After some hair-pulling I peeled back the layers: content strategy, marketing strategy, commercial strategy. Something important was missing. Some things.
I looked back at what went right with previous clients. There was a group of immovable foundations, like a chemical compound, which gave content the right conditions to grow.
Let’s call it AMI, or MAI, I don’t know. Anyway, it means:
Audience, Message, Intent.
These three things pre-exist any successful content strategy.
Audience: You know specifically who your target audience is, and have a group of clients who look just like this
Message: You know specifically what you need to tell your audience to make them care about what you do
Intent: You know your audience will - at some stage - care enough about the problem you fix for them to get their wallet out and say ‘go on then, what’s the damage?’
That’s not to say other types of marketing won’t work. But right now, if you don’t know the above, you shouldn’t invest in creating content.
I spent hours scraping prospects’ phone numbers from Linkedin and trying to cold call them. Not to sell, but just to fill in the AMI blanks. It was a mess.