21 Tips To Make Your Content Marketing More Effective

Content Marketing World Lunch & Learn Session: 21 Tips & Tricks Guaranteed to Increase Your Content Marketing Effectiveness in 45 Minutes

I sat in on this lunch and learn with Heidi Cohen from Riverside Marketing Strategies during Content Marketing World last month. Once she got the mic working, Heidi had lots of great ideas for us! Many of these are probably “old” to anyone who has been in the industry for awhile, but for businesses just starting out, these are goldmine ideas. So, here’s what she had to say.

First, all of the tips she provided can be broken into 5 categories

  1. Build content strategy
  2. Develop content
  3. Create content
  4. Distribute content
  5. Measure & revise

She also shared this crazy stat. People spend 10.7 hours PER DAY with content. Think about that for a minute – How many hours a day are you awake? That’s a lot of time with content.

Build Content Strategy

  1. Set marketing goals (44% of peeps say lead gen is the most important thing, and 49% of people measure the number of leads)
  2. Know your specific audience  – this goes beyond basic demos like age or income, but really getting to know what they need to know and what kinds of information your business could provide
  3. Once you know, provide information customers actively are seeking
  4. Plan for different content formats. According to Heidi, 83% of learning happens visually, which means that pages and pages of text aren’t going to cut it anymore.
  5. Use a variety of platforms – be where your audience is! And they are probably in more than once place.
  6. Build your content assets – email list, website, blog, video, podcast, mobile app, events
  7. Consider all the resources you have, and leverage other people’s resources (for example: other departments have budgets for marketing. You could offer to provide something for them – and use their money to pay for it – but have it be part of your larger strategy! Sneaky, Heidi. Very sneaky. We like it.)

Create Content

  1. Offer useful content at every purchase step (and after the purchase also!)
  2. Tell stories people relate to. If you haven’t figured it out yet, selling through storytelling is wickedly powerful, but only if you’re using the right stories. Make sure that your stories relate to your audience.
  3. Crowdsource Content – Ok, I had to laugh a little. Heidi’s example was the Grateful Dead encouraging bootlegged tapes. Yep, tapes! These days, it’s probably more like the social content your audience might create around your events. You know, like some blog posts!
  4. Curate content with care – Let’s be real: You’re not going to produce unique, and GOOD, content all the time, but if you want to be a resource for your audience, you need to be regular. This is where content curation comes in. But, do it carefully. Don’t just throw out or re-tweet everything you see on a subject. Make sure to vet it first, and be sure it’s sending the message you want it to. It’s OK to share content with an opinion that is different than that of your organization, but make sure that you’re comfortable with the tone of the messaging.
  5. Brand your content – your content should be a standalone piece that you can then market, and branding it is an important step in this process.


  1. Don’t wing it – have a plan, make an editorial calendar!
  2. Plan content re-use in advance – That’s right, re-use your content. A blog post becomes a Tweet, an article becomes a video, an infographic becomes a slide presentation. Make the most of your content!
  3. Avoid THDR – I must admit, I can’t remember what THDR stands for! But, basically you need to make sure that your content is engaging and compelling… so that people read it!
  4. Optimize for findability – And she doesn’t just mean search. But, that’s important – use the right keywords. She also means that you need to create multiple paths to your content, so that people can get to it in multiple ways.


  1. Plan content distribution – Heidi suggests spending 20% of your time creating content and 80% marketing it. What do you think?
  2. Encourage social sharing – all those little buttons are great, but sometimes you have to blatantly make the ask.
  3. Promote your content – use your resources and connections to get your content out there. Depending on what it is, a little bit of paid marketing might not hurt also!

Measure & Revise

  1. Motivate them to respond by including at least one CTA – and if it doesn’t work, revise!
  2. Measure results – track success against your business objectives (leads, sales, etc)

That’s all from Heidi! What’s your best tip to market your content effectively?

We may tease Leanne about being the only Canadian at TKG, but in truth she’s an online marketing pro with a breadth of experience including SEO, content marketing, analytics and more. She’ll be talking about these topics as well as high level marketing strategy.

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