Through working with dozens of clients, I’ve built my own strategic framework. Unlike many strategists, I use this to create and execute on your strategy.
To be successful at content marketing, you need to build a content moat.
In my experience, a content moat has three main parts:
INSIGHT + COMMUNITY + REMIXING = THE CONTENT MOAT FRAMEWORK
Yet, most companies who are doing content marketing only do one – maybe two of these three – well. If you want to build a moat that will compound over time, you have to nail all three.
Let’s dive into the details for all of three components.
Let’s talk about content. Content moat “content” combines the following key components.
Community is how you can 10x your content distribution efforts while also getting more customers and retaining existing ones longer.
When many people think of community, they think of launching your own branded community (be it a Slack channel, Facebook group, forum, membership site, etc). While I’m a massive advocate for building branded communities – especially now – that’s not always a realistic move.
Let’s face it – there are some brands that are unlikely to build thriving branded communities. For example, if you have a SaaS company that helps swimming pool managers with timesheet and schedule management, the chances of these same pool managers wanting to spend time interacting in your brand’s Slack channel or forum is pretty low.
However, community can still work extremely well even if you don’t launch your own. Instead, it is about building real relationships with the superconnectors in your niche.
So going back to our pool management SaaS company example. Let’s say you create a list of the top 200 pool management companies in the US. You make a point of getting to know and build real relationships with at least one pool manager at 75% of these companies. You learn more about their work, their goals, offer to make intros for them, hang out in the online communities they participate in, organize video calls (and dinners in non-pandemic times), and generally offer tons of value.
Over time, you and your company are now seen as superconnectors in the pool management niche.
The result is more word of mouth sales and going to your site first when they are looking for information on X, Y, or Z. And, they share the content you produce – unprompted without you having to do more than maybe send a tweet or two.
The final component is the easiest one, but the majority of companies don’t do this well – or even at all.
That’s leveraging your existing content and community you’ve built.
This can take many forms, but the three that I rely on the most (and have gotten the best results from) are:
Admittedly, I was really skeptical when I first came across this strategy. However, it REALLY WORKED.
There are many different approaches, but what I’ve done is l look at a client’s existing posts. I specifically look for any content that is ranking on the top of page 2 or has lost at least 35% of their search traffic in the last year.
Then, I look at the top three posts that are currently ranking for my client’s desired keyword.
How can I make my client’s post 25% better? What are the gaps that we’re missing?
Every single time, I’ve followed this principle. The post has ranked in the top 3 for that keyword – and oftentimes the featured snippet — Usually within a couple of weeks of republishing the post.
Another strategy that can be extremely well – especially for brands that don’t have a vast content library and/or have strong community relationships – is leveraging repurposing with content curation.
The premise is simple – amplify and curate the top content from the superconnectors in your community as well as your customers.
For example, when you give a microphone to the cool things that your customers are doing that can be some of the most powerful marketing for your brand (without having to really market).
Another strategy that has worked well for me is leveraging pillar posts and other long form content assets and repurposing sections of them into guest posts on third-party sites.
This builds authority in your niche and is also a great, whitehat way to build backlinks.
The added benefit is that you don’t have to write 100% original content for each guest post. You can take the core components of your original content asset and just add 25% – 40% new stuff so that you don’t get dinged for duplicate content. It is way faster to write that way since you are not reinventing the wheel for each pitch every time.
When you dial in and incorporate my three-part framework, this is how you can build a content moat that compounds day over day.
With consistency and focus, it becomes a flywheel and the ultimate differentiator and competitor advantage for your company.
Want to learn about how you can use my strategic framework in your company’s marketing efforts? Let’s chat.
I’m a strategist, who also loves to execute. Here is a behind-the-scenes view of my process.
I’ll start by learning more about your ideal customer profile.
I do this through a mix of in-person interviews with your team, customer interviews, sales and support call recordings, online VOC research, and research software tools like, Ahrefs and Sparktoro.
I can’t put together a coherent strategy without understanding the basics of your product and how customers use it.
The goal is to not become a de facto expert. Instead, I learn the basics to uncover what needs to happen in order for each piece of content to do the following:
How will this piece of content demonstrate your expertise and authority? How will it help you establish trust?
You need a strategy to give you focus and direction. However, it shouldn’t take 2 months or longer.
That’s why for all of my strategy clients, you’ll have a MVP strategic roadmap within the first 3-6 weeks of working together.
This matters because even the smartest marketing strategy isn’t going to be perfect. ✨
The fastest we can start executing, the faster we’ll learn what works. We can use that to refine the strategy and process moving forward.
Now, it is time for the fun part. Producing all of the content and marketing assets outlined in the initial strategic roadmap.
Once new content is approved, it’s time to format and publish the post.
If you use WordPress or Ghost, I have a publishing process SOP and a small team that handles the final post optimizations and formatting in your CMS.
Promoting the content is just as important as the quality of the piece.
My tiny team and I handle the entire distribution plan for each piece of content we create.
We also share monthly content marketing reports with you and your team.
If you are business meets these criteria, then we’ll probably be a great fit:
Ready to get started?