podcasts
  19. Print Magazines
  20. Print Newsletters
  21. Real-World Events
  22. Research & Surveys
  23. Social Content
  24. Teleclass & Telecasts
  25. Traditional Media
  26. Videos
  27. Webinars
  28. White Papers
  29. Wikis

What did I miss?

Of course, the idea is not to use as many content marketing tactics as possible, but to use the appropriate tactic on a matrix of persona, stage in the buying cycle, Social & SEO considerations as well as position in the customer lifecycle.

What content marketing tactics have you focused on this year? What will you change for your 2012 planning?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.


  1. To further the article, it would be nice if you could link or show an example of each.

  2. Bill Wagner says:

    Hey Lee-How could you forget news releases/press releases!? Original content that is ideal for long tail search. Also not sure if its captured in ‘Social Content’ but I’d think couponing and similar promotional techniques should be included.

    • Bill, you bring up a popular topic of debate – press releases for PR and media relations purposes vs. news content and distribution as content marketing. You know where I stand of course 🙂 (list updated) but it would be interesting to hear opinions.

  3. Hey Lee, good stuff and great list. Are you finding that the content marketing approach is attracting “garbage” content? My spam filter use to have lists of links, now I’m find broken-english articles on everything under the sun. I’m seeing links to articles that look like they were written with a keyword stuffing tool and do these articles really benefit the creator?

  4. What about surveying or polling your target audience as a tactic? It’s a win-win for both…you learn more about your customer and they get rewarded with the desired content!

  5. Lee:

    How about tools, applications and widgets?

    I think Nike or New Balance publishing a “decision tool” on what kind of running shoes are best for you would be a great kind of “interactive content, and I can think of loads of examples. These also fulfill other requirements of content such as putting the company in a position of expertise and creating great SEO (for Website tools, anyway) because of links.

    My client Valspar has a great “virtual painter” as do most of the paint companies.

    Very much looking forward to the series, Lee–RJ

    • That’s an interesting question RJ, when does interactive and tools fit within a content marketing strategy? Content informs and tools provide an experience (for the most part). But I suppose there are examples of situations that do both.

  6. I’d be interested in seeing which tactics are most applicable to media marketing (ie–the stuff NPR and NASA use to engage audiences, vs what a campaign for a quality retailer like Patagonia or L.L. Bean might look like).

  7. Thanks for the post. I look forward to the follow up posts and hope to see some distinction made between B2B and B2C marketing for the different tactics suggested.

  8. This is great. I have only used about 5 so far in my marketing. I am looking forward to see how far I will adapt this as I go. I do not have my 2012 plan yet. I am still working on my summer plan. Might start working on fall soon. Thanks for all the great tips. =D

  9. Anthony Milano says:

    Great list.

    I appreciate your SEO tips.

  10. Cause-related marketing, promotions, special events

  11. subashini says:

    thanks for nice creative idea’s

  12. Lee,
    I think this a very comprehensive list of the most relevant marketing tactics today. Looking forward to your in depth series!

  13. Lorie Letschert says:

    nice, rich list. i have to say quite a few I did never think at approaching.

    Article marketing, blogging and eBooks are the ones that i am using. i guess i should have a closer look at the other possibilities.

  14. Article Marketing will never become the old fashioned technique. Since on web – Content is King.

  15. The choices have expanded over the years, haven’t it? Among the 29 you enumerated here, I think that videos have become one of the most influential and effective marketing tools nowadays. Considering the popularity of YouTube and of course, the undying patronage of people to moving images, I think that videos will always be one of the most effective.

    • I agree, videos have become very powerful and are not only effective for consumer marketing but are a fast growing medium for B2B marketing as well. Videos are also excellent content sources from which the creative marketer can repurpose.

  16. The choices have expanded over the years, haven’t it? Among the 29 you enumerated here, I think that videos have become one of the most influential and effective marketing tools nowadays. Considering the popularity of YouTube and of course, the undying patronage of people to moving images, I think that videos will always be one of the most effective.

  17. Alli Waxler says:

    shwing! I like this-what a helpful list! But really, all i can think about is the ”
    ” photo and how delicious everything in the photo looks.

  18. For my company right now, our content marketing mix consists of:

    – Blogging (new articles daily)
    – Webinar – to serve as product training but also featuring guest speakers with a specific subject matter expertise. We don’t just want to push/sell our product, we want to establish ourselves as thought leaders in our industry (real estate) – this is important.
    – Podcasts – featuring guest speakers. We’ve only done two so far: one on SEO and the other with DJ Waldow from Blue Sky Factory. So far, these have been received very well.
    – Real-World Events – Sometimes I’ll speak, sometimes we’ll sponsor and other times we’ll attend. Either way we’re there, connecting and interviewing others speakers who are on the roster to serve as content.
    – YouTube – we publish tutorials both for our own products and general information. Again, establishing thought-leadership and mixing up the content.
    – Wiki – we built a tutorial site on WordPress spanning 80+ written tutorials on our product. So customers can easily content live and if they still have a question, they can click on the live-chat function or submit a Support Ticket (powered by Zendesk).
    – Community Forum powered by vBulletin – this is where customers can submit questions, connect with other client/users to solicit feedback on what they’re doing and how they can improve, etc.

    It’s funny, that as I sit here and write this, I’m the primary contributor to each of these core functions. I sit here smiling and feeling a slight sense of accomplishment 🙂

    Moving forward what I want to add to the content mix is free monthly ebooks and more webinars and webinar replays featuring Guest Speakers. So far, we’ve hosted two but have capped out at 100 attendees at each event and I’ve scheduled 3 more this month.

  19. Suksumo says:

    I want to Market MRI service. In connection with content  marketing Which is the right one of the following Message:

    -Our MRI gives the best image 
    -We provide the image that make much easier for diagnosing your health  problem .
    -With MRI ,you will get shorter distance  the road to solving your health problem . 

    • Suksumo, for Content Marketing, your key message should be tied to the key benefits of most value to the target audience you’re after. The would be no “one best format or syntax”, but rather, one that best reflects the interests of potential customers.

      In the case of a title tag for SEO, then starting with your most important keywords followed by a compelling description is the best practice.

  20. Grace Galape says:

    Wow! Those are great marketing tactics that are so effective to use and I’ve heard about those things too from other people. I actually came across a video that also talks about great ideas for your marketing tactics. It’s a video from Marie Forleo. http://marieforleo.com/2012/02/local-business-marketing/