Where to Start When Building Your Content Marketing Strategy

Jenny Magic

Jenny Magic, Analyst at Convince & Convert, joins the Content Experience Show Podcast with a seven-step guide to building your content marketing strategy.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Jenny Magic

7 Steps to a Sure-Fire Content Marketing Strategy

When’s the last time you refreshed your content marketing strategy? Maybe it’s been a minute. Or maybe your organization reinvents itself a little too frequently, and your team finds itself rolling out a new strategy multiple times a year.

If you could use an effective strategy you won’t abandon in three months, analyst Jenny Magic is here to help. The Convince & Convert team has put together a comprehensive, seven-step guide to building a sustainable and successful content marketing strategy. In this episode, Jenny walks through each of those seven steps, reexamining conventional wisdom and exploring common pitfalls.

Join Jenny and Anna as they expand on the guide’s key takeaways and offer up bonus tips. You’ll hear insights on documenting and measuring your marketing efforts, defining and researching your audience, and more. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need a few simple tweaks for your current strategy, there’s something in this guide for everyone.

In This Episode

  • Why the “crash diet” approach to building a marketing strategy is hurting your business.
  • The long-term benefits of documenting your goals.
  • Tips for identifying the one thing your business does better than your competitors.
  • Why defining your metrics should be one of the first steps in your marketing strategy.
  • The pitfall of personas when defining your audience.
  • An audience research strategy that brings your marketing and sales teams into better alignment.
  • How a content calendar can help you create more content with less.

Quotes From This Episode

“It’s just so tempting to default to the kind of content that you like to create or that you like to consume or to default to the audience that is loudest or the easiest to empathize with or the easiest to reach.” – @JennyLMagic

Get something that you can stick to. Maintain a healthy strategy little by little, course correct, learn from what's out there, and stay on track with your strategy. Click To Tweet

“If you’re new in a role, take the strategy that’s in front of you and make the best of it rather than trying to throw it out and start over to stamp your mark on things.” – @JennyLMagic

Resources

Content Experience Lightning Round

If you were to launch a career in magic, what would be your signature act?

As a former water skier and expert balancer, Jenny’s act would probably involve balancing moving objects while holding a challenging yoga pose!

See you next week!

What Great Brands Do That Good Brands Don't in Content Marketing

Okay content is easy. Killer content is hard. This nifty eBook shows you the difference, based on our real-world work with dozens of brands. A must-read!

Episode Transcript

  • Anna

    Hey everyone. Welcome to the Content Experience Show podcast. I’m Anna Hrach from Convince & Convert. We have a bit of a different show for you today. Unfortunately Randy couldn’t join us, but that’s okay because we have one of my fellow Convince & Convert team members with us today, Jenny Magic. Now Jenny and I are going to talk to you about something we’ve been working on, which is a free guide that walks through our methodology at Convince & Convert for creating a content marketing strategy in just seven easy steps.

  • Anna

    You can actually snag this free guide right now at bit.ly/strategywins. Again, that’s be it B-I-T.L-Y/strategywins and follow along with us. We’ll be walking you through the article and diving deeper into each one of the steps, plus providing a few extra tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. Now, the beauty of this guide is that whether you have a strategy in place today or you’re starting from square one, there’s really something for everyone. It also serves as an amazing checklist just to make sure that you have the most well rounded content marketing strategy possible, so without further ado, let’s chat with Jenny and get started with creating our content marketing strategy. Hey Jenny, thank you so much for being here today. I’m so excited that we get to chat.

  • Jenny

    Me too. Thanks for having me on.

  • Anna

    I’m really excited, so Jenny, you have over 20 years of experience within the digital content industry or content industry in general, and also you’re part of the C&C team, which makes me really excited.

  • Jenny

    I know, I love getting to work with other content nerds on fun projects.

  • Anna

    I know, right? Also, I have to say though I was a little upset because you hands down take the gold star for best name.

  • Jenny

    Thank you. I hope I don’t disappoint. Jenny Magic needs to have some special skills in her pocket, so I try.

  • Anna

    No, it’s amazing. Jenny Magic, I don’t think you can get much cooler than that name. I obviously know you really well, but for everybody else out there who hasn’t seen you speak at an event because you are a prolific speaker as well, tell everybody a little bit about yourself.

  • Jenny

    Yeah, so as you said, I’ve been a digital marketer since that became a thing pretty much, but for the last 10 or 11 years have been focused exclusively on content strategy and content marketing strategy. My passion is audiences and making sure that everything you’re doing is something that your audience wants to hear about. I have been workshopping and teaching about personas and audience type stuff for most of my career and I’m really excited to see that the industry is actually catching up and getting excited about those things too.

  • Anna

    Agreed. I know for the longest time, I think that audiences have been neglected within strategies, especially for brands creating content, but we’re going to get to that in just a minute. One of the huge reasons we’re today is because, speaking of strategy, we have an amazing resource for everybody, which is a seven step process to creating a content marketing strategy, and we will reveal that URL in just a little bit, but I think one of the things that is so critical is that we are so focused on creating content that we don’t actually take a step back to create that fully well-rounded strategy, and you and I have had a lot of conversations about this. What are you seeing in terms of clients with strategy, with content marketing strategy in general? What’s happening from your perspective?

  • Jenny

    Yeah, I was actually just talking the other day about this, how it feels like getting a good strategy and sticking to it is a little bit like a diet plan, right, like we all know what we’re supposed to eat and that exercise helps and that we should do little small thing every day to stay healthy and instead we crash diet when we need to get in swimsuit season. I feel like strategy is the same thing, like every three or four years a company will be like, oh no, we have no strategy, panic, panic, hire people, figure it out, then they get this big quote strategy checked off their list and it kind of fades, and then they feel like they need a big refresh a few years later when in fact I think it works best if you can get something that you can just stick to and maintain a healthy strategy sort of little by little, course correct, learn from what’s out there and stay on track with your strategy, and it seems like such a more efficient way to do things, but I get it, it’s hard.

  • Anna

    It is. It’s a huge undertaking and especially getting everybody on the same page. I think that’s kind of a lot of sticking points I’m seeing from clients and just industries in general when I go to conferences and I’m hearing people speak as getting everybody on the same page and in alignment which is kind of funny because a strategy does that.

  • Jenny

    Yeah. Well the other interesting thing I’ve seen is that people often revamp a strategy when you’ve got new faces in the room, so either new CMO, new agency, whatever, and it’s a clue to me that somewhere along the way there wasn’t that core alignment, right, so the new person needs to come in and scoop out the strategy and start over and I understand the need to like make your mark on your team, but one piece of advice I’d love to give the industry is just if you’re new in a role, take the strategy that’s in front of you and make the best of it rather than trying to throw it out and start over to stamp your mark on things because it just allows for so much more continuity for the team.

  • Anna

    Yeah, it’s… Agreed and it’s completely reinventing who a company is or the approach that they’re going to take every time a new CMO comes on board or a new CEO. It’s really distracting and it takes people away and it’s just making people reinvent the wheel all over again, and even furthermore, Jenny, I know that you and I have had conversations about this as well. Strategies don’t have to be like this massive sort of like 50,000 page document that just sort of is like created and then sits on a shelf.

  • Jenny

    Yeah.

  • Anna

    I mean, to your point like you would just even say, reading between the lines, I mean the best strategy is going to be the one that gets used.

  • Jenny

    Yeah, for sure, and I think there’s layers of strategy. I mean you and I have certainly worked together on documents that have all the way down to the channel strategy and cadence strategy specifics, but I think even if teams are just starting with a basic, what are we doing and why business strategy, that’s like a layer above marketing and then who are we doing it for and why do they care, audience strategy that the marketing piece obviously is going to evolve with new channels, new objectives, new campaigns, but if you at least keep those first two pieces fresh, then it seems to me that all of the nuance and iteration of the actual marketing and content marketing strategies can really align with something bigger and more permanent and foundational in a way that makes sense for everyone.

  • Anna

    Absolutely, and I think that’s what I love too about this guide that we’ve put together. It was you Jenny Magic, myself, and of course Jay Baer, and so the three of us had really collaborated and this is an evolution of one of our most popular blog posts, so we kind of took a look at it, refreshed it, gave it some updates and some new perspective, and I think the thing that I’m happiest about is that it’s actually really easy to follow. The seven steps are really basic information, but it’s such a good reminder and it puts it in a way that is just easy to implement, and so for everybody who wants to follow along with us, as we kind of talk about the seven steps to creating your content marketing strategy, that URL is actually going to be bit.ly/strategywins. Again, that’s B-I-T.L-Y/strategywins, so Jenny, let’s go ahead and dive into it. First thing’s first, step one is document your goals. Sounds simple enough-

  • Jenny

    And it’s not.

  • Anna

    We’ve already been talking about, I know every time somebody new comes in they change, but documenting your goals.

  • Jenny

    Yeah, I think one of the most important things is to remember, and I find this happens all the time when people hire a content marketing outside either agency, consultancy, strategy team, whatever, the first thing I ask the client is what are you trying to achieve from a business perspective and how is your marketing and content marketing supposed to support that? And I often kind of get a blank stare like, oh, I thought that’s what we were going to work on, which is fine. It just means we need to zoom out and go back a few steps.

  • Anna

    Right.

  • Jenny

    This work is often best done by the people closest to your audience, closest to your customers, closest to your clients. What business goals, are we increasing sales this year? Are we expanding our audience? Are we deepening reorders? Are we… Where are we in our business objectives? And then mapping that to a clear set of things that marketing can do for you generally, and then if you want to go one layer deeper, what is the content role in that marketing plan?

  • Jenny

    None of this should be something that requires an outside agency or a whole lot of rocket science thinking, but documenting it and getting it written down often means that people have to agree on which things and their priorities and it’s an interesting discussion. It’s one of those things everybody assumes we’re all in total agreement on, and then as soon as you get in a room and start white boarding and putting priority numbers next to things, their heads blow up like-

  • Anna

    Well, it’s funny too when you actually get people from different areas of the company, like you have sales and they’re like, well our business goal should be to increase sales, and then you have marketing who’s like, no, we really need to reinforce our brand message, and you’re like, whoa. How do we connect those, timeout. Like it just… it can get pretty crazy. Step one, document your goals and do it in a way that everybody is in agreement.

  • Anna

    All right, so once we have that down, we then move on to step two, which is really, what’s your one thing, right. What is the one thing that you were going to do that nobody else can stake their claim on?

  • Jenny

    Yeah. One of my favorite exercises is to take all the brand messages or marketing campaign messages that people are excited to share, write them all down. We’re the fastest, we’re the cheapest, we’re the most productive, we’re the highest quality, whatever the list is of things-

  • Anna

    Right.

  • Jenny

    …and then I ask them to think about their top three competitors and then to cross everything off the list that is probably being claimed by their top three competitors because if everyone is saying it, it cancels each other out. It’s noise, right, if we’re all the highest quality, the customer is going to go, great, great. I don’t have any metric for dealing with that. Now, if you have a specific quality metric that you can put on your list that your competitor can’t claim, great. That doesn’t get crossed off when you do the top three competitors cross off, but once you’ve crossed that stuff off, the only thing left standing should be things that if your competitors put it in writing, everyone will go, no way, that’s the other company, that’s not them. That’s this company.

  • Jenny

    That’s where your one thing comes out, and it’s a great exercise because a lot of people are spending a ton of money on content marketing to say the exact same thing as their competitors, which is basically useless.

  • Anna

    Yeah. There is a, for lack of a better term, and we even put this in the post a glut of content and, yeah, there’s so much noise and everybody’s kind of saying the same thing. Make sure you are not saying more of the same. All right, so step three, measure your content marketing, which is funny because a lot of people kind of put this step at the very end, right. They get their strategy, they execute, and then they measure, but why is this important to kind of move up?

  • Jenny

    It’s so critical to get early in your process because it’s really hard measure something that wasn’t designed to be measured, right. It’s really hard to design something that wasn’t… I’m sorry, I’m going to say that one more time because I interrupted myself. Because it’s really hard to measure something that wasn’t designed to be measured.

  • Anna

    Right.

  • Jenny

    If you’re not figuring it out at the beginning, what you’re trying to report on at the end, you’re not going to put the right variables in place. You’re not going to put the right hooks and codes or tracking or goals or event measuring, whatever it needs to happen in analytics so that you can come back and actually report on things. Plus it’s really tempting at the end to look back and just report on a bunch of vanity metrics that don’t actually matter, right?

  • Anna

    Yeah. It’s really frustrating especially when you are stuck in those meetings and you’re trying to convince people that either something is working or something needs to be improved and they just keep looking at it like, but we drove x number of eyeballs to this, and you’re like, but maybe that’s not the right eyeballs. I mean, that’s a potential.

  • Jenny

    Yeah.

  • Anna

    Yeah, it’s hard to get people out of those vanity metrics.

  • Jenny

    I think if you sit at the beginning and say… I always like telling the success story before it happens because I find this is a really useful exercise as well. Pretend we’re in a meeting after this campaign and you get to stand up and report on what happened. We drove x eyeballs that then made this decision that then took this action that then whatever, it moved the needle for those business goals that we documented in step one, right?

  • Jenny

    When you think about how you would report on that and the questions you’re immediately going to get from the room, from your boss, your co-worker and then they’re going to say, well how do we know that wasn’t the event we were at that same month? How do we know those people were actually driven from that piece of content, right? You go, they are going to ask those questions. How could we figure that out? And that’s where designing that content to be measured is so useful at that early stage.

  • Anna

    I love it. I know, it’s measure, define your metrics upfront so you can better measure on the end. Jenny, we have just a few more steps to go and the next one we’re going to get into is defining your audiences, but this is a bigger topic of conversation and I think it leads back nicely to what you were talking about in your intro about how much you care about the audiences and tracking their journey and really what they’re interested in. Before we dive into that, we are going to take a super quick break to hear from our sponsors and everybody, when we come back we are going to finish off all of the steps that you need to create a content marketing strategy after this.

  • Jay

    Hi friends, this is Jay Baer from Convince & Convert reminding you that this show, the Conex Show podcast is brought to you by Uberflip, the number one content experience platform. Do you ever wonder how content experience affects your marketing results? Well, you can find out in the first ever content experience report where Uberflip uncovers eight data science backed insights to boost your content engagement and your conversions. It’s a killer report, and you do not want to miss it. Get your free copy right now at uberflip.com/conexshowreport. That’s uberflip.com/conexshowreport and the show is also brought to you by our team at Convince & Convert consulting. If you’ve got a terrific content marketing program but you want to take it to the very next level, we can help, Convince & Convert works with the world’s most iconic brands to increase the effectiveness of their content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing and word of mouth marketing. Find us at convinceandconvert.com.

  • Anna

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  • Anna

    Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Content Experience Show podcast. We are here with Jenny Magic and we are talking about the seven steps you need to create your content marketing strategy. Now when we left off, we had just started talking about step three, which was measuring your content and now we’re going to talk about step four, defining your audiences. Now this is something that Jenny is particularly-

  • Jenny

    Passionate.

  • Anna

    …passionate about. Thank you, yes. I don’t know why I lost the word for passionate. This is something that Jenny is particularly passionate about. It’s something I’m passionate about as well, but Jenny, let’s talk about defining your audiences, which also leads into step five, researching your audience’s needs. What do we got?

  • Jenny

    Yeah, so I was really excited maybe five or six years ago to see people talking more and more about personas, right? We all know what that is, where we sort of stop and think about an audience segment we’re trying to activate. Think about a specific person within that group and create a generic version of them that we can keep in our mind as we’re creating content, but over the last, I don’t know, 18 months or so, I’ve really started to understand the limitations of personas and I’m actually backing up from using them a little bit.

  • Jenny

    I was noticing that a number of clients I was working with were using them almost in a way that was driving generalizations and stereotypes kind of away from what they were trying to achieve. If we were trying to pick a high level senior executive and we had a picture of an older white gentleman as the stereotype is typical persona image, they would start to make assumptions about, let’s say that person’s confidence with technology or something like that, and we might rewind and say, “Hey, wait, that assumption isn’t valid for this whole audience.” But it’s hard not to make assumptions when you’ve given the person a name and an age and a gender and all sorts of things.

  • Jenny

    What I have found a lot more useful lately is, yes, we still have to talk about audiences and their particular characteristics, but let’s talk about their characteristics that are around the decision making process we’re trying to influence because if it’s not related to that, it’s probably not particularly relevant. Leaving off stock photos and fake names and fake ages, focusing instead on job title, who they report to, their role in the decision making process, et cetera, and then really taking them a step further and acknowledging that that person and their relationship to our decision is not static.

  • Jenny

    As they encounter more information, they’re going to have different needs, and the content we work on should really be specifically addressing that moment in their funnel because we can actually deliver content in that way these days with email nurture programs and account based marketing and, dynamic retargeting, et cetera, et cetera. We can be smarter about what they see and when and we need to be thinking about not just giving them the same content throughout their journey.

  • Anna

    Agreed, I honestly could not agree with you more. I feel the exact same way that personas, a lot of times are glorified demographics and a lot of stereotypes and somebody who really helped influence this and the way that I think and really shed a lot of light is Susan Baier from Audience Audit, and she just says phenomenal work and we have a podcast with her, so go back and take a listen to it about her methodology and her approach to audience research, but yeah, I mean, she basically in her research has confirmed this and she does a lot of what she kind of more leads towards of archetypes and exactly like you said, like icons versus pictures and needs based, so if your audience segmentation, your personas are not needs-based, you need to kind of scrap them or really take a look at why you’ve created them in the first place.

  • Anna

    Which leads into step five researching audience needs. You’ve already touched on this a little bit with the needs based sort of archetypes and looking at what they need. How can we dive a little deeper into what our audiences actually need?

  • Jenny

    Absolutely. Well, I know you and I have worked on this a ton of times. We have a way of thinking about this we call the five by five by five and typically we just think about the top five audience segments that we’re trying to influence. There’s typically… there may be more than that, but you can only focus on four or five at a time most of the time, so what are your top five, then thinking about the five or six usually stages of the funnel that have interesting touch points and interesting dynamics for those different audiences.

  • Jenny

    If you think of it as a grid with audiences down the side and stages of the journey across the top, inside each of those boxes, we’d like to think about what are the five questions that this particular audience member is asking at this particular stage of their journey. There’s going to be a few things they care about before they’re even identifying a need or even thinking about a solution versus all the way at the end of the consideration evaluation phase. They’re going to have a different set of needs and questions, so just identifying the top few things we can address with them in each moment is a really great start to a content ideation process, and this is something that happens internally, like this is a team effort where you can sit around and brainstorm, but it also helps to pull in other members of your team.

  • Jenny

    If you’ve got customer support people that are on the phone with your audience and customers all the time, if you’ve got salespeople that are out pitching, they often know better what those questions are than the marketing team, so this is a great cross functional exercise and that can be a great way to get that alignment we were talking about earlier.

  • Anna

    Agreed. I’m a massive fan of the five by five by five and the nice thing is like you had mentioned, it can be kind of adjusted to how many steps in the funnel you have or how many steps in the customer journey there are, so it could be the five by six by five, maybe it’s a five by three by five, but basically the goal is to take your top five audiences or personas or archetypes, ask the top five questions at each stage within the funnel, and then those questions are what you should be answering with content, and the good news is that almost everybody has those questions answered to a certain extent. It’s just making sure it’s in the right format and making sure that all of those questions are met.

  • Jenny

    Yeah. One of the things I love to do after you do a five by five is think about… I like to think about the content in each box as the motivator to get them to move to the next box, the next phase of the journey. If I’m doing this right, I’m pushing them through the funnel with my content, and so sometimes I’ll also do another layer or row in my five by five that asks, what’s the call to action in this moment for this audience that’s going to get them bumped into the next funnel phase. What’s that call to action? What’s the most important message I can deliver while I’m answering these questions to get them to go to the next step, and those two things together, answering the question, identifying the call to action and the most important message. This really starts to get at the core of a content ideation process that gets you thinking in the right direction.

  • Anna

    I’m going to steal that and I hope everybody else does do because that’s good, so modify your five by five by five with Jenny’s recommendation. All right, we are coming into the home stretch here. Once we have researched our audiences and we understand their needs better, step six is to create more content with less. Now this probably seems a little counter intuitive because a lot of times when we do talk about creating content, we just start with new, but that’s not always the best place to go because as we talked about before, there is a glut of content. How can we actually create more with less?

  • Jenny

    Well, and this often comes from teams that are limited on resources or struggling to figure out how to fill their content. What do they say, feed the content beast. It can be hard for a marketing team with limited editorial resources to just keep things fresh, but this is where… I mean, let’s look at our everyday life. I don’t go and buy new clothes every time I need to put something on. I go in my closet and I remix, right.

  • Anna

    That’s right.

  • Jenny

    You mix and match, you see what’s going to work this time. Repurposing and reusing what you already have, and then adding just a couple of new… let’s think of them as content accessories. We’re going to take something good that we love and refresh it, give it new life, take it to the tailor, add a new scarf metaphorically, and put it back out there as something new because it was so great to begin with, so that’s the first one, is just making sure that you’re repurposing and reusing what you already love, what already worked, and you can look at your five by five as a early content audit.

  • Jenny

    As you go through and say what you need to have questions answered, as you said, you’ll find things that you’ve already written that meet most of the needs in a box. That’s where you can start with a great repurpose strategy.

  • Anna

    Love it.

  • Jenny

    I’m also a big fan of one of the things that people I don’t think talk about enough is curating content. This is something that, especially when you’re looking to trusted sources, looking to publications that align closely with your needs, is republishing and curating some of their content. Obviously with their permission, giving nods to them, but this is a really great way to, again, not reinvent the wheel. A lot of times, especially if we’re creating something, chances are it’s probably already been created. Even pulling like quotes or pulling information from that, obviously with permission, again, want to stress that or even giving nods to the authorship, a lot of people miss this in their strategy and it’s kind of fulfilling in rounding out their content.

  • Anna

    Yeah, and I think even beyond thinking of it as how does it support my marketing content creation needs. Think about how it serves your audience. How many different email newsletters and things are flying at your audience all the time. They have missed a ton of valuable stuff from other places, and if you can become a resource for curating the best stuff on a topic or in your industry, that can actually be more valuable because it’s all in one place.

  • Anna

    Some of my favorite newsletters that actually make it to my inbox and not to my inbox filter are the ones that consistently curate amazing stuff from outside of their own authorship. Maybe there’s a couple of things they wrote at the top and then the rest is stuff from the industry, but it’s all related. When I’m in a mindset to think of something, it’s all right there. You’re right, curation is an amazing strategy for really bulking up your content, but also meeting a really specific audience need as well.

  • Anna

    Yes, and of course UGC kind of falls sort of into that realm as well, but actually looking to your audiences and UGC can come in all shapes and sizes, whether you are actually partnering with somebody to create that content or you’re specifically asking your users to create their content, but even I love just seeing when brands kind of repost photos from actual people, like that’s one of my favorite forms of UGC and getting them-

  • Jenny

    Totally.

  • Anna

    It’s just like… it’s so simple, it’s so quick, it’s so easy, but so effective.

  • Jenny

    Yeah, and I mean just seeing the faces of actual customers is something that’s… it’s really hard for brands to… I mean, most brands can’t go out and do a photo shoot with their folks using their product. It’s financially prohibitive, but if you can get user generated content from your customers of them happily enjoying whatever it is you sell, that’s an amazing way to add to your… especially visual resources.

  • Anna

    Totally. I mean… even especially for a while my nephew was obsessed with unboxing videos on youtube. It’s like that’s literally people creating content for your brand, like you know what I mean, granted you have to source the content and look through it and make sure it works for your brand goals and it meets your audience’s needs, but… I mean, there’s just so much content being created today that it doesn’t always have to start with us.

  • Jenny

    Absolutely. No, that’s brilliant, and then I think, don’t forget the beautiful strategy of atomization, right.

  • Anna

    I could never forget that because it’s my favorite. The idea being that… like if you’re going to spend a ton of time creating something, a custom video or a podcast or a webinar series or whatever it is your company is creating in your content marketing strategy, make sure that it’s not a big thud published one time and then it kind of drifts off into the chronological order of something we did in the past, right.

  • Anna

    Right.

  • Jenny

    What are the ways that we can take that awesome investment of content and split it into a million tiny little atoms. A little teaser here, a quote graphic there, a clip from the podcast, whatever, and put that out in a bunch of different channels. First of all, because people didn’t see it the first time it landed,

  • Anna

    Right.

  • Jenny

    …and second of all, there’s been a ton of times like I’ve missed a webinar, but they’ve sent out the slides and just flipping through the slides or even just a couple highlights and infographic from the slides is all I needed to get what I really wanted out of that webinar and I didn’t have to spend the 40 minutes listening to the recording, but if they hadn’t sliced that webinar up into like this little component and shared it in this other channel, my choices would have been to put the webinar in my, to read pile, which is ridiculous right now, I’m just going to say that. It’s never going to get to the top or slice it into something smaller and get my attention.

  • Jenny

    Maybe that’ll be all I need. Maybe that’ll check my box. Maybe it’ll get me to pull that, think of the top of my to read pile, or to watch file in this case, but either way it’s almost minimal effort, especially if you plan for it at the beginning.

  • Jenny

    If you are sitting down thinking about that big content piece, and you’re like, okay, what are the eight or nine or 10 things that we’re going to make out of this big thing that are small and kind of social media ready most of the time in that way. You can often do it with almost no production effort because you’re doing it right there in the middle of the cuts and the edits in the production.

  • Anna

    Yeah, agree. We have this tendency to think of huge content pieces as just one piece of content, but often times there’s like eight or nine little pieces of content we can pull just out of that, so like building blocks within that big piece of content, that’s atomization. All right, so very last step in creating your content marketing strategy. Creating a content calendar. This is something that I still feel is really overlooked and a lot of questions I see around just how to do it.

  • Anna

    First off, there’s no one way to content calendar. I mean, whether it’s an Excel doc or… which honestly is one of my preferred methods, or you use a platform to do it. Why content calendar in the first place?

  • Jenny

    Yeah. For me they’re just big accountability tools. I think the hardest part sometimes is just getting off the dime, like you can sit in a room and brainstorm all day long, but putting it in a calendar starts to make it a task that can start to be broken down in smaller tasks assigned to people, circled back and reviewed. I like to start with a content calendar that just takes into account like the big annual things like holidays, what conferences, what big content pieces are we planning? Like the big stuff, right? You get that layered in, you start to think about, okay, quarterly we’re probably going to do some pretty decent content campaigns or there’s going to be different sales cycles or whatever, and then all the way down to the little stuff that you use to fill in the gaps.

  • Jenny

    For me it’s really just about making sure you can kind of see everything at a glance or at least your core strategies mapped out so that, you know, look up a year later in your next annual retreat with your marketing team and think, oh, there are all those great ideas, they just never made it to the calendar, so do it. Sit down and make the calendar.

  • Anna

    Yes. Agreed. I think also too, one of my favorite things about a content calendar also ties into one of my favorite and Jayisms which is, it prevents random acts of content which is basically just sort of like, oh well we have this strategy, okay let’s do a blog post here and maybe like a white paper here and maybe like a video here, and it’s like, well how does this actually like to your point look when we get it all laid out and how does it connect and what does it look like? Are we covering too much? Are we missing something? Are we not covering something enough? And it just provides that formal last layer of strategy, and I think a lot of people think that the content calendar is kind of tactical, but it is a strategic component within that toolbox.

  • Anna

    It’s not just what are we going to create and where, but what does the big picture look like?

  • Jenny

    Yeah, and I love to actually color code items-

  • Anna

    Yes.

  • Jenny

    …to align with maybe the five by five different audiences or funnel stages using different rows for different content types, so maybe webinars get a row and blog posts get a row. It’s just so tempting to default to the kind of content that you like to create or that you like to consume or to default to the audience that is loudest or the easiest to empathize with or the easiest to reach. Just out of our natural habits to sort of find the quickest, low hanging fruit, and if you’re not careful you can create these patterns where you’re consistently doing things that serve one audience or a format that comes naturally and leaving big gaps in terms of other opportunities for hitting other audiences or trying other methods.

  • Anna

    Agreed. I love it. I’m such a big fan of kind of content calendars and color coding and it is such an amazing tool. Also… that’s that it. Those are the seven steps to creating a content marketing strategy. It’s probably things that everybody already knew, but putting it into a different way and restructuring how we think about things as well. Jenny, any final thoughts or parting advice to those other than… real quick, just want to reiterate that URL again, is bit.ly/strategywins. Again, B-I-T.L-Y/strategywins, so Jenny, any final advice? Any parting tips or tricks to leave with our audiences today?

  • Jenny

    Mainly just keep those audiences in mind. I love to ask at the end of every single meeting, who is this for and why should they care? Because it’s really tempting to say, oh, it’s for us and because we care internally and that is not a decent answer. That will just lead to those random acts of content. Keep your audience front and center, and you can’t go astray.

  • Anna

    Love it. Beautiful. All right everybody. Go check out that blog post, download all of those amazing templates because there are so many resources in there for you. We have Excel documents, we have links to other posts that dive deeper into each one of these steps, everything you really need to create your content marketing strategy, and of course Jenny’s always around to help answer additional questions as am I. Everybody stick around. Now that we got to know Jenny a bit on the professional side and we’ve talked a lot about content marketing strategy, we’re going to get to know Jenny on the personal side. Stick around because we have some fun questions for Jenny Magic.

  • Anna

    Do you want to know the proven content marketing formula big brands use to create content, but wish it was in a step-by-step course tailored to your small business needs? Do you also want to know exactly what content to make for whom and when to drive new sales and keep your existing customers? If so, visit contentmarketingclass.com to get started right now with an on demand work at your own pace course brought to you by Jay Baer and Convince & Convert. Again, visit contentmarketingclass.com today to accelerate your content marketing efforts and crush your sales goals.

  • Anna

    All right everybody, welcome back, so we are here with Jenny Magic and as I mentioned before, we are going to ask her a few fun personal questions. Jenny, I already mentioned at the top of the call that I’m a massive fan of your name and I’m sure you get that all the time, don’t you?

  • Jenny

    Yes I do. Like every time I check out at the grocery store we have to have a conversation about the name.

  • Anna

    Which is funny because I have similar conversations but not nearly as fun, which is just them trying to like hack the sound of my name out and then me having to correct them, so yeah, it’s fun but story of my life. Jenny Magic, All right. Let’s say for a second that you were not in digital marketing strategy and you were actually a magician. What would your key stage trick be? What would your quintessential magic trick be?

  • Jenny

    That’s hard. Probably balancing improbable things. Balancing is my secret super power. I grew up water skiing and not just any water skiing but like what I like to refer to as we’re water carnies and that we build pyramids and stand on shoulders and ski backwards and do all sorts of stuff. I don’t do as much of three high pyramid waving from the top anymore, but yoga and balancing is kind of my thing, so that would probably like plates and spinning and who knows what.

  • Anna

    Nice. I love it. What’s like the most improbable thing you could think of that would be like something you could balance?

  • Jenny

    That’s a good question. Probably like in an interesting yoga pose where I’m balancing and then balancing something moving, right, so you’re like, she even standing, that’s… I don’t know.

  • Anna

    There has to be wires or guides or systems or something in place, yeah, I love it.

  • Jenny

    Something… I don’t know.

  • Anna

    Fantastic. Awesome. Jenny, thank you so much for joining us today. It was really great to have you on.

  • Jenny

    Yes, so fun as always.

  • Anna

    Where can people follow you and find you?

  • Jenny

    Oh my goodness. I tweet at JennyLMagic sometimes, some more than others, but I’m going to try that again. That’s a really good question. I tweet at JennyLMagic when interesting things come to mind and the C&C blog of course.

  • Anna

    Of course. Awesome. All right everybody, well go check out that blog post again, it’s bit.ly/strategywins and also do us a favor. When you do listen to this, wherever you listen to it, go ahead and leave us a comment, leave us any questions you have, and we’d like to hear more about what you like about the show and also topics that you’d like to hear in the future. Everybody, thank you again for joining us and we will be back next week with another episode of the Content Experience Show podcast.

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