Hey everyone! My name is John Short, and I’m the founder and CEO of Compound Growth Marketing. I’m a friend of DG and an occasional contributor to his network of content (as is evidenced by this blog). I came up in the world of digital marketing with a demand generation slant. I’ve worked at companies like Monster, LogMeIn, Yesware, and Workable, rising up to the level of VP of Demand Generation at Workable where I managed a team of 8 people, and helped them grow 14X from Series A to just before they raised their Series C. Since starting CGM, I have had the opportunity to work with clients like Airtable, Drift, Robin, Workbar, and more.
There’s one huge myth surrounding content distribution: If you build it they will come. This ain’t Field of Dreams. Before you build your content, you should think about the channels that are going to give that content scale. The time spent on distribution should be equal to the time it takes to build the content.
When I talk to marketers, the main forms of distribution come down to three channels: Social, Email, and Search.
Two of those are about capturing people’s attention (social & email), and one is about capturing attention when they are in the market for it (search).
When I started working on the content strategy for one of my previous companies, I built out a “Day in the life of ICP” map to identify ALL of the topics that may be interesting to them. These days, I tend to focus more on mapping topics to parts of the buyer’s journey. There are advantages and disadvantages, but we’ll get to those later.
First, let’s take a look at the buyer’s journey map:
Let me break down what we’re looking at here. The Columns = Stages of the Buyer’s Journey:
- Awareness – general topics related to your ICP
- Pain – topics related to challenges having to do with our product, but pre-awareness that our product will solve
- In-Market – people who are searching for our products, or products like ours
- Customer – this one is self-explanatory 😉
The Rows = things to consider:
- Offers / CTA
The stages of the buying journey are pretty straightforward.
For the topics, channels, offers, and KPIs, I want to look at what type of content to create, how we deliver it, and what the KPIs are to measure it against. In the awareness stage however, if we’re looking to drive demos immediately, this strategy will fail.
Mapping this out makes the strategy clear at every level. I hate when I see people do persona research, but then the research abruptly stops and they just build out an editorial calendar. They’re missing a major step.
Mapping the buyer’s journey is the crucial part of the process where the marketer gets in the buyer’s head to understand what they need at a particular point in time. It helps you figure out if they are looking for help, or if the help (you) needs to proactively find them through paid or organic social. This will scale understanding of the customer across your organization.
You also can build a strategy on the best way to start to measure and/or convert users. It’s natural to try to drive everyone to a trial or demo, but depending on the channel and what you know about the user, it may be too early to do that. It doesn’t necessarily turn users off, but they will ignore it, and you miss out on a fantastic opportunity to engage and build recall with users.
The other way this exercise brings clarity is by figuring out what channels fit where. With this process, you clearly define where strategies fit in the funnel, and whom they are targeting. A little bit of good process can go a long way in building a holistic content strategy for your prospects.
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