Check out our previous post that helps explain what Flagship Content is. We even have a downloadable checklist to help keep you organized.
In summary, Flagship Content is a specific strategy to help you move from a traditional model of otherwise disconnected, one-way content to a cohesive, integrated model that opens new conversations.
This post will help you think about how to get started with your own Flagship Content project.
Download our Flagship Content Brief Template and fill it in as you continue reading this post.
In the checklist above of key components, we mentioned that Flagship Content should be unique and insightful as well as being something of substance. For many businesses, the topic for your content will come easily. But if you are challenged to come up with a good foundation, here are some tips:
Review your brand pillars and consider a deeper dive into the meaning and purpose behind your offering. Flagship Content is a great way to communicate more about your brand’s background and market position. You exist for a reason, right? What is it?
Consider your unique approach to a more common aspect of your industry. In a more traditional content strategy, you can more easily repeat themes you may hear from your peers and competitors. In the case of Flagship Content, perhaps you can explore the unique process or method you use to get the job done.
Talk to your customers and listen to what they say. Often, your customers will have the best questions or perspective to highlight your unique qualities. Perhaps there are common questions that you are always addressing. Flagship content can take on these themes with more robust answers.
Survey and brainstorm with your employees. There may be unique insights from your own team that will help shine a light on your best qualities or unique attributes. Perhaps there is a little product or service detail you can emphasize to really make your organization stand out.
Do not worry – we are not suggesting you are going to need a doctorate degree here. But we are encouraging a more formal approach that you might otherwise take for your traditional content.
What is the answer you are looking for? What is the position you have decided to take and how can you defend it? In this scenario, it is okay to iterate and refine. We will let you change your position as you build your content. The important thing is establishing a clear direction for your content and to approach this task with some rigor.
Socialize your hypothesis with your colleagues and broader business network to really make sure that the idea has crystalized. What seems clear and evident to you will always get better with feedback. The questions and comments from those conversations will also give you some considerations to follow when it comes time to research and write.
Research is a passion for some people. For others, it can be rather arduous. Regardless of where your interest lies, the most challenging part is often knowing where to look and how to start. Whatever you do – do not skip this part. As close as you may be to the subject matter and as much of an expert as you are, Flagship Content requires you to prove you are well informed.
Again, we are not setting the bar at the level of some peer-reviewed academic level. Just make sure you have some robust data to back up your position. For larger organizations, you will be able to tap into paid journals and commission your own focus groups. For a more economical approach, you can survey your own customers, business contacts or leverage some social media polling. Google Surveys can also be a quick, easy, and often affordable way to gain a few data points to help your content. Or a general search for “market research tools” will give you many other tools.
Before going any further, let us clarify that Flagship Content does NOT need to be written content. You are welcome to pick whatever media type you feel is most appropriate for your business and your audience. However, the key components still need to be there. So, if video, audio, or a hybrid of formats works well for you – go for it!
Even if you are a natural content writer/producer, these tips are still a good reminder. We are going back to basics here:
Start by building your outline
Delegate if appropriate and split up the work
Identify ideas and data you will use in each section
Keep it concise
Use simple language
Separate ideas and topics with headings (based on appropriate SEO keywords of course)
It will also be important to collaborate with another editor.
A lot of work has gone into producing your Flagship Content so far – now it is time to apply the polish. Flagship Content is meant to be published as a single, comprehensive piece of content. The final output will likely be a PDF or a single video although several Flywheel clients have published their Flagship Content as a new, dedicated section on their website. Publishing straight to the web is likely an efficient option for anyone with a good CMS. With this approach, the aesthetic and formatting will get applied consistently by the stylesheets built-in to your website. If you do proceed with a PDF or another downloadable content type, it will be important that the design is professional and consistent with your brand identity. It is probably a good idea to work with a graphic designer, regardless of the final format for your Flagship Content.
As we have said before, Flagship Content is a specific content strategy to take your messaging from a collection of otherwise disconnected pieces of content to a cohesive, integrated conversation. Smaller pieces of content can then be easily parceled out and used to support an ongoing content effort. This is where Flagship Content and a more traditional content strategy come together.
Your Flagship Content should be in a spotlight on your website. From here you can start to share this material on social media, through email marketing, at events and through any other channel. Built (or modify) a content calendar to see where you can parcel segments of your Flagship Content in other ways. Consider sections of the Flagship Content that can be published as standalone blog articles or use quotes and data points on social media. You can also hold webinars or record presentations that focus on a specific piece of thought leadership from your Flagship Content. Another idea is to set up a nurture (or drip) campaign that delivers content to your signup list gradually over time.
You will want to focus your distribution efforts where they can have maximum impact. It may require a bit of experimentation to start, or you may already know you get better engagement through a specific channel like Facebook or LinkedIn. The important aspect here is not to take on more than you can manage. Work with what you know and keep an eye on the metrics we will discuss in the next section.
If you have been following the script, then your Flagship Content project started with an exercise to identify how you were going to measure engagement. You must keep this in mind when you publish and distribute your content. Are you simply looking for views and downloads? Or are you using a Flagship Content strategy to help generate leads? Make sure your content is tracked using tools like Google Analytics or lead capture forms.
There is one more crucial step to having successful measurement and that is the accountability that also needs to be incorporated. Set up a reporting frequency and build an accountability process for yourself where you communicate results to another person. In larger teams, this is likely inherent. But for smaller teams, you may even need to go outside your organization and work with another colleague to set up a regular status call.
Our Flagship Content Briefing template is available as a free download. Use that to help you organized your own Flagship Content project.
Many Flywheel clients have had great success building their own Flagship Content and several others have had our support along the way. We are here when you are ready to chat about how Flagship Content can become a reality for your organization.