How to create a content strategy that works for YOUR business

How often have you felt frustrated, tired, and uninspired by your content strategy?

Yeah, you’re not alone. In 2015, this study found only 9% of B2B companies considered their content marketing strategy effective. Yikes!

Part I: Find your content sweet spot

One of the worst ways to create content is by opening a blank Google Doc and staring at it, willing inspiration to come.

To find your content sweet spot, you’re going to look at three different things: your objectives, your audience, and your point of differentiation.

Step One: Set key objectives

Content without a goal in mind is like dressing up with nowhere to go. It’s fun from time to time, but over the long-term, it probably won’t do much for you. No, every single piece of content doesn’t need to be tied to your objective. But if you have a clear goal in mind, and the vast majority of the content you create is in line with your goal, you’re much more likely to achieve it.

Step Two: Listen to your audience

Once you know your objective {let’s say your goal is to sign ten new clients for your content strategy intensives}, it’s time to start listening. What does your audience have to say about content strategy? What about content strategy is frustrating them?

  • Overwhelmed by content creation
  • Unable to stay on top of all the content demands of their biz
  • Unsure where to start or how content can help them convert their offers

Step Three: Find your angle

Now you know your objective. You know what your audience has to say.

  • What do I disagree with in the existing conversation?
  • How do most people approach the topic, and how am I approaching it differently?
  • Why do I approach the topic differently?

Find your content sweet spot

Hooray! You now know your objective, you’ve figured out what your audience has to say, and you have a point of differentiation.

Part II: Identify your core + supporting content

One of the hardest pieces of creating content is…well…creating it. You have to take your ideas and organize cohesively. And it’s not like there’s just one type of content you could create, either. That would be too easy. Instead, you have to think about your email list, your blog, your social media handles, your video game, and all of the other pieces of the giant visibility puzzle.

Take stock of the content you already have

Not too long ago, I would approach every new season in business like a warrior preparing for battle. Whatever our objective was, I would look at it as this massive mountain of a goal. And to get there, we needed to create ALL the new content. New emails, new blog posts, new funnels.

  1. Checking in with your content inventory {do you have one? If not, there’s some homework for ya!}
  2. Identifying what fits your objective — even tangentially.
  3. Repurposing those pieces and put them out to the world with a LOT less work.

Develop strategic new content

Sometimes, you don’t have content you can repurpose. Sometimes, you need to buckle down and do the work. But…that can feel heavy.

Step One: Create Core Content

Core content is the meat of your message. These are the big content pieces that align with the content sweet spot you identified and have a clear connection to your objective.

  1. It lets you know exactly where we stand on the topic of content strategy.
  2. It gives you the tools you need to create your own content strategy.
  3. It allows you an in-depth view of our expertise.

Step Two: Create Supporting Content

Once you have your core content, you need to get it out to the world, but just hitting the ‘publish’ button isn’t enough. This is where supporting content comes in. Supporting content is what allows you to get away with only creating two or three new big pieces of content at a time. Once your core content is created you have the seeds for everything else.

Ramp up your engagement game

Alright, but what happens when you don’t even have time for your core content? Life happens. Sometimes we get lost in the weeds, and even creating one piece of core content is too much.

Part III: Monitor, measure, and maintain momentum

You already have a clear objective, and you’ve given yourself time to get your content out there. Now it’s time to monitor that content and make sure it’s moving you closer to your objective.

Track your metrics

Earlier, we talked about setting clear objectives. That objective will have a measurable outcome. Add ten people to your program. Grow your list by 20%. Create five new meaningful connections.

  • If your objective is around making sales, look at conversion rates, click-through rates, cost per conversion, and impressions/reach.
  • If your objective is around visibility, look at open rates, engagement rates, click-through rates, SEO ranking, and landing page hits.

Evaluate {and re-evaluate} your research

Back in the first section of this behemoth of a blog post, I mentioned that you’re never done listening to your audience. Here’s why: The more you listen, the more you understand. And when things aren’t connecting, it’s time to revisit those conversations.

Check your frequency

How are you staying top of mind with your audience? Between your core content and your secondary content {plus a solid engagement strategy}, you should have plenty to say. But are you saying it too much? Too little?

Let’s Review!

You made it! Let’s quickly review the key pieces of creating a content strategy that will help you be more consistent while feeling less overwhelmed:

  • Set a clear objective, so you know all of your content is moving you towards a set goal.
  • Find your content sweet spot at the intersection of your experiences and your audience’s frustrations.
  • Repurpose existing content that’s in line with your content sweet spot.
  • Create 2–3 pieces of core content around your topic.
  • Develop supporting content using your core content as a base.
  • Monitor your content and adjust course as needed.

Download Your Free Content Roadmap!

Now it’s your turn

  • What content strategies have worked for you in the past?
  • What’s your current objective, and what core content are you super-excited to create?
  • How are you tracking your content’s success?

Let us know in the comments!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jessi Honard

Jessi Honard

Copywriter, messaging strategist, and co-owner of North Star Messaging (northstarmessaging.com). I help biz owners find + talk about their true north.