Reps vs Strategy

How to build content that works

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/160ER5n57RfZF5GHGrmy-5iY_wLiVNnxKSxlTV2XT9s0/edit#slide=id.g1555c58717f_0_112

Why content strategy fails

The content strategy stack https://www.reforge.com/blog/the-product-strategy-stack

Followup: Reps vs strategy

Part 1: The components Part 2: What happens if they’re not in alignment Part 3: Narrow “strategy”. If you have an agency do a “content strategy” you’ll get something that focuses on audience and narrative. If you have an SEO agency do a “content strategy” you’ll get something that focuses on distribution (i.e. keywords)

Examples: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56f152a22fe131e76648aba3/30b13933-9d12-4162-ad89-ce3d3a096345/Product+Strategy+Stack+-+Slack+Vs+Discord+Case+Study.png?format=1500w

E.g. Angi content that aligns brand / product / audience etc (cost page showing in various pages)

Part 4: Working

Alignment across these aspects:

There’s a famous story about art, and quality that goes something like this:

Two groups - one makes 100, one makes the very best they can.

The group that makes 100 makes better work.

Doing strategy often feels like trying to design the very best version of something. But what if we forgot about strategy and just did 100 reps?

Maybe before you come to me for a content strategy, you should make 100 pieces of content. Yeah, sure maybe I’d be out of work - but I think a lot of startups in particular would be better off shipping content instead of doing content strategy.

Maybe the artist’s way is the right model here. A deliberate system based around output layering skills up as you go.

Let’s make this concrete - what would an engagement look like for a B2B SAAS company? Week 0: Lightweight strategy, to do some quick market sizing, competitive analysis Week 1: Publish some words. Doesn’t matter much what you publish, but get comfotable with a weekly cadence Week 2: Distribute something. Publishing something that goes into an email, social channels etc. Week 3: Publish something longer / differnet / more interesting Week 4:

Conversely, those clients that come to me and say: “We’ve made 100s of pieces of content, we’ve figured out a lot of what works and what doesn’t. Both from our audience and from our internal workflow. But here are three real challenges we’re facing.” Are much better clients. We have real data, real insights, and we know a bit about our customers and ourselves.

So next time you ask for a content strategy - maybe just start writing.


This blog is written by Tom Critchlow, an independent strategy consultant living and working in Brooklyn, NY. If you like what you read please leave a comment below in disqus or sign up for my Tinyletter.