Content marketing is hugely important to many businesses. Sites like Groove and Buffer have garnered huge audiences (and paying customers) through their content marketing efforts. Learn how to come up with ideas, create content, and promote it effectively with the resources in this guide.

This is the second study guide in the series, check out the SEO one here.

THE ULTIMATE CONTENT MARKETING STUDY GUIDE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

My Content Marketing Story

Content Marketing for Beginners

Content Marketing Audit

Content Research

Creating Great Content

Creating Graphics

Video Content

Podcasting

Webinars

Promote Content & Grow

How To Convert With Content

Content Marketing Tools

Measuring Content Marketing Success

Content Marketing Case Studies

 

My Content Marketing Story

Oh boy, I have a strange history with content marketing. Back in my early agency days, I was taught the antiquated method: Find keywords, write a post literally about the keyword, put the keyword in the headline, URL slug, and 5-7 times in the article, all as an exact match.

No matter if it was Austin’s Best Plumber or Buy Indian Head Pennies Online, it had to be put in the article exactly like that. You can guess how poorly those articles did. Plus, no outreach! I wrote the article, passed it off, and it just sat on the client’s blog. I wince at this moment in my content marketing history.

But now, I’m a reformed content marketer. I know the value of creating awesome, in-depth content. No more keyword stuffing, no more trying to get bad backlinks with Indian SEO companies. Now I make content I know is worth sharing, because it’s just that useful.

Below, I’m going to introduce you to some companies that have built huge businesses just off of content. They’re great case studies into how to do content marketing right.

The Takeaway: Don’t do content just for content’s sake. Have a purpose behind everything you create. If it’s not 10x other posts on the same topic or presenting a unique opinion or strategy, maybe it’s not worth creating.

 

Content marketing for beginners

CONTENT MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS

As a beginner, it can be hard to figure out the point of content marketing. I know when I first started, I thought that just writing anything was fine. During my beginner phase I didn’t even promote the content! Check out these guides to get a good overview of content marketing and why it’s important.

 

Moz Content Marketing Guide
8 chapters to help you get a handle on just what content marketing is
Est. Reading Time: 1 hours 53 minutes

Content Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
Neil Patel
An intro to different types of content marketing
Est. Reading Time: 21 minutes

 

Content marketing audit - Content marketing guide

CONTENT MARKETING AUDIT

If you currently have a website, you’ll want to do a content audit before you dive into doing more content marketing. This may mean killing off your babies (articles without many views) to focus on higher quality posts.

Later on, we’ll dive into research, writing content, creating graphics, other forms of content (video, podcasts), and promoting it like crazy.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Audit
Eric Siu of Single Grain
A content audit process you can start using to analyze the content on your site (or a client’s).
Est. Reading Time: 20 minutes

What We Learned Analyzing 595 Buffer Blogposts: A Complete Content Audit and Spreadsheet Template
Kevan Lee at Buffer
Kevan goes through 595 posts on Buffer’s blog and walks you through his process. 
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

 

Content research - Content marketing guide

CONTENT RESEARCH

It’s important to do research before you start creating content. You don’t want to be making content that just isn’t important to your audience. Here are some articles to help you find out just what content to start creating.

 

How to Conduct Customer Interviews (Even When You Don’t Have Customers)
Thomas Carney at Grow & Convert
How to get insights from customers that can help inform your content strategy
Est. Reading Time: 18 minutes

How to Come Up With Content Ideas That Attract Your Target Customers (Live Challenge Update)
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
Part of a live challenge where Benji and Devesh helped a B2B company grow traffic to a blog post
Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

How to Create Industry Specific Content Without Subject Matter Expertise
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How the Grow & Convert team created content for a B2B company they had no expertise in
Est. Reading Time: 10 minutes

Growing From 0-12k Organic Visitors by Mapping Content to the Sales Funnel
Benjiy Hyam at Grow & Convert
A strategy for finding content ideas that match up with your sales funnel
Est. Reading Time: 12 minutes

 

Creating great content - Content marketing guide

CREATING GREAT CONTENT

Creating amazing content is the key to a sustainable content marketing strategy. Learn how to create content that people will enjoy reading and want to share.

 

How You Can Create Content That Generates 400,000 Targeted Visitors
Brian Dean (Backlinko.com) on OKDork
Brian’s strategy for growing Backlinko and why it’s become so popular
Est. Reading Time: 26 minutes

The Specificity Strategy: How to Turn Generic Posts Into Stand Out Content
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How to make your blog posts something your audience actually wants to read
Est. Reading Time: 10 minutes

“Mirage Content” Is The Reason Your Company Blog Isn’t Generating Leads
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
If you’re not gaining traction with your content, this could be the reason why
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

How to Use Mega Projects to Drive an INSANE Amount of Traffic to Your Site
Devesh Khanal at Grow & Convert
Why in-depth content does well, and how to create your own
Est. Reading Time: 15 minutes

 

Creating graphics - Content marketing guide

CREATING GRAPHICS

Graphics are an important part of having a great piece of content. Even if you’re not a designer there are ways to create great-looking graphics that can help improve the look of your content.

 

How To Make The Best Blog Graphics (For Non-Designers)
Puranjay Singh on CoSchedule
Est. Reading Time: 16 minutes

Blog Design: The Absolute Guide to Creating Graphics for Your New Blog
Heidi Pun at Design for Founders
Est. Reading Time: 12 minutes

7 Techniques to Design Killer Graphics for your Blog Posts
Nathan Barry
Est. Reading Time: 7 minutes

Pexels
License- free photos

Canva
Make quick graphics with Canva (it’s what I use!)

Canva
Design Tool

FlatIcon
Icons

Dribbble
Design community (great for inspiration)

 

Video content- Content marketing guide

VIDEO CONTENT

Video content is huge! The thing is that it’s hard to get started. Everyone does blog writing because “writing” seems easy. But creating great video content has much more of a learning curve. Here are some resources to learn what tools you need, how to edit, and other tips.

 

A Video Marketing Guide On Creating Epic Content for Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and More
Brian Peters at Buffer
Learn how to make videos for social media
Est. Reading Time: 12 minutes

The Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started With Video Content Marketing
Matt Aunger at Buffer
A 5 step process for making video content
Est. Reading Time: 7 minutes

Editing Basics for Business Video
Chris Lavigne,  Trevor Holmes at Wistia

DIY Video Guy YouTube Channel
Caleb Wojcik

Wistia Video Resources
Tons of great videos on lighting, gear, editing, choosing music & backgrounds. etc.

Loom video
Create simple screenshare videos with Loom

Loom
Create quick screenshare videos

 

Podcasting- Content marketing guide

PODCASTING

Every business seems to have a podcast, and that’s because it’s a great content marketing channel. If you can create a show that fills a need in your niche, you can do well. Here are some resources for getting started from choosing your tech to editing to promotion.

 

How to Start Your Own Podcast
Patrick Allan at Lifehacker
A beginner’s guide to getting started with podcasting
Est. Reading Time: 22 minutes

Podcasting for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Podcasts
Kevan Lee at Buffer
A super basic intro to podcasting. What you need to start. 
Est. Reading Time: 9 minutes

How to Make a Podcast
Buzzsprout
Some interesting tips for making a great podcast
Est. Reading Time: 18 minutes

Pat’s Complete Step by Step Podcasting Tutorial
Pat Flynn
A tutorial from one of the most popular business podcastsm includes videos
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

 

Webinars- Content marketing guide

WEBINARS

Creating and running webinars are a great way to speak to your audience and solidify your authority and expertise in a space. Here are webinar tools and some tips for getting started.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Running a Webinar (And Then Some)
Matthieu Vaxelaire at Mention
A few basics about running your first webinar
Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

How to Build and Deliver Your First Webinar: 5 Simple Steps
Omar Zenhom on Fizzle
Omar (of Webinar Ninja) talks about how to create your first webinar
Est. Reading Time: 16 minutes

Citrix GoToWebinar
Webinar Tool

Webinar Ninja
Webinar Tool

 

Promote content and grow- Content marketing guide

PROMOTE CONTENT & GROW

A content marketing strategy is nothing without a proper outreach and promotion. Learn the best ways to promote your content to the right audience and grow your reach.

 

The 80/20 Rule for Building a Blog Audience
Derek Halpern at Social Triggers
Derek suggests spending 20% of your time on content and 80% on promotion
Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

The simple promotion strategies we used to help this company get 67% MORE traffic to 1 post in 2 weeks
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How the team chose goals, channels, and an execution strategy for content promotion
Est. Reading Time: 19 minutes

Content Promotion: How We Grew from 0 to 32,977 Users in 5 Months With Zero Paid Traffic
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
Using communities as a content promotion channel
Est. Reading Time: 16 minutes

Going Viral: How I got 10k Views on Medium in 4 days
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How Benji figured out the types of Medium articles that do well, created his own, and promoted it
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

6 Proven Strategies for Successfully Promoting Content Across Social Media
Brian Peters at Buffer
The right ways to promote your content on social
Est. Reading Time: 8 minutes

Scaling a Blog: How I Grew Blog Traffic from 0-35,000 Monthly Uniques in 6 months [VIDEO]
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
Benji gets interviewed by Autopilot’s Josh Feltcher about how he grew the ThinkApps blog
Est. Watch Time: 1 hr 22 minutes

100+ Ways to Promote Your Content
Sujan Patel
Now you can’t complain that there’s no place to promote your content
Est. Reading Time: 19 minutes

 

How to convert with content- Content marketing guide

HOW TO CONVERT WITH CONTENT

The point of content marketing is to educate your audience and show your expertise. But it’s also important to convert your readers into customers and email subscribers.

 

How to Get Free Sales Leads From A Simple Popup
Benji Hyam on Sumo
Converting blog post readers into actual leads using a popup
Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

How To Convert Blog Traffic Into Customers With CTAs: The Complete Guide
Devesh Khanal at Grow & Convert
Using calls to action to get blog readers to convert
Est. Reading Time: 23 minutes

Blog Engagement: How to Get Abnormally High Comments, Shares, and Clicks (And How This All Adds Up To Sales)
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How to increase engagement on your blog
Est. Reading Time: 14 minutes

How to Turn Your Blog’s Thank You Page Into a Lead Generating Machine
Emil Shour on Grow & Convert
A strategy for using your thank you page to drive leads
Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

 

Content marketing tools- Content marketing guide

CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS

Here are some useful tools to help you create, promote, and coordinate content marketing with your team (or just yourself!).

 

How We Grew Traffic to 16,000 in 4.5 months on $52/month (and every tool we use)
Devesh Khanal at Grow & Convert
The tools used by the Grow & Convert team
Est. Reading Time: 20 minutes

Trello
Project management tool

Buffer
Use Buffer to share content

Buffer
Social sharing tool

Hootsuite
Social sharing tool

Zapier
The Big List of Zapier Hacks for Marketers: 46 Recipes For Social Media, Productivity and More

Buzzsumo
Content promotion tool

CoSchedule
Marketing calendar

Sumo
Tools to grow your website (Email sign up tools, social sharing buttons, etc)

 

Measuring Content marketing success - Content marketing guide

MEASURING CONTENT SUCCESS

Learn the best ways to measure just how well your content efforts are doing, and how to improve your strategy.

 

The Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) of Content Marketing
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How to determine the cost of acquiring new customers via content
Est. Reading Time: 18 minutes

Using Google Analytics Goals to Measure Lead Generation From Content
Devesh Khanal at Grow & Convert
The title explains it all 🙂
Est. Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

Content marketing case studies - Content marketing guide

CONTENT MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Learn from the best! Here are content marketing case studies from top people and companies in the industry and how they have built businesses around content marketing.

 

Behind the Scenes: How We’ve Built a $5M/Year Business in 3 Years With Content Marketing
Alex Turnbull at Groove
How the Groove team built their company using content marketing
Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

Growing a Digital Agency: How KlientBoost scaled from $0 to $1M in 12 months
Devesh Khanal at Grow & Convert
How KlientBoost used stand-out content to grow their PPC business
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

How Examine.com Founder Sol Orwell Built A 7-Figure Business Off Of Reddit
Benji Hyam at Grow & Convert
How Sol used Reddit to grow his business (a tough thing to do)
Est. Reading Time: 13 minutes

How We Scaled a Startup from 0 Organic Traffic to 100,000 Visitors/Mo (In About One Year)
Tyler Hakes at Optimist
How Tyler helped grow College Raptor’s blog
Est. Reading Time: 27 minutes

 

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