Content strategy simplified
2 min read

Content strategy simplified

Spark notes for building your content strategy

I got lunch with a friend last week who runs marketing at a B2B start up and wants to create his own personal brand on LinkedIn.

He asked me for advice on building their brand and getting a content engine going. (I knew there was a reason he offered to pay!) It was a good convo, and worth sharing with you.

Instead of recording the conversation and making you listen to me crunching on my salad (ok, ok, my cheeseburger), I jotted down the spark notes of our conversation.  

His questions = italics.

My answers = everything else.

OK, leggo.

What exactly is content strategy?

It’s pretty straightforward.

Content strategy is the process of ideating, creating, delivering, and managing content to achieve a strategic goal.

TLDR: Using content to grow your brand/business/whatever.

How’s it different from content marketing?

Content marketing is creating and delivering said content.

Think of it like this:

Content strategy is the what and the why.

Content marketing is the how.

Content strategy is a lot of decision making and planning – it’s your playbook. Content marketing is a lot of writing and distribution, and is part of your content strategy.

Go back. What strategic goals specifically?

Think of the bullet points on your CEO’s “big goals” slide.

Usually revenue (that’s a safe bet. You can NEVER go wrong creating revenue with your content).

But it can be more nuanced or niche too. Could be:

  • Breaking into a new vertical
  • Brand building
  • Increasing market share
  • Supporting a new product launch
  • Launching a category
  • Pipeline. Wait, that's basically revenue. But still. Pipeline.

That’s for B2B marketing teams. Individuals use content strategy to build their personal brand, sell their product/service, and land new roles.

Hmmm… So you have two? One for Gong and one for you, Devin Reed

You’re a fast learner.

Smart ass. So how do I create a content strategy?

That’s a two parter. Here’s a high level:

First, you need a brand strategy.

There are three core pillars in an effective and memorable brand strategy:

  • Clear, unique point of view (POV)
  • Clear target audience
  • Defined brand tone

These critical elements are your baseline before choosing your topics, media, or distribution channels or putting anything out into the world.

Then you decide what content to create and where to publish/promote:

  • Medium (written, video, podcast, etc)
  • Channel (web, email, social media, etc)

Combine the two and you’re ahead of 90% of marketers and frankly any content creator.

OK last one. Why do content strategies fail? We both know most B2B sucks.

Most people actually don’t have a detailed content strategy. They just go create content and hope for the best.

To answer why it sucks...

  • They’re audience well enough, so the content isn’t interesting
  • It’s usually a product pitch masked as content marketing (never works)
  • It doesn’t provide value to the reader
  • It doesn’t stand out
  • They aren’t consistent with their output

As a result, they don’t hit any strategic goals.

They just end up spending time and money on content that collects more dust than visitors.  

OK, I'm ordering a milkshake – you want one?


Have questions about content strategy I didn’t answer today? Share ‘em here. Maybe I’ll do a follow up post with your questions. (No lunch required).

Holler at you next Saturday,

Content Corner
Every now and then I share content about content. Might be something I wrote, I’m reading, or something that inspired me. It just might give you a lift too.

Want the extended director’s cut? I recently threw down a massive blog on Gong’s content strategy called, How To Create a Memorable Brand and Grow Revenue With Your Content Strategy, as part of  MetaData’s No Fluffs Given series. I share why and how we built the levels of Gong’s content strategy over the past couple years as our strategic goals have changed.