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5 Must-haves for your B2B content strategy

Plus an inside look at my strategy deck at Clari & a free template


Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Reeder where you get content tips and strategies for growing your career, brand, and business.

If you’re new, you can subscribe here and join the crew.

The Reeder is sponsored by Goldcast

It used to take me weeks and hundreds of dollars to create video content.

Not anymore.

At Clari we use Goldcast’s Content Lab AI functionality to turn webinar content into video content that fuels our content strategy.

This Tuesday I’m revealing how at Goldcast‘s event: Unlock the full Potential of Your Video Content.

I’m revealing:

  • How we designed our top of funnel digital event plan

  • Three tips for repurposing your video content

  • How I use Goldcast’s AI functionality, Content Studio, to quickly produce video content

If you want to increase your video output and grow your brand and pipeline, tap into my session "The Foundation of Video Content Repurposing” on Tuesday March 12th at 9am PST.

Wanna come party with me?

I’m hosting a birthday + launch party for Reed Between The Lines — and I want you there!

Expect: dinner, drinks, music, sneak peaks at the show, and lots of laughs.

It’s going down on March 22nd. If you wanna join, you can RSVP here.

*Friendly note from your host: This is a private event with limited capacity and I’m covering the cost from my own wallet, so please only RSVP if you can definitely make it. Thank you in advance and hope to see you there!

PS: I dropped the trailer to Reed Between The Lines this week…

B2B content strategy is possibly my all time favorite marketing topic.

As a 2x Head of Content and an advisor to multiple start ups, I’ve designed, created, and executed multiple content strategies.

So I’ve seen what works, what doesn’t, and have experienced multiple ways to use content to grow the business. Because at the end of the day, that’s what the best content strategies do: deliver growth.

Content strategy can be a complex, nuanced challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s really more about decision-making and structuring your ideas more than anything else.

Today I’m going to break it down to the 5 must-haves for every B2B content strategy, plus a template you can use to capture and structure your ideas.

Let’s start the basics:

Content strategy is your approach to using content to grow your business

It’s really that simple. Of course the complexity is in the details.

Let’s also decouple strategy and your plan:

  • Content strategy is decision-making. It’s your What and Why. It’s all about results.

  • Content planning is about activities. It’s your How. It’s all about deliverables, timelines, and owners across a quarter or year.

You need both to be successful. Today we’re going to focus exclusively on strategy because it’s comes first chronologically, and candidly, it’s much more valuable — both for your business and your career.

And despite every company producing content, very few have an intentional content strategy. And even less have it documented.

There are dozens of benefits to having an effective, intentional, and cohesive content strategy:

  • Marketing-level: Brand awareness and affinity, audience growth, category domination, and tons of inbound.

  • Business-level: Qualified sales opportunities, pipeline acceleration, revenue attainment, and customer retention.

  • Personal-level: Reputation as a strategic thinker, higher salary, and increased job security.

That’s what’s at stake.

But it’s also important to know what is NOT a content strategy, so you don’t get distracted and knocked off course.

This is NOT a content strategy

I don’t hate. When you throw shade, no one shines.

But this is just bad advice from a creator bro. And the #1 mistake I see in the wild:

Beware of anyone telling you to “steal”!

And it’s bad because it’s incomplete. It’s wildly oversimplified to get clicks.

If you bring this to your CMO or CEO, your credibility will get shredded. I’ve seen it happen (second-hand, thankfully).

It’s really just a list of things. At best, this is a production schedule.

Definitely NOT a strategy.

Here’s helpful way I think about the difference:

If you find yourself talking about direction and results, you’re strategizing.

If you find yourself talking about deliverables, you’re executing. (Which is fine but that’s for your plan.)

Now that the table’s set, let’s get into the 5 things your B2B content strategy must include.

1. Mission statement: What are you setting out to accomplish?

This is the first slide in all my content strategy decks.

Your mission statement guides everything you do. Every decision and deliverable needs to align to this mission. It should be inspiring and aspirational. You should FEEL something when you read it.

My mission statement helps me

  • Prioritize as a leader

  • Defend my decisions to executives

  • Explain my decisions to my directs and peers

Here’s my mission statement for my team at Clari:

Context: I am responsible for top-of-funnel and some channels — not the entire marketing engine. So my mission aligns to (1) my responsibilities and resources within my control and (2) our marketing and business objectives.

2. Audience: Who are you targeting helping?

(We aren’t hunting people with our content, we’re helping them.)

Your audience — your readers, listeners, viewers — are the most important thing to consider. You gotta know who you’re creating content for to avoid random acts of marketing that lead to a disjointed strategy.

At Clari we have multiple personas who buy and use Clari because we’re a full revenue platform. Reps to execs log in every day, so our content needs to reflect that.

But I also need to prioritize. So I break it down by primary and secondary audiences (and tertiary, if needed).

3. Objectives: What impact are you going to make on the business?

This is what your CEO and senior leadership really care about: impact.

Content marketing is an investment, so naturally they want to see a return.

It’s your job to explain what that return will be.

This is where you show them (and yourself!) that you know your sh*t and can talk business-level impact, not just marketing-level metrics.

It’s less about getting the “right” or “wrong” metrics, and more about being intentional and clear about how you’re helping the business grow. (You’re seeing a theme here…). It totally depends on your team structure, marketing maturity, and company goals, among other factors.

If helpful, here’s how I position my team’s impact at Clari:

4. Content Pillars: What are you going to talk about?

Content pillars are important because they provide a strategic framework for creating and distributing content that aligns with your brand, resonates with your audience, and achieves the business objectives you outlined above.

You want to pick topics that are high-level and directional, not specific SEO key words. Picking — and sticking — to your content pillars help you ensure

  • Consistency

  • Clear messaging

  • Audience relevance

*I can’t share my slide from Clari (sorry!) but I have a slide template for you here.

5. Transformation slide: How are you going to evolve?

This is the classic “from-to” slide.

Most folks don’t think to include this. Probably because it’s not sexy, shiny marketing. But your ability to show you can evolve a function/department conveys mastery.

And mastery boosts trust and reputation. (And earning power.)

Pick the ~5 areas you’re focusing on and show what you’re going to do differently this quarter/half-year/year.

Here’s what mine looks like (with some redactions for confidentially):

I love this slide because it’s the perfect transition to go into your plan: which are the deliverables you’re going to produce based on what you’ve covered so far. (Should we do a part two on planning deliverables? LMK).

TL,DR (Too Long, Devin Reed)

When building (or refreshing) your B2B content strategy, make sure to include:

  1. Mission statement

  2. Audience your helping

  3. Objectives

  4. Content Pillars

  5. Transformation slide

And as promised: here’s a simple template to guide you. (Make a copy then go to town.)

I’d love to hear how today’s episode resonated with you. Let me know what you think in the poll below.

If enough of you like it and want to go deeper, we can do a live session with Q/A to make sure you’re confident in your approach.

Holler at you next Saturday,

PS: I spent about four hours writing this newsletter. You can help me grow it in 10 second by forwarding it to one person with a quick “You’ll love this newsletter. It’s worth subscribing.”

Three ways I can help you scale your content and business

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