How to turn one piece of content into an entire strategy?

How should I create a great strategy from the content I'm creating?

February 19, 2024
12
min

Ben

Welcome back to another episode of Content Amplified. Today I'm joined by Andrew. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Adams

Hey, Ben, thanks for having me.

Ben

Love it. Appreciate you taking the time. It was kind of funny when Andrew and I were talking.

We can see each other, we're just recording audio on this podcast, but we can see each other's headphones. And of course we have the exact same headphones. And then all of a sudden I pick up my mug and he's like, you gotta be kidding me. We both are drinking the exact same drink out of a Stanley mug and all that kind of good stuff.

So I feel like Andrew and I are kindred spirits a little bit right there. But Andrew, before we jp in,maybe share a little bit about your background and who you are and what you love about marketing and all that. And then we can kind of dive into the subject for the day.

Andrew Adams

Awesome. Uh, maybe like some podcast t-shirts next time so we can match even more. Would just be a quick suggestion there.

I'm Andrew Adams. I'm here in Salt Lake city, Utah marketing guy.

I was telling Ben earlier when we were chatting before this, my undergrad is actually in journalism. I started out as an editor for a newspaper. I used to work three to midnight editing the whole paper. I have had the opportunity to yell, stop the press before.

Then I decided to kind of move, move back to Utah. I was in Oklahoma, moved back to Utah and got started in marketing where I originally got started doing legal marketing for some law firms here and then moved into the startup space - all kind of in just head of marketing roles. Then my latest company, which is Scorpion I kind of niched into content a little bit more.

Then I just moved into a new role from there too, which we'll talk about in this podcast.

That's kind of a quick and dirty overview of my life.

Why I love marketing is I really love people. I love conversations. I love learning about people and I love the challenge of finding ways to connect with them and you know, the foundation of marketing to convince them to buy something they don't realize they need.

Ben

Perfect. Well, it is so exciting to have you on the show. Today, I'm gonna introduce the subject. It's a fun one. I really believe in the power of content strategy. So today we're gonna talk about turning a piece of content into a full marketing strategy. So Andrew, when you're looking at creating a piece of content, what's going through your mind before you ever write a line or ask ChatGPT to write a line or ever begin.

What is the process? How are you looking at writing a piece of content and kind of the process of what you're gonna do with that content outside of just the main piece you're writing and creating.

Andrew Adams

Yeah. So from the first kind of part of how do I think about creating content, I still have a little bit of a newsy mindset in that regard of always making sure and thinking through like, is it relevant? Is it timely? Do people actually care? Because I want to make sure that my content is applicable to my target audience and also helps further the business through SEO or whatever other channels you're trying to work on.

So for me, most important is this actually something that people want to read about?

The second big component for me is distribution. You know, I've been in situations where I'm publishing, writing a lot of blogs, but then unless someone's looking at my website every day to see the newest blogs, they're not quite finding them and they're not getting the traction they deserve. So once I have a piece of content or an idea, a topic, I really look at the overall distribution and like, how can I get this out into the world?

Because as content marketers, your content is only as good as the people who read it and that it's connecting with. And so I think of not only how can I distribute this but what other pieces of content can I create based off this foundation?

Knowing that, you know, Ben and I were talking about this a little bit, people like to digest content in different ways. People have different quirks about what they like, what they don't like.

So, a 1500, 2000 word blog might be more than some people want to sign up for an ebook download might be more intimidating than they're ready for. So how can you take one piece of content and turn it into really a comprehensive campaign that's digestible and deliverable over every channel you have.

Ben

I love that. And really, we have so much content being thrown our way that it's important to, no matter what the readability, if you like the reading or listening or viewing or whatever different version, it takes quite a few touch points of seeing this content before it's actually consumed.

And so I think that's so wise. I think a lot of the times when we go and create a piece of content, it's like, okay, cool, who's our audience? What do we wanna say? Let's go write something. And then after the fact, and this is something you were saying before, Andrew, we're reactive. Okay, well now how are we gonna get into people's hands? I love your strategies to say, okay, not only do we know what we're gonna do and who we're gonna talk to, but where are they at and how are we gonna distribute? And that influences everything from the very get-go.

Now for you, when you're looking at distribution methods, what are some of the most productive methods and what are some of your favorite ways of taking a pillar piece of content and turning it into something that can go through a different distribution channel?

Andrew Adams

Yeah, I think it, I take kind of another step back of like, what's our end goal here? What's the purpose of this content, right? Is it just thought leadership? Is it, we want them to set up a consultation. We want them to join a webinar, etc… which I think also helps really add purpose to those deliverables and how you're gonna distribute it. For me, I think it really is, it varies based on your kind of vertical or who your focus is.

In my role, I'm focusing on several verticals that are all different and have very different ways of digesting information and ways that they seem to connect with us as a company. So for me, it's finding sort of thinking of like, as you're a, you know, a news anchor and you're writing the teaser for before the commercial to keep people watching.

What kinds of little snippets of information can I give them to say, in an email that's going to make them want to go read this blog, which is then going to prompt them to set up a consultation or to get a download or a trial, all of those kinds of things, or if we want them to come to a webinar, what's really like that really specific pain point we can attach ourselves to, to make sure that they resonate with it and they want to come to the webinar, right.

So I think it's looking at distribution, there's so many different channels in so many different ways. And one thing that I do in this process is like creating a pretty substantial kind of results docent so that when I'm looking at the next kind of campaign I wanna put together is like, okay, let's look at and see how, you know, vertical one versus vertical two responded to email or did text work better than design?

How is social media and really learning those nuances so that every time you're creating a campaign around a piece of content, you're a little bit more efficient and more effective so that you're just always getting a little bit better. But yeah, I think it really comes down to knowing your ideal customer and what works best for them. And kind of like what we were talking about, people consume things in different ways. So you could, there's the test between email versus maybe social if you're trying to get webinar invites.

Playing with video and all different things of trying to get that kind of same topic out there, but making sure that you're hitting all the people kind of where they're at.

Ben

Yeah, and that makes a lot of sense. What I love is how you do the analysis after the fact. I think every strategy when it comes to content marketing and marketing in general, there are so many objectives and so many things we're doing so quickly. It's so easy to say, okay, on to the next one. But no one ever takes the time to say, okay, how did the last one perform? And what did we learn? And what are we going to apply moving forward?

And if you don't do that, your baseline of performance stays the same. I've seen this time and time again. We ran a campaign or a promotion or something like that, but we never measured the results. And so the next time we did it, we didn't use any of the learnings. So we got exactly what we expected.

But when you actually have someone taking the time to say, okay, here's how it performed here, the lessons learned, here's how we're going to apply it, and you actually take that extra beat, like even if it's just one day to review the results. It makes a substantial difference because essentially what it's doing is raising up your baseline of performance so that you are building instead of just maintaining.

So I love that you include that in all that you're doing and that you've kind of systematized that.

Now, one interesting thing that I am really curious about with you and your marketing efforts and how you build strategy, a lot of people talk about the difference of owned audiences versus paid audiences or audiences on social platforms. Which ones have you found success in? Do you have a preference? Are you actively as a part of your content strategy?

Is it building an audience? How do you kind of weigh out all of that and the different distribution of those different channels? Like how does building a channel play into the strategy?

Andrew Adams

Yeah, I think it depends a little bit about where you are and what kind of team you have in place. I have a great team of channel leads who are really like the experts in their specific channels and who helped me create a strategy for each of those when we're kind of doing something like this.

But for me, kind of in the same vein as we don't want to miss an opportunity with someone because it's a different type of content than they like, I have the same approach on, you know email channels of subscribers or people who have been interested in our newsletter or whatever has valuable people who have connected with us before, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's not people on social who have not connected us with us before, but don't need this piece of content or this like focus of our campaign.

So I really look at it as a whole collaborative approach of how many touches can we get? And not only like maybe they come in from social from this campaign, which gives us the opportunity to

continue sharing our thought leadership or sharing our kind of value as they enter our emails as well.

I really look at it as different points of entry into a campaign or into a content piece of how can we really make these work. And we do have, from those results we know what verticals perform better on social and what types of social work best. So we can hone those in a little bit. But I think that even organic social posts sometimes feel like it's just a thing that you're supposed to do from a checkbox.

But the value there is like you don't know who needs to see that piece of content or who it's going to be relevant with and they might have followed your company for a while and never engaged. But it's that piece that kind of went oh actually they do know what they're doing and I'd love to talk to them. So I'm more of let's not count any channel out unless we like for sure know it's never worked in the history of mankind.

Otherwise there's value in even if it's hitting just a few, like a small segment, but who are really interested and engaged.

Ben

I love it. So when you're looking at distribution, how are you using paid versus organic? Do you allocate specific budgets to pieces when you're creating them? Do you stick to the free channels? What has kind of been your mix? And how do you justify the spend when you're looking at the ROI of content?

When you're looking at other campaigns to a landing page. It's really easy to know the direct ROI and all that kind of stuff. But when you're looking at content, how are you kind of justifying and including paid channels into the strategy and mix?

Andrew Adams

Yeah, I will say that I think when you're just trying to promote a piece of content or you're trying to get buy-in or like, let's put some money behind this ebook that we wrote or whatever it could be. I think sometimes that's a hard sell unless there's a specific, okay, they read this blog and then they directly signed up. So I think kind of in these campaign approach where you're involving all these channels, it allows you to kind of move as one marketing and department kind of in a holistic function.

So when you're putting money towards paid, it might be to get them to read the blog, but then there's also a strategy behind it, like now they're getting emails from us. Maybe there's some retargeting ads, maybe, you know, they're already, they're already in our audience for social ads. So they're getting several touch points where I think helps give some breadth to that ROI. And again, knowing kind of what that endgame is, right?

I think sometimes it's easy to put together content just because we want to rank for SEO here. But once someone reads that piece, what do you want them to do and how can you help fulfill that? And I think figuring out the distribution and adding in different channels can help you move that along a little bit better. So we do put money behind campaigns. We have, like I said, some channel leads, so I work with our paid social person to figure out what we want to do and how we want to approach that.

And then again, the importance of looking back and having that kind of post-mortem to talk about what worked well, what lessons did we learn? So, so for me, I have a team of people who are all helping me and who are managing those channels and I don't know what's going through their mind on the day to day and if they don't slack me like, Hey, this sucked or hey, this really worked, then I don't know. So I think those results are really important when you're working with multiple people, because it gives them an opportunity to have everyone put in like two lessons learned for every campaign.

So it's like a quick overview and then they can put in more later or a more detailed description. So I think those two pieces, like making sure you know what's working and reevaluating, and then also putting money behind things so that your content can go further.

Ben

I think that's a really smart approach to ask your team members specifically. I need two things that you got out of this because not only do you learn and the rest of the team learns, what's really interesting I've seen in the past is it forces them to ask hard questions about, okay, why did this perform instead of just, hey, it did X, Y, and Z. Great. No. What worked and what didn't?

Digging into the data, digging into the results, digging into it and having at least the hypothesis of, I think the approach, the content wasn't right or the audience wasn't right or we didn't approach them the right way or the format was too long or this or that. Like they have to at least be thinking about how it could have gone better or why did it perform the way it did?

Data without a why is pretty useless. And I love how you force the why in everything you're doing. That seems like a very common theme in the strategy. So I love it.

Subscribe to the Masset.AI blog

Articles you'll actually want to read.

Thank you! You're subscribed.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.