The phrase “Content Strategy” has been used in a lot of different ways–and I'm not even confident the way we use it is technically correct. Therefore, I must define it, so we’re all on the same page.
When I say Content Strategy, I’m referring to how we decide:
What written, filmed, or recorded content we are going to create
Why it will improve someone’s life
When it will be created
Who is going to create it
Where we are going to distribute it
Which action we hope it will create
What we’re going to measure
How we are going to reuse it
So instead of this remaining theory, here’s a real-life example of how we created our longterm Content Strategy for Eden Knows Implants.
If you are unfamiliar with Eden Knows Implants, it was created by Jenny Eden, and Jenny‘s ultimate desire is for women to come into our practice for a consultation about breast augmentation.
Two Types of Content
At the risk of oversimplifying, we split all different types of content into one of two buckets:
Bucket A is where 99% of all types of content live. This is content that probably isn’t going to create the most exciting result. It’s not intended to cause someone to take your expensive, primary call-to-action.
Instead, this content needs to be warm, interesting, and endearing. It exists to show people your heart, to show them you care for them, and that you are here to make their lives better. That’s why we call it “Life-Giving Content.”
Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not saying it should be “fluff.” It should still add value, it’s just not a heavy hitter in terms of creating revenue. Most importantly, the goal of Bucket A is to get people interested in the content which lives in Bucket B.
Bucket B contains all of your most powerful pieces of content. Said differently, the specific pieces of content which cause people to take a significant action. We like to call this “Catalytic Content” around our place, because this content causes stuff to happen.
This content generates your most serious leads and causes people to move further down the sales pipeline. It helps move people from one stage of your User Experience Map to another, and it often produces some sort of “sale.” Catalytic Content is where you should spend the majority of your focus when it comes to effectiveness and intentionality.
Do you remember the “choose your own adventure” books from when you were a teenager? More often than not, there were two types of endings: Success and Failure. Your Catalytic Content should do exactly the same thing. It should put someone on multiple, predetermined paths which either lead them to the life-change you are offering, or to a place where you say, “We’re not the best fit for you.”
At Davis and Pyle, all of our Catalytic Content should lead to “Book A Consultation” (even if it takes 2 or 3 different touch points), because the consultation is where we can serve a potential patient in making the best decision about their goals.
Below, you will find our matrix of Catalytic Content for Eden Knows Implants and it’s congruent service, breast augmentation, at Davis and Pyle. “Sources” refers to where a user came from, and “Targets” refers to other pieces of Catalytic Content which we give the user an option to explore next.
If you’re new to a matrix like this, it’s easier to follow than it initially looks. Here’s an example of a possible user path:
Bucket A content to Boobie Steps Page
Boobie Steps Page to How I Picked My Surgeon
How I Picked My Surgeon to BA Landing Page
BA Landing Page to Schedule Consult
Why then wouldn’t we just always send people directly into Bucket B? Because that would be a total a-hole thing to do!
Every piece of content in Bucket B asks people to do something. And if all you ever do as a marketer is ask people to do something, then you’re an a-hole. When Gary Vee says, “Marketers ruin everything,” you’re the person he’s talking about if that’s the way you choose to communicate with people in need.
As a marketer, when you ask someone to do something, you are cashing in a portion of the influence which you must have previously deposited. Bucket A is content that makes a deposit, and Bucket B is content that makes a withdrawal. So you better make sure you’ve got enough cash to cover your ask.
How We Develop Life-Giving Content
So now that we have a shared language for Life-Giving Content vs Catalytic Content, let’s dive a little deeper into how we use both in regards to Eden Knows Implants.
What written, filmed, or recorded content are we going to create, and why will it improve someone’s lives?
In our opinion, the most important thing about Life-Giving Content is ensuring that the subject matter actually matters. In other words, making sure the right people will receive a significant amount of value from the content itself.
That’s why we use two methods to determine our topics:
Advanced Keyword Targeting
Said differently, we never write a piece of content that isn’t based on a question that people are asking. So every week, we collect questions from Eden’s different audiences. And every month, we mine for keywords.
Then, we select 4 to focus on during the next week, keeping a balance between our four main subjects:
Breast Implant Basics
Prepping for Surgery
Recovering from Surgery
Life with Implants
Also, since women with breast implants are all going through the process of “figuring out their new figure” as Jenny says, she also asks her tribe to pick an article of clothing they want her to review.
When will it be created, who is going to create it, and where are we going to distribute it?
We have found that if we don’t have a written plan for when new content is going to be created, it too easily falls by the wayside.
Here’s what a typical cycle looks like:
Week 1 Thursday: Jenny sends our writer the four questions we’re focusing on for the week following next, along with keyword phrases and the direction she would like to see the articles go.
Week 2 Thursday: Our writer returns the articles to Jenny for edits and approval, then Jenny sends the articles to our surgeons to add their thoughts.
Week 3 Tuesday: Our Marketing Team schedules the articles to go live the following week on Eden Knows Implants.
Week 3 Wednesday: Jenny films/edits videos about three topics.
Week 3 Thursday: Jenny films/edits videos about one topic and her clothing review. Videos are sent for transcription.
Week 3 Friday: Transcription returns, and videos are scheduled by the Marketing Team to post the following week on Eden Knows Implants, YouTube, IGTV, Bustmob, Facebook, and Eden’s weekly newsletter—along with Davis and Pyle’s Instagram, Facebook, and monthly newsletter. They also create a reminder on Jenny’s calendar for when the videos will post so that she can create an Instagram Story letting her tribe know about the article/video.
Which action do we hope it will create?
One of the most desirable actions we hope people will take with Eden Knows Implants content is to sign up for Jenny’s 30-day email series, Learn the Basics of Breast Augmentation. It’s the first step in Jenny’s plan, and it really helps get new people plugged into her tribe.
Additionally, during Jenny’s editing process, she intentionally looks for strategic ways to naturally point users to a piece of Catalytic Content. (Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.)
What are we going to measure?
Every Friday, we do a stand-up meeting where the Marketing Team presents how the previous week’s Life-Giving Content cumulatively performed:
Catalytic content clicks
Additionally, they present how each of our Catalytic Content pieces have performed over the last week:
Desired actions taken by percentage of visitors
Side note: We are huge fans of A/B testing, and it’s the primary way we continually improve all of our Catalytic Content.
I realize I’ve left a couple of gaps in the process above, but my hope is that it gives you the really clear picture that content strategy doesn’t happen by itself. It’s something we must invest in and pay close attention to.