Feb 2, 2023

Content Strategy Quickstart

Welcome, B2B marketers.

Collectively, we’ve spent about 20 years in content marketing, and you know what we’ve discovered? There are very few resources out there that teach you, step-by-step, how to create a B2B content strategy—without making it overly complicated and confusing.

And that means a lot of people give up before they even get started.

We created this course to share our process for building a content strategy. Step by step, with tons of details and templates. We’ve used these processes with our own clients to align content teams and deliver real results, like…

When you’re finished, you’ll have a complete content strategy document, Plus a full editorial calendar, ready to execute. Oh, and the confidence that you’re doing this content thing right.

Who is this content strategy course for?

  • Content marketers who feel like you’re churning out whatever you can, but without a strategy
  • Small marketing teams trying to get a content engine going—and spinning your wheels in the meantime
  • Freelancers who want to help your clients get more out of their content marketing (and confidently sell a high-dollar service)

🔎 Identify your audience

“Oh, we have a pretty good idea of who our audience is.”

Says every marketer ever.

But is it true? Not in my experience!

Typically, when I ask a new client to share their audience personas, they give me titles and firmographics.

Oh, and everyone is targeting the C-suite.

You need more than this for great content!

You need to understand your audience. At a minimum, you need insights into what they’re trying to accomplish and what’s keeping them from getting there.

As Dan Kennedy explains in The Ultimate Sales Letter, "To persuade someone, to motivate someone, to sell someone, you really need to understand that person."

If all you have is that you’re targeting CMOs in the technology space, your content will sound just like everyone else’s.

That’s why the first step in documenting your content strategy is documenting your audience.

In this lesson, we’ll explain:

  • The most important information to capture about your target audiences
  • Why this information matters for your content
  • Where to find the insights you need
  • How to document these insights

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have:

  • A matrix that outlines the key insights for each of your target audiences/personas

Let’s get started.

Audience Template

There’s lots of information you could collect about your audience. The more you know about these people, the better off you’ll be.

But when you’re just getting started, it’s most important to have a firm grasp on:

  • Who your audience is
  • Their role in the buying process
  • What they are trying to accomplish
  • Their pain points/challenges
  • What topics they care about
  • Where they get their information

When you have these insights, you can use them to create content that helps your audience:

  • Better understand their challenges
  • Overcome those challenges to accomplish their goals

At its simplest, that’s what content marketing is all about—helping your audience to overcome their challenges to achieve something they’re looking to accomplish.

We’ve created an easy template to help you document all of this audience information in one place. (We’ve filled out an example based on our example of a content marketing agency that’s looking to engage marketing roles.)

Here’s how it breaks down.

DataPersona 1Persona 2Persona 3
Description Who are they? What roles are they in? What industry do they work in?
Role in buying Are they a primary or secondary audience for your content? Who is most important?
Job-to-be-done What are they trying to accomplish?
Pain points What is getting in their way?
What topics do they care about? What other professional subjects interest them?
Where do they get their information? ie. Twitter, LinkedIn, industry publications, etc.


What’s in a name? When it comes to content, not much. But it’s important to be able to describe the kinds of people you’re creating content for. This will help in your information gathering, as well as your distribution efforts (if you get into paid advertising or anything else that requires targeting).

One logical place to start is common job titles for each persona. What kind of professional roles does your product or service serve?

For example, if you’re an agency selling content marketing services, the roles that might be interested in your services (and your content) may be VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing, and Director of Content Marketing.

If your business offers a global payroll service, you might be looking to engage Human Resources, Payroll or Finance roles. Don’t forget to nail down what level these people work at—a CFO has much different needs than a controller, for example.

This is also a good place to specify the industries your audience works in. That content marketing agency, for example, may focus specifically on creating content for B2B SaaS companies, or they may offer services more suited for consumer-facing brands in retail and CPG.

Role in buying

We’re talking B2B here—in all likelihood, there’s more than one person/function involved in making a buying decision for your product or service.

But you have limited focus, resources, budget, etc., so it’s important to note which personas are a primary focus for your content efforts, and which are secondary. Ask yourself:

  • Which personas will be using your product/service to alleviate pain points?
  • Which will become champions for your product/service within their company?

These people should be your primary focus. People that have to approve the purchase (e.g. bosses, IT, procurement, etc.) are important but typically secondary to your primary audience.

What they’re trying to accomplish

People buy products and services to get things done. These “things” are sometimes called their “jobs-to-be-done” (or “jobs” for short).

When it comes to your personas, what are they trying to accomplish in their roles that your offering helps them with?

For an agency selling content marketing services, jobs may include:

  • Building an addressable audience
  • Generating leads for sales
  • Generating pipeline/revenue

Jobs-to-be-done for a recruiting manager may include:

  • Finding high-quality engineering talent
  • Staying in touch with potential candidates for the future

The content you create for your various personas should ladder up to what they’re trying to accomplish—the jobs they’re trying to complete.

Don’t forget—these jobs should be related to something you offer. It doesn’t help much to know that your VP of Marketing struggles with paid advertising if your content marketing agency is only focused on content production.

What’s getting in their way?

While a job-to-be-done is something your persona is trying to accomplish or complete, a pain point is a specific friction that gets in the way.

That Director of Marketing that’s trying to generate pipeline might face pain points like:

  • Don’t know what topics to cover
  • Content is reactive and ad hoc instead of strategic
  • Lots of content, but no conversions
  • Hard to measure performance/tie content to outcomes

What topics does this role care about?

You’ve probably uncovered a variety of topics your personas care about in the previous few sections. Use your personas’ jobs-to-be-done and pain points to document the kinds of topics they’d like to learn about.

For example, your Director of Marketing is probably interested in topics like:

  • Building an audience
  • Increasing email subscribers
  • Using content for lead generation
  • Creating a content strategy
  • Editorial planning/creating a content calendar
  • Measuring content performance
  • Tying content to pipeline/revenue

These topics are going to feed directly into some of your ideas about building your topic strategy.

Where do they get their information?

Everybody gets information from organic search. But are your target personas on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter? Are there specific forums they hang out in? Slack communities? Do they read industry publications? Which ones?

For example, Marketing Directors responsible for content often consume information in channels like:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • The DGMG Facebook group
  • The Some Good Content Facebook group
  • Industry publications like AdWeek, Advertising Age, Forbes, etc.
  • Content-specific publications like Content Marketing Institute, Chief Content Officer, etc.

You’ll publish most of your content on your website, but you need to consider how you will distribute it—so your audience will actually see it. Understanding where they get their information will help you decide where to focus your distribution efforts.

Hint: Trolling these sources can also be a great source of information about your audience, what they’re struggling with, and what topics they’re interested in. Get familiar with them!

Template filled out for our example audience:

DataPersona 1Persona 2Persona 3
Description Who are they? What roles are they in? What industry do they work in?• VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing, Director of Content Marketing • B2B technology companies
Role in buying Are they a primary or secondary audience for your content? Who is most important?Primary
Job-to-be-done What are they trying to accomplish?• Building an addressable audience • Generating leads for sales • Generating pipeline/revenue
Pain points What is getting in their way?• Don’t know what topics to cover • Content is reactive and ad hoc instead of strategic • Lots of content, but no conversions • Hard to measure performance/tie content to outcomes
What topics do they care about? What other professional subjects interest them?• Building an audience • Increasing email subscribers • Using content for lead generation • Creating a content strategy • Editorial planning/creating a content calendar • Measuring content performance • Tying content to pipeline/revenue
Where do they get their information? ie. Twitter, LinkedIn, industry publications, etc.• LinkedIn • Twitter • DGMG Facebook group • Some Good Content Facebook group • Industry publications like AdWeek • Content-specific publications like CMI

Populating the Template

As a writer or content marketer, you should treat filling out this template as a data-gathering exercise. You don’t need to pull everything from your head (in fact, that’s a good way to get it wrong).

Instead, look to these sources for the information you need.

Customer interviews

The best information about your customers will come from customers themselves. I strongly recommend interviewing some customers. I know, it can feel scary at first. But the rewards are huge and the time commitment is relatively small.

If you can only ask a prospect or customer one thing, ask this:

What was going on in your day that brought you to this product or service?

It places them back in that moment and prompts them to think about their struggle—and that’s super valuable for your content. Remember, you want to produce content that helps your audience to overcome their challenges, so you need to really understand these challenges.

Here are some other good questions to ask in your customer interviews.

Other sources of customer voices

If you can’t get customers on the line to chat (or don’t feel comfortable doing so), the next best option is to find existing sources where these people are sharing information and expressing their concerns, such as:

  • Online reviews—read up on what your audience is saying on sites like G2.
  • Demo calls—listen in to some live calls or see if your sales/support teams have any recordings.

Your internal subject matter experts

There may be people in your company that have already collected some of this data from customers. Consider talking to people on your team like:

  • Product marketers
  • Customer support
  • Sales
  • Founders/executives

Ideally, you’ll validate this internal information with external sources, as well. You know what they say about assumptions…

Aim for 3 personas, max.

I know this might feel daunting. But now you know exactly what you’re going after and where to get it—you just need to take action. If you spend the time to clearly document your audience now, your content strategy will be about 100X more likely to support your goals.

🍒 Build your topic strategy

You’ve identified your audience. Now it’s time to figure out what they’re going to learn about when they’re in your content library.

In this section, we’ll take the very general set of topics you put in your template above, and figure out how those translate into more specific topics that you can start building content clusters around.

(For example, if you know that a Marketing Director is interested in “building an audience”, that might translate into “building an audience”, and also “getting social followers”, “reaching customers”, “writing effective newsletters”, and so on.)

Why topics?

When a content library is built around a topic strategy, it will contain numerous posts that investigate the same topics from multiple angles, rather than writing one-offs on lots of different subjects.

The point here is to establish your brand as an expert on a handful of pillar topics. This is good for branding, for user experience, and organic search performance. And it makes your job easier. Topical content is:

  • Easier to promote. For example, on your social channels, followers might better understand what your company is about, and be more likely to read what you’re writing, if they know they can go to you for expertise about “how to buy accounting software”.
  • Easier to tie together. When posts are clustered around a specific topic, it’s easy to see how a reader of one post might also want to read another, closely related one.
  • More search engine friendly. Google likes sites that are authoritative on specific topics.
  • Easier to repackage and republish. Your six posts about the ins-and-outs of software security can more easily be put into an e-book than six posts about unrelated topics.

In this lesson you’re going to:

  • Learn the basics of topic strategy
  • Assemble a big list of potential topics
  • Compile data about your topic list in our Topic Strategy template
  • Finalize a prioritized topic strategy

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have:

  • A framework for thinking through the tradeoffs of targeting different topics
  • A prioritized list telling you where to start

Topic Strategy Template

A topic for your content program is any subject that can inspire numerous different pieces of content. At the same time, it should be specific for your audience.

By identifying the topics that are most relevant to your audience and your brand, you’ll be able to focus your content production on material that’s likely to build up your domain authority and your fanbase.

Topic strategy sets the foundation for defining specific content pieces. Once you’ve finalized the strategy and selected a few topics, you can start assigning content on specific subjects within each topic.

Using the Topic Strategy template, we’ll walk you through the steps of building your own data-driven strategy for choosing and prioritizing topics. We’ll need 3 sets of data.

Your workbook contains a link to a template we’ve created for just this purpose. This template has 2 tabs.

  • On the first tab, “Topic Data”, we’ll gather all of the information we have about what your seed terms are, including relevance, volume, and competition. There’s also a formula that combines these different parameters to tell you in what order you should pursue your keywords.
  • On the second tab, “Topic Strategy Output”, we have a formula that gives you an ordered list. It’s the same data from the first tab, just put into something that’s a little easier to read.

Populating this template involves 3 steps:

  1. Gathering potential topics. Creating a list of phrases that will form the basis of your strategy. Then eliminating topic ideas that are too narrow or too broad.
  2. Determining and scoring relevance. Ranking your seed topics in terms of their relevance.
  3. Getting volume and competition data. Gathering volume and competition data from popular SEO tools.

We’ll follow the columns in the spreadsheet from left to right, starting with generating the seed keywords, then determining relevance, and finally pulling volume and competition data.

Populating The Template

Topic list

There are lots of good places to find topics.

The first place you should look is your audience personas you created in the first module:

  • What are the pain points?
  • What are the jobs-to-be-done?
  • What topics does the audience care about?

In addition to that, you could look at:

  • Your website. What are the key phrases that appear in your value proposition, in customer testimonials, on your homepage, and in your blog? What do sales, product marketing, and others in your company say are important phrases? What’s in your product documentation?
  • Competitor websites. What are the key phrases they use?
  • Comparison sites. Sites like G2 will often have blurbs or reviews of your software or competitors’ software. This can be a really good place to find language that can be used for seed keywords.
  • Product positioning and messaging materials. What phrases do you use to talk about your product? What category do you occupy? How do you want people to think about your product? What problems do you solve? And so on.

How do you know if your topic is good?

If you can think of lots of reasons why people would be searching for a topic, but they have nothing to do with what you sell, the topic is probably too broad.

For example, someone searching for a term like “customer satisfaction” is likely trying to understand the concept in general, and if you make software that helps people who are already familiar with the term assess customer satisfaction, you probably won’t be helpful to someone who doesn’t understand the more general term. And you won’t see them convert.

If you couldn’t have a pillar or hub page on your blog dedicated to the topic you choose, it might be too narrow.For example, someone searching for “how account managers should use customer satisfaction measurement software” may very well be interested in your software, and you’ll want to get them to visit your site. But this topic is probably a single blog post, rather than being part of your overall strategy. Add it to your list of blog posts to write—because targeting very specific, conversion-oriented keywords can be a highly successful strategy—and use it to support a more general topic.

Choose topics that are narrow enough to be relevant, but broad enough to support a little library of their own.

You’re aiming for about 50 of these.


Next, you should determine how relevant each topic is. Relevance simply means: How likely is someone to convert if they land on your site after searching for that topic? Some other tests for relevance:

  • How much does your company want to be known for this topic?
  • How clearly does this align with your audience personas?
  • How much would your CEO or board want you to rank for this topic in Google?
  • How clearly can you align your existing content with the topic?

We suggest using a scale from 1 to 3, where 3 is the most relevant and 1 is the least. When you’re ready, you’ll input these scores into the relevant column in the spreadsheet.

“Least relevant”, by the way, should still be pretty relevant. You don’t want keywords on your list that aren’t relevant to your business at all. Ideally, the keywords on your list should lean toward higher relevance scores.

Volume and competition

You can think of volume as the demand for information on a topic.

There are lots of different ways to gather, or guess, at volume data. Just remember, no matter which tool you use to get your volume data, it’s going to be an estimate. That’s why volume data is most useful as a general, directional indicator rather than as a specific number.

For example, if you see a datapoint that reports 3,000 searches a month for “cloud computing”, the real number could actually be quite different—but you can assume there is significantly more volume for “cloud computing” than for a related term that only shows 300 searches a month.

If volume is the demand for information, competition is the supply. Are there already articles on this topic from reputable sources? Or is Google just waiting for somebody, anybody, to publish a high-quality article on the topic?

While volume is a very simple measurement of the number of searches conducted for a specific term, competition is a much more complex measurement that tries to estimate how hard it will be to rank for a certain keyword. Nobody can really predict this, but a good estimate can help you make informed decisions about which keywords you have a chance of ranking for.

You’ll probably need to pull these numbers from a tool like SEMrush or Moz, which will cost you ~$30-$50 for the month.

If you don’t have the time or resources for that, it’s OK. You can skip this step and move on to finalizing your Topic Strategy based on relevance data alone.

A little help finding volume and competition data

Here’s where to find this data in a few of these different tools.


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If you feel more comfortable with Moz, feel free to use their Keyword Explorer tool – though you may need to sign up for a paid plan (instead of a trial) in order to get data for more than one keyword at once.

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If a keyword shows no volume in a tool, it might be too narrow to target as part of your strategy. You can try the keyword in a different tool, or broaden it until you have some indication of monthly search volume. If all else fails, we usually put in “10” as a placeholder.

If a keyword shows no competition, you can make a rough estimate based on search results. This will be totally subjective, but a lot of competition data is fairly subjective in any case.

To collect competition data manually, Google each of your seed keywords, and for each one, look at the top 5 results and rank them each from 1 - 100, where 100 is something like Wikipedia, and 1 is someone’s personal blog. Don’t spend too much time deciding on an exact number – even consider just ranking each item as 100, 80, 60, or 0.

Take the average of these numbers and use this as your competition measurement.

It might look a little confusing, but the template does a lot of the work for you!

When you’ve filled out topics, relevance, volume, and competition, your completed data sheet should look like this:

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And while you’re busy entering numbers, your spreadsheet is automatically weighting and ranking all of your data points for all of your keywords—according to the tried-and-true model we’ve honed over the years. You’ll find these recommendations in the “Strategy Output” tab.

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Congratulations, you now have a data-driven topic strategy! So…what does it mean?

In the example above, it means the top 3 most promising topics are:

  1. Content performance analysis
  2. How to promote content
  3. Content creation

These top ranking topics will guide our content creation plan. They’ll be the inspiration for the first content we start producing.

As you can see, building a topic strategy doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. You can build a reliable, defensible strategy in just a few hours if you limit your focus, incorporate relevance alongside volume and competition, and keep your strategy updated.

🔬Topics to keywords

Your topic research in Build Your Topic Strategy helped you get a feel for the kinds of pillar topics you should be covering and prioritize a few for production. Now, we want to dig a bit deeper into each of those pillars to find opportunities to connect search terms to your audiences’ needs—and ultimately to specific content pieces.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately as the big, bad monster that is sapping the quality from content marketing — and to some extent, that’s correct. Many brands have sacrificed content value and good writing in the name ranking in Google.

(Of course you’re not going to get far by regurgitating what you find in other brands’ blog posts and adding some keywords.)

But SEO done well is important to most brands' success, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Keyword research gives you an indication of what’s important to people searching the web.
  2. There's existing demand out there, and SEO can be an effective way to grab some of it (more on this in the distribution module).

In this lesson, we’ll explain:

  • How to dive deeper into each of your priority topics to identify specific keyword opportunities

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have …

  • A list of prioritized keywords for each of your priority topics

Keyword Template

You’ve identified topics that are important to both your audience and your business, and each of these topics is broad enough to generate at least a handful of content pieces. What should those pieces be?

There are lots of ways to come up with ideas for content, one of which involves more keyword research. We’ll use the Topic Strategy template again to identify and prioritize lots of different ways people are talking about your topic online (although we’ll call this version the Keyword Template)

Your workbook contains a link to a template, and populating it involves 3 (familiar) steps:

  1. Gathering related keywords. Creating a list of keywords related to your pillar topics from Module 2.
  2. Determining and scoring relevance. Ranking your keywords in terms of their relevance.
  3. Getting volume and competition data. Gathering volume and competition data from popular SEO tools.

Populating the Template

1. Gather related keywords

There are lots of ways to talk about—and search for—any given topic. Your job in this step is to document a bunch of them.

For example, the topic “content performance analysis” might also be talked about in terms like:

  • Measuring content performance
  • Content performance metrics
  • Content performance dashboard

Each of these keywords could yield a very different piece of content.

Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz make it easy to find keywords relevant to your priority topics. For example, you can use the Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic Tool in SEMrush (in the left navigation).

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If you don’t have a subscription to one of these tools, start with Google. You can find related keywords when you start typing your search term into Google’s search field:

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You’ll also want to check out the “People also ask…” feature:


And finally, scroll to the bottom of the page to see “Related searches”.

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These three Google features will hopefully provide you with a variety of terms to consider in your own content. If you need more inspiration, try clicking into some of the top search results for your topic and reading through the content.

Keep a running list of all of these keywords in the Topics column of the Keyword Data tab.

2. Determine and score relevance

Most of these keywords should be pretty relevant to your business, but it’s a good time to spot check. Ask yourself, if someone Googled this keyword and ended up on our website, how likely would they be to need our product or service?

Assign a relevance score of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most relevant and 1 being the least relevant. Record the score in the Relevance column.

3. Get volume and competition data

Remember, you can think of volume as the demand for information on a topic, and competition (or keyword difficulty) is the supply.

While volume is a very simple measurement of the number of searches conducted for a specific term, competition is a much more complex measurement that tries to estimate how hard it will be to rank for a certain keyword.

You’ll need to pull these numbers from a tool like SEMrush or Moz. Refer back to Module 2 if you need a refresher. Record your data in the Volume and Competition columns in your template.

If you don’t have the time or resources for that, it’s OK. You can skip this step and move on to the next step.

In our example, you would fill it out once for each of the following topics:

  1. Content performance analysis
  2. How to promote content
  3. Content creation

When you’re finished with each topic, click over to the Strategy Output tab. It should look something like this, and will show you some of your best keyword opportunities for specific content pieces.


In this case, you might want to tackle content pieces covering content performance tools first—but before you decide, complete your next module and assignment.

Note: Volume and competition data is always just an estimate, no matter what tool you use. Just because you don’t see any volume in your particular tool doesn’t mean the keyword is not worth pursuing.

🚌 Align content ideas to the buyer’s journey

At this point, you have lots of keywords that could potentially inspire into lots of content pieces. But it’s not time to go hog wild on production just yet. First, you want to understand if and how these keywords may fit into your audiences’ buyer’s journey.

For any non-commoditized product or service, people typically spend some time educating themselves before making a buying decision (in fact, some people don’t even know they need a product or service before you educate them about the problem they’re facing).

That educational process is often described as a buyer’s journey—and it’s your content that will help people through that journey.

For example, someone that’s unfamiliar with a new challenge needs very different content than someone who is ready to buy a solution to that problem (and they’ll search for much different terms to find that content).

In this lesson, we’ll explain:

  • One of the simplest ways to understand the buyer’s journey
  • The basics of search intent and why it matters
  • How to align your keyword opportunities with your audience’s needs throughout the buyer’s journey
  • How to brainstorm content titles across the buyer’s journey

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have …

  • Specific content ideas for each of your three priority topics, aligned to each stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Primary target keywords for each content piece (as applicable)

The Buyer’s Journey—At Its Simplest

There are about as many versions of buyer’s journey stages as there are iPhones. But at its simplest, you can start by understanding and creating content for three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision


This stage is where your audience first becomes aware of and gets familiar with a new challenge they’re facing.

Your awareness content should therefore be focused on your buyer’s pain points—not your product or brand. It’s all about education. Effective content at this stage helps people to better understand a challenge and explore options for overcoming the challenge.

Example 1

Let’s say a Director of Marketing in your audience searches for “content distribution”. This person is probably facing a distribution challenge and needs some ideas for getting more eyeballs on their material.

It’s tough to gauge exactly what this person needs from such a broad search term, but it’s likely some sort of informational piece of content that explains the basics.

The broadness of the term implies that they don’t even know what questions to ask yet, so you’d want to offer an introductory view of the content distribution landscape. But they’re probably not ready for the 50-page playbook right off the bat (save that for the consideration stage).

Example 2

That same Director of Marketing types a question into the search bar:

“Why is content promotion important?”

The question speaks to this person’s unfamiliarity with the topic of content promotion (their lack of awareness). They’re still not sure that they get this thing, or if they ought to be concerned about it. They’re trying to understand the value of content promotion, so a blog post about the benefits of content promotion might be the perfect fit.

Getting a feel for why the person is searching for a particular term is called understanding their “search intent.” Searches that may indicate someone is in the awareness stage of their journey include:

  • General terms like “content distribution” and “content promotion”
  • Questions that reflect a challenge (“how to get more blog readers” or “get more web traffic”)
  • Questions about what or why (“what is content distribution,” “why is content promotion important,” or “benefits of content distribution”)
  • People looking for examples (e.g. “content distribution examples”)


Once a buyer has a decent understanding of their challenge and the ways in which it could be solved, they start looking for solutions that best fit their specific situation.

Content in the consideration stage helps people to clearly define and evaluate their options.

This content should go deeper than awareness content and:

  • Share your unique point of view
  • Explain your process for solving the pain point (how-to’s are clutch!)
  • Offer comparisons to other approaches
  • Detail specific use cases
  • Etc.

Think of it like guiding your audience through the way your product/service solves their pain point—without overly promoting your product or service. Teach them how to make the secret sauce to show them you’re the chef that really knows your stuff.

For example, the Director that read your intro to content distribution may really like a few of the tactics in the post. She wants to figure out when these tactics are likely to work, how their team would execute on them, what sort of results they’d be likely to see, etc.

In fact, she may actually be ready for that 50-page playbook on content workflows. Or perhaps an original research piece on what kinds of content other marketers in her industry rely on for the best results.

Searches that may indicate a person is likely looking for consideration stage content includes:

  • Searching for how to do something (“how to promote content”)
  • Looking for types, methods, or ways to do things (“content distribution methods” or “ways to promote content”)
  • Searching for templates (“content distribution plan template”)
  • Searching for tools (“content promotion tools”)


Push has come to shove. Your buyer now understands their challenge and knows what sort of solution they want to invest in. Decision stage content makes it easier for a buyer to choose your product or service.

Branded case studies with quantified results shine at this stage of the journey. Customer testimonials are also particularly effective (and the next best thing to a case study if you don’t have any of those).

But you might also consider content like:

  • A buyer’s guide that details how to choose the best vendor
  • An onboarding or implementation guide that shows how you’ll get started working together
  • An interview with a client or customer that talks through their experience working with your or using your product

Let’s say your Director of Marketing has been reading up on content promotion for a while, and she’s decided could use some help with it. If you’ve done a good job providing her with useful content so far, you’re probably already on her short list of providers. She likes your ideas, and she believes you know how to execute on them.

But she may still need some help making a final decision.

The next step could be to provide her with case studies in her industry that prove you have delivered results for similar businesses.

Search plays less of a role in decision stage content, as buyers are more likely to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations and explore existing vendor relationships. That said, searches that may indicate the searcher is in this decision stage include:

  • Vendor comparisons (“Buffer vs. Hootsuite”)
  • Searching for reviews (“Reviews of Mailchimp”)
  • Searching for case studies or success stories (“Hootsuite case studies”)
Buyer is trying to…Understand the challengeEvaluate various ways to solve the challengeDecide on a product/service that will solve the challenge and help them complete their job-to-be-done
Content should…• Help buyers understand the situation • Focus on pain points • Educate• Help buyers define and evaluate their options • Share your POV • Explain your process• Make it easy for a buyer to choose your solution • Prove you know your stuff

These categories are not cut and dried

At the end of the day, your content won’t always fit clearly into one stage of the buyer’s journey.

Each content piece may serve as a different stage for different buyers.

And each persona may need different angles on the same topics and journey stages.

But keeping these stages in mind will help you to provide a more complete journey for your prospects and customers well as they explore your areas of expertise—and your offerings.

Additionally, very few buyer’s journeys are totally linear. People will bounce around in your content. That’s fine. You just want to make sure there is always a logical next step to take, if they choose to take one.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to provide content at each stage of the buyer’s journey, for each of your priority topic areas.

Buyer’s Journey Template

Now that you understand the basics of search intent and the buyer’s journey, you can start using this knowledge to choose appropriate keywords from your Module 3 lists and turn them into topics.

We’ve created an easy template for you to use in your workbook.

Here’s how the template breaks down.

Topic: _________________

Journey StageKeywordDraft Title

Populating The Template

How to fill out the buyer’s journey template:

1. Populate your three priority topics

Add the three priority topics from your topic strategy module (Module 2) to the Topic lines.

2. Brainstorm content ideas for each stage

For each priority topic, use your keyword lists (from Module 3) to brainstorm content ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey. The idea here is to match up keywords to your buyer’s needs throughout their journey.

Revisit your personas and use cases during this step to remind you of what they’re most likely to be interested in (e.g. their jobs to be done, pain points, etc.). You may also find some inspiration in your topic strategy module. Highly relevant topics that fell lower on the priority list because of low volume could be idea topics for single content pieces.

Make sure the draft titles you create for each keyword align with the buyer’s search intent. If they’re trying to understand a broad concept, your piece needs to deliver broad educational content.

If they’re trying to figure out how to do something, your content should teach them how to.

If they’re trying to compare tools, your content needs to help them compare tools.

You get the idea.

If you’re unsure, Google the keyword yourself. The content pieces that rank high in results likely match what Google considers to be the search intent.

3. Fill in gaps

Your keyword lists probably don’t contain keywords for everything that’s important to your buyers. And like we mentioned, SEO is less important for decision stage content. You may therefore still have some gaps in your buyer’s journey template—now’s the time to fill them.

Make sure to revisit your personas and use cases (yes, again!).

Check to see if there are any jobs-to-be-done or pain points you haven’t addressed yet related to these priority topics. If so, brainstorm a content piece or two as appropriate. You can do some more research to see if there’s an appropriate keyword to assign—but otherwise, just put “N/A” in the keyword field.

It will be especially important to distribute non-search-optimized content via other methods.

Here’s an example of the template filled out for our fictitious content agency. As a reminder, we’re working with the topic “content performance analysis” and the following keywords:


Topic: Content performance analysis

Journey StageKeywordDraft Title
Awarenesscontent performance metricsThe X content performance metrics you need to impress your boss
Considerationhow to perform a content analysisHow to perform a content analysis—a step-by-step guide
Considerationcontent performance reportHow to create a content performance report [free template]
Considerationcontent performance toolsThe 10 best content performance tools for proving ROI
DecisionN/AHow Acme Co. marketers got 50% more budget by proving content performance [case study]
DecisionN/AOnboarding guide: What we’ll need from you to measure your content performance

Aim for at least 2-3 ideas per journey stage.

Feeling stumped? Remember to go back to your personas and topic strategy for ideas on what your audience is interested in learning about. You’ve already documented everything you need to inspire at least one or two ideas for each topic and journey stage.

Once complete, this matrix tells you what content pieces you should produce (after you’ve made your way through the remaining modules).

🏝 Plan and Schedule

Sometimes the hardest part of a content strategy is actually executing it. Clear organization will help your team stay on track and produce at a more efficient pace.

A content tracker is a great tool for mapping out the plans for content in every topic you chose. And that can be really important so that you're getting feedback and alignment from everybody on what you're producing.

In this lesson, we’ll explain

  • How to think about your production workflow
  • How to show your progress in a way that’s easy to understand, and not too painful to track

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have …

  • A content tracker that you can use to start executing on the content ideas you came up with in the previous step

Content Tracker Template

The tracker is a tool for keeping your content production organized. It’s also a way for your teammates to see everything you’ve published recently, and what is on its way to publication.

Simplicity is a virtue here. You make it really easy to put dates across everything and show how productive you're being. So keep the number of columns in your tracker minimal, especially if you're just starting to build your content pipeline.

After all, this is a ‘first draft’ strategy—you can always make it more complicated later.

Populating The Template

TopicTitleDescriptionFormatPersonaJourney StagePub MonthStatus


The first column is going to be the title of the thing, or at least a working title.


Use column B essentially as notes, a description.


What type of content is it? You can sort it out however you like, based on what you produce. Examples of common content formats might include…

  • Blog
  • Explainer
  • Product page
  • Video
  • Newsletter
  • Page update

However you want to break this up is totally fine. Probably not for videos, this is more for written content or actually you could use it for videos.

“Page update” in the list above is the act of optimizing and updating an existing page on your site.


What stage of production is this content item currently in? It's really important to be able to publish relatively quickly, and to be able to publish relatively quickly, you need to have a pretty clear set of steps in the process.

We use these status labels:

  • Concept
  • Outline
  • Draft
  • Review
  • Publish
  • Distribute

Again, you want to keep this workflow as short as possible, but you might have other steps so those are the basics. You may have an approval step, for example (though, if you're a small content team, we hope you don’t).

If your team consists of several people, you might add a column called “Owner” to make clear who is responsible for which pieces of content at any point in the process.

Pub month

When the thing is going to be published. That's important for showing what your plans are.

Unless you have a real specific reason for a particular date, there’s no need to be super specific with it. Consider filling this field in with a publication month rather than a specific date.

Topic / Keyword

What will this piece of content address? Paste the corresponding topic from your Topic Strategy template.


Who is the target audience for this piece? Paste the appropriate persona from your Audience Template into this section.

Journey Stage

Which stage in the persona’s journey will this piece speak to? Select one (as best you can, knowing that some pieces will include a variety of elements):

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Here’s how:

  1. Populate the Topic column with your priority topics from Module 2, allowing a few lines for each.
  2. Fill the Title column with the content ideas you brainstormed in Module 3.
  3. Describe what each piece will include in the Description column.
  4. Assign each content piece a Format.
  5. Indicate which Persona each content piece will target.
  6. Document the journey stage for each piece of content.
  7. Assign a target publish date or month.
  8. Update status as you progress through production.

📊 Measure performance

Ultimately, every B2B marketing department is looking to increase leads and sales. But the path to that goal looks a lot different for an early-stage content marketing program than a more mature content marketing program.

For tracking performance, we recommend using key performance indicators.

KPIs are short-term metrics that help you chart progress toward long-term goals. You don’t create key performance indicators—rather, you choose existing metrics to serve as your KPIs.

And, as the name suggests, you choose a given metric for your KPI because it’s the most significant (a.k.a. ‘key’) indicator of how well you’re performing in light of specific goals.

It’s a simple format that’s adaptable to most any department. A sales team might choose metrics like ‘new clients’ and ‘total revenue’ as their KPIs. A customer support hotline might choose KPIs like ‘number of complete service tickets’ and ‘average time on hold.’

Similarly, a content marketer will choose a few existing metrics to be their key performance indicators. Clicks, conversions, organic search metrics… these are a few metrics that you might choose for KPIs.

KPIs are important to your content strategy for a few big reasons:

  • To make strategic decisions. Boosting organic traffic is a great goal. Improving conversion rates is another great goal. But each one requires a different plan of action.
  • To gauge success. You need to know what to measure in order to know if it’s working.
  • To maintain alignment with your team. You need to get agreement from other people on what you’re actually aiming for. Otherwise, your bosses might incorrectly assess your performance.

In this lesson, we’ll explain…

  • Common content KPIs and what they mean
  • Which KPIs you should choose in which situations
  • How to get KPI data so you can report on what’s happening with your content program

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have…

  • A set of KPIs to track your content performance
  • A table that’ll help you get in the habit of tracking your KPIs over time

Choosing KPIs

You can get really deep and nuanced with KPI strategy if you’d like. And for huge corporations with a long track record and lots of existing data to analyze, the KPI cultivation process is necessarily complex and time-intensive.

For a small marketing team, the process doesn’t have to be so grand.

For your strategy, we’ve simplified the process by pre-selecting a few basic, reliable metrics for you to choose from.

Which KPIs are best for your marketing program?

You can make a KPI out of any quantifiable goal. For content marketing in particular, we could spend all day thinking up KPIs.

But you can't do everything at once! Prioritizing your KPIs is essential.

A quick way to pare down the list of potential KPIs is to consider how mature your marketing program is.

Early-stage marketing programs (Top-funnel KPIs)Mid-stage marketing programs (Mid-funnel KPIs)Full-speed marketing programs (Bottom-funnel KPIs)
• Impressions • Click-through rate • Organic search performance • Subscribers • Social media followers• Clicks • Page engagement stats • Targeted keyword ranking• Goal completion • Conversion rate

For example, early-stage marketing programs will see more success by aiming for attainable KPIs that are higher in the sales funnel.

If you are building a content program from scratch (or rebooting your existing content program), we recommend focusing on stuff that’s more top of the funnel. These metrics will change sooner, so you’ll know sooner if you’re having an impact.

Top-of-funnel goals require little commitment from your audience—which is useful because you’re still in the early stages of building an audience.

But these KPIs are not successful on their own. They are indicators that your early-stage content program is starting to work.

Top of the funnel

These are great for early-stage marketing programs.


Impressions, for our purposes, are how often your content shows up in organic search. A couple of things to keep in mind about impressions:

  • Impressions just mean how often your content shows up as something for people to click on. That could mean in a social feed, but we usually pay the most attention to impressions in organic search.
  • This is a good measure to use for things like blog posts that are themselves relatively top-of-funnel. It’s less useful for something like a case study – no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to get those to rank.

What tool do you use to measure it?

Google Search Console

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What it shows you:

  • How many people are seeing your page links
  • How popular the topic is

How to improve your performance:

  • Promoting your content on social
  • Sending it out in an email
  • Getting somebody else to talk about it
  • Optimizing things like titles and descriptions


If your page impressions metric is 4, then hardly anyone is seeing your page. In order for anyone to see it, you better start telling the world that it exists.

Click-through rate

When somebody sees an ad for your page, or a listing via organic search, how often do they actually click the link? That’s what this metric shows.

What tool do you use to measure it?

Google Search Console

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What it shows you:

  • Is the content compelling to the people it’s finding?
  • Did you promote it in an effective way via ads and search engine listings?

How to boost this metric:

  • Optimize for SEO (title, tags, descriptions)
  • Target messaging for audience


If you’re working on a blog post about email marketing, how can its title best resonate with your target audience? Will it be a post about “How to improve open rates for marketing emails”? Or, “Common email marketing mistakes”? These decisions will influence your click-through rate.

Organic search performance

Is your page ranking for any search terms in Google at all?

What tool do you use to measure it?

Common tools include SEMrush, Moz, Ahrefs, Google Search Console

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What it shows:

  • If Google finds your content valuable at all
  • If Google can even find your page

How to improve it:

  • Optimize for SEO
  • Revise for readability, utility, relevance
  • Expand distribution

ExampleIf you're writing a blog about lead generation strategies for family physicians, you might find that you rank for a handful of keyword phrases, some of them relevant (eg. “healthcare provider blog marketing”) and some of them not at all relevant (eg. “healthcare marketing convention party 1999”).

If you don’t rank for any terms at all, this is a sign that the page is in trouble. Make sure that Google is indexing to begin with.

Subscribers and followers

How many people have signed up to receive updates from you on a social media platform? How many people are on your newsletter mailing list?

How many followers does your brand or maybe your CEO have on LinkedIn or Twitter or other channels that you care about?

What tool do you use to measure it?

Tools to measure followers and subscribers can be found within each platform.

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What it shows:

  • Size of your audience in a given format
  • Audience growth over time
  • Audience growth relative to competitors
  • The effectiveness of your distribution strategy

How to improve it:

  • Publish more consistently
  • Target your audience
  • Actively engage your audience and community

As you start to see results in these KPIs, you can refine them for more granular performance data. And once you start performing well with these top-funnel goals, you’ll start to see results in lower-funnel goals as well.


If your marketing team already has a content program in place, then you can start to focus on KPIs that are more indicative of commitment from the right buyers and the potential for leads, opportunities, and revenue. This includes indicators like:

  • Clicks
  • Page engagement stats (bounce + exit rate)
  • Targeted keyword ranking

These mid-funnel KPIs require more commitment from your audience.


Clicks are simply how often people click on your page listing (math majors will note that the click metric is impressions multiplied by click-through rate).

What tool do you use to measure it?

Google Search Console

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What it shows:

  • How visible your pages are on search
  • How compelling your ads and page titles are

How to improve it:

  • Improve your impression rate
  • Improve your click-through rate

Bounce rate and exit rate

Bounce rate shows how often people enter your page and immediately leave. Exit rate shows how often people make this the last page that they see in a session.

What tool do you use to measure it?

Google Analytics

What it shows:

  • How engaging (useful, readable, interesting) a page is for readers
  • How effective your calls to action are

How to improve it:

  • Revise structure for readability
  • Cut filler copy
  • Optimize calls to action

Targeted keyword rank

Where in the Google search results is your page appearing? More specifically, where is it showing up for search terms that are important to your brand?

What tool do you use to measure it?

Common tools include SEMrush, Moz, Ahrefs

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What it shows:

  • How likely people are to find you via organic search
  • How popular your page is, compared to competitor pages

How to improve it:

  • Optimize for SEO
  • Revise for readability, utility, relevance
  • Expand distribution

Repeating: these KPIs still do not represent success on their own. They are indicators that your mid-stage content program is starting to work.


Eventually, where you want to get to is lead conversions, and, we hope, opportunities for your sales team (or actual sales, if you expect your buyer to buy right away). Then you can start to measure things like your conversion rate.

Conversion rate can technically measure a pretty broad range of activities—a “conversion” can be lots of things. But most of the time, when people talk about a conversion, they’re wondering how often someone:

  • Signs up for a demo
  • Signs up for a trial
  • Downloads a late-stage piece of content (e.g. a research report or buyer’s guide)

Or takes some other high-intent activity that gets their email address into your lead tracking system.

Once you have their email address, your sales rep can follow up about a deal, or you can market to them directly, or you can do other things that increase the likelihood of revenue.

There are lots of ways to measure the number of conversions a piece of content generates, but usually, we measure it:

  • In Google Analytics, using goal completions that are counted whenever your prospect completes one of these highly desirable actions
  • In your marketing automation platform (say, Hubspot), by counting how many leads are generated with that piece of content as part of the prospect’s journey

Here’s what goal completions look like in Google Analytics:

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What tool do you use to measure it?

Google Analytics (or your marketing automation platform)

What it shows:

  • How effective your calls to action are
  • How compelling your content assets are

How to improve it:

  • Optimize your calls to action
  • Rewrite copy for assets

KPI Tracker Template

Dashboards, smashboards. Simplify your KPI tracking at the get go with a simple tracker.

Key Performance IndicatorData Today’s date _________Data KPI date _________

Populating the Template

  1. Choose two or three KPIs according to the maturity of your marketing program. Consider starting with top-of-funnel goals.
  2. Make sure you know how to collect this data! This is an important step that too often gets overlooked. If you need Google Analytics data, for example, make sure that you have the proper log-in access and know how to find the data you need.
  3. Discuss these KPIs with the rest of your marketing team, or the person who oversees your work, to make sure they’re in agreement.
  4. Add the KPIs to the tracker.
  5. Document your baselines for each metric. For example, if you choose ‘impressions on product demo page’ as a KPI, go into Google Search Console today and find the number of impressions for that page in the past month.
  6. Write down the date that you’ll review your KPI—we recommend choosing a date 3 months from today.
  7. Add a new column each time you review and document progress against your KPIs.

Thankfully, that’s pretty easy when you have a predetermined list to choose from—and your template to keep track of them.

Head on over to your workbook to get crackin’.

🌐 Plan for distribution

“If you build it, they will come.” —Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams

While it may have been true about a baseball diamond in a corn field, it’s not true of your content.

Distribution should not be an afterthought once content is produced (at that point, you’re already behind the game). You need to decide now, as part of your content strategy, where and how you’ll commit to repurposing and promoting your content to make sure you get eyes on it.

An overview of your options

There are lots of options when it comes to content distribution—anywhere where you could put a marketing message, you can talk about your content. One of the easiest ways to break them down is into owned, earned, and paid categories.

Channels you own and controlChannels in which you must earn coverage through someone elseChannels you need to pay for in order to get coverage
Your website (e.g. blog)Organic social media accounts (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc.)Your email list• Organic/unpaid search (SEO) • Public relations • Unpaid influencer marketing• Paid search (like Google ads) • Social media advertising • Display ads • Pay-to-play situations like newsletter sponsorships

If you try to tackle all of these options at once, you’ll more than likely fall short. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin and quickly burn out when you attempt too much. Instead, it’s better to start small. Choose, optimize, and master a couple of distribution channels that your audience tunes into and that feel like a realistic fit for your capabilities.

When it comes to most B2B companies, especially B2B technology/SaaS, we suggest starting with:

  • SEO
  • LinkedIn (organic, not paid)
  • Email (your own audience)

And when you nail those, you may consider:

  • Other social media platforms (Twitter may be a close second)
  • Influencers in your space
  • Communities (think Slack, Patreon, Facebook groups)
  • Anywhere else your audience hangs out (revisit your audience template from Module 1 for a refresher)


Lots of people search for solutions to their problems. They’ve got a challenge, and they’re looking for content that will help them fix it. This is called existing demand—and if you want to capture some of it (and earn a good placement in search results), you’ll have to convince Google your content is a solid fit for the search terms.

In other words, you need to optimize the content on your website for search.

This includes:

  • Choosing appropriate keywords your audience is searching for
  • Choosing an angle that’s appropriate to your audience
  • Outlining and writing the content according to SEO best practices
  • Including your keywords in required places (e.g. H1, H2, URL, meta description, page title, body copy, image alt text, etc.)
  • Including links out to other relevant pages on your site
  • Linking into this content from other relevant pages on your site

We’ve created a content outline template to help you consider all of the important details for each content piece you’re creating.

(And if you need a little more help with outlining for SEO, check out this piece: Outlining for content performance.)

Keep in mind, not all of your content has to rank for a keyword. Case studies, for example, are notoriously hard to optimize for search. There are also opportunities to generate demand (rather than capturing demand) by producing creative, thought-provoking content—but people aren’t necessarily searching for this stuff. In this case, you’ll need to focus on other distribution tactics.


When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn is one of your best social options. The platforms boasts “nearly 800 million members” and 57 million companies across 200 countries. And as long as you’re not practicing the connect-and-pitch (aka “pitch slap”), it’s a great place to engage customers and prospects across industries.

But contrary to popular belief, you do NOT want to link off to your blog post or eBook and call it a day.

The best way to share content on LinkedIn is by repurposing it into posts that can live on their own, on the platform. Think of these posts like micro blog posts—they’re shorter, but they still offer something concrete without having to click off elsewhere.

Content Marketer Justin Simon provides a solid framework for repurposing content on LinkedIn as part of his Content Repurposing Roadmap course. For each larger content piece, he recommends creating one summary LinkedIn post that sums up the full content piece. Then, create another LinkedIn post for each of your H2s (subheads), focusing just on that section of the content.

LinkedIn Post Copy
Subhead 1
Subhead 2
Subhead 3

As you can see, this makes it easy to quickly come up with copy for three to five LinkedIn posts from a single blog post, for example. Thinking about your larger content this way allows you to promote each piece numerous times while adding value for your audience—and without being overly repetitive.

We’ve created this distribution template that you should fill out for each content piece you want to promote on LinkedIn.

Consider taking Justin’s course for lots more details on giving your content alllll the legs: The Content Repurposing Roadmap.

Beyond text, you can also extend your content into other formats for LinkedIn. Consider experimenting with:

  • Images—make sure they add to the post (don’t bother with stock)
  • Videos—not too long, include a title bar and captions
  • Documents—you know, those slide-y things with a little content on each page or slide

Don’t forget: You also need to make sure you’re engaging with others on the platform. Social isn’t a one-way street.

This is true for personal accounts and business pages alike.

It felt a little weird, but I had an actual conversation with Metadata.io’s business page the other day. A real person responded to my comment—and even followed up with me about something personal. From the brand page.

You’ll be most successful on LinkedIn if you follow this kind of lead.

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Again, there are B2B brands that have success with organic social on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. If you know your audience uses these platforms, definitely check them out. But we recommend mastering LinkedIn first, then taking others one at a time.


Guess what? You can use email for more than following up with that event attendee list. It’s a great channel to use for content distribution.

In fact, you can use content similar to those LinkedIn posts you wrote in the last section to fill up your email calendar. For example, create a weekly email cadence for your list that starts with a summary email, then dives into each H2 or subhead in subsequent weeks.

Email Copy
Subhead 1
Subhead 2
Subhead 3

The big difference with email compared to LinkedIn? You still want to provide plenty of the good stuff right in your email itself. But it’s also totally cool to include a call-to-action that invites your readers to check out the full resource somewhere else—or take some other related action outside of their inbox.

Read: Include a CTA.

This approach offers regular value to your email subscribers, while also encouraging them to visit the full content piece, or check out your website, or sign up for a webinar, etc.

Alternatively, or in addition to your email sequence, you can send a content newsletter that summarizes and links to multiple content pieces at once in a roundup format.

This distribution template will help you keep track of your email distribution, too. Fill it out for each content piece you plan to share via email.

No email list? No problem.

But you may want to start building one. Try adding a “sign up for our newsletter” CTA in a few spots, like:

  • On some of your popular web pages
  • In the sidebar of and/or at the end of your blog posts
  • In your email signature

Then promote your newsletter like any other content offer. Heck, you can even just email your colleagues/clients/grandma and ask them to opt in.

Some unpopular opinions

No, Twitter does not have to be in your initial plan.

Twitter can totally work for B2B marketers, too. But man, do things move fast over there. To show up and perform well on this platform, you probably need to dedicate more time to sharing content and conversing with other members than you do on LinkedIn—which is why we recommend LinkedIn first. Somewhat lower barrier to entry.

However, if you’ve got some data that tells you Twitter is in some way a better fit for your goals, feel free to swap it out for LinkedIn.

For example, one friend told us (on LinkedIn, ironically), that the visitors her blog sees from Twitter are higher quality than those she sees from other channels.

Neither do influencers.

Influencer marketing is the pinnacle of earned media and is fabulous for getting the word out about your B2B content. If you build relationships with the influential people your customers listen to, they just may be willing to share some of your content for you.

This can be as simple as strategically quoting these influencers in the content you’re producing—and making sure they know about the quote once you publish. You can also tag them in your social updates promoting this content for extended reach.

So, why aren’t we recommending influencers in your quickstart distribution plan? Because this is a harder and less reliable way of distributing your content. Start with the tried and true tactics, and graduate to influencers (if you want) once you’ve nailed those.

Don’t worry about Quora (or any of the other Quora-like platforms).

One of us may or may not have referred to Quora as a “bombed out Reddit.” There’s a lot of talk about answering questions on Quora that are related to your content, then including a link back to your content piece. The idea is that you’ll drive interested readers over to your content for deeper information.

None of us has ever seen evidence of this actually being worth the time.

But, backlinks! Right? RIGHT?!

No, Quora puts a no-follow on links out of the platform, so the links you place there don’t do squat for your SEO.

Make sure to choose a channel or two that is realistic for you and your team to execute with your tools and resources.

Do NOT commit to more than three out of the gate (you’ve been warned!).

🍉 How to use your content strategy

Here are some tips for getting the most out of the content strategy you just worked so diligently on:

1. Share it with your team and other key stakeholders

If you shared this strategy with your team as you worked through the sections, there should be no big surprises, but you should present the final strategy to everyone involved one more time. That may just be your marketing colleagues, or you may choose to include other stakeholders from leadership, sales, etc.

Set up a meeting to run through the full document, answer questions, and make any final adjustments you all deem necessary (but don’t be afraid to push back if feedback doesn’t align with your research).

2. Start creating!

You know, actually do the thing. Once you have the strategy finalized, produce and publish the content according to your content tracker.

3. Measure your progress monthly

As you start producing content, make sure to start keeping track of your progress by documenting your KPIs. Monthly updates are probably sufficient as you get started. Make sure to share these progress updates with your wider team so they can see what sort of impact your content is having.

4. Regularly revisit and adjust your content strategy

You should check back in on your content strategy at least quarterly to review your progress and make sure everything still jives. You may need to update your strategy with new audiences or audience insights, start working on new topics, adjust your KPIs, etc.

We suggest you put a reminder on your calendar now to review your strategy document at least every three months. Have another quick meeting where everyone weighs in on progress and adjustments to the content strategy.

We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

Background image of a red ball in a hole.