This guide will show you everything you need to know about content marketing, including how to find content ideas, nurture leads, and measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.

Table of Contents

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Creating valuable, timeless content for a specific audience or problem needs to be your #1 marketing priority.

Here’s why:

1. Great content helps you position yourself as an authority in your industry, opening up speaking engagements and partnership opportunities and building trust with your target market.

2. Great content increases your online visibility and makes you easily referable, leading to an increase in traffic, leads, and sales.

3. Consistently publishing valuable content enables you to become known, liked, and trusted in your industry, turning leads into loyal customers and raving fans.

With an increase in competition on every social platform, and the ongoing battle to cut through the noise, creating valuable, authentic content and developing a comprehensive strategy has never been more important.

As Seth Godin says, “Content Marketing is the only marketing that’s left.”
Despite the importance of having a detailed content marketing strategy, businesses still have trouble sourcing ideas, creating great content, nurturing leads, and measuring the ROI of their content.

Hubspot’s Marketing Statistics Report found that 55% of B2B marketers say they are unclear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like. 

(Content Marketing Institute, 2015) And only 32% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)

These are the common reasons why businesses don’t put more effort into their content marketing strategy:

1. Don’t have enough time to sit down and create content themselves.

2. Don’t know what to write about.

3. Don’t know how to measure the ROI of content marketing, so it’s easy to push down the to-do list.

4. Don’t know how to use content as a tool to turn readers into customers.

If you can relate to any of these problems, then don’t worry, because I have created this guide to help you gain a better understanding of the 6-phases of content marketing.

This guide is full of actionable advice and tips that you can use in your business to create better content and effectively measure the ROI from your efforts.

There is more to the ‘content’ game than just writing a nice article and publishing it on your website.

Today, content marketing has evolved into what we define as a 6-phase strategy:


Roadmapping is where you conduct competitor, industry, and customer research to find great content ideas that answers the questions your target market are asking. In this guide, I’ll show the 5 best free sources of content ideas.


Content Creation is all about producing high-quality, authentic, easy to consume content that brings value to the reader. I’ll give you 4 quick tips to consider when you’re creating content.


Promotion & Distribution includes managing your content calendar, promoting
your content on multiple channels, and strategically boosting your best performing
content. I’ll show you 5 strategies you can use to make your content work for you.


Lead Nurturing is all about guiding leads through your sales funnel once they become subscribers to your email list. I’ll show you how you can structure your ‘welcome series’ so you can turn leads into paying customers.


Data & Reporting helps you measure the ROI of your content marketing efforts. It’s important to collect and analyse data so you know what’s working and what isn’t. I’ll show you the 5 key metrics you need to pay attention to so you can calculate the ROI from your content.


Asset Management involves storing and recording all your content assets and data, so you are equipped with an arsenal of digital assets. In this guide I’ll show you how to set up a basic ‘asset drive’ using Google Drive.

If you want your content marketing to be your biggest driver of leads and sales, then you need a content marketing strategy that covers all 6-phases. 

Let’s get into it!


5 Best Free Sources For Content Idea Generation

“I know I need to publish content, but I don’t know what to write about!”

Does this sound familiar?

One of the big reasons business owners don’t put more effort into their content marketing is due to a lack of ideas for content.

The good news is, there are 5 easy, effective, and free methods you can use to discover great ideas for content assets.

If you invest just a few hours exploring these sources, you should have at least 3 months worth of content ideas to work with.

  1. QUORA

Quora is a question-and-answer website where users ask questions and provide answers as part of an open discussion.

You can use Quora to search for a keyword or phrase that is relevant to your business. It will then show you a list of the most popular questions and topics being discussed.

For example, let’s say you’re a naturopath. You might search the phrase “natural remedies”. As you can see below, a list of results will then show up giving you some great ideas for content.

As you can see in the above example for “natural remedies”, the questions that appear when you sort the list by “past week” have very few answers, if any. It also provides you with ideas that are perhaps new and unique, giving you great ideas for content that should perform well in search engines.

In the screenshot above, the question titled “Is there any natural way to correct myopic eyes with natural remedies?”, has 6 Followers and 0 answers. This indicates that there are a good number of people out there that haven’t found an answer for this question, so writing a few paragraphs with a link to your more detailed article should generate a good amount of traffic.

SIDE NOTE: Use links sparingly, and make sure you provide value first before including any links to articles from your site. The last thing you want is Quora to flag your site as ‘spam’.


Buzzsumo is a handy tool for content marketing and SEO campaigns. It offers insights on what content performs best for any given topic or niche.

On Buzzsumo’s homepage you’ll see a search bar where you can enter a keyword or phrase and hit search. The site will show you a list of published content that relates to your search, along with statistics on shares and comments.

For this example, let’s say you’re a physiotherapist, and you want to know what content is performing best for the search phrase “injury prevention.”

A closer look at the results will give you some great ideas for articles, including “Hand-Positioning Tips to Prevent Injury in Weight Bearing Poses”, “The Core Workout That Prevents Injury”, and “How NBA Star Brandon Ingram Manages Knee Tendonitis”.

The key here is to use the theme of the post and offer your unique take on it. Avoid simply copying the content. If you just copy paste the article it will be flagged as plagiarism and your site will be punished. Study the article, in particular the comments section, and find what questions are left unanswered. You can then take that feedback and create your own article.

With a free trial, you can also access other tools including ‘Question Analyzer’, which will populate a list of common question being answered (much like Quora), as well as more in-depth content analysis.


True to its name, Answer The Public helps content marketers identify the best topics for content by giving you a free report of what questions people are asking about your niche in Google search.

This time we’ll put ourselves in the shoes of a Podiatrist (pun intended), and search the phrase “running”.

As you can see above, you will get a massive list of questions that you can use to plan content. Some great examples from the list above include “How running
affects your brain”, “How running reduces stress”, and “are running machines any good?”.

You can also get a lot more specific and search for niche phrases.

For example, a podiatrist or physiotherapist might search the term “shin splints” to see what common questions people are asking about the condition. You’ll then see a whole bunch of questions that you can use to create an epic article about managing and treating shin splints.

As well as the list of questions, there are also several tabs that provide other content ideas. The Prepositions tab also shows you a chart of search phrases from users that contain your keyword with prepositions such as can, for, to¸ and the like.

The Comparisons tab shows you a chart of phrases that users search for containing your keyword and comparison cues such as vs, versus, or, and like.

The Related tab shows you a chart that displays incomplete phrases containing your keyword. For example, if you type in the keyword “swimming pool”, the Related tab will show you search phrases such as “swimming pool Sydney” or “swimming pool near me”.

You have the option to download an image file of the charts from each tab, or you may opt to download the data from all the tabs in a CSV file for future reference.


Jump on forums that relate to your niche and see what people are talking about. What common questions are people asking? What problems are they running into?

To find forums that relate to your niche simply type “[your niche] forum” into Google. You can even get more specific and search for ‘Australia forum’. Scroll
through the list of results and you should find multiple forums that are great for finding content ideas

If you can add value on the forum, even better – sign up and start engaging with other forum members. You can build up relationships authentically and ask members to share their questions with you.

Just don’t jump on and promote your website and business straight away – you’ll come across as spammy and be quickly booted out.

Much like forums, Facebook Groups are a great resource for generating discussions with your target market and finding ideas for content.

Let’s say you’re a Chiropractor. A simple search for Facebook Groups for the phrase ‘Back Pain’ will return a ton of handy results

Again, try to add value wherever you can.


Your existing customers are perhaps the best source of content idea generation, and they’re usually more than happy to give you feedback. There are a few ways
you can go about sourcing ideas from your existing customers:


If you want to know what your customers are thinking, just fire off a quick email asking what questions they have and what problems they are facing. The key is to
keep it short and sweet.

For example,

“Hi [name], what’s your biggest challenge right now with X? If you have any questions, hit reply to this email and I’ll help you out.”

This should generate some great ideas that you can turn into value-packed content assets.


If you want a more in-depth view of your customer’s mindset and pain points, a survey is a great option. If you don’t have any customers yet, or you just want to
get in the minds of people who are your target market but haven’t purchased your product, you can also reach out to people and request an interview.

You can quickly set up a survey using Google Forms, or a service like Survey Monkey.

Here are some questions we recommend asking your existing customers:
1. What is your biggest problem right now regarding X?
2. What questions about X are you struggling to find answers for?
3. What in-depth guide or article would you find most helpful for ‘X problem’?
4. What key questions did you want answered before purchasing X?


4 quick tips for creating epic content.


According to Hubspot’s Marketing Research Report, 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts. (HubSpot, 2016)

Therefore, you should structure your post to account for the people that will skim, because skimmers can still convert into subscribers.

So, create informative headlines that are bolded and at least 16pt throughout your content, so that if someone does skim, they can still take away the main points and gain some value from the post.


Another common question that gets asked is, “How often should I publish content?”

The answer will be different for every business, and the best way to find out is to publish and test what frequency works best for you.

If you’re looking for a ballpark figure to give you a place to start, then check out these stats from HubSpot’s Content Marketing Statistics Report:

• Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)

• B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)

• B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)

• Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015)


There are plenty of different forms you can present content in, so run tests to see which gives you the best results. Here are a few examples of the different ways
you can present content:

• Long-Form Article (2000+ words)
• Short-Form Article (500 words or less)
• Image-Heavy How-To Article
• Long-Form Video (3+ minutes)
• Short-Form Video (<1 minute)
• Explainer Video
• Whiteboard Video
• How-To Video (Screen Share)

As an example, research displayed in this infographic by Mari Smith & Buzzsumo found that posts linking to long form content (2000+ words) received 140% more
interactions than linking to short content.


Repurposing your content is another great strategy. One great article can produce 3-4 additional pieces of content for you with little effort.

The bulk of the work is done in the writing of the article, so turn it into a video script, create audio soundbites, design a nice infographic that displays the information differently, and communicate the content via an email campaign. Boom – 5 content assets from one idea!


5 promotion & distribution tips to help make your content work for you.


The beauty of timeless content is that it never loses its relevance.

Although they do have their place for quick hits of traffic, blog posts such as “Best Fitness Exercises For 2018” have a short lifespan.

On the other hand, timeless, targeted content has a never-ending lifespan, and traffic will likely increase over time, so don’t be afraid to promote your best performing content every few months.


Speaking of your best performing content, make sure you dedicate some of your marketing budget to boosting and advertising your best performing content.

Don’t waste your dollars boosting every post, because it’s natural that some just won’t hit the mark. Instead, wait to see which content has the most, comments,
clicks, and opt-ins, and then give that content piece a paid boost.


Did you know ending your Facebook post with a question increases engagement?

According to this research by Mari Smith & Buzzsumo, posts ending with a question get 162% more interactions than the average post.

Also, try mixing up the length of your lead-ins – test short, medium, and long descriptions.

You can even test posting your entire article on Facebook with no blog link. Because it’s native and doesn’t link out from Facebook, these types of posts can
get a higher than usual level of engagement.


You should always be testing, and another great thing to test is the time and day that you post your content.

Your ideal customers might be more active on Facebook on a Sunday night, and fully focused on their Inbox at 8AM on Monday morning. Design a clear strategy that tests a range of times and days until you identify trends for peak engagement.

Another benefit of measuring the best times to post is that it helps you develop consistency.

If you send your weekly email blast every Friday at 5PM, then your subscribers begin to anticipate your emails every Friday at 5PM.

Consistency in delivery also allows you to conduct more accurate measurements of content performance. Because the time and day of delivery is the same, you can put more emphasis on the content being the factor for results.


Your content marketing efforts should be designed to increase sales, and the best way to do that is by building an email list.

If you’re not positioning your website, blog, and content to ask for your reader’s email, you’re leaving money on the table. A high percentage of readers will likely check out your post and then disappear, never to be seen again.

However, if they love what you’ve offered in your piece of content, and like the look of the offer you’re presenting at the end in exchange for their email, most will happily make the transaction.

That’s why it’s so important to attach a strategic opt-in to every piece of content. Whether it’s a free guide, eBook, assessment, or consultation, try to design it so it is highly relevant to each piece of content.

For example, if you’re a Financial Advisor publishing a post titled “5 Ways Australian Doctors Can Get A Great Home Loan Deal”, you could pair this with a lead magnet such as “Free Download: The 6-Point Checklist For Negotiating A Home Loan.”

The Free Download in this example is highly relevant to the article itself, so you’ll increase your chances of converting more readers to subscribers. And then you can begin the journey of turning those subscribers into paying customers! (That’s next!)


The ultimate Welcome Series for new subscribers.

It’s extremely Important to build your email list because it is traffic you control. You might have a big following on Facebook, but you’re at the mercy of Mark Zuckerberg – if for some reason Facebook shuts down tomorrow, you’ve lost your audience.

Your email list is traffic you own, so it’s a much more secure and valuable audience to build. If you want to learn about why it’s so important to create a Welcome Series and why email is an important channel to utilise, you can check out our more in-depth article on Why the first 2 weeks of a subscriber’s journey is critical.

In this guide, we’ll focus more on the Welcome Series itself and explain what each email is designed to achieve.


Turn New Email Subscribers Into Paying Customers

Email #1

Welcome + Thank-You Message

Present the Problem + Introduce Benefits of Solution [Cliffhanger: Solution]

Email #2

Email #3

Solution + Introduce Product/Service [Cliffhanger: Proof]

Testimonials/Social Proof [Cliffhanger: Special Offer]

Email #4

Email #5

Special Offer + New Workflow Discovery

An effective Welcome Series should contain anywhere from 4-7 emails that are spread out over the course of 1-2 weeks. For more advanced campaigns, you can also create multiple Welcome Series sequences that are personalised depending on the subscriber’s First Point of Contact and Source of Discovery (more on that in

Bonus Tip: The Perfect Welcome Email Subject Line

There are two things you need to include in the subject line of your welcome email:

1. The subscriber’s name

2. The words “thank you”.

From HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics:

• Email subject lines that includes the words “thank you” have the highest above-average engagement levels. (Adestra, 2015).

• Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line has higher click through rates than emails that did not. (HubSpot, 2014).

EMAIL 1: Welcome + Thank-You Message

Use this email to thank the person for subscribing to your email list. Remember to use the subscriber’s name and ‘thank you’ in the subject line to help maximise your open-rate.

You also want to use this email as a teaser for the next 4 emails. Tell them what they can expect over the next week or two, and let them know why they should be opening every email.

It’s important to create a sense of excitement and let your customer know there’s plenty of value on the way so that they will be anticipating your next email.

EMAIL 2: Present the Problem + Introduce the Benefits of Solution [Cliffhanger: Solution]

Use this email to make the subscriber aware of the problem. Highlight the pain points and try to paint a picture that reflects their current experience.

For example, we might say, “It’s tough to get a constant flow of traffic and leads to your website. Today’s digital world is noisy, and people’s attention span is shorter than ever.

The good news is, there is a solution – Content Marketing!

By offering value in the form of content that educates or entertains, you can capture some of that limited attention and get traffic flowing to your website.

If you’re producing content regularly, then you’re going to see a steady increase in traffic and leads, while also building authority in your industry.

What’s more, there are a few specific strategies you can implement to ensure that you’re not wasting your time creating content.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about the method that works and how you can use it to increase your traffic, so keep an eye out for the email.”

EMAIL 3: Solution + Introduce Product/Service [Cliffhanger: Proof]

Now it’s time to introduce your product or service and talk about how your solution can help solve the problem your subscriber is dealing with. Give them a full rundown of how your product or service works, and why they need it.

Finish the email off with a primer for your next email, with something like:

“P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll show you how we helped 4 businesses achieve amazing results with this solution. Make sure you check out the email!”

EMAIL 4: Testimonials/Social Proof [Cliffhanger: Special Offer]

So you’ve made the subscriber aware of the problem, related to their current frustrations, and introduced your solution. Now, we need to prove that it works!

This email should be packed with testimonials and reviews from past clients that help your subscribers gain trust in you and your business. If subscribers can see that your solution works they will be more likely to purchase your product when you send Email 5.

In Email 5, you’ll be giving your subscribers a special one-time offer, so finish off Email 4 with a teaser letting them know that a special offer is on the way!

EMAIL 5: Special Offer + New Workflow Discovery

This email is where you present your special, one-time-only offer to your new subscribers. It might be discount or free consultation that is only available for 24 hours. Your subscribers who have opened every email and found value in your content are going to be more likely to buy than if you simply emailed them and said “buy my stuff!”.

You can also use this final email for ‘New Workflow Discovery’. The power of email automation and segmentation means we can begin to offer more personalised content for each subscriber.

Therefore, you can end the email with a question that will help you offer relevant content moving forward.

For example, let’s say you’re a Physiotherapist – you might end the last email with a CTA like this:

“Moving forward, I’d love to offer you more relevant content that will bring you value, so please click on the link below that best describes you:

[Male, 15-25 years old][Male, 26-40 years old][Male, 40+ years old][Female, 40+ years old][Female, 40+ years old][Female, 40+ years old]”

Those who click ‘Male, 26-40 years old’ would then be placed in an automated workflow that sends content that is relevant to that demographic, such as advice on how to keep fit while raising a family, or how to workout while working a full-time job.

The question is designed to help you learn more about your subscribers, so the more specific you can be, the better.


5 key metrics that help measure the success of your content marketing.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of data if you’re tracking everything from page views and time on page, to comments and shares.

Your best bet for effectively measuring the impact and results of your content marketing efforts is to focus on these 5 metrics:


As we’ve mentioned already, it’s important to be offering gifts such as free guides and ebooks to capture leads. You can also use contact forms, converting  people to subscribers by offering free assessments, consultations, or quotes.

Therefore, one of the most important metrics you should measure is the First Point of Contact. The First Point of Contact is the specific URL that your new subscriber opts-in from.

For example, let’s say you’re a Financial Advisor, and you write an article titled “5 Tips for Doctors Who Want To Get The Best Home Loan Deal”. Anyone that opt-ins from this page should have this article attributed to their First Point of Contact.

Keeping track of this metric will help you determine which content is converting readers to leads. It will also help you gain knowledge that will allow you to offer a more personalised experience for each new subscriber.

In the example above, it is highly likely that the new subscriber is a Doctor, so you can tailor your message to speak directly to the problems, challenges, and goals of a Doctor.


Another important metric that you need to track is Source of Discovery. Source of Discovery is a measurement of how the website visitor found your site.

We’ll talk more about how to track this later, but first, it’s important to understand why we need to measure this. Tracking the source of your website visitors helps you to determine which social and advertising channels are resulting in clicks to your website, and which clicks convert to new subscribers.

For example, you might discover that a lot of your traffic is coming from your Facebook Posts. You might then dig a little deeper and see that videos on Facebook are resulting in a lot of traffic. You can then use this knowledge to increase the number of videos you publish on Facebook.

Perhaps you notice while a lot of traffic is coming from Facebook, not a great deal of those visitors are converting into customers. You might see that a large percentage of people who find who through Google Search convert to customers, which would suggest you should put more time into ranking higher on Google.

The insights will vary from business to business, and what works for one person may not work for you. The only way to gain relevant, valuable data is to publish content and track your results.


47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)

Therefore, we need to keep track of what content each subscriber is consuming, so we can begin to promote unseen content and analyse buying behaviour.

By tracking each subscriber’s consumption metrics, you will start to notice patterns. For example, there might be 3 pieces of content that are ALWAYS consumed BEFORE a subscriber makes a purchase.

You can use this knowledge to refine your email marketing campaigns, as well as to include the content that converts in your sales conversations.

There are plenty of awesome tools (see below) that you can use to measure this, and the data is incredibly valuable.


Traffic and Subscriber Growth is also an important metric, as this is going to help

you determine how often you should be publishing content.

For example, you might notice that your traffic and subscribers increase by 3X when you publish content twice a week, as opposed to once a week. You can then

calculate the value of a subscriber and determine whether it’s worth it for your business to publish content twice a week.

Keeping track of your traffic and subscriber numbers relative to the frequency and type of content you publish is essential for refining and improving your content marketing strategy.


You need to justify your investment in creating content with sales, so you need to be tracking how your content converts to a dollar value.

However, it’s also important to focus on how you measure sales and attribute the result of a sale to specific content – that way, you can start to track the ROI from each piece of content.

Let’s say a subscriber converts to a paying customer, and makes a $1000 purchase. You should then revisit the subscriber’s profile that you have built, and attribute a dollar value to each of the pieces of content they have consumed. Additionally, you should also attribute a value to the First Point of Contact

Here are a few important points about measuring sales and content together:

1. Content is compounding – this means that the ROI from a single piece of content will INCREASE over time. This is why timeless content is so valuable.

2. Not every piece of content will be a winner – some of your content won’t attract any subscribers or sales, and may even fall flat when it comes to traffic and engagement. It’s important to keep in mind that a) your best performing content will easily make up for the duds, and b) each piece of content helps you learn more about what works and what doesn’t.

3. Don’t expect quick, immediate results – producing content is a long game, and most people need more than a few weeks or months getting to know you and your company before marketing a purchase. So don’t worry if the sales and subscribers start off slow – keep producing content, and soon enough the wheel will turn.

Okay, so we’ve established the key metrics that will determine the effectiveness of your content marketing.

But how do we keep track of everything?

These 4 tools are all super handy, so if you’re not using them already, make sure you check them out.


This one’s pretty obvious. No doubt most people have heard of Google Analytics and probably use it as a default. Google Analytics is going to help you keep track of page visits and traffic sources, so it’s a great one for keeping track of First Point of Contact and Source of Discovery.


If you’re publishing content on several social media platforms (and you should be!) then Bitly or Google URL shortener are handy tools you can use.

Creating unique URLs for each platform and piece of content will give you an additional source of data that will enable you to track clicks and views easily. This will give you some handy data regarding Source of Discovery.


Sumo is a great tool to use if you don’t have a dedicated web developer, or just don’t want to mess around with web dev every time you want to add an opt-in form or welcome page.

Sumo is a plugin that works with pretty much every site, allowing you to build custom opt-in forms, popups, and welcome mats. It also allows you to track page activity and how much of your content is consumed.

It does come at a cost, but you can get started building a list and opt-ins with the free features.


CRM Software such as Hubspot, Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, and Salesforce, is an essential part of digital marketing today. These all-in-one sales, email marketing, and customer management platforms will help keep track of all the important metrics discussed above. They are also equipped to help you build some powerful Subscriber Profiles that show you exactly what content and web pages your leads have consumed.

You can connect all these tools with Google Sheets, which will enable you to store and collate all your data in one place.


How to manage your content assets with Google Drive.

To effectively manage your content assets, you need all source documents and relevant data stored in a secure place. Google Drive is your best bet.

Here’s how you can set up your Content Management System using Google Drive:


First, set up a Google Folder where you will store all your content assets. For example, we simply named our folder: Content Jet [Content Assets].

You can also create sub-folders within the main folder to separate different types of content, eg. ‘Images’, ‘Videos’, ‘Articles’.


Next, set up Sub Folders to separate your content so that it’s easier to manage. Sub Folders may include: Image & Brand Assets, Written Content, Video Assets,
Data, Documentation.


Keep records of all your content in a Google Sheet. Check out the screenshot below for a sample of how you can set this up. Be sure to include information such

as type, topic, sub-type, tags, and any data that you collect.

You can also link each ‘Title’ field to the Google Doc that contains the source content for easy access.


Any time you begin a new piece of content, create a new Google Doc in the Content Assets folder. Be sure to also include it in the master Google Sheet and add the appropriate link.

Using Google Drive to store all your content assets this way makes it easy to manage your content. You can also use the data recorded in the Google Sheet to
break down content by type, sub-type etc. to gain insights into what specific content is delivering the best results.

I hope this guide has helped you in some way with your content marketing strategy.

If you have any questions about any of the 6 phases, or about our done-for-you content marketing service, flick me an email at


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