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How To Nail Your Content Strategy?

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I've been an editor of a blog for several years and produced content for a decade for myself and for my companies.
I've tried to sum up my discoveries and share mental models that might be useful for people willing to launch a blog and start the journey.

Published in: Marketing
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How To Nail Your Content Strategy?

  1. 1. BBBGEHBHow To Nail Your Content Strategy And more philosophical considerations
  2. 2. The Typical Block 

  3. 3. I don’t know what to say.
  4. 4. The Typical Block 
 I don’t know what to say. Well, the good news is that you don’t really have something to say. 
 You need to find something people want to discover and find the answers. 
 You don’t need to be the source. Disclaimer: most corporate media and personal blogging efforts die at that step.
  5. 5. So the question is…
  6. 6. So the question is…
 How to find what people want?
  7. 7. So the question is…
 How to find what people want? Everything can be interesting. 
 But not everyone finds everything interesting.
 So you can think of people you know and wonder what subjects they like*. * some bloggers tend to think of themselves as a content consumer and produce content that they’d like to find. 
 It is far from being the worst idea, especially because you’ll always have energy to produce your content.
  8. 8. Don’t please everyone a bit,
 please some people a lot.
  9. 9. You should end up with 
 a territory of expression and
 favored formats* * long form, small articles, videos, slideshare, whatever
  10. 10. You have many ways to treat 
 your territory of expression
  11. 11. (1)
 
 You exactly know 
 what you will say. (2)
 
 You don’t have a clue 
 what the answer will be. your territory of expression
  12. 12. (1) 
 
 You exactly know 
 what you will say. your territory of expression You are already really knowledgeable about the subject and you are sharing your knowledge. This is often the case of researchers or successful people once they’ve reach a certain stage in their life.
 The challenges in that case are (i) the mine will eventually runs dry, (ii) this won’t be very collaborative. OR You will be either very blunt (your media will basically be press release and corporate self- praises) or be very ideological (propaganda at best). Rule of thumb: if you are not a renowned expert, don’t opt for this option (2)
  13. 13. (1) (2)
 
 You don’t have a clue 
 what the answer will be. your territory of expression You don’t have a clue about this subject, but your boss wanted you to talk about it. OR You love this subject but you are very prudent to having too much convictions. You prefer asking people what they think and make synthesis of their view and minimizing yours as much as possible. Rule of thumb: if you are not genuinely interested by a subject, don’t opt for this option. If you like it but rely only on other beliefs, you will end up frustrated because it might be hard to differentiate your content and seeing that people doing far less work than you do get more traction is tough.
  14. 14. (1) (2) your territory of expression Hopefully it is a continuum and there are dominant strategies. conviction
 driven methodologically
 driven (3)
 
 Strong convictions about the territory,
 yet you put in place safeguards 
 (eg: frequent updates on your beliefs, 
 fairness when you analyze the data) (4)
 
 No conviction beforehand, 
 strong position
 once you’ve dug into a subject
  15. 15. (1) (2) your territory of expression conviction
 driven methodologically
 driven (3)
 
 Strong convictions about the territory,
 yet you put in place safeguards 
 (eg: frequent updates on your beliefs, 
 fairness when you analyze the data) (4)
 
 No conviction beforehand, 
 strong position
 once you’ve dug into a subject Dominant strategies
 (3 > 1 and 4 > 2)
  16. 16. (3)
 
 Strong convictions about the territory,
 yet you put in place safeguards 
 (eg: frequent updates on your beliefs, 
 fairness when you analyze the data) (4)
 
 No conviction beforehand, 
 strong position
 once you’ve dug into a subject This is the typical strategy of media (they are never neutral). It makes the editorial line very clear and enable a good habit formation of your readers since they know what they will find. The challenge is to make sure never to fall into too much ideology (into strategy 1) Rule of thumb: the bigger and more professional the team, the more probable they’ll opt for option (3) This is the typical strategy of some long-form content bloggers, that have the confort of a wider editorial line and the willingness to create sheer knowledge. It makes habit formation for readers harder since people might not like what they end up finding in term of subjects (or conclusions), and is easier when the content producer is alone and don’t rely on it for a living.
  17. 17. (3)
 
 Strong convictions about the territory,
 yet you put in place safeguards 
 (eg: frequent updates on your beliefs, 
 fairness when you analyze the data) (4)
 
 No conviction beforehand, 
 strong position
 once you’ve dug into a subject Let’s enter the more philosophical considerations.
 There is another thing about the battle of (3) vs (4). * it requires a lot of resources, including time
  18. 18. (3)
 
 Strong convictions about the territory,
 yet you put in place safeguards 
 (eg: frequent updates on your beliefs, 
 fairness when you analyze the data) (4)
 
 No conviction beforehand, 
 strong position
 once you’ve dug into a subject Let’s enter the more philosophical considerations.
 There is another thing about the battle of (3) vs (4). * it requires a lot of resources, including time The more you need to be action-oriented, the more you’ll need to make decisions, and the more you’ll need conviction at the expense of satisfactory knowledge formation*.
  19. 19. So your trade-off might be the following: in the short-term do you favor action or knowledge? * have in mind that this is a very flawed way of looking at it, it is much more complex and requires many considerations about decision-making, recommended readings in appendix
  20. 20. So your trade-off might be the following: in the short time do you favor action or knowledge?
 
 And the answer should not be obvious: content is made to think and take good decision.
  21. 21. One more thing: 
 quick illustration with the tech world
  22. 22. The first strategy is viable for former operators.
 It is exactly what Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz did. And you should have a look at their archives if you’re into tech: pmarca & ben’s blog
  23. 23. The second strategy is what many VCs tried after not knowing what to say. And they quickly stopped lacking subjects and audience.
  24. 24. The fourth strategy is what First Round Review is doing. They have a loose editorial line (they just have territories and a great methodology)
 and interview world-class entrepreneurs and experts to make incredibly good content.
  25. 25. The third strategy is what Fred Wilson is doing. He talks (daily!) about his thoughts and discoveries 
 after discussing a given topic with entrepreneurs or pundits,
 or being confronted to a specific news
  26. 26. As a VC, we also chose to produce content. We have a mixed strategy: we are very similar to First Round Review (strategy 4) when we talk about startup topics (management adapted innovative, fast-growing companies) but we also shares our thoughts and beliefs as would do Fred Wilson (strategy 3), about things we feel matter regarding the tech ecosystem, being a VC, making good decisions, building meaningful brands or managing communities. 

  27. 27. Now, it’s your turn.
  28. 28. Recommended readings https://a16z.com/2015/01/09/pmarca-blog-ebook/ http://avc.com/ https://a16z.com/2016/09/04/ben-blog-ebook/ http://firstround.com/review/ https://medium.com/daphni-chronicles Already Mentioned Creating Good Content Decision-Making https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/untangling-your-organizations-decision-making https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/a-case-study-in-combating-bias https://hbr.org/2018/01/3-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making https://hbr.org/2015/05/from-economic-man-to-behavioral-economics https://hbr.org/2015/05/outsmart-your-own-biases https://www.amazon.com/HBRs-Reads-Making-Smart-Decisions/dp/1511367148 http://willy-braun.com/library in the “Storytelling / content marketing“ section http://willy-braun.com/library in the “Marketing / behaviour / decision making“ section
  29. 29. about daphini & the author @willybraun, co-founder of daphni
 special thanks to my parter @mathieudaix, for his feedbacks & inputs follow us! (twitter, facebook, newsletter)

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