Before you dig your claws into this worksheet, I want you to ask yourself two questions: what is a content strategy and why do I suddenly have claws? I can’t help you with that second one, Wolverine, but if you’re drawing a blank on the first, let me lend you a claw-free hand: a content strategy supplies a set of guidelines that prevent you from producing ineffective content; content you might otherwise create to fill a calendar or merely keep yourself busy.
Since you’re reading this, you are interested in some structure to your content marketing; a strategy — and that’s great because I recommend every marketer employs one. But before you continue, you should be aware that this worksheet bases itself off of a specific content strategy, while many others exist.
Alternative Content Strategies
If you ping your company’s team leads every Friday morning in the desperate hope of discovering some tweet-worthy events that occurred in the past workweek, that’s technically a strategy, but doubtless a flawed one. Luckily for you, principled and guided strategies exist to ease your anxiety and provide a framework for content creation.
Popular strategies include HubSpot’s Hub-and-Spoke, Bryan Dean’s Skyscraper technique, and others. I encourage you to investigate several before choosing a direction for your content marketing efforts. And among your considerations, I hope you place the Full-Funnel Content strategy, the very strategy which this worksheet is based on.
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Why This Strategy
Full-Funnel Content (FFC) is named after its creator: a 16-time olympiad cyborg with a PhD in Contentology, Captain Von Fullf Ünnel… or maybe it’s named Full-Funnel because it was built on the idea that you can compose each stage of your customer funnel with content. By adhering to this strategy, you marry each piece of content with a business or marketing goal.
Conversely, popular strategies appear to focus primarily on maximizing one or two metrics, like traffic or conversion rate. Whereas FFC respects the idea that content can serve various purposes and each element can come together to serve a greater whole. Lastly, Full-Funnel provides a data-driven framework to discover the return on investment for each piece. But how does it do any of this?
How Full-Funnel Content Works
In brief, the Full-Funnel content strategy aims to attract, educate, convert, and nurture customers through content. The funnel breaks down into three sections: top, middle, and post.
- Top-funnel content is comprised of pieces that introduce people to your brand. They entertain, help, or otherwise provide value without hustling any sort of product. This content maximizes brand awareness and builds early trust.
Top-funnel content links or directs readers to the next type of content.
- Middle-funnel content educates the reader about your products, services, features, beliefs, and more.
Common middle-funnel content pieces tend to overlap with copy; they include landing pages, about us, product pages, and more. They help to convinces prospects of our value and inspire them to become paying customers.
- Finally, post-funnel content is anything that continues to build the relationship between you and your customers. These can be timely helpful tips, personal touches you send in the mail, or more commonplace: an FAQ section that answers customer questions (and does it well).
It’s post-funnel’s job to keep your brand in your customer’s memory and continually improve their opinion of you by being honest, helpful, timely, and never annoying.
Now that you have a rough idea of how this strategy works, let’s get to what you came here for.
The Content Strategy Worksheet
You will need additional tools to implement the Full-Funnel Content strategy from end-to-end, but this worksheet helps you evaluate your existing content (to categorize it by purpose) and generate new content ideas at each step of the way.
You can use and reuse this worksheet as often as you like, it may even become a continuous source of inspiration for new content ideas (as it has for me).
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If you get stuck on the sheet or have any lingering questions, feel free to leave me a message on my site and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
If you want to learn more about the Full-Funnel Content strategy, this worksheet happens to provide the assignments for a 10-video course of the same name, in which I go into detail about the content funnel, idea generation, calculating content ROI, and much more.
But before you go, I wanted to reveal that you’ve just read a piece of my top-funnel content (gasp!); so yes, I practice what I preach. If you enjoyed this piece, you will enjoy my other resources; they cover additional content marketing topics and that just might tickle your fancy*.
* Without express verbal consent, my resources will never tickle any part of you, but especially not your fancies.