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How Much Content Do You Really Need?

Posted Under: Jay Today TV
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Welcome to Jay Today, 3-minute lessons and commentary on business, social media, and digital marketing from New York Times best-selling author and venture capitalist Jay Baer. Join Jay daily for insights on trends, quick tips, observations, and inspiration. Jay Today is the show for you.

How does Jay Today get produced? Here’s exactly how we do it, step-by-step.


Learn the special formula Jay Baer and the Convince & Convert team use to figure out how much content to create.

Jay: Hey guys, it’s Jay. Hope you are doing great. I am here in Nashville, Tennessee, out here for Emma’s big Marketing United conference, which is gonna start here in a little bit and all day tomorrow and all day Friday. I was feeling pretty good, drove down here from Bloomington. It’s like four hours and 15 minutes. Felt pretty good. Not feeling too great right now, though. Thank you to Emma for giving me an enormous, enormous, enormous gift basket, full of all kinds of crazy Nashville foods here in my hotel room in the Westin. Foolishly, of all the treats and what not in this gift basket, I decided to get in to the bacon brittle. That seemed like a good idea until I ate the entire box of bacon brittle, and now I’m feeling really, really sketchy. But, that will not stop me. I will not be deterred by bacon brittle to bring you an episode of Jay Today.
As always, Jay Today is brought to you by my pals at Emma email marketing. Get more from your email marketing, go to Super excited to MC their Marketing United conference tomorrow and the next day. Tom Webster is out here, Oli Gardner’s here, Tamsen Webster, a whole bunch of other pals. Ann Handley, et cetera, Ethan Zubek. It’s gonna be a blast, so look for details in social media.
Meanwhile, today I want to talk about how much content do you really need, do I need, does anybody need? And I get that question all the time from clients on the consulting side of our business at Convince & Convert. So, what do we need to make? And here’s how we answer that question, okay? So, we look at what we call a “five times five times five” approach, okay? The reason it’s five by five by five is that our assumption is that most companies have approximately five personas.
Okay, so let’s assume that these people on this awesome Shamu raft are your five personas. Now, in truth, these audiences look demographically and psychographically more similar than the selection of your businesses personas may actually be, but work with me here for the purposes of Jay Today. So let’s say you have five personas. Let’s also say that, like many people, let’s say that you actually work with approximately a five funnel stage, five funnel stage system: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, advocacy. This particular graphic is from AWeber, so that’s a fairly typical marketing and sales funnel. I don’t think that’s a huge stroke of genius, so let’s recap. We have, potentially, right? We have five personas, right, on a raft? Five different types of customers. There are five steps in the consideration funnel. Awareness, interest, conversion, loyalty and advocacy. Okay, so that’s five types of people and five funnel stages.
Now what you’ve got to do is figure out the five questions that each persona has to have successfully answered in order to move from one funnel stage to the next one, to the next one, to the next one, to the next one. How do you do that? Well, the best way to do it is research. Actually talk to your customers. Either survey research, focus group research, one-on-one interviews, a bunch of different ways to do that. Second best way would be to pull data from their web behavior from other observed behaviors that indicate what those questions may be. You can also buttress that with search engine query data and a bunch of other things.
In many cases, of course, the reality is you’re gonna have to take an intuition on that, you’re gonna have to take a guess. You have to augment your first and second party data with just some understanding of customers, but I’ll tell you what, from an internal knowledge perspective, the best way to go about it is that marketers should talk to customer service and sales. Because the people in your company that really, really understand what customers want are in customer service and sales.
Marketing doesn’t really know what customers want. We think we do, but we don’t ’cause we’re busy doing marketing. The sales department and the customer service department really have a handle, in most cases, on what customers want. So, when you’re figuring out these five questions, they have to have successfully answered before moving from this funnel stage to that one. The people inside your company that can help you figure those questions out are in sales and customer service.
So, let’s recap. Five different people on a raft. Five funnel stages. Five questions that need to have successfully answered to move to each sift of the funnel. That’s five times five times five equals, quick math, 125. So, in theory, and this is how we do it with corporate clients, you map out the 125 pieces of content that you absolutely, positively must have. This is the content that actually helps you make money. Then we get all that done, then you can do some more top of the funnel, big picture, kind of fun, utility stuff. But at the core, you need to appeal, or adhere I should say, to the five by five by five approach.
Now, a quick note. In reality, in the real world, you will not have 125 because each persona does not have totally distinct questions at every stage of the funnel, and some of the questions may apply at different funnel stages. So, in reality, in the experience that we’ve had doing this with corporate clients, it doesn’t actually end up being 125. It’s not five by five by five, it’s how you architect it. But it’s probably gonna be, once you rule out overlaps and things like that, about half of that. So, basic rule of thumb, okay? You’re gonna need to satisfactorily answer 60 customer questions, maybe 70, and be able to do that with content, on your site, in social media and other places.
Now, what you do once you have those things answered, once you have those 60 or 70 key pieces of content created is you then go back through and answer those questions again in a different format. So, if you have them all answered with blog posts, now go back and answer them with videos, because different people learn with different content and different ways, okay? So, step one, figure out your five by five by five. Step two, figure out which ones are duplicate. Step three, create all your content in one format. Step four, recreate it in a second format, and then stop five is to do some top of the funnel utility stuff, okay? So that’s how you figure out exactly how much content you really need.
Happy to answer any questions that anybody may have in the comments below. From Nashville, it’s me Jay. Hope you guys have a fantastic week, I’m gonna have a blast here with my pals at Emma. Remember, if you need help with your email marketing, Emma is awesome. Go to, thanks as always, see you soon. And also look, I really recommend the bacon brittle, but don’t a whole box, okay? I just want to be clear on that right now. That that is a really bad idea, as I have unfortunately discovered. Thanks.

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