Interview with Sonja Jacob
4 steps to make a content strategy that produces converting content
What’s that? You don’t want to risk looking like a fool without a content strategy? But you wanna hear advice from an expert about how to get started building one? Well sweet, we’ve got you covered. Sonja Jacob has over 13 years of experience writing 🔥 content for B2B companies. Right now she’s a part of the Facebook Incorporation as the head of global content strategy for their WhatsApp API and she hosts the marketing podcast, First Person.
Here’s her advice about getting started on a content strategy.
NUMERO UNO: Map out your organization’s marketing and sales funnel.
Sonja told us over and over again how important it is to know how someone goes from not knowing about your company to buying your offering (the funnel). Where do the most people get stuck? What’s working well? And of course, what role is content playing? She recommends you talk to a few product managers and members of your sales team to help you really understand this.
NUMERO DOS: Define what ‘content’ means for your team.
Sonja said, “I think what’s really critical no matter where you’re at in your career, but particularly in the beginning, is just figuring out ‘What does content mean?’ And, ‘What does it do at your specific company?’”
We think it’d be a good idea to look closely at the funnel when you’re defining content for your team. It might also help to define by negation, as in define content by “showing what it is not.” That might look like: “sales decks, press releases, and internal email announcements are not marketing content.”
Sonja’s main point to this technique is, “If you’re doing basically everything, when it comes to content, it’s really, really tough to move the needle in any of those areas.”
NUMERO TRES: Audit your company’s funnel and decide content priorities.
Story time. Sonja once worked for a startup who hired her to create enablement and top-of-funnel content. They said they needed to let people know what they were doing and why they were doing it. She thought, “Sure. Okay. That seems reasonable.”
But as she started to dig into the quantity of leads, and the rate at which they were converting, she realized that there was just this glut of leads. There were all these folks who were hand raisers and met the criteria for having a salesperson reach out to them, but nobody was converting after that.
Clearly, they needed additional details to make a sale happen. So instead of going with the original plan for top-of-funnel content, she started creating things like product guides, one sheeters, and content with details related to the nuts and bolts of how the product functioned.
The moral of the story: auditing the funnel will show you the type of content to prioritize in order to give the biggest lift to your company.
NUMERO CUATRO: Don’t forget to distribute.
Ok, real quick before you run off to start strategizing. Don’t forget distribution! Sonja’s take is: “I would much rather create, you know, three pieces of well-distributed content than 30 pieces of content that really no one knows.” So if you plan for good distribution, then you can dial down the amount of content you need to create. Which, to us, seems like a spot-on idea.
Alright, take that content by the horns this week!