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As you’re looking to scale your business, your focus naturally shifts towards marketing strategies and tactics that can continue to scale without additional effort. This is where your content strategy can play a pivotal role in your ability to scale. Highly effective content will live on in perpetuity and drive results for years to come.
But developing a highly effective content strategy is beyond just a little difficult. With so many content types, distribution methods, and already existing information, it’s difficult to create content that builds traction and drives long-term results.
To help you develop a killer content strategy, here’s a framework you can walk through to ensure your content will drive results and growth for years to come.
What is Content?
Before diving into the framework, it’s good to define terms. When we look at content, it’s anything your business creates that is publicly accessible. So this isn’t just your blog content, podcasts, webinars, and e-books; it’s also your employee's LinkedIn posts, your sales team's emails, and the podcasts your employees are showing up on.
We want to be clear. You don’t own your employee's LinkedIn feeds, their podcast appearances, or personal brands. But the most successful companies today have internal employees leading the charge of personal branding which results in more employees becoming more active.
A brand is simply a collection of its people. People prefer to follow people. So as you look at developing your content strategies, you want to focus on your company-owned channels, while also making it easy for your other company-related channels to talk about your company campaigns.
If you can ensure that your people are incentivized and encouraged to talk about what your company is doing, you’ll see your content strategy work far more effectively. Now let’s dive into the framework.
Content Strategy Framework
This framework will walk you through a series of questions you can ask yourself and provide practical examples you can reference for your own content strategy. Here’s a high-level overview:
- Assess Your Market: What’s already in the market?
- Assess Yourself: What can you start this week?
- Pick Your Pillar: What idea/topic do you want to own?
- Create: What’s the one content type you want to kill?
- Distribute: How are you going to get the content out?
- Iterate: How can you repurpose this content to get greater reach?
Assess Your Market
When creating content, you want to create content that will be seen, stand out, and drive results for your business. To effectively stand out, you need a unique point of view in a content type that isn’t oversaturated and is where your audience spends their time.
Finding the intersection of these three ideas is the most difficult part of your content strategy, but will ensure you are uniquely positioned in the marketplace.
So here are the three questions you need to ask yourself:
- What are similar organizations doing?
- Where is your audience?
- Are there topics that simply aren’t covered well?
If everyone in your industry already has a blog, starting a blog on the exact same topics so you can have an SEO strategy might not be the best option. Instead, it may make more sense to build a podcast and invite your ideal customers onto your podcast.
On the other hand, there might be a massive untapped opportunity by diving deep into SEO depending on your industry. So take a bit of time to understand the content types that are currently being used in your industry.
After you’ve done a dive into what content types exist in the marketplace, take note of the content topics that are missing. There’s likely a specific niche topic that you can expand upon and ensure your ideal audience associates you with that topic.
When we at Mojo Media Labs ran through this framework for ourselves, we realized there was a massive gap in content surrounding how to execute an Account-Based Marketing strategy using HubSpot tools. Considering we specialize in ABM and are a HubSpot Diamond partner, this was a great opportunity for us to create more content in this space. Find those highly relevant niche topics that aren’t currently being addressed as you are doing this deep dive into content types.
Lastly, you want to identify where your audience lives. It could be LinkedIn, written blog content, YouTube, podcasts, or any number of locations. You want to understand the content types and channels they live in most. When you compare where they spend their time to the underused content channels, you’ll find an intersection that will allow you the most opportunity to find success.
With an understanding of the content landscape within your industry, it’s time to assess your own internal abilities.
- What kinds of content are you best at creating?
- Who on your team can you leverage?
- What tools do you have at your disposal?
- Do you have the ability to get new tools?
- What do you have time for?
There’s a quick caveat to these questions. If there’s an obvious opportunity, don’t get in your own way. By trying to expand into a new content area, you'll get better by trying to expand into that area.
You have likely been creating content that’s most comfortable for you to create. This makes complete sense. You’re putting your brand and your name behind something. You want to ensure it’s the highest quality it can be.
If you’re fortunate enough to have the internal capabilities to execute in a content type that’s not used in your industry right now, lean into what you’re best at and run with it. But this is where it becomes incredibly nuanced. You might be an amazing writer, but terrible when it comes to video. This is where you need to look to the rest of your team.
There might be someone on your team that’s incredible at public speaking. If there’s not a podcast in your industry, use their speaking skills to build a podcast. Even if they aren’t a subject matter expert, they will understand more about the industry as they create more content.
Pick Your Pillar
Now that you have picked the content type you plan to create, it’s time to pick the topic. When you did your deep dive into the existing content in your space, you may have identified a gap in content that you’d really love to start owning. If there wasn’t as obvious of a content gap, here are some questions you can ask to pick your content pillar.
- What information are your ideal customers asking for?
- What content can you tie back to your products?
- What can you actually offer valuable insight around?
- What is your Unique Point of View?
To really hammer home the point of having content that will stand out, you need to have a unique point of view. Many marketing agencies create content that’s for their ideal customers, ties back to products, and offers insight, but it’s the same perspective every other agency is sharing. So their content is helpful, but it’s not memorable. If you want to stand out, hammer home a different point of view than everyone else.
Create & Distribute
With the foundational work now accomplished, it’s time to create some content. At this point, you just need to ensure you have the tools in place so you can effectively coordinate with your team, keep content production moving, and effectively distribute to your audience.
Here are a few questions you should ask to help you with your content production.
- What are all of the critical pieces to producing this content?
- Who is going to own each step of the production process?
- How are you going to keep everything organized?
- What are your distribution channels?
- How are you going to nuance content for different channels?
When you’re at this stage, it’s advisable you focus almost all of your attention on a single channel and max out your ability to create and distribute in a single channel. In doing so, you’ll create significantly higher results, and build far more trust.
Once you’ve got your primary content type and channel down, you’ll start to see your growth within the channel starting to slow down. This means it’s likely time to iterate on your existing content to expand your reach. People all learn in different ways. Some people love to read, while others prefer to listen and watch.
So if you have been creating blog content and prioritizing distribution through SEO and email, you can easily repurpose your blog content into LinkedIn posts. You can then start building your LinkedIn following as another way of reaching your audience.
Additionally, you can repurpose your blog content into webinars. Whatever are your headings on your blogs, you can translate those into the agenda for a monthly webinar. Once the webinar has been recorded, you can turn it into an on-demand resource.
The main goal of iteration is to create a new content type and distribution channel you can use to start more effectively reaching your customers. You can really take any of your existing content and repurpose it into another content type and distributed in a different channel with great success.
The reason the iteration process works so effectively is you start creating numerous types of content all around the same topics and start engaging a variety of audiences in the process. Then across content consumption preferences, you become the most well-known source for the topic you want to own. When you can engage your entire audience in the way they want to consume information, you will become their trusted partner.
But in order to effectively create numerous content types, you need to spend your time mastering one content type and distribution channel first. If you don’t iterate your content well, you will end up spreading yourself too thin and not creating great content in the first place.
If you are looking for a great way to scale your business for years to come, you need to start prioritizing a great content strategy. Today, become a student of your industry. Start consuming content to understand what information is already out there and how people are consuming the content. In this process, you’ll find the gap that isn’t addressed in your industry that you are uniquely positioned to solve.
From there, you can start to assess how you can best create content to fill the gap and start building an audience of your ideal customers.
Haley was born and raised in North Texas, but she attended school in Searcy, Arkansas, at Harding University. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, along with a double minor in Writing and English. This girl loves people as much as she loves to read and write (and that's a lot), having put in time freelancing, interning, reporting, and writing in the journalism world first, public relations second, and marketing third. She thrives on her empathy for brand voice and finds fulfillment in conveying a message and creating connection through her love of writing. In her free time, Haley enjoys listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks (Jim Dale all the way), writing fiction, playing guitar, and watching movies with her boyfriend, Chance, over a tall glass of Guinness.
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