15 Effective Content Marketing Tips to Skyrocket Your Results

Ravi Pandya

Sep 19, 202315 min read
Content Marketing Tips


If you’re looking for ways to improve your content marketing results, you’ve landed on the right page.

We’ve put together 15 of the best content marketing tips to help you achieve your goals.  

Here they are:

  1. Define and Document Your Content Marketing Strategy
  2. Dive Deep Into Audience Research
  3. Identify Relevant Topics
  4. Align Your Content with Search Intent
  5. Create Topic Clusters to Build Topical Authority
  6. Publish Original Research and Studies
  7. Demonstrate E-E-A-T
  8. Make Your Content Readable and Skimmable
  9. Select Your Content Distribution Channels
  10. Collaborate with Experts and Industry Thought Leaders
  11. Audit Your Site for Technical SEO Issues
  12. Repurpose High-Performing Content
  13. Update and Republish Underperforming Content
  14. Leverage Content Creation Tools
  15. Measure Your Content Marketing Performance

Now, let’s go over each of them in more detail.

1. Define and Document Your Content Marketing Strategy

Start with clearly defining and documenting your content strategy. It helps you align your content efforts with your business goals and establishes the metrics you can use for monitoring performance. 

So, it’s no wonder our State of Content Marketing report found 80% of companies that succeed with content marketing have a documented strategy. 

And 52% of unsuccessful businesses don’t have one. 

"Why do you need a documented content marketing strategy?" infographic

Here are some quick content marketing strategy tips:

  • Define your target audience (there’s a detailed discussion in the next tip)
  • Set your content goals—increase traffic, generate leads, drive free trials, boost sales, grow brand awareness, etc. 
  • Decide your content types—social media posts, videos, blog posts, podcasts, etc.
  • Choose your distribution channels—YouTube, social accounts, websites, etc. 
  • Know your resources—team, budget, tools, etc.
  • Create a content calendar to effectively manage your projects

Further reading: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Strategy

2. Dive Deep Into Audience Research

You need to keep your target audience at the core of your content to be successful. Because they’re the people most likely to be interested in your products or services. 

In fact, 47% of marketers cited audience research as one of the leading factors contributing to their success in content marketing. 

"What factors lead to success in content marketing?" answers

Imagine this: You’re running a real estate law firm. But you’re constantly getting inbound inquiries from people that need a family lawyer. This can happen when your content isn’t focused on your target audience. 

For precise targeting, you need to research your audience thoroughly. 

Start with gathering data like demographics, psychographics, professional status, challenges, and buying behavior. 

You can get this information from:

  • Analytics tools—Google Analytics (GA4), social media analytics, CRM analytics
  • Customer research—surveys, interviews, feedback
  • Industry research reports like ones from Gartner or Forrester
  • Interactions and conversations on social media platforms

To get more insights, you can analyze competitors’ audience data with One2Target

Just enter a competitor’s domain (you can even add up to five) and click “Analyze.” 

Searching for "ikea.com" in One2Target

You’ll first see the “Demographics” report. Which includes information about this audience’s age, geographic location, and more. 

“Demographics” report in One2Target

Go to the “Socioeconomics” and “Behavior” tabs to see even more details.

Once you gather all the information you need, use it to create detailed buyer personas

You can even use our Persona tool to build buyer persona profiles like this:

A buyer persona profile build in Semrush Persona tool

And make sure your content ideation, creation, and distribution efforts are in alignment with these personas.

Further reading: Target Audience: What It Is & How to Define It for Your Business

3. Identify Relevant Topics

Address topics that resonate with your audience’s wants and needs. It helps you capture their interest and guide them through your marketing funnel.

So, find out what questions they have or which problems they’re trying to solve. And answer those queries with your content.

How do you find these queries?

Here are some effective ways:

  • Sales conversations: Ask your sales team about the most frequent sales objections—reasons that stop prospects from buying your products/services. And answer these objections through your content. 
  • Customer support conversations: Get a list of most persistent customer complaints or queries from the support team. Then, create content around those topics. Or, you can turn them into product guides or articles for your knowledge base.
  • Keyword research: Conduct keyword research to find, analyze, and target your audience’s most searched queries
  • Online forums: Check out the discussions happening in your niche on platforms like Reddit and Quora. You’ll get plenty of unique queries that people want detailed answers to. 
  • Competitor websites: Analyze competing websites to see what kind of topics they cover. These topics may resonate with your audience, too. But make sure to do a thorough competitive content analysis to make informed decisions.

If you’re just starting out with content marketing, consider choosing topics based on keywords with low competition and a high search volume. We call them high-efficiency topics. 

You can easily find these types of topics with the Topic Research tool. 

Just enter a general phrase related to your industry (for example, “health insurance”) into the tool. 

Then, select your target country and click “Get content ideas.”

Searching for "health insurance" in Topic Research tool

And you’ll see a number of subtopic ideas.

"Content Ideas" tab for health insurance in Topic Research tool

Next, apply the “Topic Efficiency” filter. And you’ll see subtopics with high search demand and low competition. 

Topic Research tool results for health insurance with "Topic Efficiency” filter applied

You can also find a list of popular headlines, questions, and related searches by clicking on any subtopic or the “Show more” text at the bottom of a subtopic card.

Headlines, questions, and related searches sections for "health insurance licence"

Analyze the headlines and questions from this list. And use them to inspire your own title and  subheadings. 

Repeat the above process to generate more content ideas.

4. Align Your Content with Search Intent

It’s critical to make sure your content addresses search intent—the underlying reason behind a user’s query. Because search engines aim to rank the most relevant pages that satisfy users’ search intent.

For example, when a user searches “best gaming laptop,” they (most likely) want to compare different options. At least, that’s what Google thinks.

That’s why it ranks the laptop review and comparison blog posts for this keyword. 

Google SERP for "best gaming laptop" search

By conducting a search intent analysis, you can understand exactly what searchers want. And create content that meets their needs. To increase your ranking chances. 

Here are some quick tips to make sure you match the search intent:

  • Analyze the SERP (search engine results page) to find out the most dominant content type, format, and angle. Structure your content accordingly.
  • Check what the top-ranking pages have included and what they lack 
  • Find out how you can provide more value than the existing pieces—unique angle, examples, media, etc.
  • Discuss the topic comprehensively—answer the “what,” “why,” and “how.” Also, cover relevant subtopics that searchers may want to know about.
  • Provide in-depth, actionable insights that readers can act upon

Read our detailed search intent guide to learn more about how to satisfy what searchers are looking for. 

5. Create Topic Clusters to Build Topical Authority

A topic cluster (also called a content cluster) is a group of content assets on a specific topic. And they can help build authority within your niche.

Every cluster consists of three elements:

  • Pillar page: It provides a high-level overview of a broad topic (e.g., “SEO Basics”)
  • Cluster pages: These cover the subtopics in detail (e.g., “Keyword Research,” “Link Building,” etc.)
  • Hyperlinks: These are the links that connect the pillar page to each cluster page and vice versa

Like this visual shows:

An infographic showing the structure of a topic cluster

Here’s how clustering helps you build authority:

When you create high-quality content pieces on a specific topic and interlink them, it tells Google that these pages are conceptually related. And that you know a lot about the subject. 

So, Google might see your site as an authoritative source for a given topic. And be assured that your pages will be helpful to people searching for those terms.

This can help your site rank well for the keywords in that cluster. 

Further reading: Topic Clusters for SEO: What They Are & How to Create Them

6. Publish Original Research and Studies

Creating content based on original research and studies provides new and unique insights. So, it can easily stand out among other content formats like how-to posts, listicles, trends, etc. 

This helps you establish your brand as an authoritative and credible source. 

Conducting original research makes you the primary data source. Which can help you get more backlinks and social shares. To further help your SEO. 

For instance, our Zero-Clicks Study has generated over 1,200 backlinks from 444 referring websites. Which you can see in our Backlink Analytics tool: 

Results for Semrush Zero-Clicks Study in Backlink Analytics tool

If you lack resources to conduct research or a study, use these alternate ways to create original content:

  • Provide a unique angle for an existing topic
  • Offer insightful analysis beyond obvious understanding
  • Create original media—images, infographics, videos, etc. 
  • Share what you’ve learned from your own experiments 

7. Demonstrate E-E-A-T

Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines state they value content that exhibits signals of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

An image explaining what E-E-A-T stands for

Note: E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor. It’s a framework Google’s search quality raters use to assess the reliability and usefulness of pages. And their feedback helps Google know whether the algorithm returns quality results. This makes E-E-A-T crucial for your site’s SEO. 

Here’s how you can optimize your pages for E-E-A-T:

  • Experience: Talk about your first-hand experience on the topic. For example, if you’re writing a product review post, make sure you use the product first.
  • Expertise: Ideally, you should be a subject matter expert (SME) for the topic. Or, interview SMEs and include their insights in your content.
  • Authoritativeness: Your website should have topical authority in your industry. For example, we can say Semrush has significant authority in the SEO and digital marketing niches. You can build authority by consistently creating quality content and being linked to from high-authority sites in your industry. 
  • Trustworthiness: Cite credible sources to back up your claims, share author credentials, and share sample size and methodology (if publishing original research) 

Here’s how Healthline assures readers and Google about the reliability of information in its article:

Healthline shows it’s article is reviewed by a qualified medical professional

They’ve highlighted that it’s reviewed by a qualified medical professional for accuracy. 

Further reading: What Are E-E-A-T and YMYL in SEO & How to Optimize for Them

8. Make Your Content Readable and Skimmable

Your content must be to the point and easy to read. Because many people just skim content rather than reading all of it.

This is even more important if you’re creating B2B content. Because B2B audiences usually browse the internet for quick, work-related queries. 

So, you need to deliver value quickly (share key takeaways first) if you want them to keep reading.

And here’s how you can improve content readability: 

  • Keep the sentences and paragraphs short
  • Use active voice
  • Have enough white space—avoid big walls of text
  • Incorporate headings and subheadings 
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists
  • Include visuals
  • Avoid using jargon

You can check your content’s readability score using SEO Writing Assistant

Either write your content in the tool or copy and paste it. 

Then, enter at least two target keywords and click “Get recommendations” to see how the tool scores you for readability.

Content’s readability score highlighted in SEO Writing Assistant

It also highlights the hard-to-read sentences. And offers to simplify them to improve readability.

An example of a hard-to-read sentence shown in SEO Writing Assistant

9. Select Your Content Distribution Channels

You need to plan your content distribution and pick the right channels. To ensure your content actually reaches your target audiences.

And there are three main types of distribution channels:

  • Owned media: Channels you control like your website, blog, email list, and social media. These channels are more sustainable and cost-effective to manage in the long run. But you need to be patient since it takes time to build an audience and generate return on investment (ROI).
  • Paid media: Channels like social media ads, search ads, sponsored content, etc. These channels can give you quick results. But you have to keep spending money to run them.
  • Earned media: Channels that belong to third parties—online publications, niche blogs, review sites, social media influencers, etc. It’s free media coverage. But you can’t control it. Think of it as your online reputation where external platforms (or people) share and talk about your content.

Here’s a visual that shows the differences between each:

An infographic mapping key types of content distribution channels and related tips

Which channels should you use?

The short answer: The channels that your audience prefers. 

So, get to know the platforms your audience uses most frequently. And promote your content on those platforms. 

Our research shows social media (both organic and paid), email marketing, and organic search are the most used content promotion channels.

A chart showing top content promotion channels in 2023 based on Semrush research

However, you should experiment with different channels to see what works best for your business. Besides, your niche and goals can also influence the choice of promotion platforms. 

Generally, using a combination of organic and paid channels often works best.

This way, you can start gaining traction from paid media while you’re still building your organic presence.

10. Collaborate with Experts and Industry Thought Leaders

Collaborating with recognized influencers and experts exposes your content to their established and engaged audience. So you can reach more audiences.

Other benefits include that it:

  • Adds value to your content with fresh ideas and perspectives
  • Enhances the credibility and authority of your content (think E-E-A-T)
  • Amplifies content promotion
  • Opens doors for future collaboration and networking opportunities with more experts

For example, we collaborated with content marketing experts and thought leaders. And asked them to contribute their insights for our State of Content Marketing report.

"Top 6 content marketing trends for 2023" section from State of Content Marketing report

Here’s another example: 

Global Digital Marketing Leader Shama Hyder has contributed to our YouTube channel

Youtube video thumbnail

11. Audit Your Site for Technical SEO Issues

Checking your website for technical SEO issues (which affect your site’s crawlability, indexability, and overall site performance) is important. Because your site’s technical health directly impacts its search performance. 

Here’s why:

  • If Google can’t crawl and index your pages, they won’t rank 
  • If your site is slow, it frustrates users and makes them leave. This sends a negative user experience signal to Google. Which can negatively affect your rankings.
  • If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it can have indexing and ranking issues. Because Google uses a mobile-first indexing approach. And mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor. 

And there can be many more technical SEO issues.

But they all mean the loss of potential traffic and business. 

So, make sure you perform technical SEO audits regularly—at least every quarter. 

You can use Site Audit to check your site’s health. And find the technical issues that need your attention. 

Follow the configuration instructions to run an audit. And then head to the “Overview” report. 

“Overview” report in Site Audit tool

You’ll see an overall health score and a breakdown of different issues (“Errors” are the most severe.)

Head to the “Issues” tab to see a complete list of issues. And click “Why and how to fix” next to any issue for a short description of the issue and tips for fixing it. 

An example of “Why and how to fix” section in Site Audit "Issues" tab

Further reading: How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit in 10 Steps

12. Repurpose High-Performing Content

Repurposing your best content into different formats (like the ones shown below) helps you reach more people on more platforms. 

An image showing different content types

And you’ve already done the groundwork. So, you don’t have to start from scratch. 

For example, we surveyed more than 1,700 marketers and business owners to put together our State of Content Marketing report

We repurposed this report into multiple blog posts:

And the statistics post turned out to be a link-generating machine. It’s attracted over 9,900 backlinks so far. You can check them using our Backlink Analytics tool: 

Backlink Analytics tool shows the article about statistics generated 9.9k backlinks

Similarly, you can repurpose:

  • Blog posts into videos
  • Blog posts into social posts
  • Blog posts into an ebook
  • Videos into blog posts
  • Courses into video series

And more.

Let’s say you’re a food blogger. And your blog post “Top 10 Healthy Breakfast Recipes” has gained significant traction. 

You can turn it into a video series that you upload to YouTube. Each video would cover one breakfast recipe. With a step-by-step demonstration of the cooking process.

Further reading: 8 Tools For Repurposing Content

13. Update and Republish Underperforming Content

This is one of the most underrated tips for content marketing—update old content. Because it can lead to renewed value.

So, find your underperforming content. And see whether you can revive it. 

You might not even need to rewrite all these underperforming pages from scratch. Some probably require minimal updates like:

  • Removing outdated information 
  • Adding new data/statistics 
  • Optimizing on-page SEO elements
  • Restructuring for better readability

You can use On Page SEO Checker to quickly scan your underperforming pages. 

Follow the configuration instructions and make sure to add all the underperforming pages you want to analyze.

You’ll then be taken to the “Overview” report. Which gives you a high-level look at the suggested on-page ideas.

On Page SEO Checker "Overview" report

Then, click the “Ideas” button next to one of the pages. To discover optimization opportunities that can improve its rankings. 

“Optimization Ideas” page in On Page SEO Checker tool

14. Leverage Content Creation Tools

Content creation tools save time and increase productivity. 

Let’s say you want to write a blog post on the topic “How to start an online business.”

Instead of spending hours brainstorming headlines, you can use our Free Title Generator

And get multiple title and format suggestions instantly. 

Like this:

Example of headlines for "how to start an online business" generated by Free Title Generator tool

Consider these a starting point. You can refine them as needed. 

And then you can use AI copywriting tools like ContentShake AI. To create unique, engaging, and optimized content for your topic.

Let’s take a look:

Open the app and click “My own idea”. Then enter your topic and hit the “Start writing” button. 

Searching for "how to start an online business" in ContentShake AI

The tool will generate a detailed outline (as shown below). 

Then you can write the article yourself. Or create it with AI by clicking “Compose with AI.”

In ContentShake AI you can create articles using AI

And then you can also optimize your content’s readability, SEO, and tone of voice. Click the “Optimization” tab and follow the recommendations. 

"Content Issues" section

Remember, these tools give you a good head start. But you still need writers and editors to:

  • Review the content’s accuracy
  • Add first-hand experience and actionable insights on the topic
  • Ensure content is aligned with the search intent and your goals
  • Match the brand voice and style guide

So, treat these tools as assistants. Not replacements for human expertise. 

Because it’s best to focus on publishing high-quality content that helps readers achieve their goals. 

15. Measure Your Content Marketing Performance

It’s important to understand how content efforts contribute to your goals. So you can see what’s working and what you need to improve.

And it also helps you allocate resources wisely. 

For example, you can withdraw the budget from strategies that didn’t work. And pump it into the ones that performed well.

How can you gauge success?

Here are some key content marketing metrics you should track:

  • Website traffic: The number of people who visited your blog or website because of your content 
  • Engagement: The number of people who engaged with your content—comments, social shares, likes, mentions, etc.
  • Leads: The number of users who filled out an inquiry form, downloaded a free resource, subscribed to a newsletter, etc. 
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who converted into leads (or from leads into paying customers). Or any other custom conversion goal.
  • Cost per lead: The average amount of money spent on content marketing efforts to generate a lead
  • ROI: The profit you made in comparison to the amount invested in content marketing

Pro tip: Use ImpactHero to get a breakdown of how your content is performing. Plus ideas for how to make improvements.

Ace Your Content Marketing Game

Done right, content marketing is one of the most cost-effective and sustainable ways to educate, acquire, and retain customers.

The key is to prioritize your audience and deliver high-quality, useful content. 

At the same time, content marketing is constantly evolving. And you need the right tools and resources to keep up.

Level up your content game with our tools for topic research, content creation, and much more.

Author Photo
Ravi is a data-driven content marketer, writer, and strategist with over 10 years of marketing experience. He helps B2B SaaS companies drive organic growth with product-led content and SEO.
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