B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2039 · 4 months ago

Document Your Content Marketing Strategy: Here’s How

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we talked to Nicole Bump with Bump Inbound about how to document your content marketing strategy.

We learned:

• What the most critical parts of a content marketing plan are

• What most companies get wrong about their plan

• Tips on how to keep your plan current in an ever changing marketing world

Yeah, welcome back to BB growth. My name isJames Carberry and I'm joined today by dan Sanchez and Nicole bump. Uh Nicoleis the founder of bump inbound and she is a content enthusiast and we're gonnabe talking to Nicole today about documenting your content strategy.We're going to get into what actually should be documented. We're going totalk about some of the mistakes that a lot of companies make as it relates todocumenting their content strategy and Nicole to dive in. Why is contentstrategy and making sure it's documented something that you are sopassionate about. So I started off, well, thank you first of all, thanksfor having me on the show. I appreciate it. When I started off my business, Iwas mostly just doing content writing and that's all well and good when youget a really good brief from a client and they know exactly what they want,but a lot of people don't have a clear idea of what they want, they say, wellI know I need to cover off on this topic. Here's a general idea of who Iwant to reach. Can you go write something for me and you know, sure Ican do that, but it is maybe going to hit the mark. It's maybe not. We mightneed to go through a ton of rounds of revisions because we just don't havethose inputs there. So if you've got the foundational inputs ready up frontto inform your marketing, then all of your content, your calendar and thenall of your subsequent content. Pieces can just flow so much easily and then,you know that they're much more likely to help you hit off on your goals aswell. That makes a lot of sense. So Nicole what being in the business ofcontent, you're probably working with a variety of different customers clients.What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see companies making as itrelates to documenting their content strategy? Well, I'd say a lot of thebiggest mistake is that a lot of people just aren't doing it at all. I mean, Ithink most of us know that we should, I mean Content Marketing Institute putsout that to be research report every year, right? That shows how importantit is and how much more successful you...

...are if you've got one. But people juststill don't do it. And I, you know, I've got a few thoughts on why. I meanthere's no one right way to do a content strategy. So I think thatpeople can't get paralyzed with just not knowing how to do it and whatshould be in there. And then it can also be a little bit, it can be alittle bit time intensive if you're going to put a lot of work into it. Sothat's why I think people just aren't doing it period. But then some of theother mistakes, I notice one of them being just not enough insight on theaudience. It's not the same as an ideal customer profile, right? Like you mightknow, okay, I'm targeting manufacturers and this size and I want to hit the VPof marketing or, you know, whatever your your audiences, but you need morethan that in your audience for content strategy, you really need to have someactionable insights that tell you what they want to hear about as it relatesto what you're offering and thats a big area that I see people coming up shortright now. How do you go about? Is it just a matter of as a marketer gettingon the phone and talking to customers to extract that? Yeah, I would say thatif you don't already have some good personas with actionable informationfrom your wider marketing efforts, that that is the best way to go about doingit. Just get on the phone with a few of your prospects, or your customers salescan sometimes be a little protective of them, but, you know, bring them in theloop if you have to uh and if you absolutely can't get on the phone withsomeone for some reason, just find another way to really try to see theworld through their eyes a little better. So, it was david ogilvy thatprovided some really great advice about, like, read the stuff they're reading.Uh check out their trade publications, check out the forums and groups thatthey're in online. I mean, I get a lot of information for my own stuff frombeing in the D GMG group, date their hearts group. Those are all people thatcould be clients of mine, it's some stage of the game. So I love justlistening to their conversations, you...

...know, so um just you need to figure outhow to better understand their day to day and what they're going through andtheir challenges as it relates to what you offer. That makes a lot of sense.So my last question for you, Nicole, before I handed over to dan is aroundthe specifics of what actually needs you alluded to a couple of things, butwhat actually needs to be included in that documented content strategy. Yeah,so I can hit off on this at a really high level and then if anybody wants todive into something specific, got some tips and things written down. So thefirst thing really is that the why, why are you creating content in the firstplace? And that should definitely ladder up to what you're trying toaccomplish and marketing and ultimately in your business at large, um to helpyou meet business objectives, if you don't know why you're creating content,you probably shouldn't be doing it audience insights. I already mentioneda little bit about this and it's arguably the most important part ishaving those actionable audience nuggets um, from there. I also like tofigure out what some of the key word opportunities are. So most people whenthey're doing content do have some sort of organic goals associated with it. Ifyou don't, if you're really just using it for, you know, sales enablement orsomething like that, then maybe this doesn't belong there for you. But Ifind that most people would, would like to see where they can optimize forsearch. And then another thing actually that I see people confused about alittle bit is your content mission statement. So really, what is yourunique value? So outside of your products and services, what do you wantto offer to people through your content? That's different than what they can getsomewhere else? It's really important to define who you want to be in thatway through your content. Um and then you can use that mission statement toreally um run everything by. So you have a question. Well, should I bedoing X? Well, does it fit with your mission statement? Okay. You're justabout to share some of them from Andy.

But I was going to ask Nicole, do youhave any examples of brands that have really nailed it with that missionstatement? That's a good question. I don't um I don't have anything off thetop of my head about someone that's nailed it, but I was going to share anexample of one that I'm working on right now for a client. They're in thequality quality management space, they have a SAS solution and right nowthey're, they're blog just says, you know, like news and perspective onquality, you know, like that, that's not really a mission. So what I'm, whatI'm helping or suggesting that they move to is something more along thelines of, you know, we are where you can wear quality champions can come tolearn how to transform their quality organization from a cost center to aprofit center. So that's something they're really passionate about andtheir whole product helps people do that. But now they can also teachpeople about that through their content. And as, as a reader or somebody thatshows up on their site, I know exactly what I'm getting in, the value that I'mgoing to get from it while I'm there. So the content mission is really aboutdefining who you're creating content for what they're going to get from itand why that is a benefit for them. And that helps you align all your marketingaround that. What so beyond beyond the content mission, what comes next andthat documented content strategy? Yeah. So once you have those things like yourgoals, your audience insights, you've got some keyword opportunities, Youhave your content mission, it starts to look really a lot more clear what youshould be producing for your content. So this is where you start actuallyoutlining at a high level what you want to produce, like what sort of contentinitiatives, what sort of content types, maybe some pillar topics are going tohelp you start to serve that audience in those ways to help you reach yourgoals. And then the final piece, arguably the final pieces how you goingto distribute it. Right? So a lot of people forget this part to instill thismentality. If you build it, they will come and that's just not usually thecase with content, unless you've got a...

...giant audience already waiting, most ofus don't. Uh so you really do need to figure out how you're going to get itout there, whether that's through some owned channels, possibly with some paiddistribution as well. So I guess one thing I attack on that I'm still tryingto work through and it's really just very different with everybody that wasgovernance as well. Um it's kind of a big, you know, annoying kind of a word,but you just think about like what, what resources and processes do youneed to actually execute on this stuff. There was a good conversation, I thinkit was in the D GMG group the other day about I really am having trouble. Iwant to do this podcast, but I really need my subject matter experts andthey're too busy and I can't get them and work with me. Well, if your subjectmatter experts are not bought in, they don't have time to work with you, thenyou need to find another way to do it or find another approach right? Youneed to have the right resources on board or you're never going to be ableto execute on your strategy. Fantastic point. I would also argue that I wasnot a subject matter expert at all in the area of B two B marketing. When wefirst started GDP Growth, I just started interviewing B two B marketingpractitioners who also happened to be our buyers and I just started askingthem questions out of curiosity. And I remember talking to Anthony Canada, hewas the CMO of gain site at the time and I had no idea what he was talkingabout when he kept talking about building a category. It just wentcompletely over my head but was fortunately able to win it and kind ofcuriously asked question enough questions to be able to move theinterview along. But to that point I I think so many people get and B two Bmarketing isn't necessarily a technical skill so there might be instances whereit's much harder than the road that I had that I had to pave whenever I wasfirst starting to be to be growth. But that's a that's a great point. Nicoledan, what are your thoughts around what Nicole just shared? I just want tostart off with the fact that I used to...

...be like long ago, the person that's notplans were stupid because nobody read them and things change too fast. Andthen I started running into problems, right? There's problems when you don'thave a plan, when you actually don't document things and write them downusually because you're winging it, you don't even know what the document whichleads to less predictability in your outcomes and generally you're operatingunder massive assumptions that everybody even understands where you'retrying to get to in the long term, both your employees and your senior leadersand your peers, Like nobody really even knows exactly what the end goal lookslike. So I become a big fan of planning from business plans to marketing plansshoot a week ago, we did like a whole episode on just podcast marketing plans.So I'm a huge fan of this Nicole and some of the things you brought upalready. I'm like I don't have that part of my content plants. I kind ofjust pull it all out from my marketing plan. I don't have them necessarily. Ihave an S. E. O. Plan and a podcast plan, but I don't have a holisticcontent marketing plan that kind of ties everything together. And so I havea few pieces missing. So it's been insightful. It helps. It's hard.They're hard. They're I think people don't think to write them because theydon't think about the benefits of them. Um so they're undersold. They justseemed like busy work that nobody reads and I have had enough of the pain yet.I don't know. But I found it to be massively helpful, especially when youcan remove yourself from a situation, because you can just refer to the planall the time. Yeah. You know, it's something to that. It don't just createit and let it sit there, right? Like revisit this, at least I would say arecorder. So the way I like to recommend people use these as youcreate your content strategy. And then once this is done, it flows so easilyinto your editorial plan, which I realize some people think of thesethings interchangeably and they're really not right? So, the way Iconsider an editorial plan is the what you're going to produce and win. So youyou may have defined your pillar content and your strategy, your pillartopics now. What are you gonna create...

...around each of those pillars? You knowwhat you're working title? What's your primary keyword? What's your, you know,persona you're hitting? When are you going to publish it? So that's youreditorial calendar and it flows so much more easily if you've got thefoundational elements in peace before it, right, you're always trying to comeup with ideas and whatnot for what to write. But if you've got the contentstrategy be done, it's easier. And then, so if you use that strategy to createyour calendar, probably are living in your calendar pretty often updating atleast, you know, monthly, every quarter. Go back to your strategy and look atthis and say, OK, what has worked? What hasn't worked? What metrics do we maybeneed to adjust? What, what do we need to adjust a little bit as we moveforward into the next quarter and adjust our next calendar? Or create ournext calendar as a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outside the boxideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely. And you'veprobably thought about sending them direct mail to break through the zoomfatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decisionmakers When you have no idea where they're sitting at B two B growth, weuse the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyone.Working from anywhere. Crafting makes it easy for your prospects andcustomers to pick and personalize their own gift in real time and offers highlysecured data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submittingtheir home addresses for shipping purposes to get your own personalizedcraft and gift. Go to craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo andreceive a complimentary personalized gift from craft um to claim yourpersonalized gift, go to craft um dot io slash growth. Absolutely. I kind ofthink of it as like a playbook or even the whole marketing department is likean engine, right? An engine. An engine needs to be consistent so that you canhave consistent growth, right? If you don't have it documented. So that isperforming in the same way every time. And how do you know how to tweak thingsin order to make, bring consistent...

...growth and the documents? One part ofthat that piece question I have for you is um how do you, when it comes todealing with the document? How do you deal with? Like I find that I'mconstantly bombarded with like just new ideas deviations from the plan and justopportunities mostly. How do you account for that in your marketing plan?That's a good question. Well, I'm not always included on the execution ofthese plants, but I guess what I would recommend in this case is that youcheck your idea or your opportunity against that content mission, Right?Like does it have the opportunity to help us be more of what we said, we'dbe for our audiences. If not, then maybe you scratch it. If it does, thenI guess you're gonna have to look at your your priorities. Do you have thebudget and the resources human and otherwise to execute on something inaddition to what's already planned? If you do great, I mean give it go andjust make sure you measure it and see how it goes. But if you don't, thenyou're going to have to prioritize it over something else. So that's I guesswhere all the metrics come in, right? You can say, okay, well this isn'tworking that well, maybe we could pause it for a couple months and trysomething new when you're first building plans. Doyou often build in like how to balance the objectives? I find that sometimesI'm trying to achieve too much with a single piece of content. So how do yougo about documented in such a way that you have objectives assigned to thetypes of content that you're producing, interesting? Um, so the way I typicallythink about it is that you want to make sure that you're covering off on theseprimary pain points of your audience, right? At least as you can serve themand then think about it in the lens of the buyer's journey as well. Right, Sono one piece of content is typically going to achieve your goals. I mean, itcould help you get there if you're looking for conversions. A really greatpiece of content might get you a bunch...

...of conversions, but it's not yourcontent program, right? Um, if you want to eventually that will run out of legsand you'll need something else. So I think about um okay, what are, what arepeople going to need from, from each stage of? I've never heard of youbefore, I don't even know what the challenges that you're saying I'mhaving too. Okay, I am kind of familiar that I might need something. What whatkind of options are there out there to, you know, the buyer's journey? And ifyou can create content at each stage of that journey and then create clearpaths through it. Right? So it's easy for people to find logical next content,then it all works together as a whole program rather than just overly relyingon one piece. Is that the question? I think so. I have a follow up questionis do you, I'm almost wondering, do you create a document that essentiallyinforms the direction of the content? Or do you create a planning document oflike these are the gaps essentially that we have. Like, you might look atif you're going to craft it to the journey, you might say like, oh, here's,here's the gaps we have in top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and bottomof the funnel, even just based on the five most asked questions at each partof the funnel, and we don't have a piece of content that addresses eachone of those questions. And then do you, and then go create backfill it? Or doyou just kind of create the strategic document that kind of gives the generaloverall direction that we're going? Yeah, I think it's a combination ofboth. So if you start with the overall strategic direction, then you can lookat, you know, Yes, you maybe have gaps in the buyer's journey, but what areyour goals first? So if you're really struggling with getting people to enteryour journey, then it doesn't really make sense to start on your mid tolower funnel Nicole. I want to go back to the mission that you mentionedearlier. It's something that I've been thinking a lot about just with me to begrowth. We started the show with our...

...premise being that we talked to B two Bmarketing practitioners, not authors and consultants and thought leaders andpeople that have great content, but are there not necessarily in the house Btwo B marketers? And so that was our, that was our premise. We're starting toshift or this this year with Dan at the helm of GDP growth, we've started toshift that a little bit to say every other month, we're now doing a deepdive on a specific B2B marketing discipline. So last month we didaccount based marketing next month, we're doing demand shin, but it stillfeels like where that's uh to me seems like a solid premise. I don't feel likewe necessarily have articulated a compelling mission for me to be growththat can get people excited at a deeper level beyond just like that, you knowwho we're talking to or the types of content we're sharing if you were onour team and helping us think through like what a compelling mission could be.Like how would you try to guide the conversation well? So I don't, I know aton about your your efforts, but from what I do know, I see the value as thisis where people were we to be, marketers come to learn almost bestpractices from their peers, which isn't necessarily something you justarticulated, but it's it's what I find interesting about this show, right?Like you might not be a huge thought leader in the space, but you still havelearned some cool stuff that other people might like to try out, andthat's where I find value and listening to these sorts of interviews. So Iguess I go back and ask you like, really, who do you want to be? Who doyou want, what you want this podcast to be for your audience? Really, what isthe unique value that you're providing that they can't go get somewhere else?Yeah, I think for me, I keep spinning...

...around, I've been jamming with dan onthis, um I keep spinning around this idea that we don't use the wordfriendship in business enough. And we we've started DeBose actually on on thecall, we just hired Debo on monday to start leading mastermind groups for inhouse B two B marketers and so far they've gone, they've gone really well,we just kicked off our fourth group And so B2B growth as a content engine andwhat we're doing on clubhouse, what we're doing on the podcast and how were purpose that content on linkedin. I think that that allows us to maybe liketop of funnel, I guess, to build what I think is the more compelling reason tobe connected to BB growth, which is the friendships that come deeper in thefunnel. Like I don't, I almost want to think about it like a relationshipfunnel, like the content hearing from your peers is how you get exposure tothem and then the deeper you get into the community, you can actually startbuilding friendships, but it feels a little messy and it doesn't feel like Ilove that. I mean, you're not hearing anybody say come make some marketingfriends, especially, especially right now where so many of us aredisconnected from everybody else. I mean, and you know me, I'm alwaysremote, but I can't even go to a coffee shop anymore. Right? So being able toconnect and make some friendships if you're actually providing that, That'samazing. Yeah. And I was it's funny you said come make some marketing friendsbecause I was literally thinking about calling. Like, and I don't know how todo that. You know from a branding perspective, I really like what we'vedone with BB growth in the brand that we've built with GDP Growth. But I wasthinking some sort of subset called marketing friends. Whether that's likethat's what we call our our mastermind groups or you know, I don't know how towork it in. But so hearing you say come make some marketing friends. My God,well there's your there's your new tagline for I love that. Yeah, I meanso maybe your value really is the connection part of the equation and Ithink it makes a lot of sense because...

...the whole premise behind our businessmodel is using podcasting to build genuine relationships with your idealbuyers and with other people in your industry by inviting them to be a gueston your show that kicks off the relationship. And and so I I just I seea lot of alignment there, but I'd be curious dance since you're I mean we'vebeen jamming on this like what are your thoughts on it? It gets harder andharder the closer I get to it, right? But generally it's been hard becauseBTB growth is actually trying to achieve so many objectives with onepodcast where a daily show we're producing a mountain of content, sotrying to organize it in such a way to like align the mission has been hasbeen a challenge, we at least have some things going for us and that we're verycrystal clear on who our audience is, like the kinds of insights we try toget out of our show for that audience, so it's not like we're it's totallymurky, like we have some insights into what we're doing, but it's a challengeand how many things we're trying to achieve with a building relationshipsand producing good content and establishing some thought leadershipand trying to create pillar content that can be trickled out across othersocial media channels, in building relationships, you know, those are kindof like the three main things, but so I would say maybe there's one overarchingmission that's a little more general around you know, peer to peerconnections something or other, but then each of your major initiativescould have its own sort of like mini mission of what you're trying toaccomplish as it ladders up to the other broader mission like that. Allright, so just a reminder for those in the audience, if anybody is new, we aretalking to Nicole bump, she's the founder of bump inbound and we arechatting about content strategy. If anybody in the audience has anyquestions, feel free to raise your hand will bring up on stage, maybe it's aquestion, maybe it's a comment or you just want to tell Nicole kind of whatyour content mission is or a story about how you've documented yourcontent strategy, feel free to raise...

...your hand and we'll bring you up danany any other questions. And we've got we've got five more minutes with Nicolebefore we need to close it down when it comes to planning content, How manylike categories of like objectives are usually looking at with the company, somany companies just kind of spewing all these ideas. How do you, do you havelike a taxonomy or kind of like a list that usually go off of when trying tocreate? Don't know strategic objectives for the content plan. Good question. SoI am working on one now, we're basically I asked them their toppriorities and they gave me a different objective for like every stage of thefunnel and it's one content person on their team to they have a largermarketing team but this person has to be in charge of all of it. And so whatI suggested to him was that we try to whittle it down to what are your topfew priorities? You know, let's start there with what, where are youstruggling with most in your funnel is a good place to look when you're tryingto figure out what to do first. And so what are your top priorities? And then,I mean we can we can bring more priorities in as we evolve the contentstrategy and revisit it. Um but let's start there. Um I also encourage peopleto focus on primary audiences as well, so you might have some secondaryaudiences that you want to bring in. But if there's a primary decision maker,like let's make sure that they are front and center and their needs arefront and center in the content strategy as well. Fantastic for peoplelistening right now. What would you recommend if they were gonna like? It'sone of those things where you probably can knock out the whole thing today. Solike what one thing can they do today to get the thing moving? And then in amonth and then over the course of the year, what should they expect to havewith a content marketing plan? That's a good question. Um I would say one thingyou can do really easily is um get a report of your search visibility onlineand some in some S. E. O recommendations. So I just recentlycame across a company called inbound...

...back office that can run these reportsfor you. Like within a few days, it's not expensive, it's like $100 orsomething and you will get an overview of how your ranking. Now, the areaswhere your ranking but not well. And so if you did a little improvement, youcould be ranking much better. And then they'll do a quick gaffe analysisagainst some of your competitors to see where you have some opportunities there.So that's a quick way to say, okay, here's 5, 10 pieces of content I cancreate and optimize well and start doing better. That's one thing you cando is go to visit inbound back office dot com. Yes, I believe it like acertain service they need to sign up for or is it like a software? No, it'sactually a service, but you, you have to do like a little onboarding meetingand tell them what you're looking for and then they just connect you and Theycharge you monthly. It's all hourly, but there's no minimums. So if you doyour to our search visibility report, you get charged for two hours and it'slike $100. So that's an easy one for today. What can people expect to do ina month in a month? I would suggest that you start getting some interviewslined up with some customers. So it might take a couple weeks to getsomeone on the phone. So start start now reaching out, figure out, you know,maybe ask your sales team, your customer service team, whoever it mightbe to connect you with some people that might be willing to chat and get someof those interviews on the calendar and 30, 60 minutes just interview them allabout all about their challenges around your product, how they're using it,what they're using before or currently. If they don't have your product yet,start getting some customer insights. Fantastic. And then I assume over thecourse of the year, they could probably unpack the full thing that we've beentalking about. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You don't need a year to do a contentstrategy. I think that nobody would ever do it if you did. But yeah, justgradually start working through the rest of it. And I am going to be tryingto put out some materials that document...

...all this stuff a little more completely,maybe a quarter. You should put out like a, a form that with questions.People can just fill in the questions and then bam it spits out the I'mbuilding broadcasting. So I know it's possible like that would be, well, Imight need to become marketing friends with you and I'm awesome nickel for those of us thatare in the club house call right now, but also for the folks listening on thepodcast when this goes live in a week or so what's the best way that, thatour, our audience and our listeners can stay connected with you? I would say,come connect on linkedin. I always like to connect there. That's probably thebest way to get in touch. Wonderful. Alright, Nicola, thank you so much foryour time. Thank you to everyone here. That's, that's joined us live forjoining us and we'll be back again tomorrow at 12 Eastern for themarketing at noon room here on clubhouse. If you're not alreadyfollowing dan and myself at Sanchez and James Carberry, you can also follow theGDP Growth club and then make sure to follow at Nicole bump as well. She isobviously in clubhouse because she's joining us today, so make sure tofollow her as well. Thank you so much for listening. And uh, we will talk toyou soon. Mm is the decision maker for your productor service. Abebe marketer, Are you looking to reach those buyers throughthe medium of podcasting? Considered becoming a co host of GDP growth. Thisshow is consistently ranked as a top 100 podcast in the marketing categoryof apple podcasts, and the show gets more than 130,000 downloads each month.We've already done the work of building the audience so you can focus ondelivering incredible content to our listeners if you're interested, emailLogan at Sweet Fish Media dot com.

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