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Content Rules

At the center of every great marketing strategy, campaign, blog, and video lies a great message and great content. My good friend Anthony Gomes (also of 18Squared) calls it "fuel" that allows the marketing engines to burn.

I was recently speaking with a company about their content strategy, and it largely consisted of a few case studies and the website, but not much else (outside of send-from-rep emails). And it was clear that they needed to think about what value they could be sharing with their prospects to educate them and raise up the latent business problem that their product helped to solve. But that wasn't happening from reps who were just cold-calling.

You need good content. Now that can be long-form, short-form, burst-out, bite-size, whatever you want to call it--yes to all. But you need to think about it and have a plan. A plan on how you develop and create it (is it you? An agency? A product manager?); what stage of the buying process you create the content for; what type of content piece (written video, podcast)? And the list goes on.

Too many times marketing teams start with the campaign or the tactic, and then back into what content they need to make the tactic work. I'd argue that that's actually backwards. By having a full content plan and the ability to take advantage of news, market changes, competitive positioning, you are able to align your tactics around your content plan. Going to a trade show? We have the right content for that. Advertising campaign to educate people on the problem your product solves? We have the right content for that

You get the idea. Don't treat your content as an afterthought. Treat it as the core of what will drive your awareness interest, consideration, and purchase--your pipeline.

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