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The Hedgehog’s Guide
to Content Strategy
Josh Braaten
CollegisEducation.com
@JLBraaten
Josh Braaten
• Director of Inbound
Marketing, Collegis Education
• Vice President of Minnesota
Search Engine Marketing
Ass...
The lowly
hedgehog has
many predators,
all posing
unique threats.
The eagle
has razor-
sharp talons
and beaks.
Snakes are
poisonous
and just
plain nope.
Wolves
have knife-
like teeth.
Against all of
these incredible
threats, the
hedgehog has
but one defense.
When the going
gets tough, a
hedgehog rolls
up into a ball,
protecting itself
with its spines.
Predators fall
flat on their
faces against
a hedgehog’s
spines.
Where Most Content Fails
Jumping Head-First Without a Plan
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvxcu9
Not Staying on the Ball with Content
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jgAvjM
Jumping Between Tactics Before Success
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jgAvjM
Reaching Too Far, Too Fast
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvxlOp
Hedgehog Content Marketing
Presenting… The Hedgehog Concept
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvBbXD
Hedgehog Concept
The intersection of:
1. What you’re good at
2. What you’re
passionate about
3. Where you can make
money
-...
A narrowly-focused content marketing strategy, the
strength of which derives from the precise execution
of a select number...
How to Act Like a Hedgehog
A Hedgehog Knows His Audience
Photo Credit: http://gph.is/1jPLRzP
Personas Promote Concrete Customers
Harry Hedgehog Motivations:
• Eating tasty fruits
• Spine maintenance
Paint Points:
• ...
Message Maps Connect Needs to the Brand
Awareness Consideration Close Stay
Mindset:
I love fruit and wish I
could find hea...
Keywords and
Topics
Keywords help break down
all of the individual
conversations you want to
have with people.
Keyword Avg...
Map Keywords to
Your Brand
Keywords discipline you to
remain consistent in your
brand and focused on the
goals and journey...
Create a Consistent Platform for Your Brand
Daily Weekly Monthly
Social Media:
• Customer fruit “selfies”
• Curate fruit r...
At the end of
the day, it
doesn’t take a
lot to give the
customer what
they want.
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1lk18sx
From Good to Great Content
“In each of these dramatic, remarkable, good-to-
great corporate transformations, we found the
same thing: There was no mi...
Search for Each Topic to Know What’s Good
Photo credit: http://gph.is/1mfmHeS
Deepen Your
Understanding of
Your Customer.
Tools such as Google
Analytics, Qualaroo and
Usertesting.com create a
path to ...
Scale the Content That Needs to Be Created
Scale Who and How Many People See Content
Share With Friends
Pay to Promote to Fans
Syndicate to People Like Your Customer...
Scale How Often and What You Write About
Daily Weekly Monthly
Social Media:
• Customer fruit “selfies”
• Curate fruit reci...
Content Strategy Produces a Flywheel Effect
Goal Completions
This chart plots blog
traffic gained over
time, illustrating
...
Thank You
Josh Braaten
CollegisEducation.com
@JLBraaten
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1lk18sx
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The Hedgehog's Guide to Content Strategy

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Getting started in content strategy is difficult. The industry is still relatively new, and so there's much debate about what the right blend of tactics are from multiple disciplines that make up the most effective content strategies.

This presentation explains content strategy for beginners through the lens of the Jim Collins book, Good to Great, by leveraging his "Hedgehog Concept" as a metaphor for developing a strategy for great content.

Originally presented May 22, 2014 at the Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference in Duluth, Minnesota.

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  • Collegis template
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • Data-driven companies are three times as likely to execute decisions as intended. Why?

    Because measurement acts as a guide.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • As Internet marketers and search marketers, this can only help us because Internet math is business math.

    That math can shine a light on where things are going well and where there are real issues with the business. If you follow the math further than to where it leaves a web page, you can see how it connects to revenue. You can see how it affects the health and well-being of the business itself. You can see how your ideas either contribute to the success, stagnation or failure of a company based on how customers act at every stage of their journey.

    Measurability means a marketing meritocracy.
  • Transcript of "The Hedgehog's Guide to Content Strategy"

    1. 1. The Hedgehog’s Guide to Content Strategy Josh Braaten CollegisEducation.com @JLBraaten
    2. 2. Josh Braaten • Director of Inbound Marketing, Collegis Education • Vice President of Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association • Co-Founder of Glass en Masse
    3. 3. The lowly hedgehog has many predators, all posing unique threats.
    4. 4. The eagle has razor- sharp talons and beaks.
    5. 5. Snakes are poisonous and just plain nope.
    6. 6. Wolves have knife- like teeth.
    7. 7. Against all of these incredible threats, the hedgehog has but one defense.
    8. 8. When the going gets tough, a hedgehog rolls up into a ball, protecting itself with its spines.
    9. 9. Predators fall flat on their faces against a hedgehog’s spines.
    10. 10. Where Most Content Fails
    11. 11. Jumping Head-First Without a Plan Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvxcu9
    12. 12. Not Staying on the Ball with Content Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jgAvjM
    13. 13. Jumping Between Tactics Before Success Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jgAvjM
    14. 14. Reaching Too Far, Too Fast Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvxlOp
    15. 15. Hedgehog Content Marketing
    16. 16. Presenting… The Hedgehog Concept Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1jvBbXD
    17. 17. Hedgehog Concept The intersection of: 1. What you’re good at 2. What you’re passionate about 3. Where you can make money -Good to Great By Jim Collins
    18. 18. A narrowly-focused content marketing strategy, the strength of which derives from the precise execution of a select number of consistent tactics targeted at a specific and known customer persona. Alternate definition: The content marketing strategy to invest in if you don’t have a lot of time or money but want scalable results. Hedgehog Content Marketing
    19. 19. How to Act Like a Hedgehog
    20. 20. A Hedgehog Knows His Audience Photo Credit: http://gph.is/1jPLRzP
    21. 21. Personas Promote Concrete Customers Harry Hedgehog Motivations: • Eating tasty fruits • Spine maintenance Paint Points: • Loveable, but sharp-witted • Embarrassing spine shedding Goals: • Luxury spine-care products • Variety of fruits; delivered “A fruit basket and a bubble bath sound lovely right about now.”
    22. 22. Message Maps Connect Needs to the Brand Awareness Consideration Close Stay Mindset: I love fruit and wish I could find healthy recipes and people who appreciate it Mindset: I have high standards and only want to purchase fruit from those that “get it” Mindset: Will my fruit both look and taste pristine if it’s shipped to me? Mindset: My friends appreciate when I find them “hidden gems” online Message: This is a place for high-quality fruit recipes, gifts and conversations Message: Our company is an authority on fruit quality, which can be verified by our growing community of fruit enthusiasts. Message: Our fruit will impress you and your friends/family in every way or your money back. Message: Show your fruit savviness by sharing these recipes and exclusive discounts with your friends.
    23. 23. Keywords and Topics Keywords help break down all of the individual conversations you want to have with people. Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match) fruit 49500 fruit salad 49500 fruit baskets 40500 grapefruit 40500 fruit pizza 33100 fruits 33100 fruits basket 27100 fruit dip 14800 fruit smoothie recipes 14800 kiwi fruit 14800 fruit basket 12100 fruit cake 12100 fruit cake recipe 12100 fruit bouquet 12100 fruit salad recipe 12100 fruit arrangements 9900 fruit basket delivery 9900 fruit trees 8100 cheap fruit baskets 8100 fruit bowl 6600 fruit of the month 6600 fruit smoothie 6600
    24. 24. Map Keywords to Your Brand Keywords discipline you to remain consistent in your brand and focused on the goals and journey of the customer. Awareness • Fruit bouquet, basket and bowl arrangement how-to’s • Fruit recipes blog Consideration • Fruit of the month club benefits, features and testimonials • Fruit basket delivery Close • Customer fruit basket arrangements • Cheap fruit baskets Stay • Customer fruit recipe “selfies”
    25. 25. Create a Consistent Platform for Your Brand Daily Weekly Monthly Social Media: • Customer fruit “selfies” • Curate fruit recipes • Share fruit arrangement content Blog: • Fast and easy fruit recipes for the week (Mondays) • Fruit recipes to try this weekend (Thursdays) • Build-your-own fruit arrangement how-to series (Saturdays) Newsletter: • Curate fruit recipes from the blog • Curate best customer fruit arrangements • Advertise fruit of the month club and fruit baskets
    26. 26. At the end of the day, it doesn’t take a lot to give the customer what they want. Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1lk18sx
    27. 27. From Good to Great Content
    28. 28. “In each of these dramatic, remarkable, good-to- great corporate transformations, we found the same thing: There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed- to-excellence process—a framework—kept each company, its leaders, and its people on track for the long haul.” - Jim Collins on Good to Great, JimCollins.com Good to Great Content Marketing Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1iGUGM5
    29. 29. Search for Each Topic to Know What’s Good Photo credit: http://gph.is/1mfmHeS
    30. 30. Deepen Your Understanding of Your Customer. Tools such as Google Analytics, Qualaroo and Usertesting.com create a path to better know and serve your customers.
    31. 31. Scale the Content That Needs to Be Created
    32. 32. Scale Who and How Many People See Content Share With Friends Pay to Promote to Fans Syndicate to People Like Your Customers Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1gsu0e1
    33. 33. Scale How Often and What You Write About Daily Weekly Monthly Social Media: • Customer fruit “selfies” • Curate fruit recipes • Share fruit arrangement content Blog: • Fast and easy fruit recipes for the week (Mondays) • Fruit recipes to try this weekend (Thursdays) • Build-your-own fruit arrangement how-to series (Saturdays) Newsletter: • Curate fruit recipes from the blog • Curate best customer fruit arrangements • Advertise fruit of the month club and fruit baskets
    34. 34. Content Strategy Produces a Flywheel Effect Goal Completions This chart plots blog traffic gained over time, illustrating each month’s effort as a different band of traffic. A flywheel effect occurs when each incremental effort becomes easier as successes start to add up. Monthly blog traffic for the last year
    35. 35. Thank You Josh Braaten CollegisEducation.com @JLBraaten Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1lk18sx
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