Content Strategy Best Practices for Growth-led Marketers

Abdulsamod Balogun
5 min readApr 11, 2021
Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

Creating decent content is only a quarter of the battle. It’s not enough to put content together, it’s important that you’re creating valuable content, and optimizing same for search, social, and email marketing. Some marketers create content for crickets. You don’t want to be one of those. And I’ll give you a headstart with the tips I’ll share subsequently.

I took out some of these tips while breezing through the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), technical SEO, content strategy courses in the channel-specific growth skills stack in my growth marketing Minidegree programme with CXL Institute.

It starts with great research — Find out what your potential customers are already searching for

Google is a great place to start. It’s important to understand how search works.

More often than not, people who are using search engines want quick answers to very challenging questions. Hence, it’s helpful to incorporate words like “how-to”, “best practices”, “hacks” and others when doing this research.

From the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), you can look into the top ranking articles and get an idea on:

  • What has been written over and over — you can find out if a topic area has been over-slapped and if a lot of high authority and traffic websites have written about them. Here, you can either zoom in to find less rowdy content areas or leave them alone.
  • What has not been written yet — can you start creating content that no one has written yet and make it the most valuable one yet on the topic?

Collaborate with influencers to create great content.

I had that A-ha feeling when Andy Crestodina mentioned this one. Pretty straight forward yeah? But you’ll agree not everyone is doing it.

You can reach out to influencers, thought leaders, bloggers, etc that create content in your niche and industry for a collab. If you do this well, you’ll be killing plenty birds with one stone:

  • You improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and drive more traffic to your website. Yes, you’ll do your content distribution. The influencers, however, will want to share to their followers as well. This may also get more websites to link to your blog posts. This screams “authority” in all dimensions.
  • You open opportunities for the co-creation of content with like-minded highly sought-after individuals.

So, don’t sleep on this one. Find journalists, authors, podcasters, etc to co-create content with. It can even be as little as “contributor quotes.”

Reach out to them in a way and show that your article aligns with their brand’s theme and make sure their input requires minimal effort. Do this and wait for the magic afterward.

Some will say “NO”. That's fine. Some others will say “YES”.

What matters here is that you don’t feel unnecessarily entitled. Be patient. Be polite.

You can do your influencer outreach in the following ways:

  • Send them an email showcasing your understanding of who they are and what their platform is about. Show how your article is aligned with their existing content.
  • Follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, podcast, or Facebook page. Like, comment, and engage with their post. I suggest that before sending them any message, familiarize yourself with their content.
  • Share your existing articles, and even consider pitching a guest post to them.
  • Reach out to feature them in conferences and Zoom workshops.
  • Offer an open invitation to collaborate.

Repurpose, Reuse and Recycle your existing content

There’s an ocean of content out there waiting to be written. But many times, you can help but feel like you’re exhausting all your content ideas.

I feel this way many times too. Here’s where content repurposing comes in.

Look at your older posts and try to update them with new data or information.

Turn your best newsletters into a blog article, or vice-versa.

You can also turn your best long-form content into videos.

And those white papers and PDF research that you once published. You can create bite-sized articles or social media posts from them. There’s also some of your internal content, checklists and cheat sheets. Make these public!

See! There’s so much you can do with your content.

Another potent way of creating very valuable resources is to ask the question, “what assumptions do people have about your industry that isn’t backed by data?”

Is it how long it takes to write a blog content or how much professionals are earning in your space? All of these are potential win areas.

Don’t overthink it. It’s that easy.

Optimize your content for readability and aesthetics

Start with your headlines, do they catch the much-required attention?

Andy’s describes an effective headline as one that:

  • Makes a promise
  • Triggers curiosity
  • Uses numbers
  • Asks a question
  • Uses power words
  • Is sized to fit the purpose
  • Is keyword optimized

Some Quick Tips

  1. Make your article format easy to skim: Elements like headers, subheads, bullet lists, numbered lists, visual images, etc can significantly help increase your content’s readability.
  2. Avoid Lingos: Use common, everyday words. Use words that resonate better with most online readers.
  3. Avoid long blocks of paragraph: 2–3 sentences in a paragraph is the best advised. Fewer people read these days, you want to optimize for the skimmers. Also, add as much white space in between paragraphs as possible.
  4. Link a new content to an older one: You can also link older ones to new pieces. Cross-linking effectively can help your website’s SEO.
  5. Invest in creating valuable long-form content: Articles that are 1,000+ words get shared and linked to more. They take much longer to create and are often devoid of fluff.
  6. Use images and visual cues: Most content consumers are skimmers. Images and visual cues can help them understand what’s being said in your post better.

That’s it for content strategy. Below, I’ve shared the key things to focus on to improve your site’s ranking and technical SEO.

  • Create a flat, well-organized site structure

Your focus should be on ensuring that your site’s pages are only three to four links away from one another at worst. Messy site structures can lead to crawling and indexing issues and often result in orphaned pages. At the same time, your URLs should follow a consistent, logical structure

  • Ensure you have an XML sitemap

XML sitemaps are the “second most important source” for finding URLs. They also help with site crawling and indexing.

  • Check internal links

Cross-linking, as I mentioned much earlier in this piece, can be a quick win. A good way to think about this is to link high authority pages to low authority ones.

  • Address duplicate content

Using a tool like Copyscape to ensure that you don’t have a duplicate of your website content on another site. If you have this issue, and Google doesn’t consider your site the original author, then you’ll need to rewrite your content to address this.

  • Improve page speed

Page speed can have a direct impact on rankings, so it’s important to have a fast-loading site. You can address slow page speed issues by reducing your page size etc.

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Abdulsamod Balogun

Communications and PR Lead, Leonine Investment Services Limited. Enthused about Technology, New Media, Finance and Leadership.