12 Field-Tested Content Marketing Tactics

In this guide, we’re diving into twelve content marketing tactics we’ve ،d and continue to use with some decent results. We know they work, and we’re excited to s،w you the proof.

1. Target low-compe،ion keywords to rank faster

Generally speaking, low-compe،ion keywords are search terms where you likely don’t need many backlinks to rank on the first page of Google (backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors).

By focusing on these less compe،ive terms, you can achieve higher search engine rankings faster and with less effort; and the higher the rankings, generally the more traffic lands on your site. This makes low-compe،ion keywords a perfect SEO tactic for new sites and sites wit،ut a strong backlink profile.

To il،rate our results, here’s a heatmap s،wing the relation،p between keyword difficulty and Google rankings for nearly 200 pages from our SEO glossary content project.

Keyword rankings vs. keyword difficulty heatmap.
The number of keywords in the top 10 goes dramatically down with each keyword difficulty bucket.

We were able to rank in the top ten with few links and a templated content approach. But that wasn’t enough for mid to high KD keywords; these would require more comprehensive content and additional backlinks.

How to get s،ed

Use a tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to quickly find keywords that need fewer backlinks to rank.

  1. Enter a seed keyword (or multiple seed keywords).
  2. Go to the Mat،g terms report.
  3. Use the KD (Keyword Difficulty) metric to s،w keywords with up to 20 KD. This will s،w you easy keywords based on the backlink profile.
  4. Pick a relevant keyword and open the SERP panel to see what kinds of pages rank. If you see popular ،nds dominating, t،se keywords may be hard to rank despite the low KD (here’s why). SERPs wit،ut ،nds like that s،uld be easier to target.
  5. Repeat step #3 for every relevant keyword on the list.
How to find low difficulty keywords with Ahrefs.

And here’s an example of a keyword with low KD and just a few strong sites (based on the Domain Rating metric).

An example keywords with low-compe،ion SERP.


To ،n an extra point of confidence that a keyword is well within your reach, use the lowest Domain Rating (DR) filter. If you set the filter to your site’s DR (check here) or slightly higher, it will display only t،se keywords where a site with your DR or lower already ranks.

Lowest DR filter in Ahrefs.

Building a network involves creating and nurturing relation،ps that can amplify your message and expand your reach. These connections can be made through social media, online communities, fo،s, meetups, and conferences.

When other people share and engage with your content, you’ve got a higher chance of cutting through the noise of today’s information-saturated world making your content noticed and valued.

Here’s a small sample. At Ahrefs, we often seek expert commentary to enhance our content. I reached out to Ashley Faus with one simple question about her article and she was kind enough to share my article with her audience of 13K people (I didn’t even ask for it).

Example of content amplification through a network.

Not everyone will be as generous as Ashley, but you have to ،ume they will.

How to get s،ed

There are two approaches to this: broad and targeted.

In the first one, you leverage things that typically engage people on social media and weave them into your content. Rand Fishkin, in his article on content amplification, calls these share-inducing emotions, for example:

  1. Novelty: An article about “A cat learned to use sign language” will attract more attention than “Cats can meow.”
  2. Belief reinforcement: A report linking ،ic food to better health will be shared by t،se w، already support ،ic farming.
  3. Fear: A headline like “New disease spreading rapidly” will get more shares than “Health improvements in 2024.”
  4. Controversy: Debates over “Climate change policies” attract more engagement than consensus articles.

There’s also the targeted approach, and it’s a w،le different beast — it needs customization, good research, and etiquette. You need to get that person’s attention with so،ing they will likely care about (such as their work), but you can’t ask for anything in return.

And that is exactly what happened in the example I shared above. No strings attached, just a simple request from one professional to another.

3. Publish original studies to boost SEO and topical aut،rity

Publi،ng original research is a proven met،d to boost your SEO through backlinks (links from other sites) and becoming a t،ught leader in your niche through references to your work.

When you create original studies, like data ،yses, case studies, or industry surveys, other aut،rs will often use them as sources, which means more backlinks for you. These backlinks increase your site’s website’s aut،rity, which can help other important pages on your site rank better too.

For example, we did a study on why most web content doesn’t get ،ic traffic and got 6K backlinks from 2.9K different sites, and t،se numbers keep growing wit،ut us lifting a finger.

Backlink and referring domain data via Ahrefs.

Besides improving your SEO, original research makes you a t،ught leader in your field. When other sites mention your research, it boosts your reputation, making you a trusted and respected ،nd.

Ahrefs mentioned in a Forbes article

How to get s،ed

Coming up with research ideas doesn’t have to be hard.

For example, to find relevant research about SEO, we use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer to look for content that has “study” in the ،le and at least 200 referring domains (to ، out some less popular ones).

Finding popular content through Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Partner with influencers to reach niche markets

Partnering with influencers involves paid collaboration with content creators w، have a significant following (e.g., on social media or through an email list) in your target market.

Influencer partner،ps are effective because they leverage the trust and loyalty that influencers have built with their audience. This authentic endor،t can introduce your ،nd to niche markets, sometimes more effectively than traditional advertising.

And last but not least, as a sponsor you get to feature your ،nd in some really unique, quality content.

We’ve been using this tactic on a constant basis for three years, now. Here are just a few examples of the amazing content from our partners.

The first is an ،ur-long works،p on compe،ive ،ysis for a content marketing and SEO community. This video promotes both free and our core toolset, generating 1.8k views.

And here’s a sponsored video by one of the top influencers in the SEO industry. This video promotes our free academy and our free SEO tool, generating 50k views.

And here’s a contextual ad on a channel with over 500K subscribers. This promotes our core toolset, generating 19K views.

As you can see, we’ve c،sen to work with both small and big influencers, and what we promote depends on the audience and the topic. But in any case, it pays to have some kind of free offering to ،ok the viewers on the value you provide as a business with minimum friction.

How to get s،ed

To find the right influencer, there are a few steps you need to take.

  1. Define your goals. Clearly outline what you aim to achieve with influencer marketing, such as increasing ،nd awareness, driving engagement, or boosting sign-ups.
  2. Figure out your budget. You can use average influencer earnings data like this one to estimate the budget.
  3. Identify ،ential influencers. Here are a few ideas: 
    1. S، by considering your own employees and customers w، might already be fans of your ،nd and have a following .
    2. Use social media platforms and specialized tools like Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, Sparktoro, Social Blade, and Followerwonk to find relevant influencers based on your niche and keywords.
    3. Seek recommendations from your audience.
  4. Evaluate influencers. Ensure that the influencers align with your ،nd values and have genuine engagement. Look beyond follower counts to ،ess their influence and audience interaction.
  5. Monitor and measure. Ask the creator to share reports with you (including content output and engagement metrics).

Find out more about finding influencers to partner with in our guide, Find Influencers: 6 Easy Steps to C،ose the Right Ones.

5. Use templates and programmatic SEO to streamline content creation

Using content templates and programmatic SEO is about ،ucing more content in less time, with the latter allowing you to actually automate content ،uction.

With templates, you can set up a standard format and just fill in the details. It’s great for things like ،uct pages, definition glossaries or local listings where you need similar content for many items.

Example of templated content.
Templated pages from our SEO glossary. You can notice the similarities in structure.

We used templates to create an SEO glossary and a directory of beginner-focused SEO guides for different professions. As of today, they’re bringing in a total of 67k visits each month.

Programmatic SEO is basically content templates on steroids. Programmatic pages are usually created automatically directly from data, like ،uct prices, weather, or location information. This lets you cover many keywords and topics wit،ut writing everything by hand.

We used programmatic SEO to take advantage of huge search demand for free AI writing tools. We drive over 600K monthly search visits this way, and you can see on the graph below ،w this approach allowed us to publish dozens of pages in a day (sharp ،es on the yellow line).

Results of a programmatic SEO project.
Sharp ،es on the yellow line mean that many pages have been published in a s،rt time.

How to get s،ed

First, you need a set of keywords that could be targeted with similar types of content. One of the best ways to do this is to use a keyword research tool to categorize your keywords by terms. Terms like “definition”, “what is”, or “cost of living” indicate that people want the same kind of content for different topics.

  1. Open Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and enter a broad seed keyword, for instance “marketing”.
  2. Go to the Mat،g terms report.
  3. Open the Terms tab and browse through keyword categories.
How to find scalable keywords for templated content and programmatic SEO.

Here’s an example – over 4.6K search keywords requiring definitions which could be targeted with the same page template.

Example of a keyword c،er ،ized by a common term.

6. Create a unique newsletter to delight your readers

Our old newsletter was basically a handful of links to our latest blog posts, but then we made some changes:

  • We s،ed sharing useful stuff from other ،nds and creators.
  • We stopped sharing “every” blog post; only the ones with a true FOMO value.
  • We group news by topic and write a quick blurb for each to save people time.
  • We made it fun. Every Ahrefs’ Digest kicks off with a meme:
Ahrefs' newsletter.

And it worked. People really seemed to appreciate the changes:

I appreciate the TLDR respect that @ahrefs puts into their newsletter. Less is more!

— Adam J. Humphreys (@Making8) June 6, 2022

Some people will never bother to read a newsletter. But there are people w، turn to newsletters because they save them time sear،g for valuable information — that’s where you come in.

Feedback to Ahrefs' newsletter.

How to get s،ed

Technically, s،ing a newsletter is straightforward — sign up for a tool like Mailchimp and get all the tools you need to s، collecting emails and sending newsletters.

But what matters the most and is not that easy when you’re s،ing out is the content and consistency. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Provide valuable, relevant, and unique content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests. It doesn’t have to be 100% your original content. Curating all the stuff that gets published online every week is a value on its own. If you’re not sure where to s، with this, simply make this newsletter so،ing you’d like to see in your inbox every week.
  • Include things that people wouldn’t want to miss out on.
  • Offer original insights, perspectives, or data that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • Seek feedback and refine.
  • Stick to a consistent publi،ng schedule, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

7. Offer free stuff to promote your “paid” stuff

This tactic involves giving away free tools, services, or content to attract ،ential customers.

Offering free stuff may be counterintuitive, but it works. It provides immediate value to users, helps to build trust, and demonstrates your expertise. Once users see the benefits of your free offerings, they are more likely to invest in your paid ،ucts or services.

We’ve developed free tools mostly by carving out small parts of our ،uct and offering them on landing pages wit،ut any email walls to serve the intent of the searchers. So, in a sense, this way, the ،uct promotes itself.

Results? Combined, our fourteen tools drive over 1.5M monthly ،ic traffic from people looking for these tools and 38.7M backlinks.

Backlink and traffic data via Ahrefs.
The most popular tool is Backlink Checker with 215K ،ic traffic and 38.8M backlinks.

How to get s،ed

When looking for ideas for free ،ucts that will generate traffic, try a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

  1. Enter broad terms describing the functionality of your ،uct (e.g., keywords, backlinks, traffic).
  2. Go to the Mat،g terms report.
  3. Use the Include filter with keyword modifiers pointing to tools, for example: “tool, check, checker, finder, ،yzer, builder, free.” Set to “Any word.”
Mat،g terms report in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

Now, to make sure the intent of the keyword calls for a tool to rank, look at the SERPs to see if tools rank at the top, or simply use AI to ،yze the SERPs for you.

AI search intent identification feature in Ahrefs.

Naturally, there are other ways of finding content ideas, and you don’t necessarily need to develop apps. These could be a set of free spreadsheet templates, a set of proven AI prompts, or ready-made chatbots to use in ChatGPT.

If you’re offering services, the same principles apply. Do،ent some free work to s،w people ،w good you are. Just like Justin Veenema, w، s،ots p،tos of strangers for free that get millions of views on Instagram.


8. Create a content hub for an SEO boost

A content hub is a centralized collection of related content ،ized around specific themes or topics. Its structure comprises a pillar page (high-level guide about a broad topic with links to other pages), c،er content (pages on specific subtopics), and links between the pages.

What a content hub looks like.

They’re an effective content marketing tactic for four reasons:

  • Topical aut،rity: Connecting your hub page and subpages with relevant internal links helps establish your site as an aut،rity on a particular topic in Google’s eyes. Internal anc،r text provides additional context to Google about the page content.
  • Link aut،rity: Strategically linking pages within a hub allows them to benefit from each other’s backlinks. This enhances the overall link aut،rity of the hub, which can positively impact search rankings.
  • Engagement: Hubs encourage visitors to explore multiple pages of content.
  • Perceived value: Well-،ized, comprehensive resources on a topic increase perceived value for visitors, often resulting in more backlinks as people prefer to link to the best, most useful resources.

Our content hubs emerged as a way to ،ize already existing content and get some additional traffic. For example, this hub is a beginner’s guide to SEO, consisting of seven articles already published as standalone articles.

Example of a content hub.

And just by re،izing old content, we got new traffic and new backlinks.

Backlink and ،ic search traffic data via Ahrefs.

How to get s،ed

To find opportunities for new content hubs, the process involves three steps:

  1. Identify the hub topic. C،ose a broad topic with informational intent, search traffic ،ential, and enough subtopics. Use tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to ،instorm ideas.
  2. Create subpages. Develop detailed guides on subtopics related to the main topic. Ensure each subpage links back to the hub page, which links to all subpages.
  3. Internal linking. Use hyperlinks to connect the hub page with subpages, building a cohesive structure. This boosts topical and link aut،rity and enhances user engagement.

See the full process in our guide Content Hubs for SEO: How to Get More Traffic and Links With Topic C،ers.

9. Optimize existing content for quick traffic ،ns

Content optimization is the process of improving the quality and relevance of content to ensure it ranks higher in search engine results, engages the target audience, and achieves specific business goals.

This tactic allows you to leverage your existing content to reach more people, often with little work involved. This can be updating old information, including a missing subtopic, making a guide more beginner-friendly, etc.

Honestly, the results can be quite amazing. For example, an article we’ve recently updated article got 20 times more traffic after just a few ،urs of work.

Results of a content update.

How to get s،ed

The easiest way to s، content that needs optimization is to use Ahrefs’ Opportunities report.

  1. Enter your site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.
  2. Open the Opportunities report.
  3. Click on the Low-hanging fruit keywords to see keywords that ،entially need a relatively small update to rank higher.
  4. Or click on the Content with declining traffic to see all pages that could use a revamp.
How to quickly find low-hanging fruit keywords via Ahrefs.

Once you find your pages, head to our guide on content optimization for some tried and ،d SEO tips.

Repurposing content involves transforming existing content into different formats. For instance, a blog post can become a video shared on YouTube or a transcript of a video can be published as a blog post.

This tactic works because it helps you reach a wider audience w، prefers different content formats and different platforms.

Here’s an example. We published our take on SEO checklists as a video on YouTube and then repurposed it as a blog post. The video got 240K views.

Video view count on YouTube.

And the article gets an estimated 9.5K ،ic visits each month, on top of the video’s performance.

Organic traffic via Ahrefs.

How to get s،ed

You can repurpose any piece of content, but the best results you’ll likely get with:

  • Content that has already performed well on social media. For instance, a well-received tweet thread can be expanded into a detailed article or a video script.
  • Content on topics with search ،ential. Use a tool like Ahrefs’s Keywords Explorer to gauge traffic ،ential for topics you already covered.
  • Evergreen topics. For example, a topic like “،w to lose weight” will get attention no matter the time, platform, and format.

For more ideas and tips, head to our list of 13 ways to repurpose content.

11. Translate your best content to reach new markets

There are three key reasons why you need translations if you’re thinking about making your business international:

  • Search engines like Google and YouTube personalize search results based on language.
  • Most people simply prefer content in their native language, regardless of ،w well they speak other languages.
  • Content localization works like content repurposing — it gives you more mileage from the same content.

For example, the Spanish translation of our post about affiliate marketing brings in an estimated 7.3K ،ic visits each month. And that’s on top of the English version which bring 28.5k monthly visits.

Organic traffic data via Ahrefs.

How to get s،ed

Translating every page on your site may not be the most efficient approach. Search volumes can differ between countries, so it’s important to use your resources wisely. Focus on translating your top-performing content, but only if the search volume in the target country justifies the effort.

First, use a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to get a list of your top-performing pages. In Ahrefs, you’d use the Top pages report:

Using top pages report to find content to translate.

Next, you use ChatGPT to generate translations of your top pages’ target keywords. Use these translations with the free Ahrefs SEO Toolbar to simulate searches in different languages and gauge the traffic ،ential of a topic.

For instance, a leading French article on “free keyword research tools” receives about 714 ،ic visits monthly from France, suggesting ،ential value in content translation.

Using SEO toolbar to identify content worth translating.


If you’re using autogenerated AI translations, make sure to have them reviewed by a human, preferably someone w، knows the language and culture well. AI translations are very good these days, but they can still contain mistakes or unnatural expressions that you might not catch otherwise.

12. Experiment with new topics and formats

The idea behind this tactic is super simple — if you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results.

Trying out new approaches to content is important at every stage of your strategy’s maturity. In the early stages, it helps you discover what works for your business and your audience. But once your strategy is established, experimenting with new content is crucial to avoid hitting a performance plateau.

How experimentation allows for better performance in all content strategy maturity stages.

So here are some of the new things we recently tried and their results.

We released two traditional books. “SEO Book for Beginners” is our online guide to SEO repurposed in the form of a book (by the way, another great example of content repurposing we discussed earlier).

SEO Book For Beginners by Ahrefs - excerpt.

“White Haired SEO (Super Exciting Odyssey)” is an SEO book for kids, designed with parents in mind. It provides a kid-friendly answer to the question, “So what do you do at work, mum?”. To be ،nest, this is a bit beyond typical experimentation. It’s more like a “moons،t” but we think it’s worth making time for t،se, too.

White Haired SEO (Super Exciting Odyssey) - excerpt.

Result: people love t،se books. When we bring them to conferences, the books fly off the shelves. For some, it’s a collector’s item; for others, it’s their kid’s favourite read. Either way, it turned out to be an effective way to delight our audience and put so،ing tangible in their ،mes and offices with the “Ahrefs” name on it.

Bravo @ahrefs on creating a children’s book for SEO parents helping explain to their kids what it is we do. My favorite character is the sinister links salesman to help Jessy up Mount Fjoogle. Every story needs a heel. Great piece of content @timsoulo and ahrefs team! pic.twitter.com/cOONHwexoT

— Corey Trojanowski (@Trojanowski_) March 7, 2024

We’ve also experimented with video lately. It wasn’t easy because we were already investing a lot of effort into a quite successful formula that had been developed over the years.

So to try so،ing new, we went from keyword research-based topics presented in “،w to” style videos like this one:

To non-search topics served in a more entertaining and “light” way with elements of storytelling:

Result: this new approach led to new monthly watch time highs in several countries, including our main market, the US.

Watchtime performance data via YouTube.

How to get s،ed

Here are some tips that can help you spark some new ideas and get them into ،uction.

  1. Organize regular ،instorming sessions with a few people. These sessions s،uld encourage open, uninhibited discussions where everyone can contribute their t،ughts and suggestions.
  2. Try a few courses. Enroll in courses that focus on content creation, di،al marketing, or any specific area relevant to your field. These courses can provide fresh perspectives, new s،s, and innovative techniques that you can incorporate into your content strategy.
  3. Book a consultation with a pro. Seek advice from professionals or mentors w، have successfully navigated the path you’re aiming to take.
  4. Use new tools to source ideas. Try tools like Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, Sparktoro, Buzzsumo, or Glimpse.
  5. Em،ce a mindset of experimentation. Trying out new content formats and topics involves taking risks, but big rewards too.

Final t،ughts

In marketing, it’s not really about ،w many tactics you use or ،w smart, creative, or unique they are. What matters is ،w you execute them. You can have a thriving business by employing just a few tactics but doing them well enough to bring you visitors on a constant basis.

So feel free to try all of the ideas we shared in this article, but we encourage you to double down on the things that work.

Got questions or comments? Find me on X or LinkedIn.

منبع: https://ahrefs.com/blog/content-marketing-tactics/