A content marketing strategy is never done.
Evolving your strategy as your business develops and changes over time can be a huge undertaking. But it’s necessary and wholly worthwhile to keep the evolution of your business in motion and get your brand to where it needs to be.
To discuss how to level-up your content marketing strategy, I invited Kathryn Strachan, Managing Director & Owner of Edinburgh-based FinTech content agency, Copy House, to join me on The Content 10x Podcast.
Kathryn has lots of experience helping businesses build and develop content marketing strategies that suit where the brand is – and where it’s going.
She shared lots of advice for marketers looking to craft a more successful content marketing strategy, with real-life examples of how Copy House work with their clients.
Watch the video below for some of the highlights…
Hit play to listen to our full conversation…
Or read on for the key takeaways from Kathryn.
Why your content marketing strategy needs revisiting
Developing a content marketing strategy is not a one-and-done activity. Or even a once-a-year activity.
The dangers of getting into a rut with your content strategy are almost as bad as not having a strategy at all. In fact, I’ve written about this before in this post, Could Your Content Strategy Be Holding You Back?.
The most fruitful content marketing strategies are those that are constantly being reviewed, updated, and never allowed to go stagnant.
Whether you’re just getting started developing a content marketing strategy or are looking for ways to improve your existing one, Kathryn shared plenty of actionable advice you can implement today.
Kathryn’s top tips to evolve your content marketing strategy
1. Your content marketing strategy needs a solid messaging foundation
While there are many ingredients to a successfully baked content strategy (knowing your customer avatar, USP, etc.), Kathryn says it’s important to interrogate your core messages.
These messages will form the foundation of your content strategy, so getting them right early is incredibly important. Kathryn says:
“If the message is ingredients, the strategy is the cake tin, and then you put it in the oven. What you get at the end is the really nice thought leadership article. But you can't get that nice article if you don't put the right ingredients in the cake to begin with.”
Leading with messaging is all well and good – but how do you know if your messaging is going to strike a chord with your ideal audience? This brings us onto Kathryn’s next tip.
2. Validate your hypotheses with real customer conversations
A key part of Kathryn’s process when working with clients is to interview people who match the client’s customer avatar to confirm that this messaging will effectively speak to them.
This is vital to determine if your messaging and ideal customer persona are correct. Essentially, you want to find out if this person has the pain points that your product/service solves, and if so, are they interested in what you have to offer? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track!
Kathryn suggests also speaking to your current customers to find out what they like about working with you, and evaluating how you feel about working with them. The more conversations you have, the more data you have. This is vital to crafting a strategy that helps get your business where you want it to be.
3. Pick one audience to target
Your organization might have multiple ideal customers, but that doesn’t mean your content should speak to all of them…
It might sound counter-intuitive or even risky to just target one customer persona, however that’s exactly what gives you the best chance at getting noticed by your ideal audience.
Kathryn says it’s more effective to keep only your ideal customer in mind when developing your content marketing strategy. Being specific about who that is and what their wants and needs are will help your content stand out from the crowd – and help you work with who you actually want to work with.
If you’re not sure who this is, Kathryn advises starting with this quick question: If I could have any kind of client, what client would that be?
4. Take a content pillar approach
Once you know who you’re targeting, what your audience want, and the messages you need to share, what’s the best way to achieve all that?
One of Kathryn’s approaches is called the “content pillar” and is based on the marketing funnel.
This is where you start with creating one long-form piece of content – usually a blog post around 2,000 words, that’s targeting a high-volume keyword. This is the top of funnel piece.
The next stage is to repurpose the core ideas from this pillar piece into supporting articles that fit into the middle of the funnel. These are usually more thought-leadership pieces, based on subject matter expert interviews, and linked to the pillar piece.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, this key message gets repurposed into downloadable assets, such as templates, checklists, and infographics. These are highly valuable pieces that your audience will be willing to exchange their email address for.
Kathryn says this approach will help generate more sales qualified leads, as those that make it through each stage of the funnel are more and more likely to be aligned with needing the service or product you provide.
This is an approach I’ve spoken about before in my article, Content That Converts: How to Repurpose Your Content for Your Marketing Funnel. If you want to find out how to populate your marketing funnel quickly and effectively, then I really recommend checking out that post.
5. Optimize existing content for quick wins
Like I said at the beginning of this post, your content marketing strategy is never “done”. Kathryn echoed this sentiment as she advised organizations to update their existing content for a “quick win”. This is especially important if your organization posts topical content.
According to Kathryn, optimization is one of the approaches many organizations have access to. Updating old content is great for SEO, and even a few small tweaks can make a big difference. Consider doing a content audit so you can clearly see what will and won’t need updating, then prioritize the content that’s already performing well. This will give you much better ROI, much faster.
Get a full guide to updating your existing content in this post, Review, Revive, Repurpose: How to Update Old Content.
Get more help with your content marketing strategy
If you found those tips useful, then I really recommend listening to the podcast episode at the top of this post. There are plenty more strategy gems waiting to be discovered in our full conversation!
For more from Kathryn, connect with her on LinkedIn and check out her work at Copy House.
Do you have big content marketing plans but are unsure if your team can execute them? A little support could be all you need to help your content dreams come true! Whether you want to launch a podcast, start a video show or find ways to maximize the content you’re currently creating, we can help.Find out how a content repurposing service could be all you need to turn your dream content marketing strategy into a reality by getting in touch.