How to Build Your Content Strategy in 4 Steps [Guide]
Complete guide on how to win deals with a strong content strategy. From sourcing insights to distributing content, you’ll learn it all.
👋 Hello and welcome to the 8th edition:
How to Build a Content Strategy in 4 Points (Complete Guide)
At any stage of a business, content allows you to:
Educate about the problem you solve
Build awareness for your brand
Position you as an industry authority
Create demand for your solution
Move buyers through the buying journey
Close deals by suppressing objections
In other words, content is powerful.
The question now is: how do you create content that does this?
Wrong answers first:
Study competitors and creators then “emulate”
Brainstorm about content ideas internally
Hire an intern to ‘post on social media’
Ask AI to create content for you
Sounds silly right? Yet a big chunk of companies use these 4 techniques.
Do this and you will get:
Low impressions and engagement
Poor awareness and authority
Bad long term business
In the worst cases, you will destroy your brand:
Use AI generated content → decreases authority
Spamming content → decreases liking and rarity
Using weird jargon → decreases clarity
Always selling → decreases reciprocity
Now that you know what you should not do.
I will answer the question.
How to Build a Content Strategy ?
For this, you’ll learn 4-key steps:
The importance of knowing your customer
3 insights sources to generate content ideas
The 4 ingredients to cook excellent content
Content distribution at 5 levels of commitment
But first, what type of content do you need to improve your marketing?
It will help me to provide better insights.
Research Your Ideal Customer Buyer: Why and How they buy?
Your content is here to support marketing and sales efforts. Those 2 departments are working in collaboration to generate revenue. They create demand, capture demands, and convert them into revenue.
The truth is that every buyer goes through a unique buying journey.
You can analyze the buying journey
You should definitely map it
You may list the triggers of each stage
But you can’t control the buying journey
The only thing you can do is to :
Understand why and how they buy
Multiply your brand touch-points
Always use top quality content
Because every touchpoint is an opportunity to win or lose a deal.
Ensure that your brand is present at every stage of the journey:
Need to know more about a problem → Educative video
Need to know more about a solution → Case study
Need to know more about risks → Comprehensive guide
Need to know more about the price → Pricing grid
Need to know more about features → Features overview
Need to know more about the next steps → Action Plan
I will help you in part 4 of the guide to rationalize and map this.
Businesses that have the best content often win more deals. Even if they are more expensive. It’s because they cover every touchpoint and answer exactly what prospects need to know.
Good examples are the companies Doola or Deel. They are helping businesses to make important decisions. So they know they need to scale customer support with key content. They have answers for everything in their content. Study these two companies carefully.
To go further in Audience Research, save this Cheat Sheet:
Once you know exactly:
Who is your target audience
Why they buy
How they buy
You can start mining content insights;
3 Insights Sources to Generate Content Ideas
First, here are the worst pieces of advice I saw on social media lately:
“Use AI and hook templates to hack the algorithm”
“Find content creators and emulate their work”
“Turn Youtube videos into text and make it.
Here is why it’s wrong:
If you want to generate revenue with a strong brand, you need a strong positioning. Being different (not better) will increase your chance of winning deals. And if you want to build a strong positioning, you need to forge a unique point of view.
→ If you sound like everyone else, how can you build a unique positioning?
→ If you copy everyone else, how can you shape a unique point of view ?
Finding valuable insights is the first milestone of your content.
Mine insights → Analyze them → Turn into unique content
So here are 3 sources of insights I use to generate content ideas:
Experimentation: run your business operations, analyze the results, and share the learnings based on a meticulous analysis.
Conversations: talk with people that matters to your business (clients, partners, industry peers, influencers) and report the learnings
Desk Research: analyze online and offline publicly available information to mine interesting facts
You will never run out of content ideas with this selection of sources.
And by combining all these insights, you will build a 360 degrees view on your industry.
The 4 Ingredients to Cook Excellent Content From Insights
To turn insights into content, you need 4 ingredients:
Strategy: ideate your content objectives by answering questions
Analyze insights: choosing and interpreting data
Copywriting: write clearly about the information
Formating: make the information digest and appealing
Initially, I wanted to call it a 4-step process. But the truth is that it’s not a linear process. You always start with strategy but sometimes you can format before writing, or the opposite. You can also start from an insight, write, and then go back to analysis to add more insights. “4 ingredients” sounds more accurate.
If you had to remember one process, it would be this one:
Strategize your content → Mine and analyze insights → Write the copy → Format the content
Before writing your content, you should know exactly what it will be used for. Otherwise, you might end up writing blindly and without a specific purpose.
To guide you in this process, here’s a list of 7 strategic questions to answer:
Who is the target audience?
What is the key messaging?
What action should the reader take?
Where will this content be distributed?
Where in the buying funnel will it be used?
What format will I use?
How will I measure the content’ success?
This list of questions helps you to cover the mandatory checklist. Junior content creators might need to print this checklist and follow it every time. Senior creators can instinctively follow it thanks to experience.
Once you know the objective of this piece of content, you need to transform insights into content. Go back to your list of insights (or mine new ones) and select the right fit.
You have several angles for interpreting and explaining data:
Story telling: share a story that illustrate the insight
Rigorous analysis: explain carefully the insight
Educate: provide a clear explanation on the how
Inspire: explain the why behind an insight or a fact
Opinion: share the fact and then explain what you think about it
Entertain: spice up your content strategy with humorist shares
The insight: “I got a 70% conversion rate on a landing page thanks to warm audience targeting”
I could have explained the insight in many ways:
Share the story on how I discovered why targeting warm audience was the key to get a high page conversion rate
Give an how to guide on how to get a 70% conversion rate with warm audiences
Publish an opinion on why people should target warm audiences
As you can see in the post, I decided to explain the HOW.
The point here: you have many angles to analyze an insight and share about it.
💡 Tips: For a snack content (linkedin post, tiktok video), select only one insight. If you use too many, you’ll lose the reader/watcher. For longer forms (guides, newsletter), select one key topic but use plenty of insights
I don’t have enough space to write a full copywriting guide but I will share a selection of 15 rules to make your copy stand out:
You can also have a look at my resources here:
Formatting is underrated but it’s how you build a diverse, powerful content strategy. Make sure to use the right format to convey your ideas (it’s an art).
Here is a set of rules to follow for your content formatting:
Use various content formats across the consumer buying journey (or your audience will get bored)
Adapt the format length and complexity level to the stage of the buying journey (low commitment = easy to digest)
Start with a master piece and then repurpose it into smaller bites (case studies → linkedin posts)
Or do the opposite and start with short content to get direct market feedback, then use the best content for longer format. (I do this 😊)
Maintain a consistent visual identity across all content to reflect your positioning
Invest in good design and video editing to stand out from the noise
If the information is complex, you need visualization or video explanation.
With a combination of strategy, analysis, copywriting, and formatting, you will build unique pieces of content to dominate your industry.
Content distribution at 5 levels of commitment
Your audience cannot consume your whole content at once. They will start from low commitment content (60s videos, linkedin post, short blog post) and move on to longer version as their interest grow.
→ If you understand this principle, you will understand the framework.
In average, a B2B sales cycle is 4-5 months long and for some product it can go up to 12 months. As explained in the introduction, content should unfold along this journey to represent your brand.
Analyze the customer buying journey → Map the brand touchpoints required → Develop at least one content for each touchpoint.
Now let’s have a look at how to organize the touchpoints:
Use Snacks 🔵 to attract your audience
Foster intent with Short 🟢 Long Form 🟡
Make your Intent Based 🟠 Content available
Personnalize 🔴 in-depth content for "hot leads"
"Depth of Content": level of detail, complexity, and richness present in a piece of content.
"Level of commitment": the degree of involvement that a prospect has with your brand.
Using Snacks to Attract Your Audience 🔵
Snacks refer to short and easily digestible pieces that capture the audience's attention quickly. This includes:
Tweet (X posts)
For this kind of content, use a soft CTA to invite your audience to know more about your brand. You can also propose a free resource in exchange for an email or nothing.
Snacks act as the initial touchpoint in the buyer's journey, sparking curiosity and prompting the audience to seek further information.
Fostering Intent with Short 🟢
As prospects progress in their buyer's journey, their level of commitment increases. This includes:
Newsletter and substack
Short-form blog content
Short Youtube videos
Website About Us page
These pieces should provide valuable insights, address pain points, and offer solutions in a concise and engaging format.
Going further with Long-Form 🟡
Long-form content comes into play as prospects move closer to making a decision.
Generic case study
This content should offer in-depth knowledge and showcase expertise. It is essential to balance the level of detail, complexity, and richness to cater to different segments of your audience.
Making Your Intent-Based 🟠 Content Available
Intent-based content refers to material that directly addresses the needs and interests of potential customers. By understanding their pain points and preferences, you can align your content strategy accordingly. This includes:
High intent blog
More technical case study
This content should turn potential buyers into a revenue pipeline as they approach the buying decision.
Personalizing 🔴 In-Depth Content for "Hot Leads"
Once a prospect exhibits high levels of interest and engagement, they become "hot leads." At this stage, it is crucial to tailor content specifically to their needs:
On-demand case study (for high tickets)
A data room with relevant content
Tailored Action Plan
Dedicated event / online presentation
This level of customization is essential for high-value deals in the final stage.
Let’s finish with 2 mistakes I see a lot:
Mistaking the messaging strategy and the content strategy. You should build your messaging first as part of your marketing strategy. This will fuel your content strategy.
Creating micro strategies for every channel. You should adapt your formatting and distribution to each channel. But you should have a cross channel plan to execute smoothly.
Alright, that’s the end of this 8th edition
How to Build a Content Strategy in 4 Steps [Guide]
Thank you for reading!
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