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Everyone likes to invest time and effort into new content production, but have you reviewed your existing content lately? This might feel unnecessary, but there are quite a few reasons you want to check in on how your current content is performing.

Content reviews evaluate which areas of your owned media are working and which ones aren’t. They assess if you have relevant, quality content and if it is resonating with an engaged target audience.

Consistent content audits ensure that your quality content remains fresh, optimized, and performing at a high level. So, how do you perform one? Let’s examine how to evaluate your current content and decide what to keep, what to optimize, and what to delete.

Two Top Tools for Reviewing Content

If you want to gain genuine, effective insights into your content’s performance, you need the right tools. Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console are the two tools you always want on hand. Here’s why.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics is your window into how your users behave in relation to your content. It reports on data such as demographics, average engagement time, and organic search traffic.

In relation to a content audit, GA4’s pages and screens report allows you to look at sitewide and individual page performance. You can use it to see things like where you’re getting traffic, how long the engagement time on the content is, and what pieces of content are converting most often.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console gives you the search engine side of the data. It focuses on things like search engine rankings, click-through rates, and overall impressions.

In a content audit, GSC can help you find your most trafficked pages and compare and contrast these with the landing pages that get the most conversions from your GA4 data. You can also see what keywords are attracting impressions and driving clicks to your site and how well you rank for each one in the search engines.

Google Search Console Page

How Often Should You Conduct a Content Audit?

Content audits don’t need to be a constant activity. It takes time for content to rank in the search engines, and you don’t want to terminate a piece prematurely.

Semrush found that only 19% of top-ranking pages reached the top 10 within 6 months. Ahrefs found 95% of new pages don’t get to the top 10 rankings within a year. These things take time.

At the same time, you don’t want to let too much time go by in between audits. If that happens, it’s harder to catch issues, and data will become dated and irrelevant.

While there is no solid formula, we recommend waiting at least six months to see if the content is ranking. From that feedback, checking in on a bi-annual schedule is a healthy pace for making confident review-based decisions.

Use, Optimize, or Delete? Evaluating Your Content

Once you have your data analytics tools set up, it’s time to begin the content review process. The primary categorizations for each piece are:

Let’s look at how to use each label.

Use: Understanding if Content Is Still Usable

This is the easiest categorization. (And the best one, too!) 

If you receive feedback that a piece of content has consistent traffic and is leading to conversions, keep it as it is. This is your high-performing content. 

Keep in mind that “consistent traffic” and “conversions” are going to look different in each industry and company. You need to establish your brand’s unique KPIs of content effectiveness before starting the content review process. 

Once you have these benchmarks and go through the review approval process needed for your company, leave any pieces that meet the criteria for solid traffic and healthy conversations in place for now. (Remember, this can still change. Even top quality content should be re-evaluated on your next pass in six months.)

Optimize: Identifying Content That Requires Optimization

When content has some traffic and ranks for a few valuable keywords, just not very high, it may need optimization. As long as the piece relates to your unique selling point (USP) and reinforces your primary marketing messaging, you want to invest in cleaning things up so that you can unlock the piece’s full potential. There are a few different optimization techniques you can use:

chart of optimization techniques

Optimization is a thoughtful, time-consuming process—especially when you’re working on older content. But don’t underestimate its impact. It’s well worth the effort.

Delete: Deciding What Content to Delete

All content is not created equal. You may have poured blood, sweat, and tears into a piece, but if it isn’t performing, it may be time to let go.

Once again, go by your metrics. Is a piece barely getting any traffic after six months? Is it leading to minimal conversions? Is it failing to rank in the SERPs? Does it even relate to your core digital marketing message?

If the answers point to the negative, chances are that the content isn’t working for you. When that is the case, it’s time to delete it. This keeps your site clean and frees you up to optimize what is inefficient but working. 

And while it’s sad to see it go, it is becoming increasingly important that your website content relates to your business. Focus on relevant website content and ditch anything that isn’t.

Performing a Content Review

Content reviews should be a consistent part of your content strategy. It provides brand consistency and ensures that your content marketing efforts remain relevant and effective. It also keeps your content creation process profitable as you regularly glean insights into what is working and what isn’t with your target audience. 

If you need help with reviewing your content, reach out to our team at Relevance. That way, you can rest in the knowledge that you’re using each audit to learn and grow as you build an owned content library capable of propelling your brand to the top of your industry.

Content marketing is much more than creating assets. As you generate different kinds of content for your growth marketing strategy, you want to optimize that content. This is especially true for owned media (i.e. content you have control over). 

Posting on a company blog to “see what sticks” isn’t going to get you far. If you want to get in front of the right audience, your content strategy requires optimization. Some of this can take place during creative, but the vast majority of the work will come after that process. 

Once your assets are live on your site, use these content optimization tips to polish their SEO and turn them into quality content not just for readers but for search engines, too. We’ve split the tips into three categories:

 Let’s dive in.

Technical SEO: The Back End of Your Optimization Efforts

Technical SEO is a critical part of a successful content strategy. It is your most direct avenue to tell each search engine what your content is about. 

Most metadata, for example, is out of sight and out of mind for human readers—but it provides key information for a search engine to understand what you’re talking about. Let’s take a look at a few areas of technical SEO that you should address with every piece of new content you create:

1. Create Short, Clear URLs

Your URL should always be short and to the point. They should also neatly encapsulate what a piece is about. For instance, an article on customer service training could have a URL that reads: [abcenterprise.com/customer-service-training].

2. Craft Headers With Care

Your headers send signals to search engines. Don’t bold a header and call it a day. Use heading tags to differentiate between H1s (only one per piece), H2s, and H3s. Whenever you can naturally fit a relevant keyword in a heading, do it!

3. Use Image Alt Text

Adding images spruces up a blog experience for a reader. It can also help with content optimization. Every time you add an image, make sure to include alt text on the back end. As with URLs, be succinct and clear. Also, include a keyword if it fits.

4. Optimize Meta Descriptions

Metadata is your chance to talk directly to the algorithm. Fill out meta titles and descriptions for every content asset you make. Include keywords and, with meta titles, try to put those keywords closer to the beginning. Keep in mind that a meta description will also appear on Google (where humans can see it), so keep it readable and enticing.

Meta description example in Google

You can learn more about technical SEO here.

Keyword Optimization: Connecting Content to Search Intent

Keywords are the connecting point between your content and your customers. They come from search queries, and can be determined through keyword research. When keywords are included in your content, they help search engines categorize that content as a potential solution to a query. 

That said, you can overrun your content with too many keywords. That’s called keyword stuffing, and it will hurt your digital marketing. Instead, use the tips below to integrate keywords in a thoughtful, effective manner.

1. Focus on One Keyword Per Piece

Don’t spread your net too wide. Focus on a single “target keyword” for each piece. This should relate to an area where you want to establish authority, such as a SaaS company focusing on the keyword SaaS vendor, SaaS onboarding, or even business efficiency. From there, support that keyword with semantically related keywords throughout a piece. The goal should be to create an article with an obvious topical focus that holistically addresses that point of interest.

2. Remember Keywords in Headers

We already mentioned this, but we’ll go over it again—because it’s a quick, easy, and powerful optimization tip. Integrate keywords into your headers whenever it is a natural fit. Organic keyword-optimized headers are one of the quickest ways to tell Google, Bing, and other search engines what your content is about.

3. Research Keywords in the Right Places

There are many keyword research tools out there, and they can provide powerful benefits. If we’re being honest, though, there is one (FREE) spot where you can get some of the best, most relevant keyword ideas: Google’s PAA. PAA (or the “People Also Ask” box) is a search engine-powered databank that reveals valuable insights into what people are searching around a keyword you choose. Use it to inform your piece, your headers, and even FAQ sections. To find other keywords that your existing content is utilizing well, look at your Google Search Console data.

Example of Google's PAA

You can learn more about keyword optimization here.

Content Optimization Tips: Additional Ideas for Success

Along with technical SEO and keyword optimization, there are a few other areas of content optimization that you don’t want to miss. Things like linking and UX can help your existing content perform at a high level. 

Let’s take a look at how you can use these optimization techniques and others like them to boost your blog content performance and search engine rankings.

1. Link Strategically

Everyone says you should use internal linking in your content—and that’s true. This can unify and elevate your site. However, the way you link matters. A good rule of thumb is to always link to the pillar that your new content connects to. In addition, aim for between three and five internal links for every 1,000 words of content writing. These should be relevant to that content and the area of topical authority it addresses.

2. Don’t Forget External Links

You also want to prioritize the domain authority (DA) of external sites. Try to include one or two external links from reputable sites in every 1,000 words. (If you aren’t sure what sites are reputable, always aim for major publications like Forbes, Inc., or Entrepreneur, as well as .edu and .gov sites.) Put these lower in your content to avoid siphoning traffic away before the reader engages with your piece. Well-placed external links will associate your content with high-quality third-party resources and publications. 

3. Address UX and Don’t Over-Optimize

User experience impacts SEO. Use things like subheads, bullets, and numbered lists to make sure your content reads clean. Tailor your reading level and word choices to your target audience. As you review your text, make sure you haven’t over-optimized things, either. Always prioritize readers first and search engines second.

4. Be Helpful With Your Content

As you consider optimization, don’t underestimate the power of simply being helpful. Google’s Helpful Content Update in 2023 put a major emphasis on ensuring quality content provides real value for readers. Read through your piece and make sure it educates and demonstrates your E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Always offer unique insights and actionable takeaways for your readers, too. At the end of the day, be sure to write for readers and not search engines.

Learn more about how to build a helpful content strategy here.

Optimizing Content to Boost Blog Performance

A piece of well-crafted, owned content is only as valuable as you make it. Once your blog content is live, it’s up to you to ensure that you get the most out of each piece. Use the lists above to set each piece up for success. 

Track your data, too. Google Analytics (now called Google Analytics 4) is a great way to see how each piece is performing. After you optimize content, give it a few months and look for initial momentum. Then, tweak and tailor depending on what you see. 

If you can invest in this ongoing support for your content strategy, you can maximize your chances of seeing the best results possible.

Software as a service (SaaS) is a growing industry. Projections estimate that there will be 72,000 SaaS companies around the world by the end of 2024 — and that doesn’t include over 100,000 potential additions created by the sudden spike in AI investments in the last year.

SaaS is a booming business. But it’s also a crowded one. For SaaS marketers, it’s important to realize the power that content can have to help a tech company stand out from the crowd.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what SAAS content marketing strategy is and what it takes to market a SaaS product or service effectively.

What Is SaaS Content Marketing?

Before we get too far into the details surrounding SaaS content marketing, let’s define the term itself. Content marketing, as a general marketing tool, consists of utilizing various kinds of digital marketing content to promote a brand.

In the context of a SaaS company, content marketing is a long-term promotional strategy. Typically, this kind of content marketing consists of lengthy, in-depth content that promotes a B2B customer journey. Over time, SaaS content marketing helps to attract potential users, teach them about a branded solution to their problem, and then convert them into a retained and happy long-term customer.

SaaS content marketing isn’t a “seat of your pants” kind of marketing activity. It requires thoughtful strategy, confident implementation, and prolonged patience if you want to see positive results and a good ROI.

What Benefits Does SaaS Content Marketing Provide?

As is the case with most content marketing, there are some basic benefits that come with developing SaaS content. For instance, when your content is keyword-rich and links to high-quality domains (as well as your own), it can boost your brand awareness. 

Dominating SERPs for specific phrases and concepts can also increase brand authority. These naturally lead to higher revenue, often at a fraction of the cost of ongoing PPC (pay-per-click) ads. 

Along with these basic content creation benefits, SaaS content functions as a critical resource for end-users. As we’ll see further down when we explore some of the best ways to create this content type, SaaS resources are excellent educational tools. 

They also help with customer service, providing answers and information to common questions. When a customer knows they can utilize your content to find quality answers to their questions, it has the added benefit of further developing trust and building a stronger long-term connection with your customers.

How Does SaaS Content Marketing Differ From Content Marketing for Other Industries?

As we already touched on earlier, SaaS services and products require a long-term content marketing strategy. This must focus on a lower output of higher quality content where every piece provides clear value for the user. 

This protracted approach is due to the longer commitment that comes with buying third-party software. The last thing a B2B customer wants to do is spend a bunch of money on a SaaS tool, invest in learning it, and then decide it doesn’t work for them. They will make each purchase thoughtfully, and SaaS marketers should oblige with B2B SaaS content that facilitates that journey.

Another difference that separates SaaS content from normal content marketing is the fact that, in the vast majority of cases, a SaaS business is selling to businesses. The B2B sales process requires more red tape and people involved in making each decision. 

This increases the length of the sales cycle, which is great once you get a potential customer to commit. However, getting them to choose your SaaS solution in the first place is the big challenge — which is where well-crafted content can help.

The inherently complex nature of a SaaS program also complicates things. You aren’t selling a pair of shoes. Even something like a vitamin supplement might require more customer education, but it isn’t complicated to engage with the product itself. 

In contrast, even user-friendly SaaS business programs can require a steeper learning curve. They also evolve and are constantly updated, which means ongoing education is often required.

When a SaaS company decides to create content, it can’t be “just another content cluster.” It must be a specific and deliberately crafted resource that bolsters brand awareness and reputation and builds consumer trust at every step.

Tips for Doing SaaS Content Marketing Well

It’s important to develop a content strategy for SaaS marketing. Here are a few tips to make sure you end up with a solid strategy.

1. Use the Right Kinds of Content and Platforms

A SaaS marketer can use a few different content types. A typical blog post is an obvious choice. However, you can also go into more depth with a how-to video, a white paper, or even an e-book. This could be turned into gated content to drive email sign-ups and generate leads. It can also function as a cloud-based user manual after the point of sale.

Social media is also relevant, although you want to choose the right platforms. The best way to do this is by finding a balance. Look for more than one social channel where your target audience congregates. Just make sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin. 

Once again, use a third-party platform like social media as a cross-promotional tool. Create content distribution synergy by using social posts to drive email sign-ups, answer questions, and push traffic toward your higher-value, on-site content.

2. Invest in High-Quality Content

We said it before, and we’ll say it again. SaaS content needs to be high quality. 

This is easier said than done, though. SaaS content shouldn’t answer simplistic questions. It should dig deep into user questions and problems.

For instance, use your content to explain how your software works. Instructional videos and long-form articles are great for this. Keyword research can make these easier to find, too. Email marketing can keep customers up to date on the latest software patches and updates.

With each form of content writing that you use, remember to consider quality. Why are you creating it? Is it providing value to your target audience?

3. Compare and Contrast

With so many SaaS companies in the market, you can count on competing companies popping up on a consistent basis. SaaS marketing content provides an excellent opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors. 

When creating bottom-of-the-funnel content, in particular, use that late-stage messaging to push your superiority. Emphasize value propositions. Call out unique features and their benefits to the user. You get the idea.

4. Double Up on Customer Service

Marketing content always has the potential to double as customer service. It can answer questions and provide self-service options for existing customers.

Nowhere is this more applicable than in SaaS content marketing. As a high-quality form of content, SaaS content often doubles as an ongoing resource.

It’s important to keep this in mind when creating the content itself. Try not to use terminology, dates, or other things that can make a content asset feel dated quickly. Aim for evergreen solutions that can support your customers for a long time.

Promoting SaaS Content Correctly

SaaS content must provide clear value to B2B consumers while differentiating your brand from competitors. If you’re struggling to come up with a good SaaS content marketing strategy, you may want to work with a content marketing agency. At Relevance, we specialize in using content as a foundational aspect of long-term growth. 

Whether you’re working with us or developing content on your own, though, make sure to do so with a plan in place. That will give every piece of SaaS content the chance to have an impact as part of your bigger, long-term effort to promote your digital products and services.

KPI stands for “key performance indicator.” These are more than generic goals you aim for as a business. They are specific, targeted objectives with quantifiable value.

Good KPIs are clearly associated with metrics that allow you to understand if and when you hit them. “Growing revenue by 6%” is a business goal. “Increasing sales conversions by 6% by the end of the quarter” is a KPI. 

You can apply KPIs to any part of marketing — including content. But what do content marketing KPIs look like? Let’s break it down.

What Are KPIs for Content Marketing?

Businesses use KPIs to achieve specific results. In the case of your content marketing strategy, the overall objective of any piece of content is to provide value for the consumer.

However, there are many other ways valuable content can positively impact your brand, such as building authority, credibility, and visibility. When you dig into the details (which is necessary to establish effective key performance indicators), content marketing KPIs can take a variety of forms. Your content marketing goals may include:  

For any of these KPIs to work, they must be fleshed out, properly defined for your specific marketing activity, and tracked over time.

How Do You Write a KPI Statement?

As a content marketer, if you want your KPIs to be effective, it’s best to formally write them down. You can create effective KPI statements by taking the time to consider each KPI before you decide what the specific objective is that you’re trying to achieve.

Begin the process by reviewing your content marketing strategy. This is your roadmap that considers your larger content-related goals as well as the tactics, resources, time-tables and other factors that go into achieving them. 

Once you’ve considered your overarching goals, you need to define what it would take to turn them into reality. This criteria is essential if you want your KPIs to be effective. It’s helpful to remember the SMART acronym. What are the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based details that can turn each broader goal into a series of targeted benchmarks?

SMART goal setting helping to set KPIs for content marketing

You also want to consider the data that you have available. What information do you already have, and what additional information can you gather?  

For instance, if you’re trying to increase email sign-ups, how many do you currently have? How many new sign-ups did you get last month, in particular? This kind of past data helps you gauge how many more sign-ups you can aim for and reasonably expect to achieve as a future KPI.

Once you’ve taken all of this into consideration, decide what KPI or KPIs you specifically want to measure. Write them down, along with things like metrics to track and the time within which you want to reach the goal.

How Do You Set KPIs for Content Marketing?

Understanding how digital marketing KPIs work within engaging content is one thing. The tricky part is applying that knowledge to your specific content strategy. If you want to figure out the best KPIs to track for your marketing efforts right now, ask yourself the following questions: 

Use these questions to personalize your KPIs and align them with the specific content marketing goal you’re trying to achieve as a marketer right now. If you’re still struggling to set effective KPIs, working with a content marketing agency can help.

Setting Content Marketing KPIs That Work

Content KPIs can take on many forms. At the end of the day, though, you want them to serve as specific, data-backed stepping stones that help you move toward your larger objectives — both with your content and your overall growth marketing strategy.

Use them to keep you focused not just on larger goals but on each content-related benchmark and achievement that keeps you moving in the right direction.

21st-century marketers have a buffet of content options to choose from. Every time a marketer engages in the content marketing process, they have to choose what kind of content they want to develop to achieve their current goals.

This can be tricky, as various kinds of content tend to serve different purposes. They can also require different skill sets and tools.

This makes understanding each content type is an essential step in the content creation process. Let’s break down why content is important in the digital marketing world. We’ll also explore what content options are out there and the many ways they can help a content marketer reach their target audience.

Why Is Content Important in Digital Marketing?

Content is a powerful, multi-functional digital marketing tool. Technically, marketers have always worked with content.

However, marketing in the technological age has given birth to a myriad of unique types of content in digital marketing. Blog posts, emails, podcasts, videos, infographics — the list goes on.

Marketers can use these to develop intricate content marketing strategies. These can provide a roadmap that guides them through the vast and overwhelming online marketing world.

From the consumer perspective, content is important because it helps with every stage of the customer journey. Content can help bring brand awareness to a brand and its offerings. It can inform users, encourage sales, and even provide customer support after the point of purchase.

While content is powerful, once again, it’s only effective if a marketer is using the right content marketing type for each situation.

What Are the Types of Content in Content Marketing?

There are many different types of content. Some of these, like blog posts or video content, were already listed above. Other content marketing examples include social media, guest posts, ebooks, demos, case studies, email marketing, landing pages, and user-generated content.

While understanding each individual option is important, it’s also essential to understand the function that each of these plays in a larger content strategy. Below is a list of several overarching categories that content covers. The same kind of content format can function in multiple categories, such as a blog post serving as an educational and self-help marketing asset.

Marketers should be well aware of these categories whenever they go to create content. That way, they can ensure they are using the best content types and formats to reach their intended consumer audience.

The variety of content available doesn’t just boil down to different formats and lengths. Each type of valuable content serves a distinct purpose in the content marketing process, and managers should always be aware of the kind of content they need for each project.

Being Purposeful With Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content strategy is a complex and nuanced field of business. As time goes on, it only promises to become more complicated, too.

As you craft everything from short social posts to lengthy videos and whitepapers, remember to be deliberate. Create a content marketing campaign to back up your decisions and an accompanying framework to keep track of your content marketing resources and guide the creation process.

If things get too overwhelming, you can also invest in a content marketing partner to help guide you through the process and breathe life and purpose into every piece of content that you generate.

A content plan (or content marketing plan) is the way you plan on creating digital marketing assets for a larger content strategy and framework. It takes the wider concepts of your content plan and focuses them on specific tactics and actions you can take to turn concepts into reality.

Every content plan is different. It should take into account existing marketing vision, current goals, and whatever digital content trends are popular at the moment. If you’re trying to come up with a content plan for 2024, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s break down how to develop a killer content marketing strategy. We’ll look at what kind of content to create, review what is trending, and consider a 10,000-foot overview of how to pull together an effective content plan this year.

What Content to Create in 2024

Every year has its own content marketing trends. As artificial intelligence comes to play an increasingly outsized role in the content world, marketers can plan for another dramatic shift in the kind of content they’re creating moving forward. 

Over the next year, the biggest trend is going to be a shift away from generic content. As AI provides more answers without the need to leave SERPs, basic “101” pages will become irrelevant. 

Instead, content creation trends will focus on two things: being helpful and educating audiences.

The former includes genuine thought-leader pieces and unique industry opinions. The latter relates to things like “how to” articles and self-help infographics and videos.

Speaking of videos, moving pictures also seem likely to remain in vogue in 2024, as well. The enduring entertainment and engaging aspect of videos of all forms remains a powerful way for marketers to get their messages out to the world.

Demand Gen Report adds that interactivity is also on tap. Demos, quizzes, industry-specific calculators, and even simple click-through embedded links remain important priorities in 2024.

What Are the Biggest Marketing Trends in 2024?

Okay, so helpful and educational content, videos, and interactive assets are all important types of content right now. But what are the actual marketing trends of 2024 that are driving these needs?

We have already touched on the biggest one. AI really is the trend that is behind most content creation right now. Content creators everywhere are looking for ways to utilize AI with their content.

Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) — which the company intends to complete testing just in time for 2024 — will also be a big factor throughout the year. Learning how to rank in search results and make the most of potentially throttled click-through traffic will be a defining challenge of the next twelve months.

Google’s Helpful Content System is also going to factor heavily into the coming year. As AI puts pressure on content creators to clean up their content, Google’s automated content rating system will aid in deciding what content is “helpful” and what content, well …isn’t. The tech giant updates this system from time to time, and savvy marketers will be following those changes closely as they seek to use the information to improve their organic marketing strategies.

What Should Be Included in a Content Plan in 2024?

Considering the content types and trends above, how should you build a content plan for the year? Here is a quick overview that you can use as a content plan template or a content roadmap to help you get started.

Begin With Your Content Strategy Framework

This is a 10,000-foot view perspective of your content marketing that holistically considers things like your organization’s vision, mission, and values, as well as your marketing goals, plans, and tactics. Use it as a reference point to start the more detailed content creation process.

Set Specific Content Strategy Goals for the Current Year

These should align with your larger content marketing strategy, keeping long-term goals in mind as you seek short-term gains in the next twelve months.

Establish a Content Strategy Plan

Your content plan is where the rubber hits the road. Remember, there are many forms of digital marketing, from search engine optimization to influencer marketing. What are the marketing strategy components you need to promote your brand effectively right now? 

Should you create a pillar page and supporting topic clusters on your company blog to educate your target audience? Is it time to embrace more interactive content, such as user-generated content, quizzes, or demos? Should you finally invest in the equipment to create proper video content? This is where you make the detailed decisions.

Get on a Schedule

A year is a long time to create content. From social media to blog posts, guest posts to email campaigns, you want to structure how you release all of your content. A content calendar can help you spread out your efforts and allow them to build on each other over time.

Plan to Assess

You may love your content plan heading into the year. But you can’t be certain it will align with actual trends or search engine changes as you go along. Take the time every few months to assess if your content is doing well and gather feedback on the user experience of your audience, as well. Iterate and optimize to ensure your content is performing how you want it.

Building a Content Plan for 2024

Content marketing strategies give you a reason and focus for your content marketing. But you need a solid content plan to put those concepts into action. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy (or framework, for that matter) already in place, you can work with a content marketing agency to help you build one.

In 2024, your content marketing plan should focus on a few key things. AI is in the spotlight. Helpful content is a necessity. Video is effective. Interactive content is encouraged. 

If you can factor these elements into a thoughtful and fleshed-out content plan, you can enter the new year with confidence, knowing you’re making the most out of the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.

As marketers develop their website content marketing strategy, it can be challenging to know what kind of content they should use. The issue isn’t coming up with enough ideas so much as choosing from the plethora of options available.

As you flesh out your content marketing strategy, you want to consider all of the different forms of content out there. Only then can you effectively choose which ones fit into your marketing plans.

Let’s take a look at the different types of content marketing available and how you can use them to reach your target audience, educate them, and ultimately encourage them to take action.

What Is Content Marketing in Digital Marketing?

Before considering individual types of content, it’s important to remember the purpose of content marketing in the first place. Too often, marketers focus on content creation and have content strategy take a back seat. 

However, you always want to start by thinking of how your content factors into your larger digital marketing strategy. At Relevance, we consider a strong growth marketing strategy to focus on three areas: authority, credibility, and visibility.

Content marketing helps with all three of these things. Its biggest contribution is in the area of authority. Quality on-site content shows your audience that you know what you’re talking about and are a thought leader in your industry or niche.

Content also helps establish credibility through digital PR efforts, such as a guest post. On-site, informational content can enhance SEO, too, by helping with keywords, link-building, and technical SEO strategies.

What Are Examples of Educational Content?

As AI becomes a bigger factor, the quality of a brand’s content is coming into the spotlight. Strong SEO is no longer enough. You have to create great content that genuinely educates, offers unique insights, and provides value for the reader. 

The good news is that Google has provided guidance on how to make good content that will rank. To do this, the search engine has established its E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness) guidelines. A content strategy example that follows E-E-A-T could be a company blog post that provides insightful information from a certified professional on your staff.

Google's E-E-A-T guidelines outlining how to create different types of effective content marketing

For those comfortable with digging deeper, the search engine giant also provides Helpful Content Updates. These aid in generating “helpful, reliable, people-first content.”

What Are Types of Content Marketing?

There are many different elements of a content strategy. Each content type below provides its own value as part of your larger content marketing strategy. Let’s consider each one and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Onsite Content

This is the “big one.” Your onsite content is the content that lives right on your own website. It doesn’t require a social media outlet, third-party publication, or even an email service. This content is fully in your control.

Onsite content can take on many different forms, each of which is helpful in its own way:

Onsite content is one of your best long-term forms of content marketing. It can be intensive and expensive to set up. However, once created, content that lives on your site can continue to deliver traffic and provide CTAs in perpetuity with minimal maintenance.

Gated Content

While much of your on-site content is free, there are certain kinds of content that you only want to give people when they’ve taken a specific action. This is called “gated content.” This includes things like:

An example of gated content in action could be receiving an ebook after signing up for a newsletter or submitting a request for a demo. These are important in-depth marketing steps that help move people who are already considering making a purchase toward the bottom of the sales funnel.

Other Forms of Content Marketing

On-site and gated content are two major content options that every brand should consider. But they aren’t alone. Here are several other forms of content that you should consider. Some of these are variations of on-site content, while others are off-site. In either case, each contributes its own value to a larger content marketing strategy.

From onsite and gated content to the smorgasbord of different formats that content can take, there are many ways you can tailor valuable content to meet the current needs of your brand.

Using the Right Types of Content Marketing

As you consider the different elements of content strategy that you want to use, keep this list in mind. To create effective content marketing, you need to analyze your customers, marketing goals, resources, and so on. Then, consider what kind of content fits into that framework. 

Should you invest in content marketing blogs to inform site visitors and lead them down your sales funnel? Do you need social media marketing content for off-site lead generation or to help you retain existing customers? 

As you identify the different components of content marketing that you need, assemble them into a content creation plan. If the whole thing gets too confusing, this can be a good time to work with a reputable content marketing agency like Relevance to keep your content educational, effective, and up to date. They can help you generate high-quality, effective content that can build your brand’s authority in the eyes of the world, your industry, and especially, your target audience.

Content pillars are a great way to organize and centralize your content creation. They provide focus and synergy to your content marketing strategy by unifying your content behind a select series of themes that are central to your brand.

While pillars are popular, they can be overwhelming to pull together. How many pillars should you make? What topics should you choose? How long should each pillar be?

Let’s go over a few pillar post examples to help understand how to determine your content pillars before you pour all of the time, effort, and resources into making them.

Pillar Power: Using Pillars to Revolutionize Content Strategy

Let’s start with a quick reminder of why pillars are so important for a successful content marketing strategy. A pillar is an extensive resource that covers a key theme of your brand. 

The primary pillar itself covers this theme holistically but not necessarily in detail. Instead, it serves as a central focal point for that overarching topic within your brand’s marketing assets and resources.

How Do You Organize Content Pillars?

Pillars should never stand on their own. On the contrary, they should be at the center of a cluster of content that relates to the same key topic. This pillar and cluster strategy is a key part of building an effective content pillar strategy.

The pillar cluster model surrounds pillar content with a variety of sub-pillars and smaller articles that flesh out the subject in greater detail. These should connect with one another using internal linking strategies, and everything should link back to the primary pillar at some point.

From there, content marketing teams can create things like email and social media content that support, link back to, and tie into the pillar. The end result is a tight-knit group of content assets that vary in size and scope while simultaneously focusing on a key theme for your brand.

Pillar strategy breakdown showing how you can determine your content pillars

How Many Content Pillars Do You Need?

As you build a content pillar strategy, one common question is how many content pillars you need. Should you make one main pillar for your whole site? Do you need dozens spread across countless topics?

The answer lies in between these extremes. If you focus all of your content on a single pillar, you restrict your marketing message too much. 

At the same time, you shouldn’t make too many pillars. Pillars, with their clustered supporting content, are resource-intensive, elaborate endeavors. They require a lot of time and effort. On top of that, you don’t want to spread your primary messaging too thin by taking on too many themes at once.

With that in mind, it’s wise to aim for around three to four main pillars for a brand. Build each one out with care and maintain it as a central content cluster to boost your brand’s authority and emphasize what makes you unique.

How Long Should a Pillar Page Be?

If you look at content pillar examples, you’ll find that they’re generally long. Really long. How long? Most pillars run at least a few thousand words in length.

Some marketers will recommend a content pillar strategy example with pillar pages that go well past the 10,000-word words. But the truth is, that’s excessive. Realistically, aiming for around 3,000 words per pillar is a good goal.

Focus on briefly covering all of the main topics related to each theme within that 3,000-word resource. From there, you can create shorter sub-pillars (usually around 2,000 words) and blog articles (1,000 words or less) that reinforce and elaborate on your original pillar’s message.

How Do You Determine Your Content Pillars?

If you’re uncertain how to choose your content pillars, here are a few steps to help your team narrow your choices:

If you find that you’re struggling to boil your focus down to a specific number of themes, even with these steps, you may want to find a content marketing agency to help. Working with an experienced third-party content partner early in the development and planning process can ensure that you invest in the best themes for your branded content library from the start.

As you come up with each topic, these become the central 3,000-word pillars for each cluster of content you create. Once you have them set in stone, you can conduct keyword research to flesh out related topics you should cover. Plan out a content calendar, too, and integrate everything with your social media strategy and other content-related efforts.

Determining the Right Pillar Topics For Your Brand

As you size up your content marketing goals, remember to keep pillar pages in mind. From on-site content strategy to social media marketing, the synergy pillar content creates can supercharge your efforts every time you create content. It can keep that content focused on what matters most as you seek to show consumers why your brand is special and can provide uniquely effective solutions to their problems.

Everyone says content is king — but what does that regal reign look like in real life? The answer is tricky. 

While content may remain a critical part of the marketing toolkit, it is in a constant state of evolution. Let’s consider what content marketing looks like a quarter into the 21st century, along with a few examples.

Why Content Marketing Is Important

Content marketing is a powerful way to build a brand. Marketers can use a thoughtful content marketing strategy to build credibility through third-party mentions. They can use it to provide self-help content that streamlines customer service. A fleshed-out content strategy also creates a starting point for strong SEO.

Above all, a strong library of content can build your industry authority. Google’s new E-E-A-T content standards are amplifying the need for content that is built on:

Google's E-E-A-T guidelines outlining how to create effective content marketing examples

E-E-A-T sets a high bar for quality content. It means only the best pieces of content with unique industry insights and helpful information will be considered helpful to consumers and, therefore, rank in the SERPs.

What Are Content Marketing Examples?

Okay, content marketing is important. But what does it look like? The answer is a lot of things.

There are many elements of content marketing. This can make envisioning the content marketing process a bit challenging. Here are a few content marketing examples to help picture this all-important strategy in action.

Blog Posts

A blog post is one of the most iconic examples of written content. These are on-site pieces of text-based information that can also include images, infographics, and even embedded videos. 

A blog post can cover anything from a piece of industry news to a deep dive by an SME (subject matter expert) on your staff. This valuable content is created to attract customers (more on organic traffic further down), in order to demonstrate your industry authority and increase brand awareness.

Social Media Posts

Social media content is another classic example of digital content marketing. This form of visual content is off-site and lives on a third-party social media platform. 

A social post could be a short tweet on X (Formerly Twitter). It could be a picture of your products “in action” on Instagram. It could even be a piece of video content from an influencer on TikTok or YouTube. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful content marketing example you can use across your sales funnel. You can set up drip campaigns that provide a slow and steady set of automated emails for new subscribers. You can also use emails to send bottom-funnel sales pitches and CTAs to your target audience.  

Most of this list consists of primarily B2C marketing examples. However, email is a powerful tool that works just as well for B2B content marketing interactions.

Podcasting

Podcasts are fun and relevant forms of engaging content that are becoming more important in larger content strategies. Marketers use them to communicate information in a relaxing and relatable way.

Podcasts can be very short — some are only a few minutes. However, they are often used as long-form content. A podcast could consist of a CEO providing updates to customers or a roundtable discussion (which is excellent for demonstrating industry authority). You can even turn a webinar into a podcast.

What Is an Example of an Organic Strategy?

While there are many examples of content marketing, organic content marketing primarily takes place on your website. A pillar page is a great example of an organic strategy in action. 

A pillar page template usually follows a format that consists of: 

For an organic strategy to work, you should create great content in a scheduled timeline (i.e., don’t take years to make a single pillar). You should also invest in internally linking every piece to the original pillar, sub-pillar, and other relevant areas of your website.

The Importance of Content Synergy

There are many different types of content marketing, and it can manifest in countless ways. However, just because you have options doesn’t mean you can build your content strategy flippantly. 

Effective content marketing can’t happen in a vacuum. It has to be part of a larger growth marketing strategy and vision. Growth marketing focuses on your customer at all times and uses data and analysis to track progress over time. 

Content marketing factors into a good growth marketing plan alongside other key pillars, like digital PR and SEO. When you combine these — like using SEO keywords in your content or linking to an on-site “how to” in a PR guest post — you can create synergistic results that build your authority, credibility, and visibility.

Using Content Marketing to Crush Your Marketing Goals

A successful content marketing campaign is an invaluable part of a growth marketing campaign. Content creation together things like search engine optimization and digital PR. It also provides quality content for customers to use as they work their way through your sales funnel or return in search of self-help customer support.

Content marketing is important — but it also requires focus and strategy. Use the marketing strategy examples above to discover which forms of content marketing are best for your brand and its audience. If you need help as you go along, consider recruiting a good content marketing agency to help guide the process.

A good content marketing strategy has a lot of moving parts. Marketers use these strategies to bring together various forms of content and use them to help reach marketing KPIs as well as larger growth marketing goals.

SEO and content marketing can answer a variety of digital marketing needs. These span the gamut from building brand awareness to educating consumers to lead generation and so on.  

Regardless of the specific form it takes or the purpose it serves, in most cases, for content to be effective, it must convince a consumer to take action. When content aims to do that, it becomes conversion content.

What Is Conversion Content?

In marketing, a “conversion” takes place when you convince a consumer to take a desired action. A good content conversion example is clicking through an email link. This is a form of traffic conversion meaning it leads to traffic for your site.

Other forms of conversion could be clicking on a link in the SERPS or sharing a social media post. Often, conversions on your website take place in relation to things like signing up for a newsletter, asking for a demo, or even making a purchase. 

Creating content that converts — i.e., conversion content — is a powerful way to use your content strategy. As you create content like a blog post or podcast episode, you always want to provide value for the reader. 

However, as you help answer reader needs and address their pain points, you can also naturally encourage them to take certain actions (like those listed above). When you can create effective content that resonates with your target audience and convinces them to take action, it becomes high-converting content.

How Do I Create Content That Converts?

So, how do you create high-converting content for your site or marketing strategy? The simple answer is that it depends on each situation. The current needs, resources, audience, and many other factors will dictate the kind of CTAs you want to include in your content.

That said, there are questions that can help you narrow your options and ensure that you optimize each piece of content to convert. Here are some questions you can use as a conversion content filter:

1. Does your content focus on being helpful?

This is ground zero for content in 2024 and beyond. Google’s latest updates (including their Helpful Content Updates and E-E-A-T content guidelines) have put the bulk of the focus on how content helps its users.

What is the value proposition of each piece of content that you create? How does it help its intended audience?

2. Are you trying to be a solution?

Along with educating and providing information, you need your content to demonstrate your authority. A good brand aims to be a thought leader and a pioneer in their industry. 

If your ambition is to be at the forefront of thought in your niche, how is your content fulfilling that promise?

3. Do you know your audience?

Your content doesn’t help you if it prompts the wrong people to take action. To avoid that from happening, always stay up to date on your market research.

 What does your target audience care about? What are their pain points, issues, and the search terms that they’re using to address them? Use these to direct the content that you create and the CTAs that it contains.

4. Are you thinking through the funnel?

Creating content should never be an activity that happens in a vacuum. It should be part of a larger conversion funnel. 

Always ask where in the funnel a piece of great content belongs. How does it help guide a user through the buyer journey, encouraging them with the right kind of top, middle, and low-funnel information needed to take the next step?

5. Are you revealing (most of) your hand early?

Converting content shouldn’t be cloaked in mystery. You aren’t playing games with your audience. You’re helping them.

The best way to do this and incorporate a CTA is to reveal most of your hand early. Provide enough information to satisfy the user’s initial inquiry. Then elaborate on that and demonstrate your deeper knowledge. Use this process to guide them to a greater revelation (and a correlating call to action) further down the page.

6. Are you being direct and intriguing?

You usually want to be specific, especially with CTA copy. Don’t be vague or use confusing, unexplained jargon. Instead, utilize simple words, clear phrases, and images and visual content when possible.

It’s a good idea to write for younger audiences. You can use a tool like Hemingway to see what grade level you’re writing for. Aim for 8th grade or lower — that will allow 85% of adults to read your text without trouble.

7. Are you asking questions?

The Socratic method (teachers asking questions to students to help them learn) is a powerful way to educate. This prompts responses and primes a reader for action.

Use questions throughout your content, and don’t forget to use “you” language. Speak to the reader. Show them that you understand.

8. Are you tracking your content?

If you want your content to perform, you need to show up in the SERPs, encourage the clicks, and otherwise get consumers to act.

To understand that this is happening, you need to see the data. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics that track each lead and conversion to ensure that your content is performing. If it isn’t over a period of several months, make tweaks to improve it.

Google analytics screenshot showing what data to pay attention to in order to create content that converts

Creating Content That Converts

Learning how to create content that converts takes time. Start by mastering the process of creating high-quality content that targets readers first and ranking in a search engine second.

From there, use the questions above to consider how your content fits into your larger content strategy. What CTAs should it have? What actions do you want to encourage your readers to take? If you need help answering these questions, consider partnering with a content marketing agency

Those are the questions that will turn good content into valuable content that doesn’t just perform well. It converts.

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