Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder. If you want to share this newsletter with your friends so they can learn how to create engaging content, you can send them this link.
Two weeks ago my good friend Floyd hit me up asking for some content advice.
He just moved from sales content.
(I’m seeing this switch from sales to marketing more and more, I love it.)
“Where do you wanna start?” I asked.
“Well... that’s the thing. There’s a million asks coming from a thousand people. I dunno where to even begin.”
(FWIW, this is very common).
I asked him to fill me in on the current state: what are the asks, who’s making them, how are they being made, what’s working today, their goals, what’s broken, etc.
After I had a grasp on the current state, here’s what I told him (paraphrased):
Before you do anything, know this:
Because there’s a million things you can do in marketing, people think you should do all of them.
But it’s a trap. You don’t need to be good at everything. Especially not all at once.
In fact, it's about doing a few of the right things really well consistently.
So I suggest focusing on a couple things and doing them really well consistently.
I preface with this because there will ALWAYS be more requests than you can accomplish.
And if your content strategy is driven by following every idea or ask thrown your way (even if from your CEO!), then you’ll trade growth for busy work.
Because the most effective content strategies are lean.
This is accomplished by dwelling in two main areas:
- Building and executing consistently
- Testing and optimizing for growth
Successful tests become new pages in the playbook.
If plays become obsolete, those pages get torn out.
For example, consistently building and executing a weekly newsletter for 6 months will get consistent results. Testing new ideas and optimizing along the way will spike and accelerate growth.
“OK, that makes sense. Thanks. But what should I actually do?” asked Floyd.
This is how I’d get started:
First, write down all those requests and all your ideas.
I use a whiteboard or a big post board to just get everything out of my head.
Then label each idea as either:
- Short term or long term results
- Low impact or high impact
Next, create a list of all the short and long term, high impact projects.
Finally, prioritize them according to how directly they align with your strategic goals (eg, the “CEO slide”).
Now you have worthy ideas that will fuel your plan and timeline.
But your first project HAS to be a high impact, short term win.
It’s critical to show early results when joining a new role/team/company. It gives you instant credibility and momentum.
After some back and forth, we landed on optimizing their inbound demo request.
It’s high impact because demo requests are the most valuable type of lead, and even a handful more could result in thousands in revenue.
It’s short term because the project won’t take long to complete and see results.
I do the exact same exercise every quarter, both for my marketing team at Gong and my personal content strategy at The Reeder.
But for quarterly planning I typically have a 75/25 split, short term and long term impact.
This way I can deliver consistent growth while paving the road for future growth.
(This is especially important because organic channels – social, email, podcast, etc – take time to get traction.)
And even if you’re not a marketer by title, use this approach to guide your personal content strategy and content creation.
Be aware of your goals.
Ruthlessly prioritize high impact projects.
Build, execute, test, and optimize.
Holler at you next Saturday,