7 steps for building a content strategy from scratch
3 min read

7 steps for building a content strategy from scratch

Yo, yo, yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where marketers, sellers, and creators get better at content strategy and creation in 5 minutes or less.

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I caught up with a CRO friend of mine this week.

He’s one of the most intelligent leaders I’ve ever met, and the most accomplished.

He reached out because he just finished his second consecutive run towards IPO, and recently accepted a new role at a popular PLG tech company that we’ve all heard of and probably used. And now he’s got a BIG assignment: stand up a brand new enterprise GTM motion that includes marketing, sales, customer success, and a few other departments.

His first question was: So… How would you go about standing up a content engine from scratch?

After leading content teams at two $1B+ companies, I’ve seen what it takes to create a memorable brand that buyers trust and want to buy from.

I told him that if I had to start over tomorrow from scratch, there are 7 steps I'd take to design a content strategy that positions me as the leader in my niche and generate sales.

And here’s the funny part: they work for both B2B companies and individuals who want to establish credibility and grow an audience. That’s because it’s a framework, not a task list. It will work anywhere (assuming you finesse it for your market, product, etc).

But it’s probably worth mentioning that my list is NOT easy. I told him the same.

In fact, most people would probably look at this list and think it’s too much work or would take too long, then opt to go do crappy SEO or dump hundreds of thousands into paid ads and call it “marketing.” Blegh.

That’s because most people are afraid to play the long game. They’d rather copy “hacks” from the internet instead of building genuine, can’t-be-stolen credibility at scale in a way that drives revenue.

Which is awesome for you because if you do what I’m about to show you, you’ll actually have less competition. Everyone else will be fighting for existing demand — but you’ll be creating your own, capturing ALL the demand in the process (or at least the vast majority).

OK, here’s what I’d do if I was starting from scratch tomorrow.

Ready?

Let’s ride.

1. Get specific with my audience

Titles and industry is not enough. You need to uncover what they love, hate, and what exactly prevents them from reaching their goals. I would pick and define ONE audience and win them over.

2. Create a unique POV

Most say they want to stand out, but aren’t ready for the attention. If you want to save a place in your buyers’ mind you need something completely different, not incrementally better.

3. Set strategic goals

If you stop at MQLs, you’re never going to get a seat at the table. Get with the CEO and understand what she cares about, then build a plan that supports it.

4. Pick ONE channel and dominate

Think you need to be “everywhere at once?” Nope. Better to win in one arena first, then scale. Wherever my audience is today is where I’d build.

5. Produce research-driven content

Forget a full SEO strategy to start (assuming you’re at a startup). Sure there’s some high-intent traffic worth capturing right away, but that’s table stakes.

Better to earn attention with original thoughts and research using internal product data, surveys, and frameworks from SMEs.

6. Analyze audience signals

You gotta' relentlessly pursue what your audience craves. There are signals everywhere telling you what they want. I’d analyze performance and trends constantly, then cut the fat and double down on what's working.

7. Scale my strategy

Once you’ve caught rhythm and steady growth in your first channel, it’s time to scale to a new channel or “big bet” project using your insights and deep understanding of what working and what doesn’t.

This is how you build a content powerhouse.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Take that list and let it marinate — but not too long. Reading this list won’t do much. You have to apply it to see remarkable results.

Holler at you next week,
Devin

Digital resources for creating memorable content

  1. Check out my video course Content Strategy for LinkedIn if you want to elevate your LinkedIn personal brand. Be sure to use discount code “CSR” for 22% off.
  2. Follow me on Linkedin for edu-taining content on sales and marketing tactics, plus updates on my content journey.