This past week, I was talking about effective content strategies with one of my clients who is launching a men's telemedicine brand in February. DTC brands need to focus on creating compelling content that engages their audience on a deeper basis.
Levels, one of my portfolio companies, also created their launch strategy using my brand deck. With their content strategy at play, they're now averaging about 100,000 visitors per month on their site and raised a Series A with A16Z. It pays off to invest in content creation and have a solid content strategy working for you.
Let's take a look at some of the tactics you can use to execute an effective content strategy for your business.
The power of signals
For a solid content strategy, what I would recommend is similar to what you might find if you read Gary's Content Strategy, which was led by one of my good friends, Colin Campbell. It is all about the idea of taking signals of what's working, expanding on those signals with content, and then multiplying distribution by taking advantage of different platforms.
It's the exact same way David Perell and I write articles like The Customer Acquisition Pricing Parade or The Amazon Arbitrage. We take signals of over-indexing engagement, double down on the points that people interact with the most, expand on the content, and then find multiple places to distribute the content.
Re-publishing your work into different snippets of usable content (with varying content types) is key. Make sure your content appears in native forms that work well on different platforms that your target audience is using. These places can vary from an owned-and-operated website and email channels to other publishing and social media platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Let's take a look at how this content strategy can be applied to an early-stage company.
5 step DTC content strategy
Here's how I would execute a content strategy for the men's telemedicine company that is currently pre-launch.
Feel free to use this same strategy after personalizing it to meet the needs of your business.
1. Launch an owned channel for content.
Launch a specific destination to host the content in an owned-and-operated instance. This looks something like a "Blog." I hate the word "Blog" since it is so overused and can mean many different things, so because this is a men's telemedicine company, let's call it a "Playbook". You can host it at playbook.companyname.com for now, so you can start adding SEO value to the main company's domain while you begin driving traffic, building trust, piddling users, collecting emails from SEO traffic, and more.
2. Watch for signals.
Create a list of signals that you need to watch. This could be from this company's call-in radio show, tweets from the CEO or the brand account (including looking at their accounts' best-performing tweets), sending a survey and identifying exactly why people signed up for the early access list, examining web analytics, hosting a poll on Instagram Stories, and more.
There are many ways to collect this, but the most important thing is simply understanding what people will give a crap about when it comes to your content marketing efforts. This is also important because it will help you understand what your prospects will likely search for in Google.
For example, if your customers want to know about optimizing their body's Vitamin D, that's a signal to create content that ranks well in search and answers the question, "How do I optimize for more vitamin D?" By examining signals, you can form a good content strategy that is aligned with your business goals and keeps a focus on search engine optimization.
3. Use long-form video.
Create the content using a long-form video, or a long-form article, and have someone with high expertise do this. In this case, it would be the CEO, who's also the Chief Medical Officer of the company.
This shouldn't take more than 1-2 hours per piece of content, and it should be extremely thorough, addressing all the possible questions, context, and related situations that could arise with someone reading about the main topic of the article.
The reason you want this to be a long-form video or article is to be able to distribute this widely (Step 4). More importantly, though, in the early days of a company, writing everything out helps you refine messaging, think through gaps in the product roadmap, and make sure that you create a bulletproof business.
4. Distribute, distribute, and distribute some more.
Distribute like crazy through owned platforms, and third-party platforms. One long-form article can turn into multiple pieces of different content ranging from tweetstorms, Instagram story content, a post on LinkedIn and Medium, a thread on Reddit, infographics, a podcast, a guest-post or contributed post on a high-domain-authority website, and more. It can also be great content in the form of a blog post or featured section on your company's main website.
If you create a long-form video, you can turn it into:
- Twitter videos
- Facebook videos (where you can easily boost to your potential audience for a penny a view)
- LinkedIn videos (where reach is free and easy to get)
- Tik Tok videos
- Instagram posts
- YouTube long-form videos (the second largest search engine)
You can also find publications, whether it's Harvard or MSN Health, who would want to post these videos on their site as well. Everyone is looking for more content to post, especially the sites and publications with the biggest audience, so feed it to them, and in exchange get the eyeballs and backlinks to improve your SEO rank.
5. Rinse and repeat.
Find new topics using your signals, create content, and distribute. As a CEO, you can focus on long-form promotional content and leave the chopping and distribution on the third-party and social platforms to someone who has more bandwidth on their plate.
Bringing your strategy to life
A solid content marketing strategy should always begin with your buyer personas in mind. Understanding what your customers are seeking and what type of content they are engaging with is critical to the success of your content marketing plan.
By creating engaging content for customers at every stage of the buyer's journey, you'll outshine your competitors and produce a bank of resources and engaging content that will set your brand apart.