Morgan Desaturated ShotMorgan Brown is the Head of Growth at Qualaroo, team member, and Co-Author of Startup Growth Engines and Unlocking Growth. Say hi @morganb. He’s also the featured guest of our #MentionChat on 9/18. Learn more.

The web is awash in content. If you’re in marketing, there’s a good chance you’re responsible or involved with content marketing as a strategy for your business.

If you’re in B2B or enterprise marketing, content marketing is probably your life. But while everyone is “doing” content, very few are using content as a true driver of growth.

While every industry has its own idiosyncrasies and best practices, it doesn’t take a genius to know that simply publishing a handful of blog posts isn’t enough to generate authentic growth.

So how do businesses grow through content marketing? It comes down to connecting content to the growth levers in your business and creating an intuitive, friction-free next step for readers to take in your marketing funnel.

In this post, I’ve explored a handful of ways to do just that, collecting some of my favorite tips for leveraging content as a means of tapping into real growth.

Laid out your strategy and ready to get started? Download our free cheat sheet for coming up with more content topic ideas!

Tip 1: Take the “But wait, there’s more!” approach

With this approach, you create a conversion opportunity by combining some great content with a power-up or premium item that is a companion for the post topic. Items like a downloadable checklist, exclusive video, expanded analysis, and so on make for great growth levers for driving targeted email subscribers.

Noah Kagan has mastered this technique and you can see it in action in his post “We Analyzed the 3,000 Most Successful LinkedIn Publishing Posts” which reads:

“In addition to the data, I put together a bonus section that shows you exactly how to make content on LinkedIn get more views. You can access the bonus content here.”

To access the bonus content, users are prompted to subscribe to Kagan’s email newsletter, as seen below:

image03Image via OKDork

The key to making the “But wait, there’s more!” approach work is to provide a ton of value before asking for anything. In the LinkedIn post discussed above, for example, there’s more than 1,500 words of data and analysis before users ever get to the supplementary download.

Likewise, Kim Roach doubled her content conversion rate using the “But wait, there’s more!” technique by splitting her list of The Best Fiverr Gigs of 2014 into two parts and sharing only half. At the bottom of her post detailing the first 10, she includes the following button:

image05Image via Buzz Blogger

Users who click are presented with the dialog below, which subscribes them to the newsletter:

image04Image via Buzz Blogger

Make it work for you:

Try creating a bonus piece of content that’s a companion to or expansion of your blog post, asking for an email address in exchange for access, perhaps using a tool like LeadPages.

Tip 2: Create serialized content

More expansive content isn’t just more work for you to create, it’s also more work for users to consume. Nevertheless, these lengthier pieces tend to generate a lot of interest. Though there are several viable means of presenting long-form content, serialization makes it more digestible while also giving you several opportunities to present users with a call-to-action or other conversion point. has driven a ton of subscribers with their Analytics Academy, which is essentially a six-week email drip campaign packaged in a way that feels like a free online class.

image02Image via’s Analytics Academy

Another great example of serialized content is 52 Weeks of UX, a Tumblr from designers Joshua Porter and Joshua Brewer, which uses tags to separate posts into weeks. With two posts of varying length per week, the blog adds up to a project of quite large scale.

image08Image via 52 Weeks of UX

Make it work for you:

Take a meaty topic, break it up into an ongoing series of content, and consider making it available exclusively for email subscribers. The nice part? You don’t need it all written before you start — you get at least a week between each new piece of content.

Tip 3: Remix! Making the most of your content

Most people don’t realize the opportunity that a single piece of content represents. As Neil Patel explains in The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing, “One of the secrets to creating a steady stream of content is to repurpose and recycle your ideas.”

For example, you can turn a webinar into a slideshare presentation, an infographic, a series of blog posts, or package quotes into tweetable nuggets. You can turn an ebook chapter into a blog post that incorporates the “But wait, there’s more!” strategy promoting the eBook, or ask a poll question in one post and share the results in another.

Just be sure that your repackaged content is useful on its own, creates value, and isn’t just a straight copy. Your users won’t forget it if it’s the same exact thing, and of course Google doesn’t like duplicate content.

Make it work for you:

Find one piece of content you have now that you can reinvent in another form, then brainstorm three different ways to get your content out there.

Tip 4: Go meta

This is one of my favorite ways to get an extra bump on existing content. You can get more out of a longer piece of content by analyzing what you learn from it in a shorter blog post on a site such as LinkedIn or Medium.

Create a digestible piece of content designed for consumption and sharing that gives distilled insights from your main content piece, as I did in the following post about the growth studies we write at

image01Image via Medium

My analysis post got more than 28,000 views on Medium and 5,800 views on LinkedIn — all for summarizing content!

Make it work for you:

Try summarizing a big piece of content by breaking it into a digestible post on a platform with lots of distribution.

Tip 5: Build skyscraper content

Lots of people publish content. Most of it is bad. That creates an opportunity to stand out by going above and beyond. Brian Dean of coined the term “Skyscraper” to describe content that is head and shoulders above the rest. Sounds like a great idea, right? But where do you begin?

According to Brian, the Skyscraper Technique can be accomplished in three steps: find link-worthy content, create something better, and reach out to the right people.

After using the Skyscraper Technique to create Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List, organic search traffic to Dean’s site (not just the page in question, but the entire site) doubled in just 14 days, as seen below:

image07Image via

Other examples of skyscraper content include Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO and Qualaroo’s Beginner’s Guide to CRO, which has been read more than 50,000 times and downloaded thousands of times.

Though this type of content does take some work to produce, you’ll be reaping rewards from it for much longer than your average 1,500 word blog post.

Make it work for you:

Where can you create a piece of remarkable content? What’s the current “best of the best” in your niche, and how can you make it better? Look for topics with lots of posts but no definitive resource. Go long form like Moz, build a collection of expert opinions, or research and bring your own data to the table. There’s lots of ways to stand out with skyscraper content.

Tip 6: Reverse engineer what’s going to be popular before you write it

Predicting which topics are likely to be well received isn’t magic, it takes a bit of elbow grease. Iris Shoor gives a step-by-step blueprint for reverse engineering your content strategy based on what’s working for other companies in your niche.

This doesn’t mean you copy what they’re doing. Rather, leverage tools like the ones below to get an inside view of their content marketing strategies, and use what you learn to craft your own high-quality content:

  • Open Site Explorer or BuzzSumo: Better understand the topics and types of content that get the most clicks and interactions.
  • SEMRush: Track which keywords are performing best for your competitors.
  • SensorTower: Performs a similar keyword analysis for mobile apps.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell: Find content that has performed well in the past for others and look for opportunities to create content that has a strong likelihood of getting similar response.

Make it work for you:

Before you write your next piece of content — or better yet — as you’re crafting your editorial calendar for the next few weeks, use the tools above to determine if your audience is going to care about it and engage with.

Tip 7: Go beyond writing, build free tools

Free tools are the new content marketing. Building a free tool like, Marketing Grader, or WordStream’s Adwords Grader is a great way to tap into your target market, generate leads, and create real value. Plus, it helps you stand out from the rest of the content marketers out there.

image00Image via Marketing Grader

In the same way that a piece of link-worthy, referenceable skyscraper content will get more attention than the typical blog post, a tool that quickly and easily helps people accomplish a difficult or time-consuming task will draw in more of your ideal users.

The best part? Conversions make inherent sense with free tools. Adding your email address and website to use marketing grader? How could you grade my site and send me a report without it? When there’s high perceived value you’re more likely to get conversions from your content.

Make it work for you:

What could you simplify or automate for your audience? Can you build the tool in a way that reinforces or underscores your value proposition?


No matter your niche, in order to succeed at content marketing, it’s important to approach content creation with growth in mind. Focus not just on creating quality content, but on creating content that is valuable to your ideal user, and work to deliver that content in a way that generates value for your business as well.

Content marketing has become standard in almost every industry, which means you’ll have to work harder to stand out. By focusing on how content can create growth, you’ll ensure that your investment in content marketing isn’t wasted.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools available today making it easier than ever to understand both your competitors and your target market, and to create content that drives your business growth.

What was your favorite way to make content drive growth? Let me know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to join our #MentionChat Twitter Chat with Morgan on is “Growth Hacking Bullshit?” this Thursday, Sept. 18 at 11am PDT (2pm EDT, 8pm CET)!

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Guest Blogger @Mention

Morgan Brown is the Head of Growth at Qualaroo, team member, and Co-Author of Startup Growth Engines and Unlocking Growth. Say hi @morganb.