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Content Strategy: Lead with Ideas

Updated: Mar 26

Whether Content Marketing is your primary marketing strategy, or it plays a supporting role to other digital approaches, you will need a starting point to build your library. When most business owners think about content as a strategy, their first thought is to quantify it into specific delivery systems.

Those delivery systems make it easier to plan a schedule, which then gives business owners some sense of security that at least they know exactly what they have to produce and how often. It might look something like this:

  • 2 blogs per month 

  • 3 social media posts per week

  • 1 reel/story per week

  • 2 YouTube videos per month

  • 1 email per week

  • 1 newsletter per quarter

  • 1 new or updated website page per month

Now, this is an extensive list, and it’s not even scraping the surface of all the content options available. When you just look at the schedule as points plotted on a calendar, it may seem pretty manageable, right?

But come Day 1 of actually producing that blog post, social media graphic, or video, you may suddenly realize that you have absolutely no idea what to say! And that’s exactly why content delivery is never the first step of your marketing strategy.

Develop Main Ideas to Inform All Content Creation

This idea of starting with your ideas, rather than how you're going to deliver them, isn't necessarily new; it's been talked about in the world of content marketing. I recently listened to an episode from the Build a Better Agency Podcast interviewing Robert Rose, founder and CSA at Content Marketing Institute, about this topic, and it got my gears turning!

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my insistence that developing a persona is foundational to everything you will do in marketing for your business. The persona is a fictional creation of your ideal client. Your client persona (you can have more than one) has a specific personality, need, and motivation. This persona will connect with specific ideas and messaging that attract them to your business.

Your content strategy needs to be designed to meet your persona where they are. A great way to start is to think through some questions: 

  • What problems are they having that you can solve? 

  • What motivates them to learn more about a service or product? 

  • How does your product or service apply to them? 

  • Where in the discovery or purchasing phase are they most likely to be? 

  • What questions are they asking?

Once you answer questions like these, you’ll have a pretty good launch point for forming content ideas. Try to come up with a few main ideas that encompass what your persona needs to hear from you.

For example, if you provide Human Resource consulting services to small businesses, your main ideas might look something like this:

  • Human Resources best practices

  • Employee benefits

  • Labor laws and regulations

There are hundreds of blog articles, social media posts, and videos you can build off of just those three main ideas. You also have the perfect foundation for organizing everything you’ll create from this point forward.

Build Content Delivery Systems from Your Main Ideas

Now that you have your main ideas, your mind is probably jumpstarted for all the actual content you want to produce. As you break out manageable pieces of content under those big headers, it should be much easier to think about the best way to deliver it.

With our HR consulting example, a lot of best practices could be delivered by video. You might create a series on how to conduct interviews, disciplinary meetings, or annual reviews. Employee benefits explainers make for great blogs that can be broken down into short, graphic-enhanced social media posts. For labor laws, create reels where you remind your followers about upcoming due dates for various filings. 

The options are endless, which is great. Remember that production schedule from the beginning of this article? You’re going to fill it really fast with all the content you’re suddenly planning! I’m sure that all these ideas may be a little overwhelming at first. You don’t have time to add all this content to your task list.

You might be thinking that your favorite AI tool can handle the heavy lifting from here on out, but I would caution against that. Your content needs to reflect you, which is why it should be unique. There is certainly a use for AI, and for using human helpers for your content, both of which I’ll cover in my next blog.

But this phase - the part where you develop the voice and ideas that are going to directly reach your ideal client - needs to come from you.

You need to apply your experience, education, success stories, and even failures to the ideas that will eventually make their way into the world as content.

Because remember, this entire strategy is about marketing. You’re not just creating content to look busy. Everything you produce has the goal of increasing visibility, highlighting your expertise, and moving your ideal clients further along the sales pipeline. Create value, build trust, and prepare to deliver great products or services to your clients!

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, keep in mind that you don’t need to come up with all of these ideas in a vacuum. It’s your experience, perspective, and thought process, yes. But you can and should ask for help with brainstorming, deciding how different types of content should be delivered, and planning the overall strategy. If you want to learn more about this "lead with ideas" concept, check out this podcast

We’d love to learn more about your business and how we can support your successful content marketing strategy. Book a Discovery Call with Lauren to get started.


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