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How we built a content plan in 27 minutes

From nothing to Q2 plan in record time.

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder.

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Three couple weeks ago I got an email from a CEO that had hired me as a consultant a while back.

He recently joined a new company, and asked me to mentor his new marketing lead, who we’ll call Viv, and help build a content strategy. So I met with her this week and we whipped up a quick content plan that she can use for Q2. She’s a one-person marketing team, so we had to get scrappy and make quick, intentional decisions so she can start executing ASAP. We got it done in 27 minutes.

Today I’m going to share how we did it and the decisions we made, so you can create a lean effective content plan too.

Here. We. Gooooo.

First we started with strategic goals. 

You know me, this is a must. Luckily she already talked to her CEO and COO to confirm their top priorities for her:

  1. Build pipeline

  2. Better understand their target audience

  3. Increase brand awareness

Viv is one of 46 employees so it’s pretty easy to stay in touch with her exec team. Great benefit of being at a small start up.

Remember that to get (and keep) your seat at the table, you gotta start with executive level goals.

Next, we picked a content theme

I wanted to find a theme for their content strategy, something that will guide her now but not lock her in if she pivots in the future.

Here’s what I told her: A great content theme topic aligns to both what her audience cares about and her company’s value prop.

Viv just finished their company rebrand this week, so I went through her website looking for inspiration. I found this phrase in some web copy: Here’s how {company name} helps you turn browsers into buyers.

From browsers to buyers. I like that.

It’s perfect because she can use it to create a bunch of thought leadership topics and and it’s solid framing to describe their product functionality. (Plus I’m a sucker for alliteration, but aren’t we all?).

I gave her homework: talk to execs and sales and see which challenges they’re hearing from the market that fit under that umbrella. That’ll jump start her editorial calendar.

Then, we picked her channel

One of my mentors, Rowan Noronha, taught me his W.I.N. framework, and part of his strategic planning involves answering, “where are you going to win?”

In other words, which channels are you going to invest and “play” on? This is helpful because it also forces you to answer where you will not invest. At least for now. When answering for yourself, think about:

  1. Where does your audience “live” right now

  2. Where are your strengths

Viv’s CEO is a solid speaker and digital events are a great way to build connection with your audience, provide immense value, and educate on the problem you solve — AKA pipeline and brand awareness.

So we decided to spin up a thought leadership webinar series.

But that’s just the beginning.

After that, we designed a content waterfall

Expectations for marketers is they pump out content consistently and constantly.

Challenge is she’s only one person. She doesn’t have time to create dozens of new pieces of net new content. So we had to be creative and thoughtful on how to create multiple pieces of content from her single webinar.

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Repurpose webinar into gated asset (put on their website and paid channels)

  2. Repurpose webinar into 2-3 blog posts

  3. Purpose webinar into video snippets for social

  4. Repurpose webinar talk track for the podcast circuit

  5. Repurpose blogs into text social posts

  6. Package content for sales outreach and conversations (slides, email, etc)

Her homework is to continue that list and create a version that looks something like this:

Last, time to go down funnel

Viv doesn’t just want leads, she wants to build a full-funnel strategy. Respect!

Since her thought leadership webinars specifically aren’t discussing their product, instead of adding another thought leadership webinar next, we decided to do a product-focused webinar as a fast follow where someone from her company and a client would explain a specific use case where they turned browsers into buyers.

This provides great how-to content that educates buyers to realize they should make a change now. Plus, she can take the transcript and use it for the baseline of a customer case study. Plus she can apply the same waterfall strategy above to fuel her content output.

All that in 27 minutes.

Content planning doesn’t need to be complicated

I see marketers overthink and analyze decisions to the point where they don’t end up doing anything (or at least not nearly as much as they could).

I’ve also seen other marketers rush into tactics without really thinking through why behind their decisions.

It’s OK to have a lightweight strategy like the one Viv and I built. Better to be focused and effective than broad and limited results. Remember:

  1. Be intentional with your decisions

  2. Play to your strengths

  3. Know where you’re going to win

  4. Stay lean with your output

That’s it for this fine Saturday. Hope you enjoyed today’s edition.

Holler at you next week,

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