Lee Odden

10 Tips on Adding Content Marketing to Your Mix

Content MarketingGoogle Farmer update paranoia aside, there are plenty of reasons to make content marketing a more prominent piece of your online marketing mix.  Content fuels search visibility, social sharing and consumer interaction. Great content aligns customer goals with those of the brand. Ultimately, useful content helps win and keep customers.

Because we promote editorial marketing here and with clients so much, there are many questions from companies that want more tactical steps they can take. Whether it’s a retailer with an online catalog of products that wants to increase repeat business or a technology company full of tech specifications that wants to increase new leads, there are a number of straightforward ways to make useful content a marketing asset.

After an assessment that warrants a more intensive content marketing approach, here are a few tactical tips:

  1. Identify the types of content that would be most useful for customers in the different phases of the buying cycle
  2. Develop a search and social keyword glossary
  3. Map keywords to existing content and create an editorial plan for content that you should have
  4. Identify the resources you have and will need to “recruit” internally or hire from external sources to address content creation needs
  5. Develop processes for content creation, optimization, promotion and planned re-purposing
  6. Match goals with some kind of dashboard for reporting and method of extracting insight out of web analytics and social media monitoring to determine effectiveness
  7. Implement feedback mechanisms for content creators to reinforce content types/styles that are producing desired results
  8. Continue to refine editorial strategy and allow for on-demand and wildcard content creation/marketing opportunities
  9. Make an effort to test, refine and repeat. Scale what works. Kill what does not.
  10. Continuously educate yourself and your team on best practices through books like “Content Rules” by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman or the rich information at the Content Marketing Institute run by Joe Pulizzi. Also conferences, white papers, newsletters and blogs. Assign areas of expertise to different team members instead of trying to get each person to learn everything at once.

Tactics like these are no substitute for a proper content marketing strategy, but in many cases, companies want to understand the tactical mix on their journey towards committing to an overall approach.

Has your online marketing become more content focused? What tips would you add to this list?

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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 B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Really useful 10 tips to follow for “Adding Content Marketing to Your Mix”. Helpful.

  2. Lee,

    Great piece.I know the latest algorithm update has some folks wringing their hands together. Clients have asked me about it and I always circle back to issues of quality. If you’re writing quality content that’s appropriately optimized for your audiences’ interests, you needn’t worry.

    The main concern for many seems to be on the article marketing aspect of content marketing. Where do you put your weight with updates like the most recent that Google has made…

    Would you direct people to continue providing quality content to article directories for the purpose of thought leadership and traffic funneling or would they better serve themselves by creating their own internal article resources (separate from a blog)?

    • Derek, I think internal resource centers are a very good idea. That would be my focus. Become the hub vs. over-rely on other hubs. At the same time, some article marketing makes sense.

  3. Avatar Ilias Chelidonis says

    Very good tips indeed, continuously educating everyone in the team is key for long term content strategy success, you do not have to be too smart to survive but you need to be adaptable to changes.

  4. Content Rules by Anne and CC is always a good suggestion.

  5. It’s great how this post mentions that buyers have different content needs during phase of the buying cycle. One-size-fits-all content doesn’t work for consumers.

  6. I really like your suggestion number 6… We do this with an analytics tool called Bime which connects directly to all our data from Google Analytics. So each month, we just need to refresh the dashboard to see the data for that month, saves us a lot of time and effort!

  7. Ten commandments right there! All need to be followed! Brilliant blog post mate, great image as well I have used something like that a few times myself!

  8. Great ideas here Lee.
    I like #6 especially (and not just because I work with social analytics). Watching what content gets picked up the most through social media will give people a good idea of what kind of content their audience wants the most. The more pickup a piece of content gets, the more likely that people will want more similar content. By watching which pieces of content go far and which don’t can really help in the planning of future content.

    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos (http://sysomos.com)

  9. I totally agree with Ian Harte. It is indeed 10 commandments of content marketing or sharing. These ’10 tips’ are unique and only strategy for developing content and market it in different sites.

  10. Avatar James - VPS hosting says

    Content is a powerful way to develop traffic. It’s important to develop sound information people will link to. Blog commenting is okay, but it’s not as powerful as link baiting.

  11. Avatar Bradley Davis says

    Sounds like I am going to have to check out Content Rules, thanks for the recommendation.

  12. Nice article. Thanks for the tips. I am gonna have to look at your Content Rules !

  13. Avatar Gloria Reibin says

    I’m pleased to learn that I am using many of your content rules since my blog is a content blog with freebies to offer and other things for sale, so I’m looking to drive more traffic to it. What I like about blogs is that they do obey your number 7 rule, as they all have comment strategies such as this one. Regarding # 4 about recruiting others to help by outsoucieng is something i can’t wait to get to. As of now it’s been a one-woman show. But it is a good idea to research and plan now for the future. I’m all for that. Thanks a lot.

  14. Cheaper is usually a bad decision.  Pay for quality content marketing
    and it will pay for you.  Five Guys has been using some of their vendors
    for over 20 years, even though some are more expensive.

  15. Avatar Paul Jenkins says

    Excellent article. I really love that you pointed out innovation at #9. I’ve seen lots of people using the same old techniques that were probably successful in the past, but now they’re outdated, and still, people continue to use those tactics hoping for miracles.

    The internet is always in motion, always changing, so you have to change your tactics and techniques along with it.

    Blog writer at ThinkBasis (http://www.thinkbasis.com)

  16. great post!

    it’s really useful and helpful of your post “10 tips on adding content marketing mix”, keep it up.

  17. Great insight to share on content
    I’ve posted your article to our FB and Twitter accounts to spread the word. Great job!

  18. Avatar Romy Singh says

    Great insightful post. Content marketing really becoming more and more important each days. Google also started to give higher value to content so producing good quality and meaningful content is much important now, witthout good content you cant survive in online world. After all in today’s date content is king and marketing is queen.

    So write quality content, market it and repeat it. 🙂

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